Puffy Pants and Coat

armyjoe

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For a great puffy jacket I'd look at the Kryptek Kratos. Its warmer then the Kuiu Spindrift. Fits all the things your looking for. Best camo puffy on the market I think

If you want a normal mountaineering puffy, I'd look at Eddie Bauer. 800 fill down, light and DWR finish. I own all their jackets and for the price its really hard to beat.

Puffy Pants - honestly never wore and never heard of any of my buddies wearing them. Kuiu makes some that people talk about but honestly I'd push you to a mountaineering puffy pant probably. I say that because mountaineering companies have been designing them for a lot longer then Kuiu so they are better products.
 

Becca

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Regardless of trip length, I don't bring along a spare set of pants on any of our trips--just my puffy pants (and sometimes a merino long underwear bottom if its late season). If my lower half gets wet late in the day due to rain or creek crossing, I will often change into my puffy pants in the evening while making dinner etc. I would never hike in puffy pants, but if we stop to glass in cool weather or get pinned down glassing for sheep or another animal, it's great to have a warm lower layer to pull on rather than getting chilled. And of course the puffy gear is an essential part of our emergency bivy away from camp set up, it's always with us whenever we leave the tent for the day. I guess AK is probably somewhat colder than other places, but I know you can encounter cold temps at high elevations elsewhere. I consider my puffy coat and pants a necessity as opposed to a luxury, and would sooner leave my sleeping bag at home.


Plus with puffy gear along, I stay so warm and cozy I can catch a nap pretty much anywhere :)

IMGP0633.jpg
 

Darren Best

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I have the KUIU Super Down jacket and pants and I always have them with me.

I normally hate hoods on coats, but I very much like the hood on the Super Down jacket and the extra warmth from the hood is quite noticeable.

With the Super Down coating and always having my hard shell layer I am not concerned about them getting wet, I always put on my hard shell once the weather turns bad, even if it's just windy I put it on.

You are right about that Becca, even in the lower 48 at higher altitudes it can and does get cold in the summer, I've seen snow storms in July and August in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

I call this my survival kit and it goes in a Sea to Summit eVac dry sack.

Merino wool medium weight base layer, top and bottom
Merino wool hat
Merino wool socks
ID Hot Socks
KUIU Super Down hooded jacket and pants

I also always have with me.

Westcomb Cruiser LT eVent jacket and pants
Water proof insulated gloves
Either a wool or fleece shirt

All of this is in addition to the clothes I would normally have on and it all goes with me every trip out all year round. I have camped out in winter snow storms in Montana with this exact list for clothing down to 15F and did not get cold.
 

luke moffat

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Elk Hunter the Kuiu stuff certainly looks good and if I already didn't have a set of synethic gear I'd go that route for sure. The Kuiu pants certainly look good. Only reason I didn't get those over the Western Moutnaineering is that the WM are 6.5 oz for 2 oz of down while the Kuius weigh nearly 4 oz more and have 25% less insulation in them. The GoLite jacket is 13 oz compared to the Kuiu Jacket at 10 oz, but the GoLite does have more than double the insulation in it. Overall when I was pricing things out and warmth vs. weight vs. cost vs. what I already have it came to be that the Kuiu setup would weigh in the same as the GoLite jacket/WM pant combo but the jacket being quite a bit warmer as well as the pants.....the trade off is I have to keep them dry. Being as I really only bivy or hang out in camp in the pants I dont' see the MH Compressors really ever getting much use and except for drop off hunts or extremely wet hunts the GoLite will live in a dry bag when not in use and if it is raining it'll be under my shell.

We shall how it works out. That said the Kuiu system seems pretty sweet overall. Just couldn't get away from having twice the insulation for nearly half the overall price and it end up weighing the same being as I already have synthetic options. Especially when I got to by 2 of everything ;)
 

Darren Best

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The KUIU pants are for camp only, much too warm for hiking. Even when it's really cold, once you start uphill even the jacket is too warm. It's rare to see temps down here below 15 F, it gets that cold and I'm staying home. :)

I will get that GoLite jacket for my wife, she runs really cold and needs extra insulation. She did get her paws on my Super Down jacket last winter and it almost started a riot when I went to get it back. She does the same thing with the Kifaru Woobie. :)

Once I made the connection that I always put my hard shell on when the weather turns, I didn't see any reason to stay away from down clothing, warmer, lighter and compacts better.
 

luke moffat

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Only time down is an issue is day after day in 100% humidity and climbing through wet grass alders all day in the rain...your rain gear WILL soak through eventually...then down can be an issue for sure. But I rarely hike in my puffy stuff. Though I think bivying out at 15 degrees in just your puffy gear would be a bit tough not matter what. It gets chilly enough with sharing a quilt and 100 gram insulation jacket and pants with lows dipping down to 25 degrees.
 

