Synthetic Puff Jackets...

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by ROCK6, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. ROCK6

    ROCK6 Scout

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    So, I'm looking to upgrade my backpacking insulation layer, and due to the humidity and rainy conditions this spring back home, I'm looking into synthetic puff jackets. I acknowledge this is a pretty niche item for most and the higher end Puffs are pretty expensive to save a few ounces...which is a big consideration. Criteria are performance, weight, compression, and price. I have a higher loft down jacket, but really trying to focus on synthetic insulation due to the high humidity and often wetter conditions.

    Spring and Fall temps really aren't bad. It could be 70 with clouds and thundershowers during the day, but the evening is where we feel it when it drops into the 40's. I know, I know, that isn't "cold", but I'll be damned if the humidity doesn't make it feel colder and we have to strip out of our wet clothing to dry and warm up...hence this lighter "puff" or insulation. Keeping the weight down to 8-9oz is a bonus as is compression.

    The top two I'm looking at are the new Patagonia Micro Puff jacket with their new "PlumaFill" insulation and Enlightened Equipment's Torrid APEX with 2.0 Climashield insulation fill.

    From what I can see, Patagonia's insulation provides slightly better performance and better compression, but almost twice the price. The Torrid APEX jacket is slightly lighter (about an ounce for the same size/no hood). I do like the fact that I can get the APEX in Coyote and other custom colors and from what I read, it's cut slightly larger for layering. I know that can be an issue as you want a tighter fit for this type of puff-insulation layer.

    So, anybody have experience with either the Micro Puff or Enlightened Equipment's Torrid APEX puff-insulation layers (or other options)?

    ROCK6
    [​IMG]
     
  2. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  3. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    My hangup with puffers is fit and wanting a hood. There is no way I could buy one online. That cuts out lots of options. Dang broad shoulders.
     
  4. ROCK6

    ROCK6 Scout

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    I have a similar issue with shoulders. Most of the Patagonia stuff is made for stick-figure models:D While I can wear their large, it has zero room for more than a T-shirt. The EE Torrid has a more generous cut. I get that some of the technical clothing does require a more snug fit, but snug and constrictive are often pretty close...

    ROCK6
     
  5. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I hear that. I can be anything from a medium to a XXL depending on the brand, and even then if I buy the same item a few years apart there is no assurance their country of manufacture has not changed and the sizing will be the same. Shoes and boots are the worst, I never buy them online. Even in a store I’ve tried three pairs of the same style and size and found one pair fits better than the other two. Got to love the new global economy (not).
     
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  6. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    That's why I love Patagonia! I need an XL for the length, but a medium for the waist/chest size. With Patagonia's fit, I can get the larger sizes I need without being swallowed.

    That being said, I'm too cheap to actually buy it most of the time. I only get it on super end of season clearance and the second hand market.
     
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  7. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Supporter Supporter

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    An option I have that works well from LL Bean. I love it since it works well over a layer or two easily. I can fit my rain layer over it too.

    That said, Patagonia AND Mountain Hardwear have served friends of mine well.
     
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  8. TrespassersWilliam

    TrespassersWilliam Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    You can sometimes find Eddie Bauer puffer vests at a reasonable markdown. They offer tall sizes. They also still have a return policy like LLBean used to offer.
     
  9. Morrow7x

    Morrow7x Tracker

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    Yeah, I bought a hooded jacket a couple years ago at 40% off, in season... (?!). They had made an effort to make a line of higher performance outerwear to be competitive with Patagonia, etc . I think their long-time selection of mostly 'outdoor-style' casual wear caused them to be all but forgotten by backpackers. I know I only went in by accident- my daughter was looking for a toiletry bag for a Grand Canyon kayak trip. Maybe worth a fresh look...
     
  10. ra2bach

    ra2bach Bushmaster

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    the Eddie Bauer First Ascent stuff is phenomenal value. it's probably not as light weight as some of the boutique brands but is very well made from excellent materials.

    I got my son an 850 DownTek (water resistant down) jacket with Pertex shell that he has rode hard and hung up wet, that still looks and works like new. I have an XL Tall, hooded, with the tags still on that I bought figuring I would lose weight and fit into it but that hasn't happened yet :oops: If I can't fit in by September, I'll sell it here with the tags still on...
     
  11. Gruntinhusaybah

    Gruntinhusaybah Guide Bushclass I

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    Give enlightened equipment a shot, if you're unsure about fit just call or emial them, they've always been very responsive to communications with me.

    I took a risk and ordered a montbell puff jacket that was on clearance, their size guide was spot on and it fits great.

    Nunatak also makes a good looking syn jacket.
     
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  12. manitoulinbound

    manitoulinbound Apple Fritter Lover Supporter

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    Have you looked into The North Face line of goodies? You can usually get their gear stupid cheap used, never understood why but I don't care, I just keep scooping up the deals. New prices are great too imo.
     
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  13. ROCK6

    ROCK6 Scout

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    Yeah, from my correspondence with them, they assured me their Torrid is cut bigger than the Patagonia. One thing that I keep boing back and forth over is breathability. The higher (800+) loft downs really seem to offer a wider spectrum of comfort for me. The treated down is nice for less severe weather, but my only fear is getting really soaked during some of the spring trips we've down. I don't mind sacrificing a little compression and insulation performance doesn't have to be top tier, but I do want to keep weight at a minimum. Thanks for all the feedback and recommendation...

    ROCK6
     
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  14. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    Apex is good stuff. Good warmth to weight ratio, one of the best syns to resist loss of loft to compression, resists moisture well, reasonably priced

    I would at least peruse Nunatak's site- their Apex jacket is very customizable- sizes, hoods, pockets, fabrics, weight of insulation, etc. Not cheap, but a really nice jacket.

    That said, I also have a EE hooded vest (same basic construction as the jacket), if the 2.1 Apex is warm enough for your needs, the quality is top notch (also a fair bit cheaper)
     
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  15. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    The new Micropuff gets a very bad wrap over at BPL and it is horrendously expensive for not much real warmth apparently
     
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  16. ra2bach

    ra2bach Bushmaster

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    interesting. what's the verdict on the Nano Air?..
     
  17. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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  18. Watcher of the Woods

    Watcher of the Woods Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I had had a mountain hardwear thermostatic for going on 5 years and it's still alive and serving me well. Check on eBay/sales online and you can find this $200 jacket for $50-$100. Well worth the money!
     
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  19. koreamarine

    koreamarine Tracker

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    Recommend a field jacket liner if you're on a budget.

    For a few dollars more you can get the Wiggy's liner jacket which is worth the price.
    My issue with such items as outer layers is that they tend to get holes in them from sparks popping out of a fire.

    I am looking for some nyco cloth such as used in the old field jacket to make into a single layer outer shell under which I can layer the above and other layers.
     

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