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Thoughts on Feathered Friends NEW Belay Parka...The Khumbu


Original Post
Arthur Eng · · DE · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 5

http://featheredfriends.com/khumbu-down-parka.html

It replaces the Frontpoint Jacket. Seems (378g) like a nice competitor to the DeadBird Firebee AR Parka/Cerium SV Hoody/Thorium SV Hoody, Patagonia Fitz Roy/Grade VII, Mountain Equipment K7 (300g), Rab Positron (275g)/Neutrino Endurance (250g)...

Frontpoint

Details

• Made in Seattle, USA of imported materials

• 850+ Fill Goose Down

• Waterproof/breathable Pertex® Shield® XT shell fabric

• Taslite reinforced elbow, lower sleeve and cuff

• Tuck-stitched/baffled construction

• Dual zipper system with insulated draft tube

• 2- way wind/water resistant zipper

• Detachable & drawcord adjustable hood with Velcro-sealed storm flap

• Side zip hand-warmer pockets

• Two 6” x 8” interior Velcro chest pockets

• Articulated sleeves

• Drawcord waist and hem adjustment

Fill Power 850+ Goose Down

Fill Weight 12.7 oz / 360 g (medium)

Packed Weight 1 lb 14 oz / 850 g (medium)

Garment Shell Fabric Pertex® Shield® XT waterproof/breathable

Packed Size 7" x 12" | 10L

Front Zipper Length 29" / 74 cm (medium)

Khumbu

Details

• Made in Seattle, USA of imported materials

900+ Fill Goose Down

• Made with traceable, ethically sourced goose down

• Taslite reinforced elbow, lower sleeve and cuff

• Double layer of Primaloft Gold, 200g/6 oz synthetic fill around the collar maintains insulating properties in high-condensation areas

• High collar protects the face, even when the hood is down

• Tuck-stitched/baffled construction

• Dual zipper system with insulated draft tube

• 2- way wind/water resistant zipper

Fixed hood with 2-way drawcord adjustment

• Side zip hand-warmer pockets

• External chest pocket

Two 10” x 12” interior mesh pockets

• Articulated sleeves

• Drawcord hem adjustment

Fill Power 900+ Goose Down

Fill Weight 13.3 oz / 378 g (Medium)

Packed Weight 33.8 oz / 960 g (Medium)

Garment Shell Fabric Pertex® Shield® XT waterproof/breathable

Front Zipper Length 34" / 86cm

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 326

I just wish that they made their jackets in cooler colors...

Arthur Eng · · DE · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 5

Paprika doesn't do it for you? I actually like that Paprika color. I would hate to have an expedition parka be expedition yellow. And honestly, the colors aren't much different compared to Rab, Mountain Equipment, or Patagonia. Just different shades of BLUE. OR has some interesting colors... But, I'm not a fan of OR's colors to be honest. 

Two palette colors from FF would be neat. Like a Paprika and Blue or Paprika and Black.  

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5

I want to love FF.

I still think the double zipper is silly. And they still won't use treated down. 

I do like the hood. I emailed them asking if they were planning to put a real hood like the one on the Khumbu on the Volant - that I'd be more excited about. Bit lighter, single zip and I like the clamshell pockets more than zips personally. Sadly the answer is no for now. 

If I were paying top dollar for a high end down jacket I'd have Nunatak make me exactly what I want. 

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 326

Arthur Eng wrote:

Paprika doesn't do it for you? I actually like that Paprika color. I would hate to have an expedition parka be expedition yellow. And honestly, the colors aren't much different compared to Rab, Mountain Equipment, or Patagonia. Just different shades of BLUE. OR has some interesting colors... But, I'm not a fan of OR's colors to be honest. 

Two palette colors from FF would be neat. Like a Paprika and Blue or Paprika and Black.  

The general colors aren't bad, but they are just kind of dull compared to the Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, and Arcteryx counterparts.  They are a bit 90s-ish.   

I do love their products though.  I own quite a few.

Arthur Eng · · DE · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 5

Care to explain your rationale for disliking two way zippers on belay parkas? I recognize that it's one extra piece that can break, but it greatly improves the functionality in my opinion. I'll add that...I feel like it greatly improves functionality while basecamping on an expedition. Sure, it's not necessarily needed for cragging or alpine missions, but it's certainly nice when fussing around with your harness. 

