walkhighlands

Add reviews of outdoor gear and equipment here... or simply chat about gear and ask for recommendations

Down jackets

Down jackets


Postby huwthomas » Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:14 pm

So I have a bit of money to burn, and the obvious hole in my outdoor inventory is a down jacket.

I've never owned one of these, partly because the warm/emergency layer I've always carried is a fleece. I've checked the gear section, and there are no recent reviews of down jackets, so looking for advice

Are they actually worth it - in terms of cost-weight-warmth, is it worth having one in your pack? My likely use would be winter walking/mountaineering in Britain, possibly branching out to use as a belaying jacket.

If yes, then which one would you recommend, based on personal experience. My upper limit is £200, but would rather not spend more than £150.
huwthomas
Ambler
 
Posts: 27
Munros:54   Corbetts:2
Grahams:1   
Hewitts:174
Wainwrights:26   
Joined: Jul 14, 2015

Re: Down jackets

Postby prog99 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:20 pm

Do you have a decathlon store near you? I've one of theirs I take with me in winter.
Failing that find a big brand that fits you. I'd try and get one with a hood. Worth checking out sports pursuit as they frequently have various brands 1/2 price.
User avatar
prog99
Walker
 
Posts: 1379
Joined: Aug 14, 2013

Re: Down jackets

Postby Landsoul » Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:51 pm

+1 for the decathlon one. It's a Simond synthetic jacket (available in orange or black last time I looked) I have one that I use specifically for a belay jacket in winter. It was only £40 and it's excellent.

Synthetic is more appropriate for winter in the UK as we have a moist climate, compared to drier air in the Alps for example, and down when wet is next to useless as it clumps together. Synthetic insulation dosent and retains its insulation value and warmth when wet.

That said I sometimes do take a small down jacket on cold/dry/windy days in the summer as down is lighter, packs smaller and is the superior insulator when dry.

Really depends on what weather and season your likely going to be using it in. But as you mention winter and the possibility of using it as a belay jacket, I would definatley go for synthetic over down.
Landsoul
 
Posts: 35
Munros:282   
Joined: Jul 31, 2016
Location: Inverness

Re: Down jackets

Postby dav2930 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:30 pm

I agree with Landsoul that synthetic is more appropriate for the British climate (damp and not extremely cold). Primaloft is almost as good as down for insulation and will still keep you warm when wet. Something like Rab's Photon Hoodie is adequate for the severest Scottish winters if you use a layer system underneath (thin wicky, thick wicky, fleece pullover).
User avatar
dav2930
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1462
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:14   Donalds:42
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:163
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: Down jackets

Postby nathan79 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:12 am

Another vote for synthetic insulation. I so have a lovely puffy Alpkit jacket but I've never taken it out on the hill, mainly post-hill warming up. I also have a micro down jacket but that's never been worn at all.

I have 3 primaloft jackets that see plenty use and the dearest cost me £80 so you should find something well within budget. Karrimor do one, the Avalanche. Great value for a Primaloft one/gold jacket, I got mine for £40. The Simond one is also a good shout for a great bang-for-bucks jacket.
User avatar
nathan79
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 883
Munros:101   Corbetts:29
Grahams:13   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:14   Islands:5
Joined: Jan 24, 2010
Location: The Kingdom of Fife

Re: Down jackets

Postby Caberfeidh » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:42 am

I use a down jacket sometimes, I bought a new one last year, a big parka-style one which turned out to be a waste of too much money and has sat taking up valuable wardrobe space ever since. I have since been to Decathlon and got myself a light down jacket for much cheapness. More robust versions are also available for much cheapness. http://www.decathlon.co.uk/C-858789-down-jackets is worth a browse through, but remember their sizing is different and so trying it on instore is the best option. Down is warm and very light but of course our climate means we have to be practical for our lousy weather, and synthetic may be your best option. Welcome to Scotland. :D

DSCF5148ar.jpg
Light down jacket day in Glen Coe
User avatar
Caberfeidh
Stravaiging
 
Posts: 7431
Joined: Feb 5, 2009

Re: Down jackets

Postby rockhopper » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:51 pm

Synthetic for me too. Don't know if they still make it but I use a Berghaus Ignite Hoody - primaloft and pertex. Think it was under £100. Great for putting on at rest stops and overnight camps - find it a bit too warm for walking though even in winter. Has a good hood - I wouldn't get an insulating jacket without a hood. Can then be washed and low tumble dried as normal - cheers :)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6692
Munros:282   Corbetts:218
Grahams:64   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Down jackets

Postby Mal Grey » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:46 pm

I have a lovely Alpkit down jacket, but as with others this is used almost exclusively for evenings on camp rather than on the hill. I have a Keela synthetic "belay jacket" that I carry sometimes.

