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cyborg421

Down Jackets

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Hi All,

I was thinking of getting a down jacket to try to reduce the "Michelin Man" effect when observing.

There seem so many out there and I cannot tell the difference between 60g and 600 fill.

Can any let me know if they are worthwhile and what I should be looking for?

Thanks

Simon

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Yes definitely worth while, I use two depending on the conditions, a down filled smock, which is a must in winter and a down filled vest for three season use. Lots of good makes both of mine happen to be RAB.

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And another RAB fan. They are made for mountaineers - so they just work! And if you are climbing up a mountain - you get hot and sweaty on a stage - but when you stop and do a belay - you get real cold real quick. So you need a jacket that is small, compact and light weight that you can take out of your pack and keep warm in. My RAB is as warm as toast - yet it packs down to a truly tiny size. Weighs next to nothing. And best of all - it's waterproof!

They are not cheap - but worth every penny. And then some.

Cheers

Ian

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I have a couple of RAB bits and I like them.

What I didn't like was the zipper on the "double-pile" fleece jacket which is a nice warm jacket but the wind-proof "flaps" on the zip would get stuck in the zipper. I eventually had to cut them off as they got trapped with the zipper up around my neck, let me tell you that I was quite miffed at the time :mad:

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I love mine :smile: Cotswold outdoor have got some good deals on at the moment.

Helen

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I'm a great fan of down also. My goose down sleeping bag is one of the best things i've bought.  I got a berghaus akka down jacket from cotswold outdoor two years ago and see the have some in amazon for £85 which is a great deal.

Berghaus Mens Akka Down Padded Down Jacket: Berghaus: Amazon.co.uk: Sports & Outdoors

andrew

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I use a peak performance down jacket and when its proper cold ski trousers as well, you have to stay warm to enjoy . Any quality manufacturer will do , you will not regret it.

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I bought a North Face down jacket in a sale years ago and it's been served well for all nights sessions when it's well below zero (along with my thick leather boots and thick socks).

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I'm guessing i'm the only one in a khaki german army parka with the fleece lining

Keeps you exceedingly warm and plenty of pockets for gloves / hats / hard warmers and the other stuff you need to survive the cold

Yeah i know its not fashionalbe, but its warm even if it is heavy

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I'm guessing i'm the only one in a khaki german army parka with the fleece lining

Keeps you exceedingly warm and plenty of pockets for gloves / hats / hard warmers and the other stuff you need to survive the cold

Yeah i know its not fashionalbe, but its warm even if it is heavy

no one sees you in the dark !

andrew

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Being up here in Northern Vermont, USA - you might assume, correctly, that we'd know a few things about staying warm outdoors in Winter. And there are many different venues that supply down, and other types of fill, outerwear. Down-Parkas that are right - at - home here and Northern Alaska too.

My personal favorite place to buy from is a larger chain called Cabelas:

http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/browse/mens-down-insulated-outerwear/_/N-1102394/Ns-CATEGORY_SEQ_104173380?WTz_l=Unknown%3Bcat105548580

Top-end stuff. Lower than average prices. The commonest place one hears trumpeted by wanna-be outdoors-men is L.L. Beans. Twice-the-price & half-the-quality of Cabelas in my not-so-humble opinion.

Dress In Layers,

Dave

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I am a Rab fan but, I am talking 2005 now, I bought a Rab medium weight down duvet and liked it alot, I still have it. The winters here are much colder than the UK so I thought to get my wife one the following year. I made a special trip to Leeds from Hull by train to get one only to find the shop had stopped selling the brand due to poor quality of Chinese made jackets. They had opened up a a factory over there and all sorts of  things were wrong, sleeves different lengths was one fault. I hope they sorted things out and by reading the posts it seems the case.

Alan

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Padded, waterproof overall, with lots of pockets, padded knees, velcro ankles and cuffs:

http://www.dickiesworkwear.com/en/workwear/product/waterproof-padded-coverall

No more cold middle when bending over. No need for layers as it's so warm, i wear t shirt and shorts in mine. Order it one size bigger than you think you need.

James

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I'm a hillwalker and climber and know a bit about down.

A higher fill power means smaller down 'particles' are used.  They can't really be classed as feathers as they are too small.

Best way to think of it is like this.  Imagine an empty bucket.  You then fill it with bricks.  There will be large air spaces around and in between the bricks.  So the bricks don't really fill the bucket and the large air spaces could be known as 'cold spots'.

Then you do the same again, but with stones.  The air spaces between the stones have reduced quite a lot.  So less cold spots.

Then you do it again, but with sand.  The sand fills every cavity and there are no cold spots.

It's the same with down.  The higher the fill power, the smaller the down, it will be of a higher quality and will loft more easily and fill up all those cold spaces more efficiently.  It will also compress down to the size of a coke can.

Low fill powers will use a combination of both complete feathers and also down, so less warm.  The high fill powers use only small, quality down.  This is the reason for high fill powers being expensive.  It takes a lot of time and effort to gather enough small quality down and then put it into a jacket.  It takes much less time to stuff a jacket with complete feathers.

Yours Steve

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Perhaps one of the best UK companies for down filled clothing and sleeping bags currently is PHD.  

Sign up to their on-line mail and take advantage of periodic offers / sales. One of my sleeping bags has been made by this company, which is used for backpacking in Scotland, great piece of kit.

Edit try www.phdesigns.co.uk

Edited by scarp15

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Perhaps one of the best UK companies for down filled clothing and sleeping bags currently is PHD.  

www.phddesigns.co.uk

Sign up to their on-line mail and take advantage of periodic offers / sales. One of my sleeping bags has been made by this company, which is used for backpacking in Scotland, great piece of kit.

The link is going through to a Chartered Architectural Service for me...?

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No more cold middle when bending over. 

Thats a good point - I wear some good thermals and a McMurdo parka and an generally snug as a bug until I start to move around and the heat starts to escape from around my waist etc...

I must have a look at these!

James

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The link is going through to a Chartered Architectural Service for me...?

Ah ha good point, too many d characters in web address amended on post.

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Another cheaper solution for the cold middle is a onsie. Either wear a small snug one over your undies and layer up on too of that, or get a massive one and put it on as the last layer. My monkey onsie has been relegated now i have my astro boiler suit.

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Just be aware, these jackets are designed for peak performance in pretty extreme climate. Hence the EXTREME price tag.

Take a look at Karrimore products in Sports Direct. They do an excellent Down Smock i.e. With hood called the KS-750+ Elite. I have used mine Glacier Crossing on the Rocky Mts and its superb. The big plus is it costs only have as much as North Face/Rab etc

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I'm not a big fan of down jackets, they're quite pricy, very bulky and really designed for the sort of extreme conditions in which most of us would be indoors reading about astronomy rather than outside. I've used down jackets but I find they only really come into their own when you get down to -20° / -25°. For observing I prefer layering with thinner layers the most important of which is a merino wool base layer. Very light weight so you don't end up waddling around the place like the michelin man.

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