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#107248 - 11/30/08 06:28 PM Down Sweater
Folkalist Offline
member

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 374
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA
Anyone, especially the ladies, ever tried a down sweater (like Outdoor Research or Patagonia)? They seem to be just thin jackets. Do you think I could get 10-15 more degrees out of one? I'm thinking of adding one to my layers so I can get a couple more weeks in my BPing season. That will be paticularly important this coming year since work will most likely preclude me being able to take off the time I really want to for hiking - the entire Spring and Autumn! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
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#107249 - 11/30/08 06:57 PM Re: Down Sweater [Re: Folkalist]
ttaboro Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 18
Loc: Middle Tennessee
Don't have any experience with a down sweater but I just purchased a pair of Montbell down pants to use as an insulation layer. They are about 5 oz. and performed great this weekend. I used them over SW long johns and had nylon hiking pants on top and was toasty warm in camp. It was very wet from raining all day so no campfire and in the low 40's/upper 30's. I also used them as a pillow since they were too warm to sleep in.

I get quite cold in camp and sleeping but I think I could get 10 degrees out of the pants...and plan to wear them in my sleeping bag to extend it's rating so I can go out year round. (mid-TN winters anyway!)

Millette

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#107250 - 11/30/08 08:14 PM Re: Down Sweater [Re: Folkalist]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I've used the Patagonia down sweater (hooded and unhooded), and recently switched to the Montbell Down UL Inner Parka. I loved the Patagonia, and am highly impressed with Montbell so far (one cool-weather trip, so far); I also got the same Montbell pants another poster mentioned.

The Patagonia is warmer (more down - at a cost of half a pound over the Montbell), but both work as part of a layering system that works well into the lower 40s. By the time it got that cold, I was ready for bed (a WM Megalite 30 degree bag); the temperature dropped to an overnight low of about 30. I haven't had the chance to try, but I suspect that the Montbell jacket and pants worn over some midweight longjohns will extend the range into the low twenties.

I like the hooded items better because they also add extra insulation to the hood of my bag, and they do a better job of holding heat on the back of my neck and head.

A down jacket is a much better choice for in-camp warmth than a heavy fleece layer - it's lighter and warmer. I've never worn mine for hiking, though - I tend to hike in midweight longjohns under shorts and a T-shirt or windshirt, which is usually warm enough while I'm moving; if I want a little extra warmth, I layer my rain jacket and pants over them.

This system seems to work well for me, and I hike from about the end of March through late October, in southwest Ohio mostly, with maybe 1 weekend trip between November and February, if there's a bit of a thaw.


Edited by Glenn (11/30/08 08:15 PM)

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#107251 - 12/01/08 03:54 AM Re: Down Sweater [Re: Glenn]
Folkalist Offline
member

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 374
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA
I do get chilly in camp early/late in the season and can sleep a little cooler than I like. I've never been cold while hiking, well except for the time I got washed down the Moorman's River . . . <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

The more I read, the more I'm convinced that a lightweight down layer will address most my needs. I just can't seem to zero in how light will still be worth it.
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#107252 - 12/01/08 05:56 AM Re: Down Sweater [Re: Folkalist]
rootball Offline
member

Registered: 06/16/08
Posts: 112
I have to forego some lightness for warmth to continue hiking into the cold season. I have a down jacket that cannot be used above 30 degrees and only for inactivity. No way I could hike in it. I also have a patagonia micro puff and love, love it. The micro vest adds a great layer for in camp and I have hiked in it many times. Its just right for me. I would love to have the micro puff jacket sans hood, but have not needed it. I know its more weight, but I found that the light down products were limited to camp use and seemed to get compressed during use. I retired two down vests before trying synthetic and doubt that I would ever go back. You might want to consider synthetic -- or not.

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#107253 - 12/01/08 09:18 AM Re: Down Sweater [Re: rootball]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
I have the Patagonia down sweater (the "hoodie" pullover version from last year.) Over a 100-wt fleece top, it's quite warm down to freezing or so, just sitting around camp. Although it looks thin, this sort of insulated layer adds a lot of warmth. Putting a rain shell over it adds even more, if needed.

I also have a Patagonia Micropuff Pullover, which is several ounces lighter, and seems to be about the same warmth. But it doesn't have a hood, nor any useful pockets.
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#107254 - 12/01/08 09:35 AM Re: Down Sweater [Re: Folkalist]
leadfoot Offline
member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 954
Loc: Virginia
I don't have the sweater but I do have the Patagonia jacket with hood and seems to keep me pretty warm in camp. But, like you, I get cold and am thinking of layering a Montbell or WM down vest under it while in camp or sleeping, if I am in colder temps than I want to be. The coldest temp I used the Micro puff was in the low teens, snow, in West-by-god-Virginia. I was just using my Hubba Hubba fly as shelter. Yes, it was cold!!! I was ok....but wished I had a closed-cell foam pad under my Big Agnes...and a down vest. My bag was a TNF down rated 20 degrees.

