Author Topic: down or synthetic.......  (Read 790 times)

Funky_Fred

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down or synthetic.......
« on: 18:34:49, 14/01/20 »
Hi,


I was considering buy a down or synthetic jacket. I find lots of personnal opions and price ranges. Unfortrunally I find very little specs.


Looking for R ratings, pack sizes, weight, prices and reviews.


Thanks for your help.




gunwharfman

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Re: down or synthetic.......
« Reply #1 on: 20:00:56, 14/01/20 »
I too had this problem but Walking Forum people really helped me a lot, what I think it basically comes down to now is if you are walking and sweating and need a jacket on I'd go for synthetic, it handles perspiration better. Whilst at camp and need to be warm whilst getting organised and standing around use a down jacket. That's what I've done and from my recent hike in La Palma, this worked extremely well.

I started off just with my baselayer on, as I walked higher and higher and it became chilly I put on my Alpkit synthetic jacket and became warmer but not uncomfortable. There came a point where I put on my favourite item over the top, my wind jacket. When I stopped to organise my camp set up I put my Rab Microlight on to keep warm and when its was colder inside my sleeping quilt I put it on again to sleep in. That combination of down jacket and outer down quilt layer worked extremely well, I slept warm as toast.

To get a good assessment of down and synthetic jackets I suggest www.outdoorlab.com, loads there being compared and contrasted with each other.

BuzyG

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Re: down or synthetic.......
« Reply #2 on: 00:22:10, 15/01/20 »
What do you  plan to use the jacket for?

Synthetic for me. It is both more practical and cheaper as a rule.  I don't think it gets cold and dry enough in the UK to warrant the need for a down jacket.  A different set of conditions and requirement if you are climbing abroad.

Owen

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Re: down or synthetic.......
« Reply #3 on: 08:58:07, 15/01/20 »
Another vote for synthetic fill, much easier to wash and dry. Only use my down jacket when it's below well below zero all the time, conditions we don't get very often even here in Scotland.

glovepuppet

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Re: down or synthetic.......
« Reply #4 on: 18:28:28, 15/01/20 »
As others have hinted at, it very much depends on what you want to use it for as to what you choose, comparing down vs synthetic and weight/warmth.


I have 3 versions myself, and all have their strengths. A heavyweight one which is great in really cold conditions, especially if standing around like at a football match, but which is far too warm for walking in even at subzero temperatures in the Alps. I have a lightweight down jacket which I love, especially round town or if visiting folks - it is very lightweight and packs very small and is ideal for travel too, and works well under a shell if needs be. Then I have just acquired a new synthetic jacket - decently warm, not too hefty, quite packable and moisture resistant that I will be using as my hiking option for all-round use, especially backpacking where it fulfils a number of functions yet is tough enough to wear under a rucksack without damaging it.


GP  O0

gary m

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Re: down or synthetic.......
« Reply #5 on: 20:34:59, 15/01/20 »
I never walk in my down jacket, way too warm. I only use my down jacket when wild camping in snow
you have 1 life live it

richardh1905

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Re: down or synthetic.......
« Reply #6 on: 22:53:09, 15/01/20 »
Synthetic for UK conditions, as down is an absolute nightmare if it gets wet.

forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: down or synthetic.......
« Reply #7 on: 10:23:54, 16/01/20 »
I find lots of personnal opions and price ranges. Unfortrunally I find very little specs.


Looking for R ratings, pack sizes, weight, prices and reviews.


No offence but I'm not googling weights, prices and materials when you're perfectly able to do it yourself. 


In general, the nature of a forum is you're going to get opinions based on personal use - and price ranges are fundamental to most buyers, so you're likely to get prices too.  For example my synthetic belay jacket at the moment is a Mountain Equipment Prophet - light, warm, but 300 RRP.  For many hikers this just isn't going to be good economy for them, especially when I size mine XXL so it's purely a belay layer for when I'm stopped.  I also use a Mountain Equipment Fitzroy (a warmer jacket) for MR use and I'd class it as excellent, however it's far less packable than the Prophet so be prepared for this balance of warmth and bulk/weight.


Also you might want to consider your use-case, there are good materials which aren't 'down or synthetic' such as Polartec Alpha or Thermal Pro High Loft which - whilst not as warm as down, are starting to be comparable to synthetic insulation like Primaloft (whilst being more robust when repeatedly compressed) - allow you to wear a much thinner mid layer which can handle moisture better and last you longer.


Again there's no general 'right answer'.

gunwharfman

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Re: down or synthetic.......
« Reply #8 on: 11:08:22, 16/01/20 »
I have never bothered myself with R values, coat weight, etc but when I'm not wearing a jacket, I want it to fold up small and to fit comfortably in my rucksack. For me, it's all to do with what I wear and may need to wear depending on the weather conditions at the time. My clothes are now split into two groups, a general clothing group and clothing group specifically for when it rains. The following is all about dry weather clothing, nothing to do with keeping dry.

I don't like half zips so all my clothes are full zips. I also camp so depending on the time of the year, my general clothing tends to be, a base layer, a shirt or not, one, possibly two thin but warm cardigans (is this word now out of date?) a lightweight warm synthetic jacket plus my windshell. Now that I have a down jacket, I think in the colder months I will also pack this to wear and use when I've stopped walking, possibly to sleep in as additional warmth under my sleeping quilt, or to put on in the morning to keep me warm as I start to organise myself. The point I'm trying to make is that in my personal experience, depending on how you decide on which clothes to take with you, certain 'tricks' can be employed to decrease the clothes in your rucksack and lighten your load. For me I find the main 'trick' is to put on my windshell, once on I find I always feel much warmer. My down jacket is a stand-alone item, just to use when I need to be warm but not to use it to hike and then be sweaty in it.

At the moment my synthetic jacket is a cheap one from Alpkit, it does the job and for me is ideal to walk and sweat in.

Jac

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Re: down or synthetic.......
« Reply #9 on: 13:36:51, 16/01/20 »
Synthetic for walking/active wear. Down for inactive - birdwatching in my case
So many paths, so little time

Funky_Fred

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Re: down or synthetic.......
« Reply #10 on: 20:23:34, 16/01/20 »
I was thinking of a warm jacket fror belaying, camp fire and siting around and looking pretty...... :o


But also wanted a thinner jacket for walking, and other activities.


What really bothered me on how to compare several items on warmth rating vs price. Especially walking.I want it to pack to a small volume and weight as less as possible, until I see the price and start thinking again. ;D 


Even Decathlon hasv a warmth rating so you can compare items.



« Last Edit: 20:33:30, 16/01/20 by Funky_Fred »

gunwharfman

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Re: down or synthetic.......
« Reply #11 on: 21:31:52, 16/01/20 »
Yes, but to me what does a warmth rating mean? Its something I have never considered looking into, I know I may be stating the obvious but why would I want to?

Pitboot

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Re: down or synthetic.......
« Reply #12 on: 21:52:30, 16/01/20 »



Even Decathlon hasv a warmth rating so you can compare items.





Have a look at this:
https://trmctaggart.com/jackets-rated-weather-proofing-warmth/


Your best bet is to find a shop and try some kit on, ratings are at best a general guide.