I've started to purchase things for my trip to Alaska this fall and the area i'm lacking in is good quality clothing for layering.
First item on my list, and one i thought that now would be a good time to buy (end of season) was a puffy jacket. So After some research i settled on the Duluth Trading Alaskan Hardgear Puffin Hood Jacket. Being that i need tall, my choices were pretty limited. Anyways, the jacket arrived over the weekend and i must say i was a bit disappointed. I really expected a "puffy" jacket to be more puffy! This jackets feels more like quilted vs. puffy. It's 100% polyfil with 1.68oz nylon and they claim it's good to 0 degrees.
So are my expectations out of line? Or does the lack of puff not necessarily mean it won't provide warmth?
Eddie Bauer has alot of tall options...just wondering if maybe i should consider them instead and return the Duluth Jacket.
My guess is that the shell on the jacket you bought is cotton. (The one time I’ve been into a Duluth Trading store, they appear to have a distinct aversion to nylon, polyester, and acrylic that borders on a belief that cotton is a miracle fabric.) They may rate that jacket as keeping you warm at zero - just remember that they didn’t say for how long it would keep you warm.
You really need to watch the quality of the stuff from Duluth Trading, Eddie Bauer, and other “outdoor wannabe” brands where looking like you go outdoors is more important than, you know, actually going outdoors. North Face and LL Bean are better about it, but you still need to be careful.
I just glanced at REI’s website, and they do have a section for “tall and extended sizes; I clicked on it, and they had a variety of brands of jackets on the first page. I suspect other outdoor sites (Backcountry Gear, Moosejaw, and Campmor, for example) also offer tall sizes. You might also try the website for specific brands: Outdoor Reasearch is my own favorite (I have the opposite problem: I need short inseams, which they carry on their website but not at retailers’ sites.)
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Unfortunately, when you check the size charts for those "extended" sizes at REI, the ones I looked at are not big enough for the OP. Admittedly, I looked at only three brands. So it may take some research!
I then looked at LL Bean. Looking at their size chart, Tall X-Large should be fine! Tall-XXL might even be too big!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I've spent quite a few cold winters in No Illinois, which, btw, is often a lot colder than places along the Alaskan coast in the winter (Juno, for example), and never had a down jacket until about 12 years ago. I've gotten two since and both have been the warmest coats I've ever had, and neither are high end jackets.
I may have missed something, but are you talking about a backpacking trip? If not, the weight is not a factor. Regardless a puffy jacket should be puffy!
If the quilting stitch goes through from front to back, then that is a place where cold will seep through. If it instead is quilted on both sides, so that the seams do not lie on top of each other, then OK.
A baffel stitch system has less cold spots, particularly if they offset the inside and outside stitches so the baffles overlap.
If you are going to be in a cold-dry climate, then down OK. If wet-cold, then you need either the newer down that is treated to be waterproof (I think they call it DryDown) or a synthetic. Regular down will become useless in repeated moist humid cold conditions.
Down gives a more "instant" warmth feel and contours around you closer, with a less drafty feel. Down gives more warmth per weight than synthetics.
A synthetic that is in little balls will mimic down's ability to contour to your body. A synthetic that comes in a sheet will not. Once you initally warm up a synthetic jacket, this is less of an issue, Down compresses more, and this is critical for backpacking, not so much a problem if on a horse-packing trip or fly-in base camp.
There are some quite sufficient "puffer" jackets sold at regular stores, such as Macy's and Target. Unfortunately, this is not the season that these stores carry these items. I bought one puffer at Macys and one at Target, each weighing about 7-8 oz with 600-down (60% down, 40%feathers), each on sale for $50. I also have a high end down sweater, 4 oz. 800-down that cost $120 on sale (an outrageous $200 list). The warmth and loft is about the same for all three. I use the heavier cheaper jackets for shorter trips when my pack is not as heavy and save the high end one for long trips when I have to really cut weight due to all the food carried.
Also, if you are going to bushwhack in this jacket you need to have a sturdy outer fabric or wear a sturdy outer layer.
Have you checked Sportsman's Warehouse? Thier clothing seems to be for really big people. I can never find anything that fits me.
Their website doesn't list the jacket's weight, which leads me to believe it could be heavy. If you're not backpacking with it, then that won't be an issue. I swear by Arcteryx. Extremely high quality and lightweight jackets and very puffy and warm. They should offer something for taller people it seems.