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Down Jackets... (Read 17136 times)

galpinos

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#50 Re: Down Jackets...
November 25, 2015, 08:12:46 am
It might be worth noting that not all down is the same and itís not all sourced in the same manner, some methods of down production leave a lot to be desired.

Some companies make efforts to ensure both the quality and that the down is ethically sourced and is something worth considering when looking at cheap options.

Of the companies I know who do something:

Mountain Equipment:   Down Codex, http://www.thedownproject.me.uk/
Patagonia:   Traceable Down, http://www.patagonia.com/us/traceable-down
Fjallraven:   http://www.fjallraven.com/explore-fjallraven/responsibility/nature-environment/animal-welfare

Also:
Alpkit made an effort but never published anything: https://www.alpkit.com/develop/down-sourcing-part-3
An article on the  other channel:   http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/press.php?id=5183

dave

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#51 Re: Down Jackets...
November 25, 2015, 08:21:45 am
Problem with synthetic is it doesn't last as well, and although its better in some situations (it's worth having one) don't expect it to last as well as down. My Rab pull-on I bought in about 1998/9 and its still going strong, still warm, still tons of loft, no mechanical failures (way better build than current Rab stuff). Essentially a down jacket should last more or less indefinitely if looked after - i.e. stored loose, ideally not hung up, always dried out properly. Hard to achieve that if getting soaked in the mountains, but for domestic bouldering use it's totally feasible.

I think for most folk a down is a better bet for today's boulderer for standing around in winter etc, especially with the waterproof outers they have now. Down also tends to be be less sweaty if you're active in one. its a bit like with down sleeping bags, they tend to be better for a wider range of temps than the equivalent synthetic due to being less sweaty on warm days.

tomtom

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#52 Re: Down Jackets...
November 25, 2015, 08:29:57 am
Hmm... I have a north face synthetic jacket that's 6-7 years old and still going strong.. I guess it depends on the quality of the fill...

dave

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#53 Re: Down Jackets...
November 25, 2015, 08:43:08 am
6-7 years? That's practically brand new. Come back when you've used it a bit.

T_B

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#54 Re: Down Jackets...
November 25, 2015, 08:56:11 am
It might be worth noting that not all down is the same and itís not all sourced in the same manner, some methods of down production leave a lot to be desired.

Some companies make efforts to ensure both the quality and that the down is ethically sourced and is something worth considering when looking at cheap options.

Of the companies I know who do something:

Mountain Equipment:   Down Codex, http://www.thedownproject.me.uk/
Patagonia:   Traceable Down, http://www.patagonia.com/us/traceable-down
Fjallraven:   http://www.fjallraven.com/explore-fjallraven/responsibility/nature-environment/animal-welfare

Also:
Alpkit made an effort but never published anything: https://www.alpkit.com/develop/down-sourcing-part-3
An article on the  other channel:   http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/press.php?id=5183

Yep, I've always been amazed ME in particular don't make more of this in their marketing, as it's clearly an important point of difference between them and the other big UK down brand.

PHD on their company ethics http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/phd-company-ethics
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 09:01:33 am by T_B »

tomtom

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#55 Re: Down Jackets...
November 25, 2015, 09:17:30 am
6-7 years? That's practically brand new. Come back when you've used it a bit.

well I haven't taken it off in that time...

Fultonius

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#56 Re: Down Jackets...
November 25, 2015, 09:53:03 am
It's a lightweight stitch-through, press stud hood thing of the type that Fultonius disses above but it's never suffered from the problems he mentions.

Maybe it has stronger studs, but I've found my hood hanging off mid belay - which is the last thing you want when you're wearing big fat mitts and it -10c (admittedly, not the use this thread is talking about). I just don't see a removable hood as a benefit - I have never worn the jacket without the hood.

What I was really meaning in my reply is that fill power is more of a marketing ploy than something to actually base your purchase on.  I like down for cold dry places (alps, bouldering) and synthetic for cold damp places - I just had to get a new jacket for Scottish Winter, so picked up a ME Fitzroy which, while it's not super warm is tough, waterproof and packs fairly small.

I was assuming he meant cold & dry as people don't boulder in the rain much. Hand't considered the "walk to the catwalk in the rain" angle.

I still think bang-for buck warmth you're best with down.

Quote
On the designing jackets not for mountaineering, are there any ticket down jackets that have a hood that is head sized, rather than head plus helmet sized.

