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Belay Parka - MH mountain guide vs Columbia Heatzone 1000

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Belay Parka - MH mountain guide vs Columbia Heatzone 1000

Postby emiretsk » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:04 pm

Hi,

Looking to buy a Belay parka that can be used for belaying as well as backpacking in colder weather. I'm just getting into climbing and camping in colder conditions so I'm looking for something versatile.
My two options so far are last season versions of:
1) https://www.mountainhardwear.com/mens-g ... 16581.html
2) https://www.columbiasportswear.ca/en/he ... 13190906:s

Any advice on those, or on picking a parka in general?

Thanks!
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Re: Belay Parka - MH mountain guide vs Columbia Heatzone 100

Postby Sunny Buns » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:13 am

My advice: state the temperatures you mean by "colder weather".
And what do you mean by "versatile"?

The MH jacket "looks" warmer in your link photo, but neither one is proud enough of their down insulation to give the weight of the down. I would not buy either one unless I tried it on in a store.
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Re: Belay Parka - MH mountain guide vs Columbia Heatzone 100

Postby emiretsk » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:55 pm

As I said I'm fairly new to this and am not 100% aware of all possible conditions I'll encounter, and the tradeoffs I'll need to make (water resistance vs warmth vs size/weight, being able to layer on top easily, etc. ).

In terms of possible trips I would do:
- A few day trip to Adirondack in Dec or March
- A 1 week trip in BC or Candian Rockies in the summer or shoulder seasons.

I suppose that means anywhere between slashy 0c degrees and to -10c, with a possibility of dropping to -20c at some point. I also already have fairly warm mid layers (Patagonia R3, and MH Nitrous) as well as a decent ski jacket. So my main use case is packable, warm enough for -20. However, my understanding is that another important feature of a belay jacket is the ability to layer it on top of existing clothing that could be wet.

So in terms of versatile:
- Warm enough for the occasional -20c
- Will function reasonably well if I have to layer it over existing layers in slashy/wet conditions
- Can be used both as belay parka as well as a regular packable jacket for winter backpacking

The Columbia Heatzone 1000 has a bunch of reviews that rate it as "very warm", though most seem to test it as a ski jacket.
The MH Mountain Guide is supposed to be warmer than Super Compressor™ Hooded Jacket (syntactic), which a lot of people around here seem to use.
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Re: Belay Parka - MH mountain guide vs Columbia Heatzone 100

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:05 pm

Mountain Hardwear and Columbia are kind of bottom of the barrel and you may want to re-think whether you want a down parka or synthetic. I think you should be looking at hooded, synthetic (Primaloft Gold) belay parkas. Synthetic is generally preferred over down for belay parkas because as you mention you pull it on over all you other layers which ends up wetting out down, except in very dry regions (e.g. Alaska). Patagonia, Black Diamond, Rab, Arc'Teryx, NW Alpine, Wild Things, etc. all make good ones. A 100g parka will be very versatile while a warmer 180g (Patagonia DAS, Wild Things Belay Parka) will be warm enough for Denali. Make sure the fill is Primaloft Gold, the other versions are inferior. Some brands use proprietary fill which may or may not be as efficient as Primaloft Gold.
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Re: Belay Parka - MH mountain guide vs Columbia Heatzone 100

Postby emiretsk » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:41 am

Not sure if I agree the Colombina and Moutain hardware are the bottom of the barrel. They do produce a lot of low-quality stuff. For example, the MH ghost whisperer is probably the best in its category.
I'm still debating more water proof (syntactic) vs warm (down), leaning towards the down. The syntactic once, like Patagonia DAS/Hyper Puff, Atom SV, just don't seem that warm. How about Rab NEUTRINO ENDURANCE JACKET, or Arc'teryx CERIUM LT JACKET both have amazing reviews online
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Re: Belay Parka - MH mountain guide vs Columbia Heatzone 100

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:04 pm

Synthetic can be every bit as warm as down, albeit at a weight and bulk penalty. Think hard about where you will be climbing and what the weather will be like. The down vs. synthetic argument boils down to how confident you are you can keep the garment dry. I do most of my climbing in the PNW so I favor synthetic. In cold, dry regions like the Alaska Range, down is the better choice.
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Re: Belay Parka - MH mountain guide vs Columbia Heatzone 100

Postby McCannster » Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:01 pm

Go with Mtn Hardware. I've had a synthetic belay parka (I think it's called the Belayman or something like that) for a few years and it's been the best jacket I've ever owned.
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Re: Belay Parka - MH mountain guide vs Columbia Heatzone 100

Postby staringcontest » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:46 am

My friend owns that MHW jacket. The amount of loft it has is a joke, it weighs over 2.5 lbs, and the toggles that are supposed to allow you to cinch the waist down are useless. For $400 you have much better options. Synthetics are no less warm than down. In fact, they are much warmer than down when you get them wet. I would probably get the OR perch parka if I were in the market.
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