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 Post subject: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:18 pm 
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Do people buy down jackets instead of fleece jackets so they will stuff smaller? Trying to figure out my intermediate layering. And my fleece does not stuff down that much. Takes ups a ton of room in my pack. And I just had this brain fart looking at a down jacket. That it would actually probably stuff very small. And be just as warm if not warmer. I'm talking one of those smaller/thinner down jackets. Not a full on parka with hood.

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:24 pm 
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Good luck finding them in big boy sizes. I am lusting after a patigonia synthetic fill puffy shirt but their chest sizes run too small. If you go that route best options I have found so far are Marmot and Sugpak.

ETA:

To answer the question I am on the hunt for a cut synthetic fill light jacket or vest as an alternative to a down one because I sweat profusely. In my experience from taking from my GF's experience since she is rail thin, in my eyes anyway, that a cut pile or down jacket will pack smaller and is lighter than fleece. More expensive too but isn't that always the case?

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:20 pm 
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Fleece and down jackets are very different animals. I use fleece, layered when necessary, for my every day warmth as it is the all-rounder. It's warm, wind resistant, adaptable, tough and will keep some warmth when wet and dries easily. My down jacket is used for much colder, more static situations. It will pack nice and comparitively small in a compression dry sack, but even with it's taped seam waterproof shell I have to be very careful with it in the rain as it is pretty much useless if the down gets wet.

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:36 pm 
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But what about backpacking? Wouldn't a down jacket be better to layer under your waterproof shell? As it will weigh less and stuff smaller? I'm desperately trying to reduce weight and volume in my pack. HAd planned on using fleece for my intermediate layer. But it just does not stuff that small. Takes up a lot of room. Maybe half the size of my sleeping bag. This is an aftermarket ECWCS cold weather jacket liner.

Also would camp dry (waterproofing spray) make any difference on a down jacket? Or would it just rub off when you pack it and wear it?

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:51 pm 
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My down jacket is designed for really cold weather and therefore lofts a LOT, and whilst I do have an extra goretex Marpat jacket deliberately bought in a size big enough to go over everything, I would not be exerting myself in that combination as I'd sweat to death! Even with a lighter weight of down I'd be really cautious of working hard in it under a shell as it really going to soak up the moisture from sweat and become useless over time. I'd rather have the reliability of knowing the jacket will do what it is supposed to do when needed than the relatively small extra space.
HOWEVER - I've got to add that my experience is from where I live, which I think is generally much damper than a lot of the USA, even in very cold winters we still have a lot of moisture in the air as opposed to what I perceive to be the drier cold of large parts of the US.

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:58 pm 
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claverhouse wrote:
My down jacket is designed for really cold weather and therefore lofts a LOT, and whilst I do have an extra goretex Marpat jacket deliberately bought in a size big enough to go over everything, I would not be exerting myself in that combination as I'd sweat to death! Even with a lighter weight of down I'd be really cautious of working hard in it under a shell as it really going to soak up the moisture from sweat and become useless over time. I'd rather have the reliability of knowing the jacket will do what it is supposed to do when needed than the relatively small extra space.
HOWEVER - I've got to add that my experience is from where I live, which I think is generally much damper than a lot of the USA, even in very cold winters we still have a lot of moisture in the air as opposed to what I perceive to be the drier cold of large parts of the US.


Ya. I guess your right. Fleece breaths better too.

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:43 pm 
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How I look at it:

Down is awesome when it stays below freezing a lot. If I ever go to Alaska or the Rockies in winter and it's going to be for a few weeks? I'm getting some down. In Oregon? Not so important as it is wet and 40 degrees in the woods most of the time - unless I go up Mt. Hood more.

The packability is sorcerous though.

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:33 pm 
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I either wear fleece in combo with a gore tex, or have it strapped to the outside of my pack. I keep a Patagonia down jacket stuffed inside my pack as an alternative for when I'm not exerting myself, as a backup layer if the fleece gets wet, or an additional layer if it gets really cold.


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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:02 pm 
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Maybe consider a vest? I often pack a down or synthetic vest and fleece jacket. The vest works as an extra layer or to increase the warmth of my sleeping bag.

