Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Posted: 6/11/2018 7:46:44 PM EDT
So, I'm looking to upgrade my backpacking insulation layer, and due to the humidity and rain conditions this spring back home, I'm looking into synthetic puff jackets. I acknowledge this is a pretty niche item for most and the higher end Puffs are pretty expensive to save a few ounces...which is a big consideration. Criteria are performance, weight, compression, and price.

The top two I'm looking at are the new Patagonia Micro Puff jacket with their new "PlumaFill" insulation and Enlightened Equipment's Torrid APEX with 2.0 Climashield insulation fill.

From what I can see, Patagonia's insulation provides slightly better performance and better compression, but almost twice the price. The Torrid APEX jacket is slightly lighter (about an ounce for the same size/no hood). I do like the fact that I can get the APEX in Coyote and other custom colors and from what I read, it's cut slightly larger for layering. I know that can be an issue as you want a tighter fit for this type of puff-insulation layer, but I have a slightly larger chest and some of the "slim fitting" jackets don't work so well.

So, anybody have experience with either the Micro Puff or Enlightened Equipment's Torrid APEX puff-insulation layers?

ROCK6
Link Posted: 6/11/2018 8:26:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/11/2018 8:29:07 PM EDT by Alaskagrown]
I know it's not one of the two you listed but my next puffy will be the Kryptek Lykos II. It uses 3m featherless down.

I had a now discontinued kuiu spindrift however the insulation didn't last and and it easily got holes from normal wear. I have actually been much happier with my $30 Costco down puffy.
Link Posted: 6/12/2018 3:35:17 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Alaskagrown:
I know it's not one of the two you listed but my next puffy will be the Kryptek Lykos II. It uses 3m featherless down.

I had a now discontinued kuiu spindrift however the insulation didn't last and and it easily got holes from normal wear. I have actually been much happier with my $30 Costco down puffy.
View Quote
Wow, great pricing on that Lykos; what is the weight on that? It didn't list it on the website...just curious, but it's a great deal right now.

ROCK6
Link Posted: 6/12/2018 2:17:25 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ROCK6:

Wow, great pricing on that Lykos; what is the weight on that? It didn't list it on the website...just curious, but it's a great deal right now.

ROCK6
View Quote
I'm not sure on the weight I sent a message to Kryptek to ask, when i hear back i will post it here.

Before Butch Whiting their CEO moved to Idaho he lived in Fairbanks. It was back when Kryptek was only available at Cabelas and Alaska didnt have one to shop at I messaged them to see if there was anywhere in Alaska to check their stuff out. Long story short I wound up in Butch's living room drinking beer and checking out their gear, talking hunting, Kryptek's origins, future stuff and the military trials they were going through. Really cool guy and company.
Link Posted: 6/17/2018 3:20:12 AM EDT
I've heard nothing but good things about the EE Torrid from other UL backpackers.
Link Posted: 6/17/2018 7:46:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/17/2018 7:49:00 AM EDT by ROCK6]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MrVegas:
I've heard nothing but good things about the EE Torrid from other UL backpackers.
View Quote
Same here, which is why I've been looking into it. It's really for early spring trips and some fall trips where temps fluctuate more and there's more precipitation. I would normally consider down (even treated dri-down), but last year we got pretty soaked during the day and the temps dropped with more rain at night and nothing dried out. DWR coatings help, but if I'm outside my hammock longer than needed to take a leak, I was getting pretty wet. I could make down work, but the EE Torrid is cheaper and would provide better insurance if the next trip gets as wet during those time periods. I do have a rain jacket (OR Helium II), but I'm trying out the Packa pack-cover/rain jacket...it's not something I want to throw on for work around camp, but I will if needed.

ROCK6
Link Posted: 6/17/2018 7:58:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/17/2018 7:59:02 AM EDT by NotIssued]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ROCK6:

Wow, great pricing on that Lykos; what is the weight on that? It didn't list it on the website...just curious, but it's a great deal right now.

