Jacket for Oct. Rockies Trip

8:18 p.m. on July 28, 2010 (EDT)
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Hey there. I'm relatively new to backpacking/camping again - I haven't done it seriously in years. That said, I'm planning an early Oct trip to the Rockies Nat'l Park with 2 friends.

Looking at typical mid fall weather for Colorado - I know it can fluctuate so much - I'm looking for some different top layers to keep the wind and cold out. I've done some research on various Soft Shells and have seen a lot of debate over whether or not they keep out cold well.

I was wondering if any of you had advice on what road to take. Have you hiked/camped the Rockies in Oct? What would you suggest as a warm top layer, but one not necessarily prepared for 0F weather. I'm not married to the idea of a Soft Shell, I'm just looking for a suitable top layer that will block wind and keep me insulated.

Any assistance would be SO appreciated. I'm looking forward to the trip so much and I want to make sure I've got the right supplies come 9,000 feet!

Thanks!!

8:29 p.m. on July 28, 2010 (EDT)
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Meg,

Welcome to Trailspace!

Some people like soft shells made with Wind Stopper or WindBlock. Personally, I find they are ok for some conditions, but I prefer either a fleece or non-windblock softshell (Schoeller fabric or similar) with a hardshell over it. I actually gave my last WindStopper to my son who lives in Wisconsin - and he likes it a lot. The problem I find with the wind-blocking soft shells is that they do not breathe well enough for me when exercising hard (like hauling a pack uphill, trying to make it to camp before dark).

In conditions where there is no precipitation, I use a thin wind jacket over the fleece or Schoeller. Or I use a hardshell that has pit zips and a front zipper that is easy to adjust to regulate the ventilation.

You have the right idea with layers - that allows you to add and subtract layers according to the current conditions, so you are warm enough, yet not sweating and getting everything damp, which will chill you later. I would caution you against trying for a single layer that "does it all". That tends to either be too warm or not warm enough.

6:36 p.m. on July 29, 2010 (EDT)
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Bill, thanks so much!

I've been doing some more shopping around and I think I'm going to opt for a fleece and a wind jacket. Since it's not as likely that we'll encounter snow - I'm mainly concerned about the wind, which shouldn't be awful - I'm planning ahead for the wind jacket and fleece.

Granted, if we see snow, I've got a good hardshell that I can toss into my pack before heading out to Colorado.

Thanks again for the advice and welcome to Trailspace!

October 22, 2014
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