The vest is on the clothes line being dried and fleece on my sleeping bag.

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:35 pm 
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WhoShotJR's got the right idea.

I love my down jackets and vests, but my go to for when the weather goes below 50 for everyday wear is fleece.

The trick is to know that there are many different weights of fleece, and these have varying thicknesses and weights. I used to get the standard/baggy thick pile fleece tops that you can find anywhere and they do work, but are bulky and fight the whole idea of layering. Since then I've moved to more fitted, light weight performance fleece tops (ala Patagonia's R series and EB's First Ascent stuff), these still offer the warmth and breath-ability of fleece but allow you to layer more when necessary.

If I'm highly active, it's just the fleece top over my base layer - if I'm moderately active but not hanging out, it's a down vest over the fleece - if I'm chilling around camp or hanging out, it's a down coat over my fleece top. If weights at a premium, I take the coat over the vest. If it doesn't really matter, I take both. Two core layers of 850fill down will straight up cook you! :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:27 pm 
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I'll second WW's vest for mid layers. I'm big. My clothes weigh a ton and take up a lot of space. I'm generally hot all the time. If its cold, my inner layer + outerwear jacket + gloves keep my arms warm just fine. A good vest keeps me plenty warm. I like down vests, they are light, fold up very small, and I find keep dry just fine under my rain gear. I like the arm mobility from vests while keeping my core warm.

Did I mention they're cheap? Wut you say, light, small, warm AND CHEAP? Did I mention they come in really big guy sizes too? NOWAI ... yep.

$30 sale, going on now, but, I got a couple similar from Cabela's a few years ago for about the same price.
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas- ... l+Products

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:44 pm 
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As others have mentioned it really matters what the weather will be like. I have found that down is vastly superior in really cold/dry weather. If you are the least bit worried about getting wet fleece or wool is worth the added weight and bulk to keep you warm. DWR coatings can help some but I have been unimpressed with them for serious use.

Overall if you are worried about getting soaked in 35deg weather go with fleece, if not down is awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:50 pm 
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none1 wrote:
I'll second WW's vest for mid layers. I'm big. My clothes weigh a ton and take up a lot of space. I'm generally hot all the time. If its cold, my inner layer + outerwear jacket + gloves keep my arms warm just fine. A good vest keeps me plenty warm. I like down vests, they are light, fold up very small, and I find keep dry just fine under my rain gear. I like the arm mobility from vests while keeping my core warm.

Did I mention they're cheap? Wut you say, light, small, warm AND CHEAP? Did I mention they come in really big guy sizes too? NOWAI ... yep.

$30 sale, going on now, but, I got a couple similar from Cabela's a few years ago for about the same price.
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas- ... l+Products


Thanks for the heads up!

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:34 am 
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Bender711 wrote:
As others have mentioned it really matters what the weather will be like. I have found that down is vastly superior in really cold/dry weather. If you are the least bit worried about getting wet fleece or wool is worth the added weight and bulk to keep you warm. DWR coatings can help some but I have been unimpressed with them for serious use.


I agree. Fleece and wool are my go to's most of the time, especially if there is any chance of getting wet. They're jsut more versatile. If I'm going to be less active, and it's going to be really cold, I'll throw on my down vest as a mid layer.

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:56 am 
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Whenever I see a down vest I always think of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyYoJlINTHo

Personally I like fleece. Just a pullover under a coat makes me toasty warm.


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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:38 am 
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I was going to add to this thread because I used to sell and use this stuff for a living. But there's no need. Claverhouse has provided some solid, dead-on accurate information on the appropriate uses and limitations of both of these materials. Used in clothing, both are considered insulating layers, but otherwise they have very different characteristics.

Not to take away from anyone else's posts to this thread, but people coming to this discussion in the future would do well to re-read both of claverhouse's contributions.

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:17 am 
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GSHX2 wrote:
Good luck finding them in big boy sizes.

For "fluffy sized" out door equipment, look to Cabelas.

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:25 pm 
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Red_Snow wrote:
GSHX2 wrote:
Good luck finding them in big boy sizes.

For "fluffy sized" out door equipment, look to Cabelas.


Yes! They have the best prices on down too.

