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Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

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Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby kkline91 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:02 pm

I currently own a North Face Redpoint Optimus Jacket that is insulated with Primaloft. I'm wondering if this jacket is sufficient in warmth to climb Mount Shasta and/or Mount Rainier. I kinda feel like it won't be because if I lean on my armrest in my truck when I've just got into the truck in winter it has cold spots to the coat and I can feel the cold instantly on my arm. I am never cold of course when wearing it, but I've never just sat around in the coat in temps low enough to recreate a day at camp when it was lets say -20 or as low as Shasta/Rainier can get (I think it can get in extreme cases to -30 in May right?).

Here is what I would do for layers:
Lightweight Baselayers.
Cold Gear UnderArmour Pullover
Basic Snowbibs that you would get from Dicks's sporting goods for $30 or $40. (also covers my chest so I included that) Side subject I think I need legit bibs.
Expedition Parka or North Face Redpoint Parka I currently own.

Here is the redpoint on the North Face site: http://www.thenorthface.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=162440&storeId=207&catalogId=10201&langId=-1&from=subCat&parent_category_rn=11702&variationId=0C5

I'm wondering if I should go with a different coat say something like the North Face Himalayan Parka or the First Ascent Peak XV coat. Those have to be much warmer. I put the First Ascent coat on in the store and was amazed how think it was. That 850 fill down is amazing.

I love the North Face summit Redpoint, but if it isn't warm enough then I need to get a legit extreme cold weather parka instead.
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Re: Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby sneakyracer » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:25 pm

That Optimus jacket is nice, dont leave it behind. Seems good to hike in cold/windy weather (say around 20F or less) with a baselayer under but I would add a First Ascent Peak XV for camp and emergencies.
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Re: Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby Dane1 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:18 pm

Here is a look at another system you might be interested in.

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/11 ... ayers.html

Info there on jackets as well if you look around a bit. These are a good start.

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/12 ... eater.html

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/02 ... ights.html
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Re: Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby Snowy » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:37 pm

A 100g/m^2 jacket like that for stops and an R1 under it would be enough for me into the teens.
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Re: Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:48 pm

kkline91 wrote:temps low enough to recreate a day at camp when it was lets say -20 or as low as Shasta/Rainier can get (I think it can get in extreme cases to -30 in May right?)


I suppose anything is possible but in May the nighttime low is probably closer to +20 at 10,000 ft in May. Your jacket should be fine, I use a similar one on Rainier spring through fall.


kkline91 wrote:Basic Snowbibs that you would get from Dicks's sporting goods for $30 or $40. (also covers my chest so I included that) Side subject I think I need legit bibs.


I would rethink the bibs. Look into a midweight softshell pant. Here is a link to an article I wrote about Mt Rainier http://www.summitpost.org/so-you-want-to-climb-mt-rainier/507227. It has a suggested clothing and gear list. You may find it helpful.
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Re: Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby Dane1 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:00 pm

"A 100g/m^2 jacket like that for stops"

Agreed and I wouldn't want more for anything that you have your list. EB XV is a great jacket but way, way over kill for anything you have listed.

I use the 100g jackets (and there are some good ones available made of Primaloft 1) for the majority of my belay duties these days but never wear it over just an R1.

R1 is the 1st layer...either some lwt insulation or a wind shell over that...makes layer 2....next is either a 100g weight belay jacket down to -30 or so as layer 3. Lower than that I would prefer something like a XV. But you are talking Alaska spring up high or Canadian winter out over night for temps lower than -30.
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Re: Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby kkline91 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:48 am

Thanks everyone. Looks like I'll stick with the red point. I agree about the bibs. I have rei take pants and I really like those. The only issue I have is that they don't have a 7/8 zip so once on they are on. I've been down to 20 below on them though and was warm.
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Re: Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby bird » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:37 pm

I say no. I have the same jacket, and I use it as a heavy mid-layer. It's just not that warm. If Sh*t hits the fan, or for rest stops up high, or cooking at night, you will want more. You don't need one of the super-beefy jackets you mention, but a Patagonia DAS, OR Chaos, MH SubZero, TNF Nuptse will be more appropriate, especially for early season IMO.
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Re: Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby sneakyracer » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:50 pm

Dane1 wrote:Here is a look at another system you might be interested in.

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/11 ... ayers.html

Info there on jackets as well if you look around a bit. These are a good start.

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/12 ... eater.html

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


Very nice links, great info!

I have the First Ascent Jacket he mentions and have to agree 100%, its my favorite jacket. I also love Powerstretch and powerdry fleece because it keeps me dry, they wick moisture and dry extremely well and fast. Keeping dry is key.