ROCK6
View Quote
I have one in EE currently if size fits. Save a few bucks
Link Posted: 6/17/2018 11:20:55 AM EDT
Since i didnt answer your quesrion previously. I would go with the EE Torrid as well. I like that EE allows you to customize what you want and like supporting the cottage mfgrs when possible..
Link Posted: 6/17/2018 11:32:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/17/2018 11:38:46 AM EDT by telemarker]
Im not familiar with the other brand but I personally own both of these

Patagonia
Outdoor Research

Of the two I wear the Outdoor Research one the most. I go with the Patagonia one for a little more insulation. Both are designed as a layering piece to go under a hard shell which I have used both for with great results. If you get on the companys mailing list you will receive codes for as much as 50% off. That's how I got the Patagonia jacket.
Link Posted: 6/17/2018 2:51:20 PM EDT
Have you considered a synthetic vest ( or vests in general ) ?
I think my next backpacking puffy layer will be synthetic and sleeveless.

for me my hoodless Mountain Hardware Nitrous puff has become 1 of my most carried, least used
pieces of gear. It's great, for me (again), in that little window after I've cooled down and settled into camp
and before I'm in the sack. It's also nice in the AM when I'm 1st up and still stumbling around but not actually doing anything. It would have to be very cold for me to hike in it.

Any other time it seems too warm, too delicate, too constricting, too sensitive to moisture, not breathable
enough, ...

For me (again again) a hooded microgrid fleece is my always carried, most used piece of gear. It goes as soon as I'm cleaned up at camp, I'll sleep in it if I'm cheating quilt/pad ratings or put it on when I first get up. It works for AM chores and if I'm still cold I can hike out wearing it. Pull it off when things warm up.

It's durable, stretchable, comfortable, unaffected by moisture and breathable.

I size my rain jacket so it will functionally fit over my fleece and I keep thinking adding a synthetic vest to the mix would make sense. Under the fleece for maximum warmth, add the rain jacket for a shell, vest and jacket
for other temps, just the vest if you're shooting a music video...
Link Posted: 6/17/2018 5:07:16 PM EDT
As far as fleece is concerned, I'll be picking up a Melly in Leadville when I get there on my CT thru in a few weeks. Might be sending my REI Revelcloud Hoodie home but I'll make that call when I get there.
Link Posted: 6/17/2018 5:33:32 PM EDT
IDK if it will fit your bill, but if I was looking for something lightweight and packable I'd get this action!



52 bucks. https://perseverancesurvival.com/bags
Link Posted: 6/17/2018 5:54:42 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MrVegas:
As far as fleece is concerned, I'll be picking up a Melly in Leadville when I get there on my CT thru in a few weeks. Might be sending my REI Revelcloud Hoodie home but I'll make that call when I get there.
View Quote
When you get there just say " Lint sent me , ' ( hella melly ) ' whisper breath "

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 6/17/2018 9:06:31 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By no_1:

When you get there just say " Lint sent me , ' ( hella melly ) ' whisper breath "

https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/310425/hella_melli-578968.JPG
View Quote
Say all of that? I'll do it.
Link Posted: 6/17/2018 9:42:41 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By no_1:
Have you considered a synthetic vest ( or vests in general ) ?
I think my next backpacking puffy layer will be synthetic and sleeveless.

for me my hoodless Mountain Hardware Nitrous puff has become 1 of my most carried, least used
pieces of gear. It's great, for me (again), in that little window after I've cooled down and settled into camp
and before I'm in the sack. It's also nice in the AM when I'm 1st up and still stumbling around but not actually doing anything. It would have to be very cold for me to hike in it.

Any other time it seems too warm, too delicate, too constricting, too sensitive to moisture, not breathable
enough, ...

For me (again again) a hooded microgrid fleece is my always carried, most used piece of gear. It goes as soon as I'm cleaned up at camp, I'll sleep in it if I'm cheating quilt/pad ratings or put it on when I first get up. It works for AM chores and if I'm still cold I can hike out wearing it. Pull it off when things warm up.

It's durable, stretchable, comfortable, unaffected by moisture and breathable.

I size my rain jacket so it will functionally fit over my fleece and I keep thinking adding a synthetic vest to the mix would make sense. Under the fleece for maximum warmth, add the rain jacket for a shell, vest and jacket
for other temps, just the vest if you're shooting a music video...
View Quote
Good suggestions all. One of my conundrums is to keep weight down for such a layer as it's not worn when on the trail, or if it is, it's just slipped on during a break when you cool down. This is one of my challenges as I would like to keep it at or under 8oz. A vest is a great suggestion. I have the Arc'Teryx Cerium SL Vest, which I pack during the summer months just in case temps dip down to where it's uncomfortable in just a T-shirt...it weighs 4.2oz and works quite well for what it is. It is down, so I have to watch it with the higher humidity, avoid perspiration build up, or keep it covered up if raining.

One reason I'm preferring sleeves for the two seasonal changes in weather is to augment my sleeping attire. I would also like to be able to wear it to up my quilt rating if temps drop uncomfortably low as well. Now for colder temps where you wear your insulation layers when moving, I love Melanzana grid fleece, and it's more durable to wear under a pack. Lots of good suggestions, thanks. I'm think I'm going to spring for the EE Torrid and give it a shot while home over Christmas and later in the spring when I return for a backpacking trip with the wife...

ROCK6
Link Posted: 6/20/2018 10:15:50 PM EDT
The Northface Thermoball jackets are also worth looking into. They can be had for $110-$180 depending on size/color/sales. They compress into a pocket and are warm enough for me to just sit around down to around 40 (and, if moving, much lower), and I tend to be cold.

They are also a more "generous" cut. I'm a 42" shoulder / 40" chest / 38" waist, and I found the Thermoball medium fit me better than anything from Arc'teryx (sp?), Patagonia, or the REI store brands.

I ended up having to buy a hot pink one for my fiancee.
Link Posted: 6/21/2018 9:06:30 PM EDT
Everything I've read is that Primaloft Gold is the best synthetic insulation.
Link Posted: 6/21/2018 9:21:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/21/2018 9:22:41 PM EDT by SWODaddy]
Can't complete with the EE jacket on weight, but this is a good buy if you like earth tone colors...

https://www.steepandcheap.com/the-north-face-stretch-thermoball-insulated-jacket-mens?skid=TNF02JT-ASPGRE-XXL&ti=UExQIENhdDpNZW4ncyBTeW50aGV0aWMgSW5zdWxhdGlvb­iBKYWNrZXRzOjE6NzpzYWNDYXQxMTEwMDE2

Steep and Cheap is Backcountry.com's clearance website, FYI.
Link Posted: 7/4/2018 1:54:25 AM EDT
The closest thing I have to what your looking for is from LLBean: PrimaLoft Packaway Vest

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/119194?page=primaloft-packaway-vest&bc=&feat=primaloft%20vest-SR0&csp=a

Packable rain gear is: Cabela's Men's Space Rain™ Full-Zip Jacket with 4MOST DRY-PLUS®

https://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-Mens-Space-Rain-Full-Zip-Jacket-with-MOST-DRY-PLUS/1618370.uts?slotId=1

My light weight mostly water proof wind breaker is a packable jacket form LLBean but I am not sure if they still make it...

If you look under: Men's Windbreakers on LLBean it might give you some other options.

9 times out of 10 I prefer a vest for that type of outer layer but I don't do any light weight distance hiking like you do. Most of what I do includes a "base camp" even if said base camp is 10 miles in, we still ruck the weight in... Then cover 10~20 miles further from there...

Attachment Attached File


No ROCK6 thread is complete without a few pictures -FYI...
Link Posted: 7/4/2018 11:11:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/4/2018 11:12:46 PM EDT by ROCK6]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By thederrick106:
9 times out of 10 I prefer a vest for that type of outer layer but I don't do any light weight distance hiking like you do. Most of what I do includes a "base camp" even if said base camp is 10 miles in, we still ruck the weight in... Then cover 10~20 miles further from there...
View Quote
Yeah, much depends on the location (especially elevation), season, and activity. For colder weather backpacking (very relative in the Southeast of course), I have a minimalist Arc'Teryx vest that is worn when backpacking as it allows me to stay just warm enough to no over heat, but gives me a lot more mobility of my arms, even when layered.

I'm ditching my rain jacket completely and going with just "the Packa". If was doing more stuff without my pack (scouting, day-hikes from the base-camp, etc.), I would keep my rain jacket. However, the Packa saves weight and adds a lot of versatility for me. I put it on as a pack rain-cover, where it like a poncho/jacket when hiking when it's raining (and I can don/doff it without removing my pack...a great feature when time counts), and you can wear it as a stand-along jacket, but it looks like it was designed for a hunchback

You can never avoid hiking in the rain, but we do try to avoid the heavy down-pours by sitting them out, and fortunately, during most of our trips, the thundershowers are usually later in the afternoon after we get the hammock rain flies up.

Everything is a compromise when backpacking, and the lighter your pack goes, the more planning and risk assessment is needed. I figure with even a modest DWR finish on a mid-layer, I can wear it around camp to keep the body core protected and not worry about it getting soaked and it seems the synthetic insulated versions dry faster than even dri-down. I rarely if every wear a mid-layer on the trail. I have on occasion in cold weather, pull out a puffy and put in on to avoid cooling off too fast. I have to find the balance of performance and light-weight as my mid-layer is going to be carried more than used. Again, a compromise...

Great picture BTW!

ROCK6
Link Posted: 7/23/2018 12:06:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/23/2018 12:08:03 AM EDT by Bourbonator]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By telemarker:
Im not familiar with the other brand but I personally own both of these

Patagonia
Outdoor Research

Of the two I wear the Outdoor Research one the most. I go with the Patagonia one for a little more insulation. Both are designed as a layering piece to go under a hard shell which I have used both for with great results. If you get on the companys mailing list you will receive codes for as much as 50% off. That's how I got the Patagonia jacket.
View Quote
I'm a huge supporter of the nano air. It fills a lot of roles well. OP, it might be easier if you explained the conditions you'll be encountering. Do you need insulation for 30° days or 0° days?

When I'm on the move in the winter, the nano air is too warm unless it's considerably windy, or in the low 20s to teens, otherwise, I'll probably just be wearing a light synthetic base and r1 hoody, and pull the nano air out during breaks. It's not windproof, btw.

ETA: you can find nano air hooded jackets for ~$80 if you look hard enough.
Link Posted: 7/23/2018 6:31:08 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bourbonator:

I'm a huge supporter of the nano air. It fills a lot of roles well. OP, it might be easier if you explained the conditions you'll be encountering. Do you need insulation for 30° days or 0° days?

When I'm on the move in the winter, the nano air is too warm unless it's considerably windy, or in the low 20s to teens, otherwise, I'll probably just be wearing a light synthetic base and r1 hoody, and pull the nano air out during breaks. It's not windproof, btw.

ETA: you can find nano air hooded jackets for ~$80 if you look hard enough.
View Quote
Yeah, conditions aren't typically below freezing, so this wouldn't be something to wear when on the move (unless just for the few couple miles to get warmed up). During the spring and fall, temps can dip close to freezing, but the killer is often the humidity and precipitation. My temperature range is likely 35-75+degrees. Heck, even if it's 65-70-degrees, wet, in the shade, and with a breeze...your body can actually start to shiver. I would likely be carrying it more than wearing it, which is why weight is a big consideration. I've gone back and forth with high-end synthetics vice down. I love down and have a down vest and heavier puff/hooded jacket, but I've had some pretty wet springs where getting wet is unavoidable...I mean, your hiking clothing gets wet and stays wet for hours (I have to change socks repeatedly). If we stop for a lunch break, my use would be to take off the wet T-shirt and put this on to keep warm. Main uses would be in the morning and evening, before we hit the trail and after we get a camp setup for the night.