My GFs Rab has a head-sized hood - but the jacket is pretty thin and not very warm. Microlight Alpine Jacket iirc.

Johnny Brown

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#57 Re: Down Jackets...
November 25, 2015, 05:11:19 pm
Problem with synthetic is it doesn't last as well, and although its better in some situations (it's worth having one) don't expect it to last as well as down. My Rab pull-on I bought in about 1998/9 and its still going strong, still warm, still tons of loft, no mechanical failures (way better build than current Rab stuff). Essentially a down jacket should last more or less indefinitely if looked after - i.e. stored loose, ideally not hung up, always dried out properly. Hard to achieve that if getting soaked in the mountains, but for domestic bouldering use it's totally feasible.

I think for most folk a down is a better bet for today's boulderer for standing around in winter etc, especially with the waterproof outers they have now. Down also tends to be be less sweaty if you're active in one. its a bit like with down sleeping bags, they tend to be better for a wider range of temps than the equivalent synthetic due to being less sweaty on warm days.

Doesn't sound like you've ever had a decent synthetic. They are much less sweaty, and much harder wearing. Down jackets are fragile, (no tape holding yours together?) and I've never overheated in my synthetic like in my down.

dave

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#58 Re: Down Jackets...
November 25, 2015, 05:32:16 pm
You say that like you've not seen me in an arcteryx synthetic, like fucking umpteen times. Its great for what it is.

Harder wearing in what way? They generally have the same outers. 18 years of wear and my Rab has one small patch on one arm where I caught it on some barbed wire which would have holed anything short of a donkeyjacket.

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#59 Re: Down Jackets...
November 25, 2015, 06:54:12 pm
Ah that lightweight one, not what I'm talking about. Down jackets are always covered in ripstop nylon, which of course doesn't live up to the name. Because the warmer synthetics can't match on weight to start with they tend to put much tougher fabric on. Snagged mine on barbed wire a bunch of times and it's unmarked.

dave

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#60 Re: Down Jackets...
November 25, 2015, 07:38:59 pm
Medals in the post. Let's see it in 15 years time.

tomtom

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#61 Re: Down Jackets...
November 25, 2015, 07:53:10 pm
Have a beard growing competition over the same period.

webbo

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#62 Re: Down Jackets...
November 25, 2015, 08:38:39 pm
I have a synthetic North Face jacket, 2 down ones, 2 down Rab ones plus the missus Rab one which she lets me wear :dance1: and a Montane down vest. They all work well in most conditions but then again I only tend to use them to walk from the kitchen to go on the board in the garage.

AndyR

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#63 Re: Down Jackets...
November 25, 2015, 11:15:13 pm
I have a synthetic North Face jacket, 2 down ones, 2 down Rab ones plus the missus Rab one which she lets me wear :dance1: and a Montane down vest. They all work well in most conditions but then again I only tend to use them to walk from the kitchen to go on the board in the garage.
It must be bloody cold where you live to need that many coats to walk from the kitchen to the garage.

habrich

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#64 Re: Down Jackets...
November 26, 2015, 12:43:36 am
All of the kids on son #1's football team have these vast "stadium jacket" things for surviving their time on the subs bench on cold days. They cost a fraction of the price of anything you could buy in an outdoor shop and would appear near perfect for standing-around-at-the-boulders use.



Will Hunt

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#65 Re: Down Jackets...
December 01, 2015, 12:57:14 pm
Thanks for the tips everyone.

For me it has to be down. My old synthetic lost all its loft in short order and is now useless. This one won't be getting wet and since a lot of my standing-around-at-the-boulders happens 30+ mins from the road, weight is a consideration.

I searched around on Black Friday for some bargainous deals but didn't find anything that cut the mustard. The Alpkit ones are in my price range and are coming back in now. There is a duck down one for £130 and a goose down one for 145 sheets. I hear that goose is better, and the goose jacket appears to have narrower baffles and a lighter construction so will probably hang on for that one.

ali k

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#66 Re: Down Jackets...
September 27, 2021, 10:16:00 am
Sad times, but after about 14yrs of trusty service (plus another few by the previous owner) Iíve been convinced (told) to get a new downie, as apparently itís filthy and falling apart so Iím an embarrassment to be seen at the crag with.