And your wording on the hood is backwards I think. But, I agree about the hood's complexity. But, I do like the zip over the velcro.

And zips > clamshell for me. Sense of security! 

Kevin Do · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

at 12.7oz of fill, I'd say it competes more against the Grade VII and K7 than Dead bird's offerings. I believe their Ceres SV only has about 8ish oz of down compared to the Khumbu's 12.7oz.  That being said, a prototype of it is available on eBay!

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5

Arthur Eng wrote:

Care to explain your rationale for disliking two way zippers on belay parkas? I recognize that it's one extra piece that can break, but it greatly improves the functionality in my opinion. I'll add that...I feel like it greatly improves functionality while basecamping on an expedition. Sure, it's not necessarily needed for cragging or alpine missions, but it's certainly nice when fussing around with your harness. 

And your wording on the hood is backwards I think. But, I agree about the hood's complexity. But, I do like the zip over the velcro.

And zips > clamshell for me. Sense of security! 

Two way zippers good, double zippers too complicated. 

http://featheredfriends.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/650x/040ec09b1e35df139433887a97daa66f/f/e/feathered-friends-khumbu-expedition-parka-double-zipper.jpg

Arthur Eng · · DE · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 5

Kevin Do wrote: at 12.7oz of fill, I'd say it competes more against the Grade VII and K7 than Dead bird's offerings. I believe their Ceres SV only has about 8ish oz of down compared to the Khumbu's 12.7oz.  That being said, a prototype of it is available on eBay!

Good catch. I have never seen that before. Yeah, that's stupid. 

Cameron Habib · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0

jdejace wrote:

I still think the double zipper is silly. And they still won't use treated down. 

I've yet to actually see any solid evidence that "treated down" is anything more than a marketing gimmick.

Ben Speyer · · Maine · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 0

Cameron Habib wrote:

I've yet to actually see any solid evidence that "treated down" is anything more than a marketing gimmick.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS5AdYEwqw8

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5

I appreciate the skepticism and agree that, depending on your standards for evidence, shaking up plumes in a glass is not conclusive. Given the choice though, I prefer to have treated down in case it helps a bit. And with the $600 I'd be spending on that FF parka, I can certainly find an alternative that incorporates this technology. 

Just one man's opinion. I personally prefer synthetic for my belay jackets in any case. 

Cameron Habib · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0

I appreciate the video but this is just about all I've seen - down being put into jars of water, which really doesn't have much bearing on real world experience. Down is much more likely to lose loft from humidity and extremely fine particles of water being deposited on the surface than you taking a ride in a lake that happens to be bouncing around on the earth. Just like fine mist doesn't really bead up on your jacket even when freshly treated with DWR, I see the same thing happening to down, and there being little to no benefit. Add to that the fact that the treatment can't last all that long, and there's really been no great studies on long term effect on down (a natural fiber, like your skin or hair, which you probably wouldn't spray with DWR either). Every report I've seen indicates that in practical experience, treated vs untreated makes only a degree or two of difference.

That said, if you have the choice, I'd probably go treated as well because it's unlikely to hurt, especially given the life cycle of the jacket. However, I would certainly not pass over a jacket just because it isn't treated. Just my $0.000002 at least.

Nick B · · Anchorage, Alaska · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 58

I would never buy the jacket because it uses primaloft gold in the collar.   Buying a expedition parka is generally a buy it for life kinda thing with most people getting 20+ years of use out them.   Primaloft gold is a a short staple synthetic that packs out significantly in as little as two weeks-3 months with heavy use with compression .   Personally I won't buy anything meant to last made with it, particularly an expensive exped jacket.  I still would prefer all down, but would consider it OK if they use prima silver or another long staple fiber. Really though, I am not sure who is sweating out their exped jackets to the point of needing synthetic collar material....


As for the treated down deal I read a thread somewhere that  had a Western montaineering rep stating they had  test jackets to see what the long term durability and effectiveness if treated down is before they consider using it.  That was from a few years ago.  Not sure about ff.

Travis Senor · · Mailing Address in NC · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 60

I own a Frontpoint and it's served me very well through two (soon to be three), Antarctic winters. However, I saw the Khumbu and was wondering if it's a substantial enough difference to be worth an upgrade. The big selling points (for me), are the attached hood WITH zipper closure (I had to have my Frontpoint modified with beefier velcro to stay closed) and, to a lesser extent, the larger mesh pockets. The extra length is nice but not huge.