ROCK6
Link Posted: 7/26/2018 1:01:28 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Alaskagrown:
I know it's not one of the two you listed but my next puffy will be the Kryptek Lykos II. It uses 3m featherless down.

I had a now discontinued kuiu spindrift however the insulation didn't last and and it easily got holes from normal wear. I have actually been much happier with my $30 Costco down puffy.
View Quote
I was in the same boat, with a duck down rig. Saw your post here and ordered one of these Lykos. Took it on a trip two weeks ago to Wyoming, just in case it got cold in the mountains. We saw 90+ days, as luck would have it. :) Looking forward to trying it this fall. Nicely made jacket.
Link Posted: 7/26/2018 3:00:54 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Flysc:

I was in the same boat, with a duck down rig. Saw your post here and ordered one of these Lykos. Took it on a trip two weeks ago to Wyoming, just in case it got cold in the mountains. We saw 90+ days, as luck would have it. :) Looking forward to trying it this fall. Nicely made jacket.
View Quote
Can you weigh it for me and tell me what size it is.
Link Posted: 8/10/2018 6:06:53 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Alaskagrown:
Can you weigh it for me and tell me what size it is.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Alaskagrown:
Originally Posted By Flysc:

I was in the same boat, with a duck down rig. Saw your post here and ordered one of these Lykos. Took it on a trip two weeks ago to Wyoming, just in case it got cold in the mountains. We saw 90+ days, as luck would have it. :) Looking forward to trying it this fall. Nicely made jacket.
Can you weigh it for me and tell me what size it is.
Sorry, but I don't have a scale that could weight light weight items. Just by feel, it is just a tad heavier than the 2x duck down jacket it has replaced. The weight difference is not that muc of a difference. This Lykos jacket does not compress quite as small as the down one, but it also has a built in hood. If the down one compressed to, say, 100%, the Lykos would compress too 125%. If that makes sense.
Link Posted: 8/23/2018 2:44:46 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ROCK6:
Yeah, conditions aren't typically below freezing, so this wouldn't be something to wear when on the move (unless just for the few couple miles to get warmed up). During the spring and fall, temps can dip close to freezing, but the killer is often the humidity and precipitation. My temperature range is likely 35-75+degrees. Heck, even if it's 65-70-degrees, wet, in the shade, and with a breeze...your body can actually start to shiver. I would likely be carrying it more than wearing it, which is why weight is a big consideration. I've gone back and forth with high-end synthetics vice down. I love down and have a down vest and heavier puff/hooded jacket, but I've had some pretty wet springs where getting wet is unavoidable...I mean, your hiking clothing gets wet and stays wet for hours (I have to change socks repeatedly). If we stop for a lunch break, my use would be to take off the wet T-shirt and put this on to keep warm. Main uses would be in the morning and evening, before we hit the trail and after we get a camp setup for the night.

ROCK6
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ROCK6:
Originally Posted By Bourbonator:

I'm a huge supporter of the nano air. It fills a lot of roles well. OP, it might be easier if you explained the conditions you'll be encountering. Do you need insulation for 30° days or 0° days?

When I'm on the move in the winter, the nano air is too warm unless it's considerably windy, or in the low 20s to teens, otherwise, I'll probably just be wearing a light synthetic base and r1 hoody, and pull the nano air out during breaks. It's not windproof, btw.

