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TheYoungOne
10-14-2010, 15:30
Which is better for hiking a 650 fill down vest or a 200 or 300 weight fleece vest

ChinMusic
10-14-2010, 15:35
If you plan on hiking in it - fleece
If you plan on camp use only - down

Even in winter I sweat while hiking. I try not to but will to some degree. Once down gets wet it is worthless.......been there, done that.

I only use my down clothing for camp. I prefer wool while hiking but fleece would be fine.

Deadeye
10-14-2010, 16:31
Down will give you a lot more insulation for the weight, but as noted, best kept for camp use only. I carry a fleece pullover and down vest. The vest gets 99% of its use as a pillow.

BrianLe
10-14-2010, 17:03
There's at least one other possibility, and that's a synthetic lofting (not down) insulated vest. It's what I use, a Montbell Thermawrap vest. It's almost never cold enough for me to be able to actually walk any distance in a Thermawrap jacket, but I have on occasion worn the vest while hiking (worked well in combination with a windshirt in the early part of the AT this year in Feb/Mar).

I agree that more criteria detail than "better for hiking" would be helpful.

SunnyWalker
10-14-2010, 18:08
Yea. You can spend your moolah on a good down vest and go to Kohls or Walmart or something for a synthetic vest to hike in.

Toolshed
10-14-2010, 18:15
you didn't mention what season, but in 3 season, I only carry fleece u usually 200 weight in the shoulder seasons and 100 weight in summer. In winter - Sub freezing temp, I will hike in long underwear top and keep a 200 wt fleece handy for stops, but wear a down sweater or down jacket at camp.
I strongly beleive 300 weight is overkill for camping. you can do much better with long underwear, 200 weight and a decent shell, or long undderwear and a down jacket, depending what part of the day you are in....

LIhikers
10-14-2010, 18:33
.....I strongly beleive 300 weight is overkill for camping.....

It all depends where and when you're camping. One winter in northern Minnesota a 300 weight fleece was my outermost layer of insulation while camping in temperatures of -25F. Come to think of it, it was my outer layer during the day too, but I took off a layer or two underneath it.

Toolshed
10-14-2010, 18:48
It all depends where and when you're camping. One winter in northern Minnesota a 300 weight fleece was my outermost layer of insulation while camping in temperatures of -25F. Come to think of it, it was my outer layer during the day too, but I took off a layer or two underneath it.
I spend a lot of time in the Adirondacks in winter - in your same temp ranges (though I find 2 nights at -25 is no longer "fun") and tried out a 300 weight back around 1994-1996 and decided to go to down hooded jacket - I thought it was much lighter and warmer (and more compact, which is important unless I am bringing my pulk). I picked up an EMS synth Primaloft jacket around 6 years ago. It is a few ounces heavier than down, but it packs up well and beats them both (down and fleece)hands down, except on cost!!!!:D

Mrs Baggins
10-14-2010, 19:38
Hey, thanks for bringing this up! I have an overnighter coming up this weekend and was wondering if I should bring along a fleece jacket - - I hadn't thought about the really nice fleece vest that I have! So now I'll take my Patagonia Down Sweater for the really cold late evenings and early mornings and my fleece vest to wear under it and then alone once I start hiking in the morning. As long as my torso is warm enough I'll be happy!

TheYoungOne
10-14-2010, 22:49
Yea. You can spend your moolah on a good down vest and go to Kohls or Walmart or something for a synthetic vest to hike in.

I was actually eye balling a Lands End down vest at Sears, on sale for a mear $35.

The best part is I took it off the hanger and I wanted to check the "packablity", so I started crunch it down into a ball. Satisfied with the softball size results I hung the poor wrinkled vest back on the hanger to wait until I checked everyones opinion here and for payday. The sears store clerk did not pleased :o

Wags
10-14-2010, 23:14
i concur with others, but me personally, i wouldn't bother with a fleece vest. if it's cold enough for fleece while hiking, i want the sleeves. but that's just me.

a down vest for camp on the other hand is a nice option. my buddy just scooped up one of those land's end down vests. it looked pretty nice and he said it was warm...

ChinMusic
10-14-2010, 23:57
I tend to go BIG down for camp when the temps get much below 45. I have a Nunatak Skaha with 2 oz overfill. It is usu overkill but I HATE being cold at camp. This allows me to be super comfortable at camp and have the option of taking a higher rated bag, so the weight issue gets cut a bit. If temps are warm enough for my bag it makes a killer pillow.

I find that for hiking a simple light windshirt (fleece) and rain jacket do the trick down to 20.

Tinker
10-15-2010, 09:09
Check out your local goodwill (whatever name they may use) store for a down vest. I've found some great buys there (shoes, windbreakers, etc.).

Harrison Bergeron
10-15-2010, 15:18
So for March on the AT I figure I need:

Long underwear -- 10oz
200wt fleece -- 20oz
Rain jacket -- 15oz
Down vest -- 10oz
Long sleeve shirt - 8oz
Zip-off pants - 12oz

Total: 4.5 lbs, just for clothes

So I guess that leaves 3.5 lbs for pack, tent, bag, kitchen, and hygiene?

Oh, right. I forgot the 10 cubic yards of helium.

How do you UL guys get the big bag of helium through the woods without popping it?

Land_Shark
10-15-2010, 15:38
Land Shark on the move. You should have a seperate set of clothes, all wool and tight fitting, w/down vest jacket for sleeping and cold evenning wear. You should only hike in poly, never cotton, it will not dry and will scub all the heat from your body. Even during the cold and rainy days you will still sweat, so as long as you move you will stay warm, once you quit moving change into your wool and your down, stay dry and have a good night will the other hikers. Your poly and nilon if hung up will dry over night for the next day pin your socks to the outside of your pack so they will dry during the day.