talk me out of a mid-weight down jacket purchase

5:16 p.m. on February 15, 2013 (EST)
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i have been thinking for a while that i would like a mid-weight down jacket. i have a down sweater that i wear a lot, very lightweight.  it's good to 30 degrees or so, with a decent base layer underneath, unless i'm really not moving around at all.  i also have a very puffy down jacket that really only gets used when it's extremely cold - what you want to wear when you're cooking dinner or stopping for a snack &  it's 20 below, or colder.  it's "the beast."

there is a fair bit of middle ground where i can't comfortably wear the beast but want something more robust than the sweater.  right now, i fill that gap by wearing a few fleece layers under a shell, or a fleece layer plus a very puffy down vest under a shell.

so i see a mountain hardwear hooded phantom down jacket for nearly 50% off.  between 6 and 7 oz of down (850).  mid-size weighs about 17 oz.  i wore their much heavier sub-zero parka, the previous beast, for a number of years & was very happy with it.

so.....do i pull the trigger? do i really not need this? is there any really good reason to hold out for the more expensive feathered friends or western mountaineering or RAB down jackets?

finally, has anyone actually worn the phantom with a hood, and does it run true to size like the sub-zero?

thanks. 

 

5:29 p.m. on February 15, 2013 (EST)
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i say (as someone who has 3 down sweaters, one ultralight down and 2 down parkas) its not worth it. You can easily add a 200weight fleece or something to the down sweater and be comfortable down to the 0 degree marker.

If you want to mouth water over a sweet new Down Parka check out the new Patagonia 1000fill Belay Parka. Blew my mind....

-MG

5:32 p.m. on February 15, 2013 (EST)
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7 and 17 are good numbers...have you tried one on before?

I've got the RAB Infinity, and it's sweet, but it's for in-camp/rest stop use only...way too warm to hike in (unless it's -10F out). If you're gonna need the versatility, a fleece and your down sweater is a better combo, as is the sweater and the vest.

Do you have a lightweight windshirt already? I've got a Houdini that I pack on almost every trip I take, and it adds a fair bit of warmth by blocking the wind that would otherwise blow right through the stitch holes of these sewn-through down garments. One can buy 2 oz. windshirts nowadays...

5:46 p.m. on February 15, 2013 (EST)
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no opportunity to try it on unless i buy and return.  retailers in my area don't have it.   :(

i think the houdini might be the greatest lightweight windshirt ever and said so in my review:  http://www.trailspace.com/gear/patagonia/houdini-full-zip/

 

6:03 p.m. on February 15, 2013 (EST)
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Is it sized to allow your base-layer of choice, down vest, and down sweater comfortably underneath?

If it ain't, you can often find the 2 ounce Stoic Wraith for around $35.

6:03 p.m. on February 15, 2013 (EST)
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a wise consultant suggested i consider layering a down vest under the sweater.    i have a very puffy feathered friends down vest that weighs next to nothing but has significantly more loft than the down sweater, which is kind of roomy.   if they work well together.....a website won't get my money.

 

6:07 p.m. on February 15, 2013 (EST)
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leadbelly2550 said:

...i have a very puffy feathered friends down vest that weighs next to nothing but has significantly more loft than the down sweater, which is kind of roomy.

That sounds like it could be a winner...

7:56 p.m. on February 15, 2013 (EST)
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or not.  i can layer the vest with base layers and a shell, but it's not ideal under the down sweater.  not enough room.  besides, no hood.

1:18 a.m. on February 16, 2013 (EST)
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go for it!

1:56 a.m. on February 16, 2013 (EST)
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Yeah, no hood on the down sweater? Done and done.

In fact, I find I have really no use for the standard-weight, non-hooded down sweater. As noted above, I've the hooded RAB Infinity jacket, as well as the hooded Stoic Hadron Anorak (at 7oz total weight!), but no mid-weight sweater.

8:58 a.m. on February 16, 2013 (EST)
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Consider getting another down sweater, sized to fit over the first.   You'll have more options than if you went with a mid weight parka.  I use this set up with a pair of bib down pants.  Used with typical under layers, wind shell, head and hand gear, this covers me well enough to about zero degrees.

Ed 

10:51 a.m. on February 16, 2013 (EST)
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Lead,

Since we can agree that dressing in layers works even in the coldest weather, you already have 2 pieces to chose from.  Do you collect outdoor equipment, or are you actually planning on using it some day?

2:36 p.m. on February 16, 2013 (EST)
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Wear the jackets?!? Why? I hate being outside. Every jacket I own is pristine, on a hanger, no frayed cuffs/hems, no torn material.

Give me a break. I spend enough time outside to wear stuff out; I walk or hike around 1000 miles a year. And I know from numerous cold weather hikes that when I stop and throw the down vest or the down sweater on to stay warm while I munch my clif bar or just take a breather, it's not enough and I get cold. So i am asking questions and thinking maybe I could still learn something.

Also, layers have to work together, and I can't wear the vest and jacket at the same time.

6:47 p.m. on February 16, 2013 (EST)
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Since you alreday have a heavy-duty parka as well as a down sweater, I would think that the insulating  range you're looking for would be somewhere in between the down sweater when moving, but requiring extra warmth when stopped.

I think Ed has the best suggestion - why not get a larger down jacket so you can use it when needed but pack it when you don't? 

9:36 a.m. on February 17, 2013 (EST)
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lead,

Don't take offense, I am trying to talk you out of a purchase by your own request.  Your credentials are never an issue.

9:54 a.m. on February 17, 2013 (EST)
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I would say you don't really need it and you would use it less than you think.

2:44 p.m. on February 17, 2013 (EST)
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you would be replacing one layer with a jacket. correct? if so, I would say do it. sometimes more layers are impractical.

10:42 p.m. on February 17, 2013 (EST)
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If you have 180 to spend, the Rab Neutrino endurance is a great mid-weight.  durable, water-resistant and its up for sale on geartrade.com from Backcountry.  I just bought one in L, if you're a size L there is another in black.  Then you wouldn't have to talk yourself out of it.  And you would have a nice (not new) jacket.

12:21 p.m. on February 22, 2013 (EST)
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The rab neutrino, the rab infinity, the feathered friends hooded helios, and the mountain hardwear jacket i'm looking at all fit the function i might be looking for.  remarkable that you could get a jacket this warm that weighs 16 or 17 ounces.  alas, i'm a size XL. 

7:14 p.m. on February 22, 2013 (EST)
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so.....do i pull the trigger?

Well, if the baby bear jacket isn't warm enough and the daddy bear jacket is to warm...

 

2:22 a.m. on February 23, 2013 (EST)
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To the OP: you might also look into one of the many lightweight synthetic (60g insulation) "belay" jackets available. This would give you more options in general, and you can stack it together with your vest or sweater for when the going gets tough...

I can personally recommend the Patagonia Nano Puff series.

7:26 p.m. on March 22, 2013 (EDT)
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this is what i ended up with, and this is what i thought:

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/mountain-hardwear/hooded-phantom-jacket/#review27245

9:06 p.m. on March 22, 2013 (EDT)
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I think you need a wool jack shirt instead.

That way with the nylon down sweater, the poly under layers combined with the real virgin wool we could keep better tack of you on a cold night ;-) Sparky!

As usual I am once again to late so all i can offer is a wise crack..

December 18, 2014
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