If you want down, Alpkit are good value for a high quality product.
User avatar
Mal Grey
Wanderer
 
Posts: 3661
Munros:110   Corbetts:20
Grahams:9   
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   Islands:5
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Down jackets

Postby teaandpies » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:04 pm

I guess I have expensive taste but...

Arc'teryx Atom AR or the LT version.

The Patagonia Nano Air Hoody is incredible by the way.
teaandpies
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 932
Munros:94   Corbetts:17
Grahams:8   
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:6
Joined: Mar 19, 2014
Location: Glasgow

Re: Down jackets

Postby BobMcBob » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:37 pm

huwthomas wrote:Are they actually worth it - in terms of cost-weight-warmth, is it worth having one in your pack?


Oh abso-bloomin-lutely :) I bought a Rab synthetic jacket recently, having always relied on fleeces before, and it wins in every respect. Packs down tiny small, weighs nothing, but is extremely warm. Too warm to wear while on the move, at least when I tried on a cold April day, but great for rest stops. Wouldn't go without it now. As others have said, I looked into it and went for a synthetic in the end as they work better in the wet.
User avatar
BobMcBob
Rambler
 
Posts: 1420
Munros:73   Corbetts:14
Grahams:7   
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:33
Wainwrights:12   
Joined: Jul 26, 2011
Location: In a van, somewhere

Re: Down jackets

Postby skawt100 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:34 pm

I would never buy a down jacket for the UK for anything other than wearing to the Clachaig, other pubs are available. The weather here is just too unpredictable to have to worry about not being allowed to get a piece of clothing wet for fear of killing it.

I have a Black Diamond Heat Treat synthetic down jacket and it's what I wear in the heart of winter, I love it. I wear what I wear in the summer under it, a helly hansen base layer and a black diamond coefficient fleece and it's warm enough for the coldest of days with back ups in my bag which I have yet to need in two winter seasons, plus it only weighs 600g. I got it in a snow and rock sale 2 years ago half price for £125.
User avatar
skawt100
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 28
Munros:230   Corbetts:29
Grahams:8   Donalds:9
Sub 2000:12   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:3   
Joined: Dec 28, 2013
Location: Lenzie, Glasgow

Re: Down jackets

Postby teaandpies » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:25 am

skawt100 wrote:I would never buy a down jacket for the UK for anything other than wearing to the Clachaig, other pubs are available. The weather here is just too unpredictable to have to worry about not being allowed to get a piece of clothing wet for fear of killing it.

I have a Black Diamond Heat Treat synthetic down jacket and it's what I wear in the heart of winter, I love it. I wear what I wear in the summer under it, a helly hansen base layer and a black diamond coefficient fleece and it's warm enough for the coldest of days with back ups in my bag which I have yet to need in two winter seasons, plus it only weighs 600g. I got it in a snow and rock sale 2 years ago half price for £125.


The Black Diamond clothing range is very nice but ultra pricey. I admire it from a distance because it's also very precision fitted...not for fatties :lol:
teaandpies
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 932
Munros:94   Corbetts:17
Grahams:8   
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:6
Joined: Mar 19, 2014
Location: Glasgow

Re: Down jackets

Postby Caberfeidh » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:01 am

teaandpies wrote: The Black Diamond clothing range is very nice but ultra pricey. I admire it from a distance because it's also very precision fitted...not for fatties :lol:


Oh shiver me timbers ~ that counts me out too... :crazy:
User avatar
Caberfeidh
Stravaiging
 
Posts: 7431
Joined: Feb 5, 2009

Re: Down jackets

Postby huwthomas » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:12 pm

Magic. Thanks all for the comments - really helpful. Sounds like synthetic is the way to go. Had a look on the Decathlon website, but sadly it appears the Simonds is out of stock. Hey ho, will have a look for similar options.
Cheers
huwthomas
Ambler
 
Posts: 27
Munros:54   Corbetts:2
Grahams:1   
Hewitts:174
Wainwrights:26   
Joined: Jul 14, 2015

Re: Down jackets

Postby Caberfeidh » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:57 pm

Yer could always use a light down jacket under a goretex/other breathable fabric jacket and see how it turns out. If you don't expire from hypothermia I may try it myself.
User avatar
Caberfeidh
Stravaiging
 
Posts: 7431
Joined: Feb 5, 2009

Next



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Gear and Equipment talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests