EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about synthetic jackets.

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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moab
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EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about synthetic jackets.

Post by moab » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:57 pm

https://backpackinglight.com/synthetic- ... the+Market

Haven't even finished reading this HUGE report on the current state of synthetic insulated jackets. But it's a must read. Would love to hear others opinions on these jackets. And what are the low cost alternatives? Some of these jackets are in the $700 range!

I wish backpackinglight.com was not paid website. They have some of the best info out there on outdoors equipment. With a special emphasis on light weight. Which we all strive for around here. This article is one of the free ones. Although I think their forum is free. IIRC.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

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Re: EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about synthetic jacke

Post by Asymetryczna » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:05 am

Interesting read. Thanks. I especially like the fact that they define the words they use right up front.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

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Re: EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about synthetic jacke

Post by moab » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:05 am

Ya. The first thing I noticed is none of them come in my size. LOL! SO it's kind of a waste of a read for me. But very interesting.

Backpackinglight is a such a great resource. I've considered joining before. The paid service. But just could never get over that hurdle. PRetty rare for a hiking forum/website to have a paid subscription.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

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Re: EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about synthetic jacke

Post by Asymetryczna » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:18 am

Not in my size either. But an interesting site. They go the extra mile to provide evals it seems.

The benefits of each are explained well but I suspect the material does not mix all that well with serious abrasion. Wire, rocks, concrete, briars, etc. would probably eat it up. But then I forget the underlying focus is on the weight. At the other extreme, because it is heavy, I have a Carhartt hunting coat that I've worn since 1980 and it is still going strong. No, I would not want to climb in it; however, since it became the "thing to wear" in NYC, Carhartt stores have been opening up all over Brooklyn. Crazy world.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

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Re: EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about synthetic jacke

Post by Stercutus » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:22 pm

For extreme cold weather I just use the new, old to me military surplus stuff. It is cheap (free since I already have it) and it works. Lots of bulk though.
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd—
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother

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Re: EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about synthetic jacke

Post by Asymetryczna » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:49 pm

Agreed; I have mostly current entire issue.
Still, if you are visiting NYC's trendiest clubs, you might want to be a grey man by wearing Carhartt.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

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Re: EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about synthetic jacke

Post by Stercutus » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:06 pm

Asymetryczna wrote:Agreed; I have mostly current entire issue.
Still, if you are visiting NYC's trendiest clubs, you might want to be a grey man by wearing Carhartt.
Nope, I can just stare in to my beer with a 1000 yard stare and if anyone talks to me act startled and tell them I was having flashbacks about my days in "the 'stan". Maybe even get free beer out of it. :v:
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd—
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother

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Re: EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about synthetic jacke

Post by RonnyRonin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:18 pm

Yeah, the stretchy shell fabric on the new active insulation jackets are even more prone to tears then the thin slick fabrics usually found on lightweight synthetic jackets, I do some patagonia warranty repairs and the Nano Air jackets seem to be much more lightly used for the same damage as the standard nano puff and down sweaters. The answer of course is if you are in a high abrasion environment to wear a beefy shell over the insulation

The current PCU/ECWCS Lv 7 jackets are very warm, tough, and water resistant. For car or INCH use they are great but FAR to heavy and bulky for BOB use I think. With some shopping around $100 will get you a parka and pants set, but with over 200g of primaloft they are mostly only good for deep winter or static use.

The older ECWCS liners (I like the ECW parka liner and the fishtail liner better then the M65 liner) are much lighter, and actually compare very favorably to the older Patagonia Micro Puff layers (100g primaloft sport) with nearly the exact same loft but a lighter weight. They require some simple mods to be very functional, but this can be limited to sewing on a few buttons for those that don't sew. $20-$30 will buy you a jacket and pants, so there is little excuse to not have a few sets around. Even if you prefer a higher-end jacket the pants don't really have an equal in the commercial market and are tough to beat. The shell fabric on these is quite thin and delicate, but once again either protect it under a shell or consider them disposable for the price.

