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Topic: Mid 20's, Layers and jacket or coat too?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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KC8QVO Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 17 2013, 10:44 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm trying to decide if I want to take my down coat this weekend... supposed to be in the mid 20's at night. Its either that or layer up long johns, a fleece jacket, and my wind breaker/rain coat while in camp. I think that will work OK, but if the weather man is off and the bottom falls out I'll be screwed. The day temp on day 1 is 50+ with a lot of wind, then dropping to 25 over night, and up to 30 the next day.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 17 2013, 11:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How thick is the down?  I often wear a Patagonia Micropuff, which is warmer than fleece, but not in the same category as my down jacket.  Fleece with a good base layer and rain jacket would be almost enough for me in dry air, but not if it's damp.

EDIT: I wouldn't rely much on how people answer this.  If you're unsure, start with too much.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 18 2013, 12:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Depends on your other layers, which fleece, and which down jacket you're talking about. You didn't give any detail. Are you wearing the fleece during the day?
At those temps I can't hike in a fleece, and use a light baselayer with an OR Ferrosi jacket. For insulation when inactive, I always take down instead of fleece. My down jacket and Patagonia R2 weigh the same, but the down is warmer and packs smaller.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 18 2013, 6:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think it really depends on the down jacket you own.  I've got a couple down layers that weigh almost nothing.  I wouldn't blink an eye to pack them... even if I felt it might be overkill.  If you're down jacket is super light and super compactable throw it in and have the peace-of-mind knowing it's there if you need it.  

You're very right about the weather man possibly being off!  Also, depending on where you're hiking the temperature could vary by several degrees.  I've been camping a lot down in the hollows of eastern Kentucky (hollers if you're from that area) and the temperature has been 5 to 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding higher elevations.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 18 2013, 8:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When I was in my mid 20s I was a lot hotter than I am now Thirty years later  Diabetic and BP meds. I always error on the side of warmth. You cant wear what ya dont got.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 18 2013, 9:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm with big_Load. I would much rather carry some extra weight than go without enough warmth on a cold hiking trip.
Extra weight is worth evading the risk of being miserable, or even hypothermia.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 18 2013, 11:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(big_load @ Jan. 17 2013, 8:32 pm)
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EDIT: I wouldn't rely much on how people answer this.  If you're unsure, start with too much.

+1

If I expect anything below freezing...and anything within 10 degrees of it, I bring my down jacket which I've been plenty comfortable in down to 0 and below. I can always unzip but it's hard to get warm you simply don't have enough clothing/layers.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 18 2013, 6:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The coat is a MH Subzero parka (I think). It isn't any joke of a coat = like wearing a sleeping bag. It isn't super heavy, but I'd like to avoid it if I can. It is another 1.5lbs or so + bulk.  

I don't hike in my fleece unless it is really cold. I wear synthetic shirts. The one I am wearing this trip is like a long sleeve baselayer upper, but more slick/smooth than normal baselayer fabric. When hiking I'm good in it to freezing if the wind isn't much. If the wind is blowing I'll throw my wind breaker/rain coat over top with some venting. Down to 0deg I'll throw my fleece on somewhere in between there and freezing. I can't layer up too much because I'll over-heat, but when I stop moving I have to have something more substantial to throw on = my down parka.

I have 2 baselayer sets packed. For uppers that should be enough with my fleece and jacket over top to get me in to the 20's, but below that I'm not sure.

The only bottom windbreaker of sorts I have are my snowboarding pants, and they're way too heavy. For snowshoeing they work OK, but not this trip... I'll have my hiking pants and 2 baselayer bottoms, one of which I will be hiking in on day 2  - supposed to be below freezing all day, and if it is windy like they're predicting I'm not sure it is going to get out of the upper 20's, much less hit 30deg.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 18 2013, 7:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(KC8QVO @ Jan. 17 2013, 8:44 pm)
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I think that will work OK, but if the weather man is off and the bottom falls out I'll be screwed.

I think you've kinda already answered your own question.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 18 2013, 9:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For me it would depend also on what sort of "windbreaker/raincoat" that was. For me "windbreaker" says lightweight and posdibly also short, that I wouldn't want to carry me into the 20s and below especially when the forecast is for "a lot of wind". That's why hardshells are for in my view.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 19 2013, 12:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I picked up a new piece of gear this evening - a new down underquilt from Hammock Gear. Thanks to Adam over there I got it in time :) That shaved over 2lbs off my pack weight in the bottom insulation alone. I'd like to keep the weight down, but with a 2lb credit I have a bit more room to play with.

My parka is right at 2lbs in its stuff sack. I had the scales out for all this (and about 2 hours time going through my gear - I'm a gram counter, not a gram weenie). My pack weight as it sits right now is right about 40lbs - including my 1.8lb shell pants. Some of my gear I can off-load on my hiking partner - his share of the food and cookware. That might kill a couple lbs.

Though, I just realized we have to pack all our water in. The place we're going usually has park-supplied water at the camp sites but they don't stock the tanks in the winter. I think we'll get by OK though.

So I think the parka will make it along. I can spare the weight. We're not on much of a time/mile crunch either day so that helps too.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 19 2013, 1:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If that wind doesn't die down when the temp drops, it will of course seem much colder than mid 20s.  I can have trouble staying warm in my own house.  I'm just a few feet from the hot fire, the thermostat says the house is 75, and I'm wearing fleece pjs, wool socks, and a fleece jacket to stay comfy.  So, yeah, I'd be bringing the parka along with a good hat, gloves, down booties, and all those other layers.  I know that would be overkill for many people, but I hate being cold and always go prepared for the weather to be worse than expected.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 19 2013, 6:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you use a hammock and your pack weighs 40 lbs a down jacket isn't your issue.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 10:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Back from the trip, parka went along, and parka was used. I may have been able to get by without it, but I didn't test my jacket really. I don't know the exact temp in the morning, but it was at most freezing and real windy. I took my snowboarding pants too and they helped a ton. There would be no way I could have stopped the wind with my hiking pants alone.

While hiking on day 2 I found that my fleece regulated my temp OK. After about a mile to a mile and a half I took my fleece off for a while until we stopped for lunch, then I threw it on real quick. I left it on the remainder of the trip along with my beanie.

My underquilt shaved around 2lbs off my old weight. If I swap out my sleeping bag for a top quilt I can shave another 2lbs or so, more for warmer weather. I will have to play around with the underquilt in some other temps to see what it is good for - it is rated for well below 20deg (standard 20deg rating with the most over-stuff they offer, I'd guess it will work down to single digits, maybe below 0). I am not sure what it will do on the high end. I know even if it is 60deg I get chilled with no bottom insulation, but if the underquilt is too hot I'll have to come up with another option - maybe one layer of my fleece underquilt instead of the 3 I have.

I am by no means an ultra-light backpacker. At the same time I don't want to add excess lbs if I don't have to. A lot of what I take can be argued as non-essential, but it is sure nice - like a saw and my shortwave radio. My radio setup was 3lbs and the saw is about 1.5lbs. I'm sure as time goes on I will acquire lighter and lighter gear options (my radio and underquilt are my 2 "big" steps towards the weight reduction, I don't get in to it all here). Options to come include my sleeping bag and water purification vs. packing in. I could do some work on food also, but I like to eat well in the backcountry.


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