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Thread: Best Puffy???

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Plenty of them in the warehouse- ready to ship and discounted (overstock)
    https://enlightenedequipment.com/men...coyote-coyote/

    Worth remembering though... this is 2 ounce apex. About a 50-55* quilt's worth when brand new.

    60g Primaloft is a pretty solid 50*
    100g is 40-45*
    Primaloft Gold will hold up longer and is warmer when wet.

    For the OP- synthetic puffy all day on the AT. Especially if you have a down bag.

    https://www.patagonia.com/shop/web-s...0&sz=24#tile-5

    Sale time at patagonia (my favorite)

    The micro puff is a classic beater.
    The Nano Air is awesome, especially if you plan to sleep in it. But needs a windshell to pair with it as it is very breathable.

    I have the micro puff now (REI dividend) but have not had a chance to use it as I got it during the early summer sale.
    Checked the fit and put it back in the closet. It's REI... so it can go back if it sucks.

    I would personally not buy an apex jacket... but EE does use lighter shell material and it's generally good enough shell material to serve as it's own windshell. So for what it is (light puffy) it's not a bad piece.
    So your saying that the EE Torrid Apex jackets, insulation is really the equivalent of a 50 degree quilt? I have only tried mine on but it kept me warm outside in a t shirt at 40 degrees. Not just warm, but hot.
    I just got one for my birthday and its synthetic which i like and light, though doesn't pack super small. I was going to bring this for my AT hike but it sounds like its not all that warm, compared to a Ghost Whisperer?

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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgordon View Post
    So your saying that the EE Torrid Apex jackets, insulation is really the equivalent of a 50 degree quilt? I have only tried mine on but it kept me warm outside in a t shirt at 40 degrees. Not just warm, but hot.
    I just got one for my birthday and its synthetic which i like and light, though doesn't pack super small. I was going to bring this for my AT hike but it sounds like its not all that warm, compared to a Ghost Whisperer?
    Yes- insulation is insulation... so you can compare it easily to sleeping gear as a decent way to compare different items. https://1drv.ms/b/s!Apygyt54yYPwg40vo1VSor5A3Tm47w
    You'd have to know the loft of the MHGW... but as a 'light puffy' it's likely in the 3/4-1" range. So same weight as the EE jacket really if talking a temp rating.

    It would clearly pack better, but the issue with really low loft down is that humidity (especially in clothing) can knock them out easier. The advantage with synthetics is if you may desire to wear it for real, you don't have to worry about it. Lots of folks think they are only wearing their stuff at camp but in reality that may not mean completely moisture free. If you keep it in a drybag... you do cut out the chance of ambient air humidity losses... but then again you also cut out any chance of it drying out unless you sun it. If you are sweaty and in need of a camp puffy to stay warm right after you stopped... you either have to have the discipline to wait until you cool down completely, then toss on the puffy and try to rewarm or put it on too early and dump moisture vapor into it while you cool down more gradually.

    Personally- If I have a down bag, I want a synthetic puffy as a counterbalance- especially out east.
    Due to pack size issues with APEX... I prefer Primaloft Gold however as a premium synthetic it is more expensive and usually only sold by expensive brands like Patagonia.
    Apex has the advantage of easier construction and lower end cost as a result. So I wouldn't call it cheap, but it is economical but comes with some dings.

    As to being hot in the jacket... sleeping gear is rated for how warm it will be when your metabolic rate is low (sleep). You are a light bulb putting out heat and insulation traps it.
    The formula for insulation uses Watts/square meter.
    Wherein your light bulb is on a dimmer switch expressed in watts of output over the surface area of your body (that's why women's ratings are lower- they get a smaller surface area to output heat).

    When sleeping you put out about 40w, rest(awake) 60w, and slow walking is 120w.
    So your 50* insulation piece is 150% more effective simply because you are awake when you're wearing it.

    But since it can be hard to compare things... it's handy to be able to dump any insulation back to sleeping gear equivalent ratings and go from there.

    Roughly... folks ballpark puffy jackets into Light (50*) Medium (40*) and Heavy (30*), with lofts in roughly 1", 1.5" and 2" respectively. Polar weight puffies will have actual baffles and no sewn through construction in around 2" of loft or more. Though as clothing you are usually getting 10-15* more than that when sitting around or farting with some camp chores. Though eating food can drop your metabolism as your body works hard on digestion which is one reason some like to eat dinner and hike on for an hour or more afterwards.

    Depending on your hiking style... you could find that puffy on (and exposed) more than you might think to moisture. So your individual habits and style of hiking (along with what else you have) should factor in when picking a puffy.
    A little pack size can be a good thing, and one advantage in a light kit Apex might have is that it's a good volume eater if packed loosely. A full pack carries best so as you eat down your food the apex isn't a bad way to maintain fill.