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:04 pm 
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moab wrote:
Red_Snow wrote:
GSHX2 wrote:
Good luck finding them in big boy sizes.

For "fluffy sized" out door equipment, look to Cabelas.


Yes! They have the best prices on down too.


Their down is typically 600 fill rather than 800 or 850. Not to big of a deal except sometimes they are priced around the same as the better quality down.

As far as layering there has been a lot of suggestions of fleece jacket and down vest and I normally go the other way with a fleece vest and a down jacket. Makes more sense to me since the down packs better and the fleece vest is plenty to keep me warm while I am moving, and the down is great once I stop for break or camp. Normally I also have an eVent type jacket which is super breathable and waterproof but not really wind proof so the fleece vest cuts that off my core since its wind proof.


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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Action.Jackson wrote:
moab wrote:
Red_Snow wrote:
GSHX2 wrote:
Good luck finding them in big boy sizes.

For "fluffy sized" out door equipment, look to Cabelas.


Yes! They have the best prices on down too.


Their down is typically 600 fill rather than 800 or 850. Not to big of a deal except sometimes they are priced around the same as the better quality down.

As far as layering there has been a lot of suggestions of fleece jacket and down vest and I normally go the other way with a fleece vest and a down jacket. Makes more sense to me since the down packs better and the fleece vest is plenty to keep me warm while I am moving, and the down is great once I stop for break or camp. Normally I also have an eVent type jacket which is super breathable and waterproof but not really wind proof so the fleece vest cuts that off my core since its wind proof.


How about 750 for $65-$75?

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas- ... l+Products

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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:03 pm 
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If you don't mind looking like the Michelin man these are awesome as a down jacket. Thin enough to be layered under a waterproof shell.

http://www.eddiebauer.com/catalog/product.jsp?ensembleId=37542&&categoryId=27508&categoryName=WORLDS-BEST-DOWN&pCategoryId=16&pCategoryName=OUTERWEAR--BLAZERS&gpCategoryId=2&gpCategoryName=MEN&ggpCategoryId=1&ggpCategoryName=EB&catPath=~~categoryId=27508~~categoryName=WORLDS-BEST-DOWN~~pCategoryId=16~~pCategoryName=OUTERWEAR--BLAZERS~~gpCategoryId=2~~gpCategoryName=MEN~~ggpCategoryId=1~~ggpCategoryName=EB&viewAll=n&pg=1&cmPathInfo=null

http://www.eddiebauer.com/catalog/product.jsp?ensembleId=43502&&categoryId=27508&categoryName=WORLDS-BEST-DOWN&pCategoryId=16&pCategoryName=OUTERWEAR--BLAZERS&gpCategoryId=2&gpCategoryName=MEN&ggpCategoryId=1&ggpCategoryName=EB&catPath=~~categoryId=27508~~categoryName=WORLDS-BEST-DOWN~~pCategoryId=16~~pCategoryName=OUTERWEAR--BLAZERS~~gpCategoryId=2~~gpCategoryName=MEN~~ggpCategoryId=1~~ggpCategoryName=EB&viewAll=n&pg=1&cmPathInfo=null

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 Post subject: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:26 am 
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You're really talking about the lighter weight down "sweaters." I personally like the middle ground between down sweaters and synthetic fleece and go with the synthetic down sweaters.... or Primaloft sweaters.

Almost as warm, lightweight and stuffable as down, but works when wet, and most importantly is not a PITA to wash.


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 Post subject: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:56 am 
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Water resistant down, two companies currently coating feathers, one if them being DownTek.

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/75144?fe ... own-jacket


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 Post subject: Re: Down VS Fleece
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:43 am 
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For me, fleece is like a hoodie, or a wooly-pully, it's your go-to when shit goes anything below T-shirt weather. Down is like calling in an airstrike, it's like gnarly-ass cold. Layers are cool, I carry both, and if I'm cold in my fleece or whatever, I throw the down on top.

Sorry, I've had a LOT of rum and coke right now. What I am trying to say is that fleece is a lighter-weight warming garment suitable for moderately cold temperatures, and that down tends to be a very warm garment, for very cold temperatures. I'd say one of each is a good idea if you're in an AO that goes below freezing.

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