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Down Jackets

Postby Hotoven » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:17 pm

I looking at all the sweet winter sales going on, and need a new down jacket. I have been looking at Mountain Gears website, and they have some sweet deals.

I'm kind of in debate between the Mountain Hardware Phantom jacket which is an 800 fill. And the North Face Tahoe, which has a hood. I rather have a hood, but I'm not to worried about that. What I'm worried about is the nylon construction on either of them. I have read reviews on both and they say they are not to durable. What would any of you suggest?

I'm worried that I would shred either of these jackets alive just pulling them out of the box when I receive them. I have never owned a down jacket either, so any tips are well received!

I would be using it mostly for Belaying and Winter Backpacking, Hiking, and Mountaineering on the Adirondacks and White Mountains. With occasional trips To the Cascades of course!
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Postby Joe White » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:23 pm

Have you considered a synthetic blend?

I have owned both and found that climbing with any jacket is gonna screw it up over time. With that said though, if there is extra material on the arms (elbows) this can be a nice protective feature.

I've duct taped a few down jackets (and synthetic) over the years.
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Re: Down Jackets

Postby aedwards » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:25 pm

Hotoven wrote:I looking at all the sweet winter sales going on, and need a new down jacket. I have been looking at Mountain Gears website, and they have some sweet deals.

I'm kind of in debate between the Mountain Hardware Phantom jacket which is an 800 fill. And the North Face Tahoe, which has a hood. I rather have a hood, but I'm not to worried about that. What I'm worried about is the nylon construction on either of them. I have read reviews on both and they say they are not to durable. What would any of you suggest?

I'm worried that I would shred either of these jackets alive just pulling them out of the box when I receive them. I have never owned a down jacket either, so any tips are well received!

I would be using it mostly for Belaying and Winter Backpacking, Hiking, and Mountaineering on the Adirondacks and White Mountains. With occasional trips To the Cascades of course!


I've got a Phantom, and the material is pretty thin, and I'm guessing not very durable.
Good for belaying, and sitting around camp, etc, but it wouldn't take much to put some rips in it. It's very warm though, weighs ~1 lb., and stuffs down very small.

A hood is nice. I also have a Marmot Ama Dablam, which is a 650 fill (not as puffy), but has a hood, which is a bonus.
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Postby Hotoven » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:27 pm

Does the 650 keep you warm while just chilling around in high winds and cold temps?
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Postby aedwards » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:31 pm

I've been putting it on over my mid and shell while standing around belaying while ice climbing (somewhat cold, but relatively nice weather), and it's decent, but I'm guessing at higher winds, higher elevations, etc, I'd want something more substantial.
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Postby Autoxfil » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:32 pm

You want a hood, especially for winter trips to the Whites.

If you want durable, the Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero is probably the toughest out there. It is correspondingly heavy, and probably overkill for your uses (except Mt Washington on a bad day).

The durability of modern lightweigt fabrics is impressive. I wouldn't worry about it unless you are very hard on your gear. I am not gentle and I can't bust my thin stuff.

Also, synthetics are a nice option - they don't pack as small, but if they tear it's not so catastrophic.

I'd look for something weighing under 2lb, with hood.

If cost and weight are big factors, this First Ascent Igniter is a great deal:

http://www.whittakermountaineering.com/ ... ter-jacket

If warmth is a bigger deal, their PeakXV will keep you toasty in the nastiest weather.

If cost is not a factor, check out Rab - my Neutrino Endurance rocks. If doing it again I might get the Neutrino Plus. If cost is REALLY not a factor, check out feathered friends and western mountaineering.
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Postby Hotoven » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:44 pm

The First Ascent one looks sick, but they don't have my size, I'm a Medium.

Thanks for the info about the durability, I will definitely get one with a hood. I'll also read up more on synthetics.
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Postby rhyang » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:11 pm

I recently ebayed a MH Phantom .. a 2004 model, from when they were still sewn-through .. I understand the newer ones have baffles, like down sleeping bags. Despite that, it was a nice warm jacket. But I like having a hood, so I replaced it with a rab neutrino endurance, which is similar but more amenable to climbing (I used the phantom more for cooler-weather backpacking and such).

I also have a FF Volant, with a removable hood and EPIC shell. It's much warmer and has baffles, but about a half pound heavier. Got mine on ebay some years ago.