AnywayÖIíve got another lightweight downie for taking up hills and stuff so Iím just after an indestructible workhorse of a jacket that is very warm for belaying or bouldering. Doesnít have to be lightweight so could be synthetic if thatís a better option?

Any advice / opinions / recommendations on the current market for such things? Iím a bit out of touch with what would be a good option. Havenít really got a budget in mind as a few extra hundred quid is a bargain over the lifetime of a jacket if itís a goodun so could be persuaded to push the boat out.

Are Alpkit still good?

spidermonkey09

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#67 Re: Down Jackets...
September 27, 2021, 11:30:08 am
Sad times, but after about 14yrs of trusty service (plus another few by the previous owner) Iíve been convinced (told) to get a new downie, as apparently itís filthy and falling apart so Iím an embarrassment to be seen at the crag with.

AnywayÖIíve got another lightweight downie for taking up hills and stuff so Iím just after an indestructible workhorse of a jacket that is very warm for belaying or bouldering. Doesnít have to be lightweight so could be synthetic if thatís a better option?

Any advice / opinions / recommendations on the current market for such things? Iím a bit out of touch with what would be a good option. Havenít really got a budget in mind as a few extra hundred quid is a bargain over the lifetime of a jacket if itís a goodun so could be persuaded to push the boat out.

Are Alpkit still good?

Worth keeping an eye on outdoor gear exchange on Facebook as amongst the tide of overpriced vans and people selling 1980s 'genuine british army style' clothing there is the occasional bargain. I got my current jacket for about £100 on there a few years ago and it was basically unused. Thats a Marmot, might be worth a look.

ali k

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#68 Re: Down Jackets...
September 27, 2021, 12:49:13 pm
Alpkit have got their Fantom reduced to £120 - seems to get decent reviews but heard their quality has dropped a bit?

https://alpkit.com/products/fantom-mens-down-jacket

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#69 Re: Down Jackets...
September 27, 2021, 01:50:51 pm
Alpkit have got their Fantom reduced to £120 - seems to get decent reviews but heard their quality has dropped a bit?

https://alpkit.com/products/fantom-mens-down-jacket

I got myself one of these just after Christmas and it seems good so far - it's been worn a fair bit and shoved down into bags probably more than is sensible and doesn't seem to have any rips or be leaking down. For the money I think it's really good quality (feels noticeably warmer than my synthetic ME Fitzroy), but having never spent more than that on a down jacket have no idea if it'd feel a bit cheap and shit compared to something from Arcteryx or Patagonia.

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#70 Re: Down Jackets...
September 27, 2021, 03:50:16 pm
Sad times, but after about 14yrs of trusty service (plus another few by the previous owner) Iíve been convinced (told) to get a new downie, as apparently itís filthy and falling apart so Iím an embarrassment to be seen at the crag with.

Bought the Mountain Warehouse Polar Expedition recently as I was in the exact same position. Wanted something monster thick and no need to be light or small. Haven't had a chance to fully road test it yet, but its almost half price for a 700 fill down jacket and should replace my previous 600 given to me in 2008 so was an easy expenditure. Detachable insulated hood and insulated pockets with the down layer on the outside (warmer hands :)). The sleeve inner has a hole for the thumb, like a tattered old hoodie, but its comfortable to wear without.

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#71 Re: Down Jackets...
September 27, 2021, 04:12:36 pm
No idea where youíre based but I always recommend the Rab factory shop in these threads.

ali k

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#72 Re: Down Jackets...
September 27, 2021, 06:04:57 pm
Thanks Jim Iíll have a look on there.

No idea where youíre based but I always recommend the Rab factory shop in these threads.
Do Rab still make quality stuff? I know a few people whoíve had no end of trouble with zips and stuff on Rab gear.

remus

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#73 Re: Down Jackets...
September 27, 2021, 08:12:19 pm
The few Rab bits I've got seem good so far, I've got one of their lightweight down jackets which hasn't seen much use yet (wouldn't want to get it dirty!) My partner's got one of those climbing works style Rab down jackets which seems pretty indestructible after 3 years of heavy use.

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#74 Re: Down Jackets...
September 27, 2021, 10:10:23 pm
My big downj is a Rab one I got from the factory shop and itís both really good and in great shape after more than five years in contrast to a Montane synthetic one that I virtually killed in one winter. I also know people whoíve had zip problems with Rab but I think their dodgy days are behind them and they seem very into repairing them, selling spare parts etc. nowadays.

 

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