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    Bill - any chance I can side track the discussion (slightly), since we're in the ballpark? I've been staring at a Columbia parka and trying to figure out its capabilities:
    https://www.columbia.com/mens-heatzo...t-1619811.html

    I know Columbia claims 900fp down plus a layer of 100g -something-. Unfortunately, they don't seem to publish the quantity of fill used or total item weight. Any idea where to get that info or some other way to make a semi-educated guess?

    Normally I'd skip over Columbia but I'm prepping for New Hampshire in February and trying to add a hooded parka to the mix for standing around camp. At $100 (lightly used) for what was originally a $450 piece, it caught my eye.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    Bill - any chance I can side track the discussion (slightly), since we're in the ballpark? I've been staring at a Columbia parka and trying to figure out its capabilities:
    https://www.columbia.com/mens-heatzo...t-1619811.html

    I know Columbia claims 900fp down plus a layer of 100g -something-. Unfortunately, they don't seem to publish the quantity of fill used or total item weight. Any idea where to get that info or some other way to make a semi-educated guess?

    Normally I'd skip over Columbia but I'm prepping for New Hampshire in February and trying to add a hooded parka to the mix for standing around camp. At $100 (lightly used) for what was originally a $450 piece, it caught my eye.
    Strange jacket... judging by one video of 'turbodown' https://youtu.be/-pmNhXUHh0Q

    The concept seems built backwards... the synthetic layer is to the inside rather than outside where it would protect the down better. Though I suppose if you were highly active that could be the thinking there... but regardless any moisture you're pumping into the jacket ends up pumping through the down and condensing in the down layer.

    The omni heat reflective stuff is a perforated mylar coating with mixed results... but the theory is sound.

    The 100g Omni heat insulation is likely their own version of Primaloft Silver or an Apex produced under their own name. 100G is short for 100GSM or grams per square meter. (about 3 ounces a yard ish).
    This off brand stuff usually has a lower CLO value in the .6 or .7 CLO/oz range... but with the quilting it could be a higher end. Either way- 45-55* insulation in a bag.
    The quilt you have from me is 100G Primaloft Gold for comparison, that's the highest warmth to weight synthetic I am aware of at .92 CLO (Apex is .82 per ounce)

    With synthetic you take the weight times the CLO and that gives you total CLO value... which you still need to convert to temp.

    You'd probably have to check one in person to get the loft, then back off the 1/2" or so of synthetic and try to apply a value to it.

    The turbodown video shows sewn through construction, but the product claims 'wavebaffles' of some kind. The pictures do show what appears to be a welded seam so it could be a hybrid baffled jacket of some sort... baffles sewn through the synthetic, but welded to the shell with down in between.

    Overall- Pick a lane, lol. There's a lot of crap dumped in this thing. Columbia is a decent product and on par with many housebrands... so I wouldn't automatically write it off for $100. But without putting hands on it or being more familiar with Columbia's line it's hard to say what you're getting. At worst- you've got a light puffy. At best a good medium weight.

    The bigger issue I see is that it appears to be intended to be your shell. Not bad for a dayhike or ski day, but it won't recover well if you sweat it on a multi-day trip.
    Looks like the intended audience with the ski-pass pocket and likely a very nice jacket for one and done use or with a shot at drying it for a bit at a warming hut.
    These all in one super combos never quite work out right and have limited use in a clothing system unfortunately and appears marketed to my buddy who works at Goldman who asks me what cool expensive thing he can buy to go on a corporate retreat so he doesn't look like a newb.

    I prefer a separate WBP shell for winter conditions and stacking other layers. If you've got something like that to pair it with your $100 would be better spent
    https://www.patagonia.com/product/me...&start=1&sz=24

    A nano air layers in at about the same as my quilt but is stretchy and breaths well. Too well for a standalone shell but that's why it pairs so well IMO. If you're overheating it vents easily by slipping the shell. (or you can just wear the WPB shell while hiking and layer this in. Goes really well with a baselayer, 100wt fleece/gridfleece mid, and then this as your insulation piece.

    Screaming orange in L, XL at patagonia clearance side for $150 (not the worst color to have as I like at least one screaming bright thing just in case)
    There are some XL and XXl in blue at REI which is a nicer color for $125 with no hassle returns if it's a bust.
    I wear an XL in my no longer speed hiking current shape but it drapes really well so it's not really a sloppy jacket either when I'm not wearing it with layers.

    I'd stick with something trusted personally... but I understand the appeal of bargain hunting bingo. Playing that game when I was younger was a big part of how I learned to eyeball review stuff but doing it in person is hard to do these days since there is so much online.

