Warmest Synthetic Insulated Belay Jacket 2017


Original Post
GearGuy 316 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

Hello,

I'm looking for the warmest (static) synthetic insulated dedicated Belay Jacket on the market today. I've narrowed down my search to the following:

Outdoor Research Perch Belay Parka
Outdoor Research Perch Belay Parka
PrimaLoft® Gold 100% polyester insulation 200 g/m2 body, 160 g/m2 lower body and lower sleeves

Arc'teryx Dually Belay Parka
Arc'teryx Dually Belay Parka
ThermaTek™ 2.7 oz—100% nylon face, 92 g/m². Comprised of a high tenacity 30 denier nylon fabric laminated to a 2.7 ounce continuous fibre fill insulation which is then completely immersed in DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatment.

Rab Photon X Jacket
Rab Photon X Jacket
2 layers of 100g/m2 (4oz) PrimaLoft® Gold in front body enclosing pockets, 1 layer of 100g/m2 PrimaLoft® Gold in back body, 60g/m2 (2oz) PrimaLoft® Gold in sleeves and hood

PHD Zeta Belay Jacket
PHD Zeta Belay Jacket
Primaloft Gold® synthetic insulation (200grm/m in the body & 133grm/m sleeves)

Mountain Equipment Citadel Jacket
Citadel Jacket
PrimaLoft® GOLD insulation (200g body and 170g arms/hood)


As you can see, with exception of Arc'teryx (which uses two 92g/m2 layers of ThermaTek), the rest of these dedicated Belay jackets have the very best of Primaloft insulation (ie. Gold) with I believe the highest commercial weight available of 200g/m2 in core areas.

Does anyone have any experience with any of these jackets?

I'm leaning towards Outdoor Research Perch Belay, since it seems to be the best bang for the buck, but would like to know others thoughts, and if there are any other synthetic dedicated Belay jackets that should also be considered for static warmth.

Thank you

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 10

Primaloft Gold doesn't hold its loft well over time with repeated compression, which unfortunately is what happens to a belay jacket. The Primaloft Silver Hi-Loft is a continuous fiber that is supposed to do better, it's what Patagonia and BD used in their belay parkas.

Of those you listed, I'd get the Arc'teryx, though I'm not sure it's worth twice as much as something like a BD Stance. The Arc is made of a rebranded Climashield insulation which is a continuous fiber, also has fancy built-in DWR.

If warmth is your main goal and you seem to have the budget, you could have someone custom make you a parka with eg ~240g of Climashield, though it might be a bear to stuff into your ice climbing pack.

Gary Stoker · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 215

Is it for Alpine climbing?

Sterling Falconer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

According to PHD, 200g of Primaloft Gold is rated to -4F (-20C) Do you really need that much insulation if you're going to be layering? If you're going to an extremely cold place wouldn't it be better to get a suit?

EWilliams · · Truckee, CA · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 40

The Dually is the best belay jacket ever made.

Ray Pinpillage · · West Egg · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 180

I have the Perch, it's warm but when it's cold enough to need it I wear down.

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 10

Ray is right, while synthetic is bombproof in bad conditions and is sometimes the best compromise, there isn't a synthetic parka on the market as warm as the bigger down jackets (as long as they stay dry/intact!). I have a hard time choosing sometimes. Maybe stuff size is a practical limiting factor with producing/using a bigger synthetic.

Gary Stoker · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 215

I use the Mountain Hardwear Nilas Jacket.

TimVT · · Burlington · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 78

I have a BD Stance Parka and it's amazingly warm. It's also held it's loft well, which is impressive considering how much time it spends getting stuffed into a small pack or stuff sack for ice/alpine climbing.

Steven Kovalenko · · Calgary · Joined May 2014 · Points: 25

Do you live somewhere damp, cold and nasty, or frigid and dry? If the latter, definitely get something with down insulation.

If you're plunking down cash at MSRP, maybe wait for the Patagonia Hyper DAS to come out next year, unless you got a sweet end of season deal on one of the other jackets you posted?

I would buy whatever you get the best deal on. Synthetic will lose warmth over time anyway as you repeatedly compress it. My Atom SV is basically an LT now (that does not breathe as well) after 4 years.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 478
jdejace wrote:Primaloft Gold doesn't hold its loft well over time with repeated compression, which unfortunately is what happens to a belay jacket. The Primaloft Silver Hi-Loft is a continuous fiber that is supposed to do better, it's what Patagonia and BD used in their belay parkas.
100% true. My partner has the OR jacket and I have the BD stance parka. We have traded jackets between three partners on different days and at different times. All 3 of us agreed that the stance was warmer in use. For a given size that stance also has more glute covereage, the medium hits me about mid thigh. That makes it significantly warmer in use.
Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650

I'm another fan of the BD Stance Parka. It is like a warm hug that you can carry in your pack!

Gavin W · · Surrey, BC · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 183

I've got a DAS available here if you're looking to save a few bones.

Ray Pinpillage · · West Egg · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 180

The best use I've found for 100+grwt synthetic parkas is working on my car when it's cold. If it's cold enough for that much insulation down is better in almost every way.

David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 70

Hi,
although the filling is important, so is fit to your shape. On me many jackets are too big on my chest. This means the volume of warm air expelled and cold volume replacing it is greater. This can has as much impact as the filling IMO. Think snug.

GearGuy 316 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

Hi all,

Thanks for the replies.

Reason I'm considering warm synthetic is mainly because of some good deals right now (especially with OR Perch since it also fits me well), even though Rab Photon X has the cheapest MSRP out of all the high insulated synthetic jackets, but am reconsidering based on responses.

Down is just way too expensive, as you can see from each of these Brands for the same warmth category (ie. PHD -20°C/-30°C Category Down Products >$ PHD -20°C Zeta Primaloft; OR Floodlight 800FP >$ OR Perch Belay Primaloft, etc..).

I will be using for a few climbing expeditions so not too concerned about repeated compression/decompression loft durability (though maybe more on weight/size), but mainly for regular day to day use when weather is 20F or colder.

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162

For "regular day to day use" down gets even more attractive because moisture management is less of an issue and less catastrophic, and because it won't get packed out from sitting in your car, etc.

The Perch and Stance are about $300, which is plenty of dough to get you a good down jacket. Patagonia FitzRoys are on sale now for $300, Mountain Hardwear Phantoms are $280, and there are plenty of other options out there.

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 10

Agree with Kyle. Although as you point out they can be relatively inexpensive up front, synthetic parkas have a pretty specific niche. You should get down. It will last you for years. ~$250 should get you something good on sale.

jaredj · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 165
GearGuy 316 wrote: for regular day to day use when weather is 20F or colder.
Do you mean like around town and stuff?
Goat Slayer · · Olympia, WA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

If you need, I've got a couple of DAS Parkas brand new with tags in sizes small and medium.

Extra good price just for you. Msg me.

rockhard · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 55

Get synthetic. Once your down gets wet, you are going to be wishing that you got synthetic. I think the only benefit of down is longevity

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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