ETA: you can find nano air hooded jackets for ~$80 if you look hard enough.
Yeah, conditions aren't typically below freezing, so this wouldn't be something to wear when on the move (unless just for the few couple miles to get warmed up). During the spring and fall, temps can dip close to freezing, but the killer is often the humidity and precipitation. My temperature range is likely 35-75+degrees. Heck, even if it's 65-70-degrees, wet, in the shade, and with a breeze...your body can actually start to shiver. I would likely be carrying it more than wearing it, which is why weight is a big consideration. I've gone back and forth with high-end synthetics vice down. I love down and have a down vest and heavier puff/hooded jacket, but I've had some pretty wet springs where getting wet is unavoidable...I mean, your hiking clothing gets wet and stays wet for hours (I have to change socks repeatedly). If we stop for a lunch break, my use would be to take off the wet T-shirt and put this on to keep warm. Main uses would be in the morning and evening, before we hit the trail and after we get a camp setup for the night.

ROCK6
@ROCK6

Honestly, something like the nano air seems ideal for what you describe. Pros being it packs easily, it's light enough, the material is surprisingly durable, it breathes, and dries quickly. Cons are that it's not a down jacket, and probably won't be as warm as one of equal weight. It's not wind proof. Paired with some smart layers, and you'll be comfortable into very cool temps.

As for the general wetness, I'm not sure what your experience with treated down is, but I've had good luck with it in the PNW. Regarding socks - I fully expect my socks to be drenched, regardless of where I am, what I'm doing, or what the weather's like. Quality wool socks can be wet and still keep you warm. Thinner socks aren't necessarily better because they allow your sweat to pool in your boots as opposed to staying in your socks - your boots will dry faster with thicker socks, in my experience.

You may consider looking at alternative materials or layering systems if you're changing shirts on a regular basis. I also run very warm and sweat a ton, so even if it's very cold, like in the teens, I may only be wearing a long sleeve baselayer. I'll open my fly to let some air in, too. It helps, and no one's going to care on the trail.
Link Posted: 8/24/2018 12:13:39 AM EDT
I very much love my nano air and the archteryx atom hoodie I have. One of those are what I use unless it's cold enough to use the heavier mountain hardwear stretchdown I have.
Link Posted: 8/24/2018 5:24:13 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bourbonator:

@ROCK6

Honestly, something like the nano air seems ideal for what you describe. Pros being it packs easily, it's light enough, the material is surprisingly durable, it breathes, and dries quickly. Cons are that it's not a down jacket, and probably won't be as warm as one of equal weight. It's not wind proof. Paired with some smart layers, and you'll be comfortable into very cool temps.

As for the general wetness, I'm not sure what your experience with treated down is, but I've had good luck with it in the PNW. Regarding socks - I fully expect my socks to be drenched, regardless of where I am, what I'm doing, or what the weather's like. Quality wool socks can be wet and still keep you warm. Thinner socks aren't necessarily better because they allow your sweat to pool in your boots as opposed to staying in your socks - your boots will dry faster with thicker socks, in my experience.

You may consider looking at alternative materials or layering systems if you're changing shirts on a regular basis. I also run very warm and sweat a ton, so even if it's very cold, like in the teens, I may only be wearing a long sleeve baselayer. I'll open my fly to let some air in, too. It helps, and no one's going to care on the trail.
View Quote
The Nano was one of the top contenders. That's what I was basically looking for. I do have some treated down stuff and tested the "clumping" of one of my quilts by soaking it and seeing how long it took to dry out. It took some effort to soak through the DWR shell and actually get the down wet. I was surprised that it didn't clump up and I could wring out much of the water. A few hours in the breezy sun and it was back to useable. Now, I doubt it would retain its insulation properties when wet, but I avoid getting my down (or any sleeping gear) wet. I've gone back and forth, but looking for a synthetic puff (will be using the Apex Climashield) since some of the areas we hike can get pretty wet if worn when actually hiking or extended breaks.

If I'm moving, I can dry much of my clothing from the inside out as long as the humidity isn't too excessive or we're hiking in a downpour. Interesting take on the wool socks...and totally agree.

ROCK6
Top Top