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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-10-2020, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Default Warm layer + Big 3 gear recommendation

The zipper on my trusted fleece is shot beyond repair. Should I replace with another fleece or go for one of those down "puffies" (never worn one before)?

Need a warm layer good enough for a May / September morning in the Rockies with a long-sleeve midlayer and light base, preferably as low weight as possible. And durable. Any recommendations on make / model?

Last edited by dpdp; 10-17-2020 at 06:02 PM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-10-2020, 12:43 PM
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I carry a Paradox light down jacket from Costco. I have so far only used it in camp. A thick merino blend midlayer with full zip is more versatile on the trail. I would be hot hiking in down in shoulder season (or even in winter).

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-10-2020, 10:25 PM
CEB
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I have a Ghost Whisperer that I got super cheap but I also have the previously mentioned Paradox jacket for home use and it really is awesome. I also have some fleeces that I just never seem to carry but thatís because I usually hike in drier climes. Lastly, I have a really nice Sierra Designs synthetic but I seem to always carry the lighter Ghost Whisperer.

I think it comes down to your weight tolerance and where the few extra ounces/dollars are worth it. For example, I recently bought a really nice Arcteryx Rain Jacket but Iíve yet to actually take it on the trail as I keep being stupid and packing my Frogg Toggs that weighs hardly anything. In nastier weather Iíll change that mindset pretty quick. Strangely enough, on longer hikes Iíll carry my anti-ultralight mentality Helinox Zero Chair (1 lb) because I like using it. Tradeoffs

Also- I never hike in my Down Jacket- camp use only. I pretty much live in my Patagonia Houdini wind jacket for most conditions

Last edited by CEB; 09-10-2020 at 10:28 PM.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2020, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses! Good to hear the low cost costco one is probably good enough.

Re temp - with my old fleece it was also mostly for after arriving in camp or before heading out in the morning, but I never did much shoulder season hiking or camping.

Re weight - I haven't chosen gear for the weight until now, but I would like to build up to longer trips (4 days and up) and more miles, so when I have to replace something anyway it makes sense to try to find lighter options.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2020, 11:52 AM
CEB
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FYI- my (small size) Ghost Whisperer weighs 6oz and my Paradox weighs 11. My paradox has a hood though. I donít think you can lose by buying the Costco jacket because itís a really good wear anywhere jacket, you just might find itís not as light/warm/responsibly sourced? as some of the more expensive ones. If they have the Eddie Bauer ones again, I think they might be higher down and the same weight/lighter.

I agree with replacing older items with lighter (albeit often more expensive) items. While itís easy to think about saving money if you end up buying items a few times to get to the lighter weight version eventually it would just have made sense to start with the more expensive item in the first place. Although I have spares to lend now So long as you know ahead of time what youíre thinking of buying you can always watch for sales, used items, etc. Iíve done fairly well with some of that.

For Canada hiking I can get my baseweight down to ~15 but Iím having a tough time getting much below that. With my comfort items (chair, better jackets, warmer sleeping bag) Iím usually looking at 17lbs. Darn electronics and Bear Spray/canister make up a lot of weight. Fortunately I like Ichiban and Iíve stopped carrying too much food and carry only what water is reasonable, so I can keep things around 20-23 pds total for a long weekend hike.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-13-2020, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again! I will invest in the lighter weight one - will keep an eye out for sales.
15lbs base weight seems good, I'm definitely over that. I still overpack a little on clothes and more on food, but I'm working on it. I'd guess my 4-5 day weight is around 40lbs but I've never really measured. Whatever it is, will be good to get it down so I'll have an easier time on longer trips.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-13-2020, 12:04 PM
CEB
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Itís hard to get your weight down until you start looking at everything in your bag as each weighing something so that you can decide about what youíre willing to go without (the easiest and cheapest way to reduce weight) or where itís worth spending money on buying something that is lighter. Alot of backpackers buy a little scale and use Lighterpack.com . Itís a bit of work getting everything in the first time, but definitely eye opening. For example, This is my Rockwall list (that, due to life I didnít get to do again this year) https://lighterpack.com/r/71c9b6 I added a couple of things to it to get a sense of how I even weight out options. I have 2 REI bags so, depending on weather/time on trail, I sometimes take my lighter one which has lost down/loft over time so isnít as warm as my heavier one (it also packs a lot smaller- another consideration in getting pack weight down). I also have 2 tents, one that Iíve yet to use. I did an estimate on how much it might cost if I could get my weight down even more and those last few pounds are the expensive ones as theyíre the main items. It was ~$1000/pd so not going to happen. Also, ultralight items are usually more fragile so you have to think about how that works for you. My GhostW is treated with care and only used for backpacking