My recomendation for a heavier down jacket was for trips earlier in the year (march). You might need them in may if you go out in a cold spell (can happen). Either way its nice to have a backup insulating layer in case the first one gets wet or for emergencies (just like gloves) but yea, a 100g primaloft jacket (like the FA Igniter and Patagonia Micro Puff jacket w/ hood) is warm enough (with baselayer and a light fleece under) for the 15-25F temps you are likely to encounter in may. Close to 0F and below for camp you need something warmer (or extra layers).
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Re: Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby kkline91 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:36 pm

Maybe ill pick up that first ascent. I figure worst case ill use it for cold bears playoff tailgating! That coat is really BA and then ill be set for denali!
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Re: Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby bird » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:23 pm

kkline91 wrote:Maybe ill pick up that first ascent. I figure worst case ill use it for cold bears playoff tailgating! That coat is really BA and then ill be set for denali!

I'm guessing you are doing a regular route like the DC, and not aiming for "light and fast" on a technical route. If so, when you are in camp (or on the summit) and you throw that bad boy on, you'll be very happy.
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Re: Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby SKI » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:36 pm

bird wrote:I say no. I have the same jacket, and I use it as a heavy mid-layer. It's just not that warm. If Sh*t hits the fan, or for rest stops up high, or cooking at night, you will want more. You don't need one of the super-beefy jackets you mention, but a Patagonia DAS, OR Chaos, MH SubZero, TNF Nuptse will be more appropriate, especially for early season IMO.


I disagree.

The Optimus is a great jacket. I've been on both Rainier and Shasta a number of times with that guy and even on super cold days/nights, I feel protected. I've gone to bat over this jacket on a number of threads here and I gotta say, it really gets the job done and doesnt bloat your pack like the rest will.

Your problem is with your layers- grab an R1 and between the two, you'll be ready for anything on Shasta and good enough on Rainier to set up a tent and get inside your bag. This is what I use:

Wicking shirt
Cap 2 (Patagonia) longsleeve
R1
OR Helium Jacket (waterproof)
Redpoint for stops, camp and moving when it's ungodly cold.

Make sure that you eat and drink often and that you have a beanie on at all times.
People recommend super fatty foods to keep you warm, but I would rather save the internal inflammation and concentrate on carbohydrate consumption with some peanut butter on the side.

Don't overthink it man. Keep practicing outside to see what works for you. In my opinion though, with the Redpoint, you're set with a good belay jacket.
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Re: Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby Dane1 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:13 pm

This is an interesting discussion.

I own or have used everything I reviewed last year. I've done Rainier winter and summer a number of times. Alaska trips, over a hand full. And climb in the Canadian Rockies every winter.

I have used a heavy jacket (XV weight) out side of Alaska once. That was Rainier in winter on the n side and a cold 3 day ascent C2C, done years ago.

I would never suggest one not buy the gear they want. But if you are buying it for Rainier...I wouldn't bother. Any 100g Primaloft jacket will work fine with the right system...same system you'll need working for you with a XV in my opinion. But the Primaloft gear will require a lot less effort to keep it functioning as insulation.

Same system I would use now on a winter ascent of Rainier and I would take one of the bigger jackets again. But not a down one and not because I think it is required. I'd take a heavier jacket to intentionally allow the use of a lighter sleeping bag.

I agree with AA. I own the heavy weights and seldom use them, simply because you don't need them. Any one that tells you there is a need for a heavier jacket for Rainier..winter or summer....likely hasn't done it winter and summer.
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Re: Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:39 pm

Dane knows his shit. Listen to what he says.
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Re: Expedition Parka/Puffy recommendations

Postby kkline91 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:51 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:
kkline91 wrote:temps low enough to recreate a day at camp when it was lets say -20 or as low as Shasta/Rainier can get (I think it can get in extreme cases to -30 in May right?)


I suppose anything is possible but in May the nighttime low is probably closer to +20 at 10,000 ft in May. Your jacket should be fine, I use a similar one on Rainier spring through fall.


kkline91 wrote:Basic Snowbibs that you would get from Dicks's sporting goods for $30 or $40. (also covers my chest so I included that) Side subject I think I need legit bibs.


I would rethink the bibs. Look into a midweight softshell pant. Here is a link to an article I wrote about Mt Rainier http://www.summitpost.org/so-you-want-to-climb-mt-rainier/507227. It has a suggested clothing and gear list. You may find it helpful.

Im taking your advice and im gonna return the rei taku pants. While they are nice they are impossible to put on or take off with regular boots on. Add crampons and im hosed. Im gonna ditch the cheapy bins and get the mountain hardwear
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