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#107255 - 12/01/08 04:39 PM Re: Down Sweater [Re: Folkalist]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
You might consider buying the Montbell UL Down Inner parka or jacket, plus the UL Down Inner vest to layer with it. You'll end up with the same total weight as the Patagonia down sweater, but you'll gain the versatility of adjusting your insulation to fit the needs of a particular trip - and can leave one or the other behind if you don't need both. The versatility will cost you about $50 (the two pieces together cost about $50 more than the sweater - you may be able to find the Montbell pieces on sale and eliminate that price difference.)

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#107256 - 12/02/08 03:46 PM Re: Down Sweater [Re: rootball]
Folkalist Offline
member

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 374
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA
I'm mostly concerned about down-time/around camp and sleeping. I do alright while hiking, but I'm looking to better those layers with more synthetics and wool later on.

For sleeping and around camp (hiking, too, if needed) I just got a fleece balaclava sort of hat for $3! Soft and stretchy.

Lots of good thoughts in the replies so far - much to consider.
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#107257 - 12/03/08 05:33 AM Re: Down Sweater [Re: Folkalist]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I picked up an Alpaca hat with earflaps and a matching head tube thingy that makes for a great balaclava together. It is light and soft and very warm. You see alot these days lined with fleece, which I think is wrong. Alpaca is soft enuough, and if anything the fleece should go on the outside. If I used fleece at all there it would be a very light separate layer, for more versatility. I would use the fleece when I need just a little something, then replace with the Alpaca when I need a little more, and the fleece again, but over the Alpaca not under, when I needed a little extra. I think that Alpaca is going to be perfect for sleeping in cold weather, looking forward to trying the head tube for breathing in really cold air.

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#107258 - 12/03/08 04:48 PM Re: Down Sweater [Re: Glenn]
Folkalist Offline
member

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 374
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA
Started looking into some lightweight down and have been very interested in the Montbell UL Down Inner jacket. Now for the post-season sales . . . <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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#107259 - 12/04/08 08:00 AM Re: Down Sweater [Re: Folkalist]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I have a Marmot down vest that weighs 12 oz. It is quite fluffy and I do not seem to need the arm warmth so it works for me. This vest has elastic in the armholes so you do not get breezes in your armpits.

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#107260 - 12/04/08 10:21 AM Re: Down Sweater [Re: Folkalist]
hikerFedEx Offline


Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 19
Loc: United States
Layering and wind cutting is key for me.

For layering while moving I use poly or smartwool of lighter or med weight, and I replaced my fleece tops, coats, layering with 3oz Montrail pullover 1/2 zip windshirt. traps loads of heat, and still breathes well. I repeat 3 OZ! Especially warm if I add a less breathable wind/rain shell over it.

For real warmth, especially once I stop moving I my Cocoon style non-down insulated pullover 1/2 zip top and bottoms & and when sleeping if needed. Probably among my best UL conversions from traditional outdoors/backpacking/camping. Works like a down coat/pants. Add a wind/rain shell for even more trapped air/rain resistance. Not cheap but I swear by SUL synthetic insulating top/bottoms. I bought synthetic insulating layers top/bottoms as a hedge. I love my down sleeping bag, but after reading lots and thinking about the suggestion: do you really want everything you carry to be down? I decided NO in case everything else is wet, this will still insulate far better than a similar down top/bottoms.

My Cocoon style pullover 1/2 Zip Patagonia Micropuff synthetic insulated top is a "heavy" version & weighs ~12oz, my bottoms with full side zip weigh 14oz. Both are wind and water resistant & weigh FAR less than any fleece or sweater I've owned, but are also MUCH warmer - like wearing a down coat or pants. They are not as durable so I'm cautious if doing any camp work, etc. Cocoon versions at Backpackinglight.com weigh ~6-8oz ea. for pullover top & bottom depending on sizing.

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#107261 - 12/04/08 04:19 PM Re: Down Sweater [Re: Folkalist]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
Quote:
Started looking into some lightweight down and have been very interested in the Montbell UL Down Inner jacket. Now for the post-season sales . . . <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />



Prolite Gear had their Montbell on 20% off sale as of this writing.

http://www.prolitegear.com/Montbell.htm
_________________________
--Ken B

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