Patagonia.ca has the Micropuff (synthetic option) on sale right now for half price $157 hereís a review that Iíd trust https://thebigoutside.com/review-pat...ro-puff-hoody/

one more thing to my lengthy post: body weight matter too, if thereís any weight to lose than that counts for a lot as well- youíre still dragging it all up the mountain.
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Last edited by CEB; 09-13-2020 at 12:09 PM.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2020, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the detailed reply @CEB. Most of my gear is from the setup I settled on when I first started camping. I think I got lucky in that what I started out with just worked really well for me, so I've been afraid to change it, but honestly it's pretty heavy and I'll need to change to be able to do longer or more solo trips. This will have to happen over time because it's pretty expensive.

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Itís hard to get your weight down until you start looking at everything in your bag as each weighing something so that you can decide about what youíre willing to go without (the easiest and cheapest way to reduce weight) or where itís worth spending money on buying something that is lighter. Alot of backpackers buy a little scale and use Lighterpack.com . Itís a bit of work getting everything in the first time, but definitely eye opening.
I've started this for the smaller items, need to find one of those hanging luggage scales to weigh the bigger ones.

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It was ~$1000/pd so not going to happen.
This is an interesting way to look at it.

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Also, ultralight items are usually more fragile so you have to think about how that works for you.
This is one of my main fears - spending a lot of money and then having it tear quickly.


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one more thing to my lengthy post: body weight matter too, if thereís any weight to lose than that counts for a lot as well- youíre still dragging it all up the mountain.
For some reason this only dawned on me a few months ago - I'm looking at max 5lbs, but it seems like the cheapest way to shed that weight . I plan to try to drop to that before my next long hike.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2020, 10:22 PM
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For some reason this only dawned on me a few months ago - I'm looking at max 5lbs, but it seems like the cheapest way to shed that weight . I plan to try to drop to that before my next long hike.
Yes, and to qualify- your hike is not the time to plan to lose the weight, thatís a recipe for exhaustion. Itís weird how I hear peope pre-planning it sometimes.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2020, 01:26 AM
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Synthetic puffies such as the Atom LT are very versatile. Probably the best idea is a micro fleece like the R1 from Patagonia and a lightweight wind jacket such as the Arcteryx Squamish hoody.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2020, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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@russellcoffin thanks for the tips! I like the two layer option - light fleece with light jacket over it. I've been using my rain jacket for this, is there a big difference when using a wind jacket?

@CEB My weight definitely fluctuates on trail, but it's not something I plan on. I finally found our luggage scale and weighed some of my gear - my "big 4" come in at almost 15 lbs (!) so there's definitely a lot of space for improvement with new gear. Will open another thread on that...
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 09-17-2020, 04:58 PM
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@russellcoffin thanks for the tips! I like the two layer option - light fleece with light jacket over it. I've been using my rain jacket for this, is there a big difference when using a wind jacket?
The biggest difference is that the wind jacket will be highly breathable (20 cfm plus) while the rain jacket will be clammy once active. Rain jacket does the job when sitting at camp. A wind jacket should be max 150 grams, and you can find cheap ones for <100 grams. The Patagonia Houdini and Arcteryx Squamish are on the heavier and pricier side. Another good one is the Kor Preshell by Mountain Hardwear. If you don't care about looks or long term durability, you can find some very light biking ones that are practically see through on sites like AliExpress.

Personally, I find this is the best solution for shoulder season hiking. Summer hiking the best solution is a sub 300 gram puffy when camping and no fleece. You shouldn't need an extra layer for hiking besides maybe starting with a rain jacket in the early mornings. It also depends how much you care about weight savings!
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 09-17-2020, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
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For some reason this only dawned on me a few months ago - I'm looking at max 5lbs, but it seems like the cheapest way to shed that weight . I plan to try to drop to that before my next long hike.
There's a trade-off here. Depending entirely on your body composition, you'll want to be careful whether you lose fat or muscle (likely a combo of both) in those 5 lbs. Muscle stores the energy our body uses for activities. If you lose the weight close to a big hike, your energy levels may take a hit until your body gets used to its new composition.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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@russellcoffin thanks for the advice! I'll look for a lightweight puffy for summer and check out some cheap windjackets.

@ashi Good point. I didn't mean that I would try to lose it right before hiking, more like a goal over this winter...
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 01:21 PM
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An insulated vest might be an option as well, not as heavy as a jacket but still keeps you warm.
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