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Best synthetic insulation for loft retention


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

I think most of you will agree that jackets using PrimaLoft Gold/One and Coreloft are very poor when it comes to retaining it's loft after many repetitions in and out of your climbing pack, laundering, or just simply getting the back of the your jacket compressed while driving in your car during the winter. 

That said, does anyone have any experience with some of the jackets using insulation meant to retain it's loft (and therefore warmth) over repeated compression/de-compression and/or washes?

Some examples are:
- PrimaLoft Silver Hi-Loft used in the Black Diamond Belay Stance and Patagonia DAS Parka
- Polartec Alpha used in Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket
- Polartec Alpha Direct used in Outdoor Research Ascendent Jacket and the Rab Alpha Direct Jacket
- Coreloft Continuous (rebranded version of Climashield APEX) used in the Arc'teryx Proton LT/AR
- Thermatek (rebranded version of Climashield PRISM) used in the Arc'teryx Dually and Arc'teryx Alpha IS
- FullRange (rebranded version of Toray 3DeFX+) used in Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody and Nano-Air Light Jacket

I find that Polartec Alpha is the best, though it didn't have that much loft to begin with and not as warm. It is more like fleece on steroids in terms of warmth, lighter weight and high breathability.

Thanx

that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 205

Polartec alpha really doesn't belong on this list it's radically different to all the other insulation listed it's really more like high loft low density fiber pile it does actually loose it's loft the difference is you can just shake it to fluff it back up, as far as the other insulation goes Prism is apparently most durable single fiber insulation that climasheild do though i don't think you will find any actual number on here, see if the good people at backpacking light have anything.

Jon Rhoderick · · Redmond, OR · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 865

Primaloft gold would be my vote. BTW where is the source for the Patagonia/Arcteryx generic insulation names?

GearGuy 316 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
that guy named seb wrote:

Polartec alpha really doesn't belong on this list it's radically different to all the other insulation listed it's really more like high loft low density fiber pile it does actually loose it's loft the difference is you can just shake it to fluff it back up, as far as the other insulation goes Prism is apparently most durable single fiber insulation that climasheild do though i don't think you will find any actual number on here, see if the good people at backpacking light have anything.

I disagree with you somewhat on Polartec Alpha, as it seems to be low loft high density. 

For example, a Rab Strata Hoodie with 80g/m2 of Polartec Alpha seems to have less loft than a Rab Xenon X with 60g/m2 of Primaloft Gold or Patagonia Nano-Air with 60g/m2 of FullRange.

I do agree with you on Climashield PRISM in terms of durability as it seems only Arc'teryx and Arc'teryx LEAF Top-of-the-Line and most expensive jackets use ThermaTek (aka Climashield PRISM), followed by Coreloft Continuous (aka Climashield APEX) followed by the cheapest Coreloft. 

But whether it's better than FullRange or Primaloft Silver Hi-Loft in terms of loft retention, I hope someone is able to add any additional info.

GearGuy 316 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0
Jon Rhoderick wrote:

Primaloft gold would be my vote. BTW where is the source for the Patagonia/Arcteryx generic insulation names?

For source, you can cross reference:

http://climashield.com/shop-outdoor

with

https://arcteryx.com/us/en/shop/mens/dually-belay-parka

as well as this thread

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/112389384/arcteryx-prices?page=2#ForumMessage-112393667

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 481

Stance Parka is now  2L ThermoLite® for this year. Which is sad because I absolutely love the prior primaloft silver hi loft version, warmest synthetic parka I've worn (haven't used a dually in the wild though).

I can't say I've been terribly impressed with any synthetic keeping loft over time. 3 seasons of heavy use max 

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 661

I have the old version of the BD Stance with Primaloft Silver.  It is legit.

that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 205
GearGuy 316 wrote:

I disagree with you somewhat on Polartec Alpha, as it seems to be low loft high density. 

When I say high loft I am talking relative to a fleece, any puffy insulation will have a better warmth to weight ratio. 


But whether it's better than FullRange or Primaloft Silver Hi-Loft in terms of loft retention, I hope someone is able to add any additional info.

I have heard some complaints regarding the FullRange stuff apparently it packs out really fast, I am distrustful of primalofts stuff I feel like it's 90% marketing wank with the secondary classifications. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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