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3/5/2019 11:53 AM
 

Although this could have been added to the Equipage Level 1.5, 2 or 3...I thought it might be useful as a stand alone piece.

Around 2010, I gifted my North Face Expedition 900 Down (may have been 850) to my nephew. Too warm and too bulky. I stuck with my Arcteryx Atom LT and more recently, an Arcteryx WX (a bit heavier, DWR shell and no thermal side vents). I surmised I was done with down as I moved to central Canada (Eastern Ontario) and it is not overly cold.

I began thinking a down sweater may be a good, lightweight and packable option for hiking and camping. I only use my Arcteryx WX for work as it is a tactical (Coyote not MC but, with TRF velcro patches) midlayer and I didn't want to show that hand when out and about. I found a deal on an OR Transcendent Sweater. The current one is 650 fill and 13.1 oz. Mine.  Has been a nice piece, warm and light. Pretty happy with it.

At Christmas, I was sent a sale notice from Kuiu. I used to have quite a few of their pieces and was intrigued by their Superdown Ultra jacket. I know they have been working for years with the hydro down. The sale was 50 or 60% off on the solid coloured, hooded variant. So, I snagged one for $260 I believe it was. I was a little skeptical at first, 850 fill and only 8 oz. It seemed too good to be true.

Although not for extreme winter conditions, I can attest that at -22F with a shell over top, this thing is extemely warm and it has been awesome. It packs into the hand pocket if need, and takes up no more room than a 1L bottle. I have been super impressed with it. I have not used it in wet conditions but, like all down (even if it is treated like Kuiu's is) I would be hesitant to wear it as an outer in anything more than light snow. It is a great piece to add to your midlayer or warm piece when sitting still or for low impact activities. I used it skiing at -20F and it was great.

I may not have grabbed it at full price but, I am so happy with it, I thought I would let all of you know. If you are in need of a super lightweight, packable and extermely warm down jacket, keep your eye on their sales.

 
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3/5/2019 5:06 PM
 
I've been slowly and carefully experimenting with down. I don't place my faith in treated down, but I do place a lot of faith in the advancements made in shell fabrics and DWR treatment over the last decade. Right now the way I think about it is that I don't want down in a coat because it has a high likelihood of being exposed to precipitation or perspiration. But down in a sleeping bag where I have more control of the environment it's in might be another matter. I'll be interested to hear what you think after another couple of years with that jacket.

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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3/6/2019 7:15 AM
 
Evan - I fully agree with your concerns. I have not taken the plunge on a down bag either.

Like you, I would be loathe to consider the down jacket in anything but the driest conditions.

I won't have a chance to try it out in a hard way as I am off on a training stint to E.Europe and spring will be pretty set around here when I get back.
 
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3/6/2019 11:57 AM
 
I've been using a Black Diamond Cold Forge jacket this season. The Cold Forge uses a Primaloft Gold/Down blend for insulation so I tried it as a sort of way to dip my toe into down after sticking mostly to synthetic insulation for years. Baby steps.

It is supposed to be a best-of-both situation though I am not really sure it really works out like that. It is heavier and less compressible than straight down but it does stay warm even when wetted out a bit from the inside. It probably doesn't have a great warmth to weight ratio but the Primaloft Gold and Pertex with DWR gives me some peace of mind for nasty weather or high activity.

Black Diamond lists the insulation value when dry and when wet on the interior of the jacket though I have no way of testing their numbers.
 
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