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Lower fill weight down jacket+vest vs high fill weight down jacket

Original Post
El Duderino · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 70

As the title suggests, I'm trying to refine my winter system. I was thinking that a 2 piece down jacket/vest would allow me greater flexibility in terms of temperature regulation and cost as opposed to the latter, but I was wondering whether anyone has any personal experience with one set up as opposed to the other.  I'd primarily use it for around camp and the odd frigid belay.

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 161

Generally, one piece is going to be warmer than 2 pieces with the same insulating capacity.  So a 400 fill jacket + a 400 fill vest will be less warm than a 800 fill jacket.  Plus, you have more material in the form of the outer material, so you are not saving weight.  That said, use what you like.  I used to be hardy enough that all I needed was to keep my core warm, so I would wear a vest and that would be good enough.  Now, I am wearing my down puffy on chilly (50 - 60 degree) So Cal mornings and nights, and if my beanie and gloves are handy, I may add those as well.

Nick B · · Anchorage, AK · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 61

Down makes a really crummy underlayer as your outer down jacket will compress the inner down jacket  insulation. The very compressible nature of down is also what makes it a bad mid-layer. You would be better off getting a synthetic mid layer jacket like the Patagonia Nano air which won't be affected by perspiration building up underneath your outer layer and will not compress the same way that down will.  

Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

I'm a fan of jackets so I have a lot if down and synthetic jackets and a few synthetic and down vests as well.. In theory nick is correct about non-outterlayer down compressing but in practice it works. I don't do that system for winter but in summer I like pairing a down vest and either fleece or down jacket. When you put the vest under the fleece or jacket its considerably warmer than as the outter layer and you can feel the loft without a doubt... In fact I bought 4 down puffyss recently on Steepandcheap for a 200$ total. One is the stoic stretch down jacket and the other is called somethinf along the lines of the "cedar" ill have to check bit ive been wearing them together a lot recently. The putter has a hood and the stretch is slimmer fitting. Not a heavy system by any means, but warm as hell. Also have an older stoic down vest I put on underneath when winter camping recently. Core gets noticeably warmer with it

Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

I say go for the vest and jacket. In the summer its nice having a vest and wind breaker as a light packable system for exposed windy summits. Versatility and options are the better bet for more situations

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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