That all being said, any thoughts on a direct comparison between the two, rather than just the standalone take on the Khumbu that this presently seems to be?

Also, yeah the draft-tube double zipper thing is odd and I've only used it in a pinch when the outer two-way zipper broke. In that sense it's nice to have.

Nolan Yahok · · Carbondale, CO · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

If I remember correctly, the WM rep said that from their testing they found the treated down made it harder to remove oils from the body. I think the info was on backpackinglight.com somewhere. They filled one side of the jacket with treated down and the other with untreated and gave them to their athletes or something like that

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

I have used primaloft's treated down (70% hydrophobic coated down and 30% PL gold). On the approach to an ice climb I sweat out the base layer t shirt and got the back panel of my pack damp. Before climbing the route I changed base layers and threw the wet one in the lid of my pack. At the first belay I had the pack just loosely over my shoulders (back panel not making firm contact with parka). The loft collapsed nearly completely across the back, I have my doubts that there is even 30% PL gold in there. There was no external precip or drips on the route.

Yes that is arguably a case for a synthetic parka (which is all I use for ice now) but I wasn't impressed with the treated down in the least. The only area where it excels is that it does not clump when fully wet, making it easier to dry. FWIW I asked a former FF employee about treated down (keep in mind this is a former retail EE, not a designer) and they said that the treatment basically collapses the finer bits of down and leaves you with a max of around 800 fill power. 

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

Nick B wrote:

Really though, I am not sure who is sweating out their exped jackets to the point of needing synthetic collar material....


You put out a shit ton of moisture breathing. Lots of people sleep in their parka with the collar zipped tight to their neck. Note nemo also uses this on the "tunnel hood" portion of their -40 bag https://www.nemoequipment.com/product/canon/

Dante Carriero · · LOS ANGELES · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

For $300 brand new you can get a Montbell Permafrost parka. 23 ounces, 9 ounces of down, and a full gore windstopper shell. Almost waterproof besides non taped seams. Much lighter. Much cheaper. Do you really need 13 ounces of down? Thats pretty insane - for comparison the mens Fitz Roy is only at 8.


Just make sure you go to Montbell japan and order the "US Permafrost". If you order it from Montbell USA its 459....plus you get free shipping from nippon!


If you really want something that huge the Eddie Bauer Peak XV also a fully waterproof shell and weighs over two pounds. Plus its a lot cheaper, especially on sale. And you can return it for any reason.

MyFeetHurt · · Glenwood Springs, CO · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 45

Cameron Habib wrote:

I appreciate the video but this is just about all I've seen - down being put into jars of water, which really doesn't have much bearing on real world experience. Down is much more likely to lose loft from humidity and extremely fine particles of water being deposited on the surface than you taking a ride in a lake that happens to be bouncing around on the earth. Just like fine mist doesn't really bead up on your jacket even when freshly treated with DWR, I see the same thing happening to down, and there being little to no benefit. Add to that the fact that the treatment can't last all that long, and there's really been no great studies on long term effect on down (a natural fiber, like your skin or hair, which you probably wouldn't spray with DWR either). Every report I've seen indicates that in practical experience, treated vs untreated makes only a degree or two of difference.

That said, if you have the choice, I'd probably go treated as well because it's unlikely to hurt, especially given the life cycle of the jacket. However, I would certainly not pass over a jacket just because it isn't treated. Just my $0.000002 at least.

^^^This X 1000. Humidity is always absent in these tests and in the store demos. Sweating = humidity from the inside of the jacket, and bad weather = humidity on the outside of the jacket. The humidity passes right through jacket fabric because any down jacket has a breathable fabric layer on at least one side, and then that vapor condenses and wets out. Dry down is dumb in the real world. I still prefer down, but people are asking miracles and getting sucked into marketing hype. DWR is just as dumb, it never rains without also being humid. Now DWR does work if you accidentally spill your bill, but that's about it.

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5

Dante Carriero wrote:

Just make sure you go to Montbell japan and order the "US Permafrost". If you order it from Montbell USA its 459....plus you get free shipping from nippon!

That's a good tip for MB stuff. You've done this successfully? Shipping is really free? 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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