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Insulated jacket rec's for backpacking

Original Post
Karen Stasevich · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2018 · Points: 0

I freeze my butt off at night and I need an insulated jacket. I frequent alpine areas, want to be able to tolerate more cold and winter backpacking. It sounds like down is better if you want a jacket to last more than a few years (warmth loss due to compression is common in synthetics). I don't want something super heavy as I'll be carrying it all day, but I'm already sending back a Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie because the fabric is incredibly delicate and it tears at the slightest touch -- literally got a rip just hanging around town in Los Angeles, would hate to see what a mountain would do to it... so burlier fabric than that is an absolute must. Not interested in ultra-light backpacking, just gear I can rely on for years. Also needs a hood. Go!

Megin Olson · · SoCal · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 0

You might need something that has a higher loft / thicker down.  As in, the jacket you previously had maybe wasn't thick enough.  If you're cold at night you should be wearing several layers: base layer, fleece layer, down jacket, and a rain jacket.  Using the down jacket + rain jacket combined helps a lot, even if there is a slight wind.  Several people I know have also invested in down pants because they are sensitive to cold or they just find them super comfy, especially cold nights/mornings.

Down jackets are not that durable but it shouldn't be falling apart around town either.  Rab is a great brand for down jackets and so is Feathered Friends (more expensive).  

I've owned a Mammut down jacket w/ hood for almost 3 years and it has weathered well. I wish it was a bit thicker, though.

Neal C · · St. Louis, MO · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 0

I have an Outdoor Research Verismo down jacket (650 fill down) that I've put through the wringer for a year and it's performed and held up great - lightweight, warm, water resistant, packs well, layers well. As Megin mentioned, down jackets are not the most durable but they should hold up some. I'd recommend getting a solid down mid-layer such as this one and build it into your layering system for max versatility.

I believe there are some hybrid down-synthetic jackets made by Outdoor Research or TNF (Summit Series) that use some heavier-duty shell material that may be good for durability, however I have not owned one.

Good luck!

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