As far as active insulation, the new polartec alpha and torray full-range is getting good reviews but I am convinced that highloft fleece (like a ECWCS/PCU level 3) and a windshirt (like a PCU level 4) will get you 90% of the same results with more versatility and durability.
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Re: EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about synthetic jacke

Post by moab » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:20 pm

About the only thing I can find in my sizes is ECWCS and various commercial off brand stuff. Fleece jacket and merino wool long underwear, under a Goretex shell. I do have a windshirt and a soft shell too. For lighter use. And a down hooded jacket for insulation when things get static and cold.

But most of this newer tech I can't find sizes in. I'm also a camo addict. So multicam seems to be the only pattern I can find everything in in my size as well. It's tough when your 6'3" 250. Pants are a 2x. But shirts and jackets are a 4x to 5x depending on outer/inner use and manufacturer. I lift a lot so I'm a big dude. It's in the shoulders and arms that get me.

Took me a long time just to find the above. Thank you to Columbia and UKGI. Condor for the soft shell. And I don't remember where I got my wind shirt. But it took a lot of searching to find that stuff.

I can get my weight down if it's warm enough to couple my fleece or down with the wind shirt. If there's rain I'm screwed. Gotta pack the Goretex. Which is heavy and bulky. I have not trusted the softshell in the rain. Haven't even tested it. I doubt it would keep me dry for very long. More good for chilly evenings. But it's a nice fashionable jacket I like to wear.

In fact I'm headed to the PNW tomorrow for my father's funeral. And were going out to look at property in the mountains. It's guaranteed to rain right now. So maybe I'll bring along the softshell to see how it holds up.
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Re: EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about synthetic jacke

Post by RonnyRonin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:11 am

I don't think you'll be surprised by the softshell, keeps out a light rain for an hour or so but leaks at the seams. I think you are on the right track, softshells are great around town and when working (I think condor jackets have practically made carhartt style duck jackets obsolete) but in the outdoors windshirts and hardshells reign supreme.

The old ECW parka liners are absurdly large, I typically wear a small/medium-long in surplus but the XS size fits loosely over 3 or 4 layers of clothing. But man, you aren't kidding, after a quick poke around it seems hardly anyone carries larger then 2XL, even "big and tall" brands like Cabelas. Can you get away with smaller then 4X if they have looser fitting sleeves?
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Re: EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about synthetic jacke

Post by moab » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:28 am

RonnyRonin wrote:I don't think you'll be surprised by the softshell, keeps out a light rain for an hour or so but leaks at the seams. I think you are on the right track, softshells are great around town and when working (I think condor jackets have practically made carhartt style duck jackets obsolete) but in the outdoors windshirts and hardshells reign supreme.

The old ECW parka liners are absurdly large, I typically wear a small/medium-long in surplus but the XS size fits loosely over 3 or 4 layers of clothing. But man, you aren't kidding, after a quick poke around it seems hardly anyone carries larger then 2XL, even "big and tall" brands like Cabelas. Can you get away with smaller then 4X if they have looser fitting sleeves?
Nah it's usually in the shoulders that I get screwed. But things like tshirts I can get away with a 3x sometimes.
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Re: EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about synthetic jacke

Post by Asymetryczna » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:45 am

The reason I mentioned it was because everyone wore Carhartt bibs and jackets where I grew up. The stuff lasted and lasted, even if you liked hunting grouse in the thick stuff. Not as much as school apparel, but for work and outdoor pursuits...life. Then, a friend of mine went to NYC for some work in late 2017 and when he returned he said that he was amazed to see all of the "urban elite" wearing the same clothes he wore growing up farming. I looked it up and see that it is indeed a trend. There is no way I would have guessed there is a Carhartt store in Manhattan. And nope, it's not known for its lightness. https://www.racked.com/2017/4/17/152261 ... a-workwear

On another note that may only interest me, I deployed once with a guy that took his field jacket liner to an entire new level. He had leather elbow patches sewn on with matching leather pockets on the front, and beefed up the buttons. It was about 2 sized too big for him. One evening he showed up in the officers mess wearing it, like he was Hugh Heffner showing up for brandy and cigars. Hilarious.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

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