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patagonia grade V11 vs nilas vs fitzroy


Original Post
akafaultline · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 225

So, I have the nilas, have had two of them and one is sitting in my closet wasting space. Sold one nilas cause it wasnt warm enough for what I wanted-and am thinking of parting with it and getting the patagonia grade v11.  The grade v11 has about 3 more ounces of down but is super thin material-whereas the nilas is windproof. My concern is that i have the fitzroy and wind just cuts through it and am concerned the grade V11 will be the same with the super thin material that is really similar to fitzroy.  So-what do people think will be warmer overall?  


I bought the eddie bauer peak xv, but crap, its huge and heavy and doesnt have a two way zipper-thus not good as a belay jacket at all.  

Gabe B. · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 86

I just received the Grade VII parka. It's pretty slick, not sure if it's warmer than my Rab neutrino endurance, it should be but have not tested this. Someone in a different thread mentioned that usually downproof fabrics tend to also be very wind resistant or wind proof (my ghost whisperer seems like it is). I'd order one and if it doesn't work, send it back.

Brent D · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 192

The material on the exterior of the Grade VII is heavier/more durable than the fitzroy.  I put a hole in my fitzroy with an icicle this winter, couldn't see that happening with the grade VII

greggrylls · · Salt Lake City · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 162

Just a heads up the Patagonia outlet in SLC was selling “irregular” grade 7s for super cheap.  Don’t know if it’s still going on but it was something like 70 percent off 


and yea I believe you can order since people on the great deals thread were calling to order.  

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

Kind of surprising that's your experience with the Fitz Roy. Typically a fabric that is downproof is windproof. That jacket is box baffled too so there shouldn't be any cold spots. The shell on the recent models was Pertex Quantum which is definitely supposed to be windproof and Pertex is a reputable company. 

https://www.pertex.com/fabrics/quantum/

In any case if you want something with a burlier shell, the mid and heavyweight Feathered Friends jackets are made with Pertex Shield. It's tougher/heavier and it's waterproof so it's definitely windproof!

akafaultline · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 225
jdejace wrote:

Kind of surprising that's your experience with the Fitz Roy. Typically a fabric that is downproof is windproof. That jacket is box baffled too so there shouldn't be any cold spots. The shell on the recent models was Pertex Quantum which is definitely supposed to be windproof and Pertex is a reputable company. 

https://www.pertex.com/fabrics/quantum/

In any case if you want something with a burlier shell, the mid and heavyweight Feathered Friends jackets are made with Pertex Shield. It's tougher/heavier and it's waterproof so it's definitely windproof!

I hear ya-the material is techinically windproof but lacks a membrane like the nilas. to me its like wearing a deadbird squamish or other windshirts-if the wind is howling and its cold, you definitely still feel the wind coming through despite it being "windproof." And the material is so thin that when ive been standing in canyons all day with constant 20-40 MPH winds, just gets cold.  The nilas is definitely more windproof.  


Ive looked at FF-but I own the first ascent peak xv-and like the FF they are just so big you cant easily put them in a summit pack IMO-so im wondering if the grade 7 is the perfect balance between the peak xv and the nilas/fitzroy.  thanks!

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

Fair enough. Here's an option with similar specs and a Gore Windstopper shell. 

https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?p_id=2301220

Sorry can't help with the Patagonia. Post up your thoughts if you do get it. 

akafaultline · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 225

So I bought the grade 7 and not sure what I think.  I’ve read reviews where people are super thrilled with the jacket when they’ve been using it in 15 degree temps.   To me that isn’t what I want that jacket for-I want the jacket for days well below 0 f-and for a jacket to cost $900 retail I’d hope it wouldn’t be intended for moderately cold days.  

The jacket doesn’t seem to have anymore loft than the Fitzroy, nilas or peak xv but is supposed to have more down than all of those except the peak xv.   On my brief assessment the peak xv has the most loft. 

The cut is similar on all of them except the nilas is definitely shorter by about 2-3 inches.

I put all the warmer down jackets I own in the stuff sack of the grade 7 to compare how much room they occupy compared to the grade 7 and the peak xv definitely won’t fit in the grade 7 stuff sack. The Fitzroy takes up a little less space than the grade 7-but I’ve used the Fitzroy the most so some loft may have been lost.
Lastly the cut on the grade 7 is definitely the baggiest which concerns me about dead air space.  

If anyone wants pics of the different jackets for visual comparisons-lined up and each stuffed In The grade 7 sack let me know. 