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    Appreciate the help. I think I am gonna keep the Torrid Apex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Strange jacket... judging by one video of 'turbodown' https://youtu.be/-pmNhXUHh0Q

    The concept seems built backwards... the synthetic layer is to the inside rather than outside where it would protect the down better. Though I suppose if you were highly active that could be the thinking there... but regardless any moisture you're pumping into the jacket ends up pumping through the down and condensing in the down layer.
    Bill - thanks for taking the time to reply. I reached out to you directly so we don't derail this any further. I really appreciate the help.

  8. #28

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    Love the Ghost Whisperer.
    Mine is 7.5 oz and quite warm. (with hood)
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  9. #29
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    i really love the Enlightened Equipment Torrid APEX Jacket. i tried a few different "puffy" jackets before it and for me it's waaaay better.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    ...60g Primaloft is a pretty solid 50*
    100g is 40-45*
    Primaloft Gold will hold up longer and is warmer when wet.

    https://www.patagonia.com/shop/web-s...0&sz=24#tile-5

    Sale time at patagonia (my favorite)

    The micro puff is a classic beater.
    The Nano Air is awesome, especially if you plan to sleep in it. But needs a windshield to pair with it as it is very breathable...

    Yeah, but you shouldn't be letting your main insulation piece get wet..regardless. How often does that really happen anyway? Insulation being compromised a little so that it doesn't become all encompassing shouldn't be that demanding a user application given the situation by the OP.


    The puffy is being used for an AT thru with assumed expected desire to be used often and extensively. Under such a scenario breathability is a good thing. Windproofness comfort of a Pat Nano Puff surely doesn't require addition of a Windshirt/wind jacket for typical AT NOBO timeframes. A Pat Nano Puff jacket or vest will be layered over apparel. It's rare to never a jacket or vest being used by itself. Stepping back looking at the bigger apparel picture CUMULATIVELY is a far better approach than constantly reviewing apparel pieces in usage as stand alone pieces. This sounds so commonsense duh but I see it constantly with all types of gear..myopically focusing on one piece outside of a larger system or approach(es) where it's typically incorporated in real world use into what can be described as a system.
    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Yes- insulation is insulation... so you can compare it easily to sleeping gear as a decent way to compare different items.

    Not necessarily because, for one thing, as stated later, metabolic rates are different in the same insulation used in apparel compared to a sleeping bag.

    And for another significant reason, as also stated well later, "...individual habits and style of hiking (along with what else you have) should factor in when picking a puffy."

    Some other important factors in choosing an appropriate puffy are AT hiking timeframes, direction, anticipated weather, and knowledge of apparel layering approaches. For example, and which could have been asked, are the puffy options offered for consideration going to be expected to be worn often on the move or as primarily as an at rest piece?

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    - If I have a down bag, I want a synthetic puffy as a counterbalance- especially out east.
    Safety Margin? Do you expect in YOUR usage on an AT NOBO during normal NOBO timeframes performance being irreparably compromised in at least one of these pieces at some stage? Why might that have happened if it does? Paved road access that leads to a dryer or laundromat is common on the overall AT.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    ... to being hot in the jacket... sleeping gear is rated for how warm it will be when your metabolic rate is low (sleep). You are a light bulb putting out heat and insulation traps it.

    Yeah, good pts...that can be used to one's advantage...in sleep systems for one. But, now reverse that IF a puffy or insulting layer is intended to be worn ALSO as often as possible WHEN ON THE MOVE TOO. You're no longer a lightbulb but a wood burning fireplace that St Nick would singe his tooshie on...much more metabolically active...generating heat through consistent movement. As stated, that affects choice of insulation and that includes face fabrics w/ their treatments and level of warmth required in a piece. It may also be based, at least partially, on an overwhelming reliance on just one main insulation piece rather than having several thinner lighter less overall voluminous multiple layers. This can offer greater flexibility in apparel in mixed or daily changing weather patterns. When weather patterns become more stabilized apparel can be deleted from the kit. It's no longer an overwhelming reliance on one main all or nothing insulating apparel piece. It's also shweet to pick pieces that can simply be used in a wider range of conditions and approaches from the get go.
    A lot of backpackers take the heavier main insulation apparel approach to thermoregulation on backpacking trips. I tend not to be one of them. In observations and researching different approaches and sites where kit's are fully detailed with a high info readership format most highly experienced LD hikers don't either. As far as a hood on a puffy I see it more useful when colder in the earlier stages typically encountered on AT NOBOs or early start date NOBO's and more useful when stopped if habituated to stop durations of being chilled. I see it as added wt and lacking diversity in thermoregulating that is non compartmentalized as temps warm. If considering a puffy the entire AT thru or used extensively I suggest hoodless and bring along a beanie OR choose a puffy with a removable hood.

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    Ghost Whisperer always seems to come up. I eventually pulled the trigger earlier this year when I saw my size on sale at steep and cheap. I personally think the jacket is...ok. It's certainly light, and I like the cut. But all told I'd rather a jacket that's 4-5 oz heavier and much warmer.

    This is a helpful article: https://andrewskurka.com/2015/backpa...-jacket-pants/

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    Had I been FP I would have said "Diddy!"

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    Western mountaineering flash might be the ďbest puffyĒ. Expensive but has some hyper technical features that more mainstream jackets lack like a full draft tube and really snug elasticized gaskets. The warmth to weight of it is just insane.

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    How puffy does it need to be? I'll be relying on this one next week.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    I love my ghost whisperer... but i got too relaxed with it. About a month ago i was on a trip in my camper and discovered id burned a whole on my shoulder that went all the way through. All i can imagine is ash got to it. This weekend did a backpacking trip witb a fire again. Much smaller due to no cut wood. Sunday morning i discovered 3 new holes.... no more fires with out wearing a shell.

    Its delicate. Very very delicate.

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    Yeah I think it was Shug who mentioned always wear like wool or something when around a fire. These nylon jackets don't fare well with floating embers.

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    Any decent down jacket is going to work, I think.

    I used the (now discontinued) Patagonia UL down hoody and loved it. It never got wet and it was so warm.

    I tried the patty Micro Puff this year on the PCT and really liked it, though it wasnít warm enough for me. The down jacket was good over a shirt to low 30s for me, and the micro was more of a low 40s jacket.

    Still, I loved having a synthetic puffy. It essentially was both a puffy and mid layer for me in the desert - Iíd hike in it when it was cold in the mornings. I climbed big passes in the Sierra in it. And then I tossed it in the laundry with the rest of my nasty clothes. Awesome.

    That said, there are warmer options. You can get some great (down) stuff from Montbell, Borah Gear, feathered friends and so on. The Arcteryx Cerium LT is a good option, and if youíre an REI member you can use a 20% off coupon for on (those coupons go live on the 15th - REI staff member here)

    I think the Best Buy right now for a backpacking puffy is probably the EE Torrid. Itís warmer than the micropuff, and cheaper. For me itís that sweet spot of price to performance. Buy it and expect a Thru hike out of it (maybe more). For what itís worth, my micro puff crapped out in Oregon (zipper died), and now its being repaired by Patagonia (perhaps something to consider)

    There are really cool alternatives, from nunatak and others, but at a bigger cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    Love the Ghost Whisperer.
    Mine is 7.5 oz and quite warm. (with hood)
    Me too, so warm and barely know you have it on so light. Like wearing warm air.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    Love the Ghost Whisperer.
    Mine is 7.5 oz and quite warm. (with hood)
    My wife loves hers (REI garage sale purchase). From March To October on the AT.

    Part of the use of a puffy is that you arenít wearing it while hiking.

    I use an REI puffy I got for $49.99. It should last me through my last 756 miles on the AT.

    The Ghost Whisperer is the consensus favorite. For the AT. Other trails or hiking conditions, other gear.

    We both have Patagonia puffs. But we donít use them on the AT.

    Few do.

    That said, Iím not sure what we would have bought at full price. There is a lot of stuff out there in the same ball park that will work.

    sorry Iím so terse, but this is a reoccurring topic subject to a lot of overthinking. There is s huge range of what will work and an even wider range of what is overkill. Second best is usually close enough it doesnít really matter.

    Hope that makes sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    How puffy does it need to be? I'll be relying on this one next week.
    1542760695-picsay.jpg

    Man, I hear ya brother. I have the FF Icefall parka and it's the Daddy to the newer Khumbu parka.

    Here I am in my Icefall during a cold trip on the BMT---

    TRIP 120 080-XL.jpg

    When you need some real goose down---like 15 ozs of down by weight---don't bother with puffy jackets---get the real thing. And if you really want to spend all winter backpacking and living outdoors in the mountains of TN/VA/NC---get the Rock and Ice parka---with 20 ozs of down inside. I call it The Sleeping Bag with Arms. You will never ever actually backpack in the thing as it's just too hot but it's a camp gift when you're sitting in a camp for 4 or 5 days during a series of blizzards. My Icefall parka is part of my winter standard load and it's packed for every trip.

    feathered-friends-rock-and-ice-expedition-down-parka-aztec_b03566ca-742a-4019-b114-24c3484a48fb_.jpg

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