Best insulation layer

Beastmode

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Getting a new insulation layer this year and not sure what to get. My base layer is:
Kuiu 180 merino
And a kuiu 250 merino on top of that

Guide vest and guide jacket for outer layer.

I am plenty warm until it starts getting below 20 and a little wind. Considering the spindrift or superdown. Also considering the Patagonia Micropuff. Thanks guys/gals.
Grant
 

mtnkid85

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I was given a Patagonia Nanopuff as a gift a year ago, it has VERY quickly gained a spot in my all time favorite list right next to the Paty R1 hoody.
I would really take a look at the nano if your concisdering the Micro.

Essentially for me its a slightly warmer replacement for the really heavy weight fleeces I used to wear, such as the mtn hardware monkeyman, that still packs down smaller and lighter. The other benefit Ive grown to love, that I never thought about, was how well the Nano interacts with the other layers under and above it. The matierial is so slick that it is almost aids in motility rather than hamper, like most heavier insulation pieces do.

And then of course there are all the benefits (and downsides) of it being a synthetic layer too.
 

Matt Cashell

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I have already posted how much I like my Micropuff. I use the Micropuff as an outerlayer quite often.

The Patagonia R1 pullover fleece is my go-to insulating layer. I have several of them, and they get packed always.
 
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bounds

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I work for a specialty outdoor retailer, so I've had the opportunity to handle/test/use a ton of insulation pieces from the non-hunting scene. Most all of them are great insulating pieces. Either down or synthetic, every company makes their version of an ultra light down and synthetic piece now. Features are slightly different depending on the company's target end user, but they all serve the same purpose and are usually within a few ounces of each other on the scale.

Because of that, I have always like the ones that fit me the best. Almost always, I don't like a piece because of how it fits, not because of it's functionality. I guess it's similar to footwear for me in that respect. A lot of companies make great boots, it's the ones that fit me the best though that I end up loving.

All that said, I received my first piece of Kuiu for Christmas this year. The Superdown Hoodie. It fits me like a glove and for a hooded, dwr down jacket, it probably has the best warmth to weight ratio out there. There are a few that have a hood and are lighter weight, but they also have less down. Also, I have plenty of gear from non-hunting brands, but I like to support a hunting company when I can. I got the solid color and it is nice enough to wear to work and around town. I plan on doing a full review of it soon.
 

TheRambler

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Is it just me or should the items you listed you already have keep you warm in the teens say 15F + or - a few. I have never seen, or handled any kuiu gear, but EVERY single person i have ever seen talk about them is always cold. Is it a coincidence?, i don't know, but its definitely starting to make me think twice about buying kuiu clothing. It seems every place i hear it its with people that have the 185 and 250 baselayers and the guide jackets. Would like to handle some of their stuff first hand someday, but at this rate not sure if i will ever take that leap of faith. I am REALLY not meaning to bash kuiu here, just IMO 1+1 is not =2 in this case, something just isnt adding up.

Anyways, I have a pantagonia nano puff and agree that it is an awesome piece of gear. IF you can't stay warm with a nano layered in down to 0-5F or so then there is definitely something wrong with the other items. Especially if the rest of your body is properly clothed with hats, gloves, long johns etc.

Do those guide jackets/vest really block the wind? That can be the only thing i can think of that would render them less efficient.

For comparison sake this is what i wear down to -30F with absolutely 0 issues, layering the items as needed.
Head: smartwool beanie, balaclava, hood from an old hunting jacket
Torso:capaline 3 l/s, UA 1/4zip mid weight heat gear, WW2 british army wool sweater, pantagonia nano puff pullover, ECWCS goretex parka w/o liner
Hands: marmot wrist gaiters, smart wool glove liners, EMS fleece fingerless/mitten combo, OR endeavor mitts
Legs: capaline 2, winter weight bdus, cabelas down pants/long johns, ECWCS goretex pants
Feet: wool hiking sock, wool mountaineering sock, insulated boots, OR croc gaiters

For my torso, i am down to the teens with the capaline and the UA, and either the sweater OR the nano, never need both. I only add in the parka shell when its raining or REALLY windy.
 

2rocky

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Before someone else says it....

fat-cross-section.jpg
 

Matt Cashell

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TheRambler,

I have a Kuiu guide vest and Guide Jacket. I really like them. I like the guide series because it IS windproof, and takes some pretty serious rain to soak through. I know Hells Canyon doesn't agree, but I like that the guide series offers a little bit of insulation, and good weather protection. I stay warm down to the teens with a Capilene 2 baselayer, R1 pullover, and Guide jacket.

Looks like bounds finds his superdown hoody warm too.
 

TheRambler

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TheRambler,

I have a Kuiu guide vest and Guide Jacket. I really like them. I like the guide series because it IS windproof, and takes some pretty serious rain to soak through. I know Hells Canyon doesn't agree, but I like that the guide series offers a little bit of insulation, and good weather protection. I stay warm down to the teens with a Capilene 2 baselayer, R1 pullover, and Guide jacket.

Looks like bounds finds his superdown hoody warm too.

That's exactly why i was saying IMO i think that Beastmode would be comfortable down to the teens in the 2 merino baselayers, a guide vest, and guide jacket, unless there is something missing out of the picture here like 1)he isn't wearing a hat, 2)not wearing gloves, 3) feet are cold etc. I would think he should be perfectly fine at those temps without adding anything else. So its either he is a very cold natured person in general, not eating enough, not drinking enough, or some or multiple parts of his body are not covered adequately. I may be completely off on this one, but it just isnt adding up to me.
 
