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Old 09-16-2008   #1
Oak Creek, CO (noon bell, bitches), Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 83
Best down ski jacket

Looking to buy my man a new down jacket to celebrate his move to the cold mountains of nw Colorado. Something with pit zips, prefer patagonia but the website doesn't state pit zips or not on their down jackets? Any ideas - bc & resort ski/ walking/ general warmth on 20-40 degree below days. I love my cloudveil down patrol but it seems creepy to both have it.

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Old 09-16-2008   #2
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 94
For a down jacket or rather a parka you generally don't want pit zips or anything that is going to lower warmth...i.e. ventalation, not sure they even make them that way. I have three Parkas, two down and one synthetic. I like the synthetic the best because when it gets wet (which it does and has) it retains most of it's warmth. The synthetic isn't quite as warm as straight down but its warm and I think the value of the warm when wet is enough for this decision to be a no brainer.

I guess it boils down to what does your man like to do? If he's a townie trying to look cool in his warm puff jacket then none of this matters, find what you think will look the best on him and get it. If he's a hardened mountaineer looking to get nasty on 13ers and 14ers in the winter with no sleeping bag or tent then more thought needs to be invested. I bought the marmot guide parka and it's a nice down jacket but the lack of a hood I think severly takes away from this coat. I won't buy another parka without a hood.

Patagonia Das Parka > Synthetic Insulation - Free Shipping & No Sales Tax - here's my favorite that I have the patagonia DAS Parka. I will see them on sale at times (and it just was so do some searching) for around $125.

I've had friends that have had North Face parkas but I feel like they always ripped.

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Old 09-16-2008   #3
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1066
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 165
I love my patagonia down sweater, but it is not really an outerwear piece. I also have a north face down parka that claims to be waterproofish, meaning that I can ride in it when it is snowing and not worry too much about melting snow. Arc'Teryx also makes a really nice insulated jacket called the fission.
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Old 09-16-2008   #4
iliketohike's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 176
pataguchi is nice, but Marmot is known for there down. That's how they got started, making down jackets and sleeping bags. I have a Marmot Plasma jacket. It is filled with 850+ down (the best) and uses pertex which is the same material Marmot uses in there ultralight sleeping bag. It weighs 1.5 pounds and stuffs to about the same size as an ultra light bag. I put it in my pack and I know if I had to stay out the night when skiing in the winter I would be reasonably comfortable. Its really warm. The only drawback is people comment that they think it is the 8000 meter parka, which it is not.

Marmot updated the design and now calls the equivelent parka the Greenland. It doesn't resemble the 8000 meter parka. That's the best jacket for ice climbing belaying and winter camping and teeners.

Another option is Cloudveil, which makes an equivelent jacket, though heavier. They use windstopper for the shell. I don't think it compresses as much but I bet it would be sweet for around down when it is cold.

Check it out. It's hard to find a sample of the jacket I am talking about, but its the best, trust me.

Oh, and it costs $325.
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Old 09-16-2008   #5
over, all
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 32
jbarnow has a good point. Will he use it for resort skiing only or aerobic backcountry endeavors as well? I have a marmot ama dablam which has a hood and is nicely packable for climbing and backcountry skiing. Down and heavy synthetics are typically not used during activity but only during rest. If it's a resort ski jacket only, I would suggest the cloudveil down patrol. If youre looking for something really high end, you might check out feathered friends or wild things as well.
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Old 09-17-2008   #6
Oak Creek, CO (noon bell, bitches), Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 83
Thanks. I guess I am looking for synthetic since he will be using it for some resort skiing but mostly backcountry and cold days of outdoor work. It definitely needs to be as water-resistant as possible. Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-17-2008   #7
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 94
I have the 8000m parka and I think it's overkill for colorado...granted if I did have to spend the night at altitude in the winter it'd be nice. My Patagonia DAS did me good one night on the side of longs in october but I am sure I would have been happier with the 8000m. Regardless it doesn't sound like the purpose will be for seriously cold endeavors with overnight possibility so I'd say go with whatever you think he'll like the best. A parka is just great for walking around town when it's cold.
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Old 09-17-2008   #8
iliketohike's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 176
yeah I agree, the 8000 meter parka is overkill for Colorado. When people confuse my jacket for that and give me shit I don't really like it. They changed the design so it doesn't have the same patches now.

Anyway, down is only for stopping or really freaking cold, like sub -20F.

The puffball equivelent jacket, all the companies have a model, is great cause it can go under a shell, get soaked without loosing warmth, and is amazingly warm. I prefer the ones with a hood. I also live in the vest all winter. The material is called primoloft or something. I prefer the lightweight shell material cause it packs down really nicely that way, and I wear it under my shell.

Unless your dude is an ice climber, winter camper, or mountaineer, he doesn't need a highend down jacket. Definitely not for the slopes. But it is nice to be able to walk around in your sleeping bag.
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Old 09-17-2008   #9
The next zone, .
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,200
Some good jackets listed but for me the patagucci and marmot just wont hold up for even a winter.. Like I said for me.. Unless you are using it as a layer and putting a shell over the top.

The best gear / jacket for my application (4 days a week BC sled access) is made by 686. It will take a beating and last for at least 2 seasons. Now if you are looking for the ultra-light packable down jacket layer gucci or the others will be better.

686 makes the best winter gear I have ever found and is IMO way more styley than gucci or marmot. Ck it out just another option.
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Old 09-17-2008   #10
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 68
Patagucci Rubicon Rider
Synthetic and waterproof.
Takes a beating and can be worn with or without hood.

Patagonia Men's Rubicon Rider Jacket

If you just want a really warm down jacket:
Mountain Hardwear: Down : Sub Zero Jacket

Mine is 12 years old