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Durable Down Jackets

Postby mtvalley » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:31 am

Any suggestions for a mid-to-heavyweight down jacket with an exterior that won't rip at the slightest touch? Would be used on Acon or other 6000+ Andes peaks.

In the past I've had a Marmot Guides Hoody (tore after one use) and Marmot Ama Dablam (so delicate it actually ripped just from being stuffed in the sack!). I now have an OR Virtuoso which is far more durable but not warm enough for 6000+.
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Re: Durable Down Jackets

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:03 am

Feathered Friends Volant jacket. If the standard Pertex shell is not durable enough for you, you can have it custom made with a heavier fabric.
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Re: Durable Down Jackets

Postby Damien Gildea » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:36 am

ExcitableBoy wrote:Feathered Friends Volant ...


+1 for FF, they make good gear.

I have a Millet Expert down jacket with a shell thicker than most current jackets and it has lasted well. Rab Batura also had a thick shell, as can some of the PHD jackets (but ordered only from UK).
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Re: Durable Down Jackets

Postby mtvalley » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:43 am

Thanks guys, I like Pertex fabric so I'll look into FF some more.

Damien - are you familiar with Mountain Equipment (UK) stuff? Couple of their down items caught my eye.
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Re: Durable Down Jackets

Postby radson » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:05 am

Im surprised about the Marmot jacket. I jugged up the yellow and grey towers of Ama Dablam at stupid o'clock in the morning with nary a scratch on my Marmot Greenland.

I find the Rab Neutrino line of jackets are very durable.

The somewhat rare and blandly named TNF Summit jacket is a lighter version of their Himalayan parka and has Re-enforced shoulder panels and lower hem and looks good for what you want as well
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Re: Durable Down Jackets

Postby radson » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:06 am

ooh and mountaingear.com have a ME Annapurna on sale. Although the Annapurna doesn't have quite the same quality of down as the other jackets mentioned.
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Re: Durable Down Jackets

Postby Damien Gildea » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:59 am

mtvalley wrote: Damien - are you familiar with Mountain Equipment (UK) stuff? Couple of their down items caught my eye.


Yes, but their lighter, newer, nicer jackets are probably too light. The Annapurna that radson mentions below is a more traditional style, it's a model that's been around for years and the last incarnation that I saw in the flesh, a couple of years ago, felt quite durable, though on paper the specs are not the best nowadays.
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Re: Durable Down Jackets

Postby Cissa » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:08 pm

I have a Mountain Hardwear Chillwave and it has durable fabric over areas which see more abrasion. I've crossed moraines in it and did some mixed climbing in it as well, and I tend to destroy my equipment quite fast, but this one seems a good option as it seems to withstand abuse pretty well.
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Re: Durable Down Jackets

Postby DukeJH » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:51 pm

+1 for FF. Their jackets are bomber. I'd have a Volant if I didn't get my MHW Absolute Zero (in 2009) for damn near free. My wife has appropriated it and she is way harder on and careless with gear than I am and it has held up well. I've caught the zippper and torn the baffle once but that's it.
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Re: Durable Down Jackets

Postby Dane1 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:57 am

+ one for FF bags. I own several custom and retail versions. Have used them/FF specifically for years now. If I need another down bag it will be a FFs.

Jackets?
FF makes sub par down jackets by any comparison I am aware of. Certainly by my direct comparisons to other climbing specific for insulation/weight and price point. FF does use very good down, high quality materials and good fill weights. Just really dated jacket designs that are not very efficent by comparison to what is currently and easily available in the market place now. FF's actual weights in my comparisons were way off compared to the published weights. Notably so.

Durability? If you are ripping up down jackets just stuffing them....ah, ya... :) good luck on that 6000m down jacket!
May be a synthetic likehe Duelly would be better for your own use?

Some really nice currently available jackets suitable for 6000m. None of them will ward off a sharp axe, crampons or inattention how ever.

Eddie Bauer
Patagonia
Rab
Mtn Hardware
Narrona
Mammut
Mont Bell

Here is a short list with a few details. Certainly not inclusive of everything available or appropriate for your use. More just a sampling of some of the better ones I have reviewed.

Eddie Bauer Peak XV 1091g/ 38.5 5" box
Narrona Trollveggan 1063g/ 37.5 3" box
Rab Neutrino Plus 794g/ 28 5" box
Arcteryx Duelly 794g/28 2.5" non laminated syn
Narrona Lyngen 737g/ 26 3" sewn + layer
Mont Bell PermaFrost 694g/24.5 4.5" box
Rab Neutrino Endurance 650g/ 22.9 3" sewn
Mtn H Nilas 652g/ 23 3.5" box/sewn thru arms
EB BC Micro Therm 590g/ 21 2.5" sewn + layer
Mont Bell Mirage 420g/ 14.7 3.5" box
Rab Infinity 402g/ 14 3" sewn

Not everyone gets to look at lots of expensive and differing jackets. Since late '09 I made an effort to do so. Two tutorials from my perspective...both surprised me by the time i was done. Some like Patagonia'ss DAS has changed remarkedly for the better since '09. Patagonia as well as Arcteryx have since added down insulation to their climbing specific garments. Others haven't changed at all. And some jackets IMO are not as good as they were previously. There is more at CT on down and synthetic climbing specific jackets if you dig around a bit. Just type your interest into the search function top left.

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/02 ... ights.html

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2012/03 ... ckets.html
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Re: Durable Down Jackets

Postby Sunny Buns » Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:37 am

If you can find one of these to actually try on you might compare it to the others before you buy - in case you want to do colder stuff someday.
http://marmot.com/products/8000m_parka

This one looks good:
http://www.whittakermountaineering.com/shop-by-summit/aconcagua
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Re: Durable Down Jackets

Postby mtvalley » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:25 am

Dane, I actually do prefer synth since Ive climbed a lot in the PNW. I've used the OR Chaos before, I wonder if the new 2014 model with 170g Primaloft One is comparable in warmth to some of the down pieces mentioned.

I've also looked at the new BD Stance Belay Parka but haven't seen many reviews.
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Re: Durable Down Jackets

Postby Sunny Buns » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:24 am

If you have a lot of layers under it you could get away with a synthetic jacket. However if you need to bivouac overnight on the mountain (hope not!), a big thick, poofy down parka and a bivy bag will be welcome possessions. Also a big poofy is handy if you have to go out for a nature call in a blizzard - it isn't fun putting on layers (or your boots) inside a tent in the thin air. If you get down wet it's absolutely useless; if you get synthetic wet it's only almost useless. :)

Do you camp in Pennsylvania in winter? If so, what jacket do you wear?

Try 'em all and let us know which model you choose.
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