Insulation layer, down or synthetic?

cmeier117

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So what do you guys use for your insulation puffy jacket layer? Do you think the DWR on down jackets will keep the down dry enough during light rain until the rain jacket gets put on? Or do you only go with a synthetic jacket? I am looking at the Montbell UL Down jacket. Thoughts?
 

HellsCanyon

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I switched this year to the Kuiu Spindrift... mainly because it was onsale and I was looking for something that would be lighter than a wool sweater and pack down smaller. Definitely not disappointed. The only benefit I see of this jacket over down however is the fact that it was able to sustain pretty good rainfall on a fishing trip a few weeks ago, dried quickly and was still doing its job as an insulating layer. Depending on the kind of hunts you have planned I say there is probably a place for both in a guys arsenal of clothing. If I had to choose one however, it'd be synthetic.

Mike
 
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cmeier117

cmeier117

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I live in Oregon. So it is pretty wet here. But we can get no rain all September too.
 

fillthefreezer

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i went synthetic as i live west of the cascades and didnt want to get 2 diff jackets. size and weight penalty is minimal i think. i have a down vest i run for scouting early in the year when not expecting weather, mostly just to use for a pillow and before/after light
 

JG358

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I'm planning on usning a Kuiu Spindrift for early season and saving the down for late season hunts when moisture isnt an issue.
 

mtnkid85

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For me it depends on the time of year and the weather Im expecting. I tend to think of it as 3 big seasons. Summer, Shoulders and Winter.

Full summer and I know that I will just be wanting a something light to keep the chill at bay during the night then Ill bring down if the weather forcast is somewhat decent. Most of our summer squals hit in the afternoon and are only on you for a few hours. That I can deal with while wearing down and a rain coat. However If I am expecting rain/clouds over the entire trip than I might grab my Shoulder season favorite, my synthetic Patagonia Nano puff.

For me again this garment ends up being a real shoulder season mainstay. If Im expecting to be in wet spring snow where the temps arent low enough to keep everything frozen, or if its rain in the forecast for every day then Im not going to even try to worry about keeping down dry/figuring out how to dry it out once it is wet. I will just take sythetic.
But then once full winter comes around again and the temps drop down to where all forms of moisture are freezing, then down becomes the go to garmet again. When all the condensation and or snow is freezing, then its simply a matter of brushing it off to stay dry.

Of course I have a variety of layers to fill the rolls in these three main seasons, depending on the temps and my forecasted level of activity. A few of my absolute favorites which fill probally 98% or my insulation needs are the Montbell UL down vest, Feathered friends hooded helios down jacket, Patagonia R1 fleece and Patagonia Nanopuff.
 

Becca

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While we have gear in both down and synthetic, the extended chance of my puffy layers getting wet mean I am more comfortable going with synthetics for everything but full winter activities. I like to be able to glass in light rain with my puffy coat on, or sit down in my puffy pants without being totally sure there isn't some dew or other moisture on the ground. I trust the water resistant shell on my jacket up to a point, but I still feel more confident going with a insulation layer that can provide warmth even if it gets wet or damp.

We use down sleeping bags with less worry, as they travel in dry bags and do not leave the tent. Still, in trips to Kodiak or where we anticipate more brutal weather conditions, we sometimes take our synthetic sleeping bags instead.
 

CtP

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Do you think the DWR on down jackets will keep the down dry enough during light rain until the rain jacket gets put on?
to answer your question, yes. I think you'll be fine. I use a patagonia down jacket cuz it's warm, lightweight, compressible. If I'm worried about it getting soaked ( river crossing ect ) i put it in a dry bag. If it's raining and cold, well I wear a hardshell.
If you're smart, you can get by with either. I have a patagonian nano puff pullover and vest and those will be in the truck as we fly into sheep country.
Sleeping bags are a different story but you can mitigate the wet with dry bags, bivys, good waterproof shelters ect... I'll be using a wiggys, my pardna' will prob have a down bag.

If you have deep pockets, well go for it!
 
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