View Full Version : Insulation Jacket for Camp (2013 AT Nobo / Early-Mid March)

10-19-2012, 17:28
Can't seem to pull the trigger on a jacket. Someone please just tell me what to get. Montbell, Western Mountaineering, Patagonia. I want one of each when I try to make a decision. How heavy should it be? I feel like I'm preparing for weeks and weeks of cold weather when I start the AT next March? Thanks for any input.

10-20-2012, 08:53
I carried a Montbell down liner for the entire trip; it was my only insulating layer during the summer. From Springer to Pearisburg and from Glencliff to Katahdin I also carried a Western Mountaineering down jacket.

10-20-2012, 09:27
I purchased the Sierra Designs DriDown Gnar Jacket from REI for my 2013 Thru. $229.00 . 11 oz. It compresses very small. I had the opportunity to test it in Quebec and Newfoundland during the past two weeks of cold weather. The jacket was very warm and was able to handle light rain with no problems. I was very impressed and look forward to using it on the Thru. Just my two cents...

10-20-2012, 10:30
I am a fan of synthetic jackets. When you stop at the end of the day you might be sweaty and that isn't a good situation for down. Down is for the bag.

10-20-2012, 10:33
And I use a belay parka. It is huge, but I don't have to rush to break camp in the morning just to warm up. It may be heavy, but the quality of life addition is big.

10-20-2012, 10:34
I am a fan of synthetic jackets. When you stop at the end of the day you might be sweaty and that isn't a good situation for down. Down is for the bag.

+1 I use a Patagonia Nano Puff jacket! Maddog:D http://www.rei.com/gear/feature/search/MSN/Patagonia%20nano%20puff?&s_kwcid=TC-13018-11106219101-be-1460436723

10-20-2012, 10:40
I use a Patagonia down jacket 12 oz. it is very warm and compresses well. I am currently looking for a nano puff vest as my next addition to insulation so I can hike in it during the winter months.

10-20-2012, 10:41
I have and use both the Montbell down and Montbell synthetic, depending on the situation. the down is a bit warmer, and 4 ounces lighter. I'll probably "risk" bringing the down and just keep it dry as best I can. I originally bought the Patagucci Nanopuff, but I don't like the fit. It flares out at the bottom. The Montbell is a closer fit, which I like. By the way: The Montbell down Jackets are on sale quite a bit for about a hundred bucks. Probably not right now, but will be again in the late winter.

10-20-2012, 10:49
On the AT, I've always used a 300 wt fleece jacket at the start and then changed to something lighter in VA. I have a Mountain Hard wear phantom jacket I use on the PCT that I really like. Wouldn't take it on the AT though. Just too much damp weather.

10-20-2012, 11:04
Costco has a couple down jackets. If you're slender, jacket out the boy's jacket too.

Do keep in mind that when you're doing a long walk, it's not often that you'll be lounging around camp, if at all. The jacket just keeps you warm enough until you start walking or slide into your sleeping gear.

10-20-2012, 13:13
Is it also part of your sleep system? I.e., what's the brand, type, and rating of your sleeping bag?
Also a factor: what sort of warmth layer do you have on hand for walking in (as opposed to hanging around in camp/shelter)? You might find that a layered approach is a good one. What's worked well for me is a Montbell Thermawrap Vest, coupled with a Montbell Ex Light Jacket. Jacket is only used when stationary, but when it's pretty cold out I found the vest plus a windshirt or the like worked well.

I guess my point here is that selection of a puffy jacket isn't a stand-alone decision, but is IMO best tied to both sleep system and "while walking" clothing choices.

10-20-2012, 15:14
I'm also a fan of synthetic jackets. I love my older Montbell Thermawrap. I have also been known to slip a cheap Walmart 100 wt fleece pullover into my pack when the Thermawrap may be too warm. The fleece makes a great pillow. How about a quality 200 wt fleece jacket? Bulky, but warm. :)

10-20-2012, 15:46
Bro just get a Mid-Weight fleece by North Face thats all you'll going to need, especially in march spring will be right around the corner personally i don't think you'll have anything to worry about.

10-20-2012, 15:59
I'm a fan of layers, also. Another option would be 3 merino wool tops (150-200 weight), a Montbell EX Light down jacket, a Patagonia Houdini wind shirt, and a silnylon Packa. I would not wear the down while hiking, and would keep one of the merino tops in reserve for sleeping. But in camp you have all of those layers available as well as your bag or quilt. For all of the clothing layers you are likely looking at around 50 oz. total. That would work for me for winter, with the right quilt.

Carl Calson
11-01-2012, 23:20
got me a Mountain Hardwear primaloft something or other for like 90 bucks once. i love it.

kayak karl
11-01-2012, 23:39
i wear my JRB top quilt (called a Economic Multi-function Quilt (http://www.jacksrbetter.com/quilts/)) for my hammock with my packa over it. carry nothing extra.

11-02-2012, 21:17
Marmot Zeus

Don H
11-02-2012, 21:33
I left on March 13 and took the Patagonia Down Sweater for my insulating layer. I only wore it at camp and in my sleeping bag.

Hiking I wore a Smartwool long sleeve mid weight shirt. If it was too cold for either the wool shirt while hiking or the down jacket in camp I added my rain jacket as another layer.

It was enough for me. You probably won't be lounging around camp long enough to get cold. Hike, eat, sleep, repeat x 150 days.