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Beastmode

Beastmode

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That's exactly why i was saying IMO i think that Beastmode would be comfortable down to the teens in the 2 merino baselayers, a guide vest, and guide jacket, unless there is something missing out of the picture here like 1)he isn't wearing a hat, 2)not wearing gloves, 3) feet are cold etc. I would think he should be perfectly fine at those temps without adding anything else. So its either he is a very cold natured person in general, not eating enough, not drinking enough, or some or multiple parts of his body are not covered adequately. I may be completely off on this one, but it just isnt adding up to me.

I am fine in the teens. I dont get cold im just not really "cozy" warm anymore. Just about right. If it starts getting close to 0 I would like to have an insulation layer to add my existing setup just in case. Sorry if I didn't make sense in my OP, reading it now it does seem like I was cold in the teens.
 

TheRambler

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That makes alot more sense! Thanks for clarifying Beastmode. In that case, i would recommend the pantagonia nano puff, however the micro puff is nice as well and has a little more insulation but more weight/bulk as well. I would also recommend checking out your local thrift stores and TJ Max and or MArshalls. I have found some nice stuff at thrift stores, found many llbean, eddie bauer, marmot, and montbell down jackets in thrift stores. My local tj max's just had marmot zues down jackets for $45!. While the pantagonia stuff is nice, there are plenty of other options out there as well.

Let us know what you end up going with and how it works out for you.
 

Matt Cashell

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TheRambler,

My original post was to beastmode, and I do think the micropuff would help him get down to 0. If not, the R1 AND micropuff would be really warm.

My last post was directed towards you, as you seemed concerned about Kuiu products and warmth in general. Don't shy away from Kuiu too quickly, you might like them.
 

HellsCanyon

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Matt,
I guess I should clarify on the softshell thing. While I haven't used the Kuiu Guide, I've used the C4E Element and Sitka 90% jackets (I assume the guide series has similar properties). For backcountry hunting, where you're likely to be hunting in decent weather and if it gets snow or rain you'll likely be encountering temperatures fluctuation above and below 32*F. So whether its snow or rain you'll likely get wet. This is where I would drop the weight of the soft shell and go with a rain jacket instead. That softshell just doesn't provide enough insulation or protection to deserve its own spot in my pack.

In consistent COLD weather, I do enjoy my element jacket as it does a good job of cutting wind, snow/water brushes off easy, and it breathes like a champ. But I usually won't encounter these types of conditions on my back country hunts, but more so in Nov/Dec when I am usually hunting from a car camp setup somewhere.

Just my .02 and everyone has a system that works for them. I'm looking forward to trying out the new First-lite rain gear to see how I like it!

Mike
 

Matt Cashell

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Mike,

The Guide's softshell material is different than the current 90%. While I doubt it is heavier, it IS thicker, more like the original 90% jacket (remember the removable hood version?). It is warmer than the current 90% jacket. The Kuiu DWR also seems to be more effective. I have been in moderate showers and never pulled out the hardshell.

I really like the Kuiu Guide stuff.

Sorry for the threadjack, beastmode, get a puffy already! ;)
 

Gman

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I agree. I'm surprised by all the negative comments on the guide jacket. I've been in torrential freezing rain and hail and it kept me dry. I also like to wear it first thing in gene morning when hiking to my first vantage point. It blocks the wind and keeps me warm while breathing well once I get going. I worry about a hard shell being able to breathe while really working up a sweat.
 

HellsCanyon

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Mike,

The Guide's softshell material is different than the current 90%. While I doubt it is heavier, it IS thicker, more like the original 90% jacket (remember the removable hood version?). It is warmer than the current 90% jacket. The Kuiu DWR also seems to be more effective. I have been in moderate showers and never pulled out the hardshell.

I really like the Kuiu Guide stuff.

Sorry for the threadjack, beastmode, get a puffy already! ;)

No worries Matt I hear where you're coming from and I never doubt your advice on stuff. Just not a piece that I'd incorporate into my system. Least ways not while my budget is this skinny ;)

And now back to our regular programming!

Mike
 

slim9300

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I say ditch the Guide vest and go with the SuperDown jacket instead. I'm sure there are other lightweight puffy coats that will keep you warm, but do they have treated down and is the company pro-hunting? If so, maybe check them out too.

The hooded SuperDown jacket is amazing how it can retain your body heat yet weigh almost nothing. The other day I was shooing my bow in 25 degree temps with just a tee shirt underneath the jacket. I was hardly moving for more than an hour and was toasty warm.
 
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Beastmode

Beastmode

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I say ditch the Guide vest and go with the SuperDown jacket instead. I'm sure there are other lightweight puffy coats that will keep you warm, but do they have treated down and is the company pro-hunting? If so, maybe check them out too.

The hooded SuperDown jacket is amazing how it can retain your body heat yet weigh almost nothing. The other day I was shooing my bow in 25 degree temps with just a tee shirt underneath the jacket. I was hardly moving for more than an hour and was toasty warm.

I knew you just got one slim and was hoping you would chime in.
 

Lawnboi

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I like my guide jacket as well. That being said I only take a soft shell if the temps allow me to wear it for the majority of the day. Early season I leave it and when I get cold glassing I pull out the chugach jacket and my puffy.

2layers of merino + moving around seems to do me good for warmer weather hunts.

The guide jacket is very breathable though.

Another brand of puffy jacket id check out is arcteryx. They offer 2 different weights, they have no seams so they seem to be warmer for the given weight. The lack of seams allows them to loft up more it seems like. They also offer a pullover, hooded jacket vest and pants. They are all light and compress awesome as well.

I love my kuiu gear but will never own the superdown. I hate down :)
 
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