Yellowknife

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Only time down is an issue is day after day in 100% humidity and climbing through wet grass alders all day in the rain...your rain gear WILL soak through eventually...then down can be an issue for sure. But I rarely hike in my puffy stuff.

Down can be an issue, even if you aren't soaking through your raingear. As you pointed out, most people don't hike in puffy gear... but that just means you are taking it on and off when you stop.

In 2011, I was sheep hunting with a guy that took a down jacket as his insulation layer. He packed it in a dry bag, and had decent raingear, so thought he was set. It was a cold, wet trip for much of the time so we got to test that theory. The weak link was actually putting it on/taking it off. Because it was cold, we needed to layer up at glassing stops, but every time he did it would be briefly exposed to the weather and soak up more water. That combined with the usual issues of water wicking in around the cuffs of sleeves, dripping down the neckline, and putting it on over sweat soaked clothing, had reduced it to a soggy mass of uselessness by day two.



Looks cold doesn't he?


The newer DWR treated fabrics and down may very well reduce this issue enough to make it workable (and is something I'll be testing), but it's something to consider if you hunt or play in wet country. Wet = cold, and that's when you want your insulation layers to work.

Yk
 

luke moffat

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Down can be an issue, even if you aren't soaking through your raingear. As you pointed out, most people don't hike in puffy gear... but that just means you are taking it on and off when you stop.

In 2011, I was sheep hunting with a guy that took a down jacket as his insulation layer. He packed it in a dry bag, and had decent raingear, so thought he was set. It was a cold, wet trip for much of the time so we got to test that theory. The weak link was actually putting it on/taking it off. Because it was cold, we needed to layer up at glassing stops, but every time he did it would be briefly exposed to the weather and soak up more water. That combined with the usual issues of water wicking in around the cuffs of sleeves, dripping down the neckline, and putting it on over sweat soaked clothing, had reduced it to a soggy mass of uselessness by day two.



Looks cold doesn't he?


The newer DWR treated fabrics and down may very well reduce this issue enough to make it workable (and is something I'll be testing), but it's something to consider if you hunt or play in wet country. Wet = cold, and that's when you want your insulation layers to work.

Yk

Very good points YK...we'll see how it works out for me this year, hopefully I don't regret it...I know I won't regret the puffy pants as that saves 14 oz over the other ones and I rarely wear them except in the tent or bivying out, but the jacket we'll see, if nothing else it'll make for a good lightweight option for an extra insulation layer in the winter. I can see applications to have both...so now I do :D
 

Yellowknife

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Very good points YK...we'll see how it works out for me this year, hopefully I don't regret it...I know I won't regret the puffy pants as that saves 14 oz over the other ones and I rarely wear them except in the tent or bivying out, but the jacket we'll see, if nothing else it'll make for a good lightweight option for an extra insulation layer in the winter. I can see applications to have both...so now I do :D

Options never hurt. And I'm actually planning on doing same thing with a Ghost Whisperer jacket for lighter duty use. Will see how it holds up.

I'm not prone to cold legs, so currently just pack a set of long underwear and call it good. The puffy pants are for when it's cold enough that there might be snow on the ground, and don't make my cut for most mountain hunting. For bivying out, I'm going with the synthetic sleeping bag, which helps to keep my overall gear list to a minimum.

Another major drawback to down clothing IME, is tears, spark holes, etc in the shell fabric. With synthetic, I can ignore it until I get a chance to patch it right. With down, if I can't fix it right away I'll bleed out all the feathers from that baffle. All of which isn't to say I don't like down... because I do. It just has to be used with it's weaknesses in mind and some repair tape handy.

Yk
 
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