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    Thread: Insulating Layer For Under Hard Shell - Down "Sweaters"

    1. 01-09-2011 08:51 PM #1
      I am looking at this here -



      Which looks like a jacket to me, no idea how it became a sweater.

      I could wear it around and if it got really windy/rainy/snowy I could throw a Gore-tex hard shell over it.

      I am a solid believer in pit zippers to help control body heat. My hard shell has them but this Patagonia jacket does not. I have looked at a few different brands and have not seen any with pit zippers. Has anyone seen something like this with pit zippers to help control body heat?

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      01-10-2011 06:38 AM #2
      I have that jacket, sweater, and its warm and super light. I have never seen a down jacket with pit zips. Down is not to be used in high activity sports since down looses its insulation abilities when wet. Also down works best when its lofty (not compressed). Putting something over a down jacket can compress the down and make it less effective. Down is much better for once you get to "base camp" to layer up with.

      Honestly if I were doing anything "active" I would go for fleece or synthetic insulation. If its just for walking the dog or going from bar to bar down is fine.

    3. 01-10-2011 12:52 PM #3
      I haven't heard of any with pit zips.

      I don't have one of these types of jackets (yet). I've been thinking of it and narrowed it down to two options. Not sure which I'll go with, but both seem very well reviewed. First is the Patagonia you showed above.

      The other, and more likely, is the Montbell Thermawrap.

      http://www.backcountry.com/montbell-...on-jacket-mens

      I've only ever heard good things about these. Also, the first review of this MB jacket mentions how it isn't binding like the Patagonia version.

      Edit: There's also a Montbell non- BC version available...apparently its a closer to match to the Patagonia pictured above.

    4. 01-10-2011 02:34 PM #4
      I usually have my quarter zip Mountain Hardware monkey fleece jacket on under my hard shell. With the hard shell pit zippers open and the main zipper open I have no problem keeping a comfortable temp when I'm working hard in the snow or whatnot.

    5. 01-16-2011 10:17 AM #5
      i have somewhat of an outerwear/winter clothing obsession and own wayyy to many jackets. i have that patagonia down sweater you posted, as well as a stoic down sweater http://www.backcountry.com/stoic-luft-down-sweater-mens and an EMS mercury primaloft "jacket" http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3962552. i find the patagonia and stoic sweaters almost too warm. i only wear them on the coldest of cold days (well below zero) under a shell if i'm snowboarding or as an outer layer if there is no threat of snow. typically i wear my base layer, a light fleece, my shell and i'm good to go.

      The EMS mercury jacket is an awesome jacket. it is slightly less warm then the down jacket, still packs super well and i never feel like i'm overheating in it. it does have pit zips which is an awesome feature. i find myself wearing the ems jacket almost everyday in the winter and if i'm not i'm usually wearing the matching vest. on sale for a 100 bucks and a lifetime warranty isn't too bad either.

    6. 01-19-2011 08:44 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by roccostud View Post
      I usually have my quarter zip Mountain Hardware monkey fleece jacket on under my hard shell. With the hard shell pit zippers open and the main zipper open I have no problem keeping a comfortable temp when I'm working hard in the snow or whatnot.
      I tend to be like a switch, either cold/chilly or sweating my ass off. The only time I ever really get to comfortable is if I am laying down not doing anything.

      I have an ECWCS fleece that I will throw on under a shell to stay warm. It has the pit zips so it can deal with a pretty big range of temps. While I find it to be more than enough when I am active I find I need something different if I am not active. If I am not active though I find the cold soaks through the shell and cools off the fleece and gets me cold which means more layers.

      There are times when multiple layers is exactly what you want and there are other times when just having something like a down sweater and a shell is great. If I am at work the last thing I want to is put on a bunch of layers just to go to lunch.


      Quote Originally Posted by ghost_rider_x View Post
      The EMS mercury jacket is an awesome jacket. it is slightly less warm then the down jacket, still packs super well and i never feel like i'm overheating in it. it does have pit zips which is an awesome feature. i find myself wearing the ems jacket almost everyday in the winter and if i'm not i'm usually wearing the matching vest. on sale for a 100 bucks and a lifetime warranty isn't too bad either.
      Thanks for the recommendation. I checked out EMS online and all they seemed to have is the red which I was not too excited with. They are not showing any other colors available anywhere. I stopped by their local store to check one out in person and see what size I would need (I find EMS brand stuff to be strange, some stuff runs big and some stuff small). They had plenty of red but also a few black and grey jackets too. They did not have the black on in my size but the guy ended up finding me one so I got coming.
      Last edited by kmf; 01-19-2011 at 08:47 PM.

    7. 01-30-2011 10:59 AM #7
      I have been wearing the EMS Mercury jacket for about two weeks now and it is pretty warm. Our cold days here have been as cold as negative single digits and warming up to the teens. Most days I have just thrown it on with nothing else. If really cold is has been go to go with just a light sweater on.

      The biggest thing is that it stops the wind which is something my ECWCS fleece does not do, but then it was not design to.

      I like the pocket on the left breast, great for my smartphone, but I think it is a little too deep as I do not like my phone going into my armpit. It also a pocket on the right breast that is inside the jacket. This is a good feature IMO as I like to keep my wallet in there.

      Maybe it is just me, but my impression of the EMS Mercury is almost like a much improved M65 Field Jacket Liner.


      I was a Merrel store last night and they have an 800 fill down jacket just like it with the pit zips. Pretty nice, although their medium is a little smaller than the EMS medium. I had all kinds of stuff in my pockets and did not feel like taking it all out right there in the store but it seemed like the down jacket was lighter than the EMS Mercury jacket. EMS has a weight listed for their jacket but Merrell does not. The Merrell does not have the left breast pocket, but does have the inside pocket like the EMS jacket.

      Ghost Rider, since you have both an 800 fill down jacket and the EMS jacket which would you say is lighter and which would you say is warmer?

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