Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero Parka
Fill: 800 fill down
Price Paid: $430
This thing is Puffy...my arms look enormous in this thing and I look as though I could float away. It's exceptionally warm and comfortable and is bombproof.
The problem is the down moves around where the arms bend causing cold spots to develop. If you move the down back to where it's supposed to be, then it is perfect.
The hood is fantastic but the flap for the collar is ridiculous. The handwarmer pockets are great and the waist and hem cinches let you dial the parka in.
Overall, I love pulling this thing out just before the Adirondack summits where it can be -60 with the wind chill...it keeps me toasty warm so I can enjoy the winter summits or just kicking around the campsite at -20.
Fabric: AXF Super DWR coated ripstop
Fill: 800 fill down
Price Paid: $300
Purchased the coat on eBay for $300. I was looking for the Marmot 8000 meter parka to go with the 8000 meter pants I bought. We've had a real cold snap here in Montana and I thought it would be perfect weather to test the coat and write a review. It was -26 with out the wind chill, -39 with. Although I bought it used you'd swear it was new maybe it was used one time.
I have a wool sweater that I use, got it from the Air Force base, it turned out to be way to much for even light activity. Went to a short sleeve t-shirt and stayed out for an hour walking. I could have gone all night even with a t-shirt the coat was toasty. I could feel some cold on the right arm but barely nothing that would fatigue. With a long sleeve base layer (medium weight) it would be perfect.
All in all it was overkill in these conditions. I never used the hood. If I had to just sit in these conditions a heavier under layer would be recommended. The coat would work well in much colder conditions. I like the pocket layout better than the Marmot 8000 meter parka (my wife has one).
I buy gear based on how well it would protect you life in the worst conditions and this coat would save your life.
Price Paid: $150
I bought this baby on sale at REI (the best deals period, you have to catch them though). I have worn this jacket in 5 to 10 below WCF and kept more cozy than sitting on the couch in front of a fire with a blanket over me. Seriously, even though Columbia owns them now (such a shame, kinda like NF being a fashion statement rather than serious outdoor gear anymore) MH is indeed the new NF...period....I have switched dozens of friends from NF to MH. This is gear (not true gear) but gear for the functional and fashionable (even for the geeks that want to wear the bolt). If I am seriously trekking...I prefer Arc'teryx......mtn. man
Fabric: Nylon rip-stop
Price Paid: $525
There was a cold spot on my left arm between my wrist and elbow. As with other MH reviews, the down moves too much and there is not enough down. Other review sites report the same problems with other MH down jackets. By only wearing a T-shirt you find out real quick where the down is lacking. TNF Baltoro jacket also had a cold spot problem. Only Marmot appears to make down jackets w/o cold spots. The T-shirt test is the only way to properly try expensive down jackets.