Not sure the grade 7 is worth the price I paid of $450-compared to other down jackets I own and definitely not worth the $900.  

zimick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 0

I have a Patagonia Encapsil, Fitzroy ( prior to last season so it is sewn through vs baffled) , Outdoor Research Incandesent, and a Rab Infinity G.
I looked hard into the Grade 7 last year and in short was less than impressed, very thin in the shoulder area ( widely reported)  and it seemed very easy to get down shifted in the baffles leading to cold spots.
The Encapsil is awesome but not available even on the resale market.
My summary is simple, the Rab Infinity G has been the jacket that most often ends up in my pack and on my back. Light, windproof, the down stays in place, highly water resistant, solid hood, big pockets... just a very good all round jacket and warm.

AlpineIce · · Upstate, NY · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 255

I was in your dilemma earlier this season.  I needed something for 0º or less days and everything on the market just isn't really designed for this oppressive temperatures.  My belay jacket prior to this season was the Neutrino Endurance Jacket and for me, here in the Northeast, it just wasn't warm enough. I froze somedays. We had weeks upon weeks of single-digit to below zero weather.  I though about the Grade 7, but at $900 and multiple complaints about shoulder weakness, I quickly decided it wasn't for me.  Arc'teryx's options were in the same ballpark = astronomical prices for nothing really more than what other manufacturers offer (Rab, MH, Mammut, Montane).

I found that some company's offer hydrophobic down and some don't. I really wanted 275-330 grams of hydrophobic down with a double zipper for belays. I found that combination to be almost impossible to find.  Not many company's make a down jacket with that amount of down insulation.  The exception was Rab, plus they use hydrophobic down.  The downside with Rab is their fit isn't the best for me.

I decided to give Feathered Friends a shot. The only thing I wasn't excited about is their lack of hydrophobic treatment.  When I called them with a question, the guy I spoke to said they don't use treated down because of the added expense.  Since they produce their own garments, it appears they try to keep costs "down" where they can.  There are some that believe in the hydrophobic technology & they're are some that don't.  I don't think it's a miracle maker, but I feel it gives us a step above untreated down.  It's not like it adds weight or decreases loft, so why not?!

If you're not happy with the Grade 7, I'd send it back before it's too late.  Give Rab or FF a look.  If Rab fits you, I think they offer *most* of what you're looking for.

P.S. I owned the Nilas too & found it was a nice jacket, but no where near warm enough for me either.  $500 retail for that jacket is obsurd. 

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5
AlpineIce wrote:I decided to give Feathered Friends a shot. The only thing I wasn't excited about is their lack of hydrophobic treatment.  When I called them with a question, the guy I spoke to said they don't use treated down because of the added expense.  

Is that their latest party line on hydrophobic down? Different from their FAQ: 

http://featheredfriends.com/faq/

"What about water resistant down?
Our main philosophy that applies to design also applies to our materials. Treated down that reduces water saturation is currently a buzz topic, and we are investigating and testing the technology. Before jumping in, we have major questions, namely: does treatment negatively impact the longevity of the down? Does the treatment wear off with considerable use? How much water does it take to null any gain from treatment? We've been producing down gear in the rainy Pacific Northwest for 40+ years. We explore and utilize new technologies we find beneficial for you, so in the meantime, we will use the best fabrics on the market to help prevent water from even reaching the down insulation."

I wonder if they'd make a jacket with hydrophobic down for a surcharge...

Edit: did you look at the Montane Deep Heat? I owned a Montane jacket a couple of years back and it was really​ nice.
akafaultline · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 225
AlpineIce wrote:If you're not happy with the Grade 7, I'd send it back before it's too late.  Give Rab or FF a look.  If Rab fits you, I think they offer *most* of what you're looking for.

P.S. I owned the Nilas too & found it was a nice jacket, but no where near warm enough for me either.  $500 retail for that jacket is obsurd. 

Isn’t that the point of Patagonia’s “ironclad” guarantee”-if I’m not satisfied I can return it.   I don’t want to abuse the system but at the same time I’m not going up Denali or other super cold mountains this year.   I’ll be doing rainier and Baker etc but I’ve got other jackets for those mountains.  so I’ll have to wait until next winter in Alaska to really push the jacket into the zero degree range.  In essence the jacket will hang in my closet for 8 months before using it and if it sucks I hope I can get rid of the thing. 