Synthetic jackets are usually cheaper, but bear in mind that synthetic insulation tends to lose its loft more quickly than down. If you are patient you can usually find one on closeout from the previous season for cheap. I picked up an OR Chaos last year (or maybe it was 2008) that has worked well for situations where I might be worried about moisture (ie. the Cascades).

I've got a few synthetic jackets that are no longer made & getting on in years and might be about ready for donation to goodwill or some such :) The phantom on the other hand I sold for nearly what I paid for it.
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Postby radson » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:17 pm

rhyang wrote:I recently ebayed a MH Phantom .. a 2004 model, from when they were still sewn-through .. I understand the newer ones have baffles, like down sleeping bags. Despite that, it was a nice warm jacket. But I like having a hood, so I replaced it with a rab neutrino endurance, which is similar but more amenable to climbing (I used the phantom more for cooler-weather backpacking and such).

I also have a FF Volant, with a removable hood and EPIC shell. It's much warmer and has baffles, but about a half pound heavier. Got mine on ebay some years ago.

Synthetic jackets are usually cheaper, but bear in mind that synthetic insulation tends to lose its loft more quickly than down. If you are patient you can usually find one on closeout from the previous season for cheap. I picked up an OR Chaos last year that has worked well for situations where I might be worried about moisture (ie. the Cascades).

I've got a few synthetic jackets that are no longer made & getting on in years and might be about ready for donation to goodwill or some such :) The phantom on the other hand I sold for nearly what I paid for it.


I went through the same process as Rhyang. I had the MH Phantom and now have the Rab Neutrino Endurance. The Phantom took a few hits when I slid my axe under my shoulder strap. The Rab is a lot more durable.
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Postby iHartMK » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:53 am

I have a TNF Nuptse I will sell you. It's green with black shoulders, size Medium. No rips or stains.
$100.00?
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Postby peteh » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:13 am

Autoxfil wrote:You want a hood, especially for winter trips to the Whites.


+1 on the hood.

I bought a MH Sub Zero jacket without a hood a bit over a year ago. I was freezing cold wearing it around camp at Shepherd's Pass in the Sierra in June (!) last year over a base layer, a couple of insulating layers and under a crappy shell, mostly because my neck and head were getting blasted by an icy wind. Yes, a better shell would have helped. But I won't be buying another down jacket without a hood.
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Postby Brad Marshall » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:49 am

I have the MH Phantom and put a nice size slice in it with my ice tool the first day out. The best jacket of mine for durability is an older EMS Synthetic Belay jacket. I've worn this on 5 expeditions to Aco and Denali and climbed numerous times up Mt. Washington without so much as a tiny hole in it.

How about a Wild Things Belay Jacket?
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Re: Down Jackets

Postby Drazhar » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:22 am

Hotoven wrote:I looking at all the sweet winter sales going on, and need a new down jacket. I have been looking at Mountain Gears website, and they have some sweet deals.

I'm kind of in debate between the Mountain Hardware Phantom jacket which is an 800 fill. And the North Face Tahoe, which has a hood. I rather have a hood, but I'm not to worried about that. What I'm worried about is the nylon construction on either of them. I have read reviews on both and they say they are not to durable. What would any of you suggest?

I'm worried that I would shred either of these jackets alive just pulling them out of the box when I receive them. I have never owned a down jacket either, so any tips are well received!

I would be using it mostly for Belaying and Winter Backpacking, Hiking, and Mountaineering on the Adirondacks and White Mountains. With occasional trips To the Cascades of course!


cant beat this deal.

http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=51745
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Re: Down Jackets

Postby Hotoven » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:51 pm

Drazhar wrote:
Hotoven wrote:I looking at all the sweet winter sales going on, and need a new down jacket. I have been looking at Mountain Gears website, and they have some sweet deals.

I'm kind of in debate between the Mountain Hardware Phantom jacket which is an 800 fill. And the North Face Tahoe, which has a hood. I rather have a hood, but I'm not to worried about that. What I'm worried about is the nylon construction on either of them. I have read reviews on both and they say they are not to durable. What would any of you suggest?

I'm worried that I would shred either of these jackets alive just pulling them out of the box when I receive them. I have never owned a down jacket either, so any tips are well received!

I would be using it mostly for Belaying and Winter Backpacking, Hiking, and Mountaineering on the Adirondacks and White Mountains. With occasional trips To the Cascades of course!


cant beat this deal.

http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=51745


Thanks for the sweet deal! I'll most likely pick this one up.
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