Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero Jacket
Price Paid: $150
Pretty versatile jacket. It's not very light and it's quite warm for temperatures around freezing point, even during static periods. Seems to be very resistant, I used mine 3 winters already, in the city and at ski and still looks acceptable. It is too warm for skiing in those nice sunny days, but the situation changes during bad weather.
It is 'too short' if compared with a regular city jacket, but this is an advantage if wearing a harness (climbing, mountaineering), and I think that's why it was designed like that.
Fabric: z rip
Price Paid: $165
As with many jackets, no matter the type, its warmth is dependent on what you're doing while wearing. The more heat you pump into it the more it insulates.
For instance, this weekend was around 25F in the morning, nothing too cold, but cold enough for me to wear this. I wasn't sufficiently warm in it while sitting around making breakfast but as soon as we started packing up camp (packing bags, rolling up tents, etc) I heated right up. I think it would fit nicely under a shell (as long as its not too fitted) as there was plenty of extra room under my shell which I bought an extra size up for layering.
The short length is somewhat annoying but if I wanted a parka, I would have bought one. The bummer with the shortness is that all my other layers hang below the bottom of the jacket. It does lose some feathers but what lightweight down piece of clothing doesn't?
If warmth is the problem I hear the Sub Zero SL with a hood is much warmer and more weather resistant. The flipside is that it's almost $100 more and the length is still the same.
Fabric: nylon outershell
This jacket does not deserve the name Sub Zero. There is simply not enough down in it.
I send my jacket in but it came without any change back.
The comment of MH. "We have also weighed the jacket to make sure it complies with the secifications. regarding the sleeves, when wearing this type of jacket the down migrates. This is quite normal and can be easely rectified."
My experience: i don't like to fluffy up my exensive jacket every half our because the down on my sleeves 'migrates' to my elbows. That i can only conclude that there is not enough down in the sleeve baffles.
If MH says this jacket is up to the spec by weighing it and find it normal that down migrates to places were you don't need it, i'm deeply worried about the quality of outer down product like sleeping bags. I can only say that this jacket is not even a sub zero in Celcius degrees!!!!.
To correct it i bought down and filled the sleeve baffles up to my own specs. Now the down can't migrate and my arms are warm.
After sending my ethereal parka for the second time to MH, For a great deal I lost my confidence in MH products.
Fabric: Ripstop Nylon / Taslan
Fill: 650+ Down
Price Paid: $320
I was told, when attempting to make a choice between this and North Face's Nuptse Jkt that neither of them were windproof... that they were "inside layers" to be protected by a Gore-tex.
Well, It has been cold enough so far here in Montreal. -40 with the windchill (celcius). Yet wearing just this jacket with a dress shirt underneath (nothing fancy in polartech, just a thin cotton button-down) I have been toasty. Some of the more ferocious gusts I have felt through the zipper area, but the normal winds tended to be stopped.
I adore the outside chest level pocket, as well as the internal pocket. The fleece lined pockets were comfortable during warmer temperatures, but with gloves on it hardly makes a difference.
All in all, I am sure I made the right choice. It is confusing, though, to be walking along the street with frozen hands, head, and legs -while my torso is warm and comfy.
Fabric: Ripstop Taffeta
Fill: 650 fill goose down
Price Paid: $200
This jacket is quite warm for the weight, and has a very nice shell. If it is windy you will need a windbreaker, (windstopper fleece underneath would be perfect) but other than that it is very warm. If I were to do it again, however, I would probably get a Feathered Friends jacket with a higher fill power for greater stuffability.
I have not had the opportunity to use this jacket for winter camping, but when we had a brutal cold snap of 50 below and colder I, well, still got cold. I wore a fleece jacket with nylon shell underneath and sometimes my Thunderlight Jacket on top. I shivered from the car to the school and back. But it is a light weight jacket and is not meant for that sort of cold.
All in all it is a very good jacket, but you could possibly do better with Feathered Friends.
Fabric: 100% nylon ripstop
Fill: 650-fill power goose down
Price Paid: $165
I've owned the TNF Nuptse Jacket for over about 10 years, and when it finally got torn up by a tree branch I decided to purchase this jacket. I believe this jacket is much sturdier than the Nuptse Jacket because of the Taslan material covering the shoulders and the arms. Also, the Nuptse is said to have a 750 fill down, campared to Sub Zero's 650, but I can't feel the difference. The pockets are felted.
The only thing that the Nuptse has over the Sub Zero is the hidden hood in the collar. However, this was pretty flimsy and the Sub Zero has a version with a down filled hood, unfortuately it's another $100.
Price Paid: $160
Overall, a nice, adequate down jacket - not too light, not too heavy. It's reasonably warm, but if the weather is below freezing and windy, you're going to get cold. If you're active (snowshoeing, hiking) then you'll be fine, but I would think that this jacket on a cold belay would be inadequate. I bought mine a bit large in order to fit a Polartech vest underneath and it's still a cold jacket (it's 30F outside right now with a 15 mph wind, and the jacket and vest really weren't helping much). Under a shell it should be a good mid-winter insulator.
Fabric: Rip-stop nylon and Supplex Taslan
Fill: 650+fil power goose down
Price Paid: $190
Very nice jacket. It's kept me warm without being hot in a variety of temperatures from 40 to 0 degrees fahrinheit. Hand pockets are lined with fleece and are very comfy. It also has a cavernous internal pocket. The only problems I've encountered have been that the pocket zippers ocasionally snag and the elastic cord around the waist and behind the back work together to pull your shirt up to your mid-belly unless its tucked in.
Good jacket for the price, nice and warm but it could be longer. I'm slim and sort of lankey and it could have done with at least another inch or two in the body. Nice pockets.
Price Paid: $86
Well constructed but TOO SHORT! Why would I want a jacket for freezing cold weather that bares my middle when I bend or reach?