AlpineIce · · Upstate, NY · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 255
jdejace wrote:

Is that their latest party line on hydrophobic down? Different from their FAQ: 

http://featheredfriends.com/faq/

"What about water resistant down?
Our main philosophy that applies to design also applies to our materials. Treated down that reduces water saturation is currently a buzz topic, and we are investigating and testing the technology. Before jumping in, we have major questions, namely: does treatment negatively impact the longevity of the down? Does the treatment wear off with considerable use? How much water does it take to null any gain from treatment? We've been producing down gear in the rainy Pacific Northwest for 40+ years. We explore and utilize new technologies we find beneficial for you, so in the meantime, we will use the best fabrics on the market to help prevent water from even reaching the down insulation."

Just relaying what the guy at FF who answered the phone told me!  I was surprised to hear him say that as I, too, would pay a bit more for treated down.  

On that note, Rab and FF make down jackets that have WP/B exterior membranes with taped seams.  Why can't manufacturers make a down belay jacket that's waterproof on the inside, like a super light stuff sack and waterproof from the outside, all with taped seams (interior & exterior?)  This basically traps the fragile down between two vapor barriers and doesn't allow outside moisture to penetrate, nor does it allow body heat, perspiration, etc. to enter and saturate the down from the inside.  

You'd be wearing this as intended - belays, so you wouldn't need it to "breath."  You just need it to trap as much static heat as possible without moisture penetrating & collapsing down clusters.  As long as all seams are taped & there's no avenue for moisture to penetrate and saturate the down, then there's no need for hydrophobic treatments, right?

This would also be beneficial when you have snow on your main climbing jacket, whether it's a hardshell, softshell or active insulation.  When you don your down belay coat, some lingering snow on your active jacket gets trapped between the jacket & your belay jacket, possibly causing wet spots on the inner portion of you belay jacket as your body heat melts it.  Idk, just thinking out loud I guess.
jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5

It's a good thought but I think it would make stuffing it into a pack a nightmare. Air needs to get through.

AlpineIce · · Upstate, NY · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 255
jdejace wrote: It's a good thought but I think it would make stuffing it into a pack a nightmare. Air needs to get through.

Arc'teryx was able to solve a similar problem like this when they made a micro-vent in the hood area of the Nuclei AR Jacket.  It allows air to evacuate as you stuff it in the stuff sack.  Without the vent, like you said, it'd be a nightmare stuffing the jacket in a pack, stuff sack; maybe even impossible.

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

The inside of the Nuclei isn't waterproof/sealed though is it? I sold mine so I can't check. 

AlpineIce · · Upstate, NY · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 255

You're right, the interior is not waterproof, but the Windstopper shell, combined with the taped seams makes it impossible for air to escape when compressed without the vent.  I also have a Nuclei AR and it balloons as you stuff it until the vent is propped open & the air escapes.

Linnaeus · · NZ · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 0

Really makes the EB first ascent peak xv sounds like an amazing deal given the price, slight weight penalty not withstanding. Many have scored one new for <$200 new over the years when on sale. And available in Tall sizes, or was in the past. Dane was spot on in his review back around 2011. 

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

Yeah it's a steal during the periodic 40-50% off sales EB does if you want a monster parka. Sold out right now. Some of the details could use a little work (1 way zip? Come on). It's relatively heavy too, 2.5lbs for a Large (13.5oz of down fill). They haven't made Tall sizes in a while sadly.

akafaultline · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 225
Linnaeus wrote: Really makes the EB first ascent peak xv sounds like an amazing deal given the price, slight weight penalty not withstanding. Many have scored one new for <$200 new over the years when on sale. And available in Tall sizes, or was in the past. Dane was spot on in his review back around 2011. 

I agree the peak xv is awesome but a bit antiquated.    Definitely needs a double zipper.   Could use lighter outer fabrics.  I’ve used the peak xv to -22 f and was definitely warm in the upper layer.   And like others-I got the latest peak xv for about $225

But for $200-$250 dollars I don’t think you’ll find a better down jacket.  Even at $400 when moderately on sale it’s likwly better than most down jackets imo.  
The peak xv negates any reason for me to buy the feathered friends khumbu too because they are to sImilar in weight and fill amounts-but much cheaper  (even though I’d personally rather have a US made jacket).  

I really don’t understand where all the additional down fill of the grade 7 went.  When you compress some of the chambers to feel how well each area is filled with down-doesn’t feel as full as the nilas, negligible amount more than the Fitzroy, definitely not as full as the peak xv.  
Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

I got me a Arcteryx Dually for cold days. I’ve had it for about ten or eleven years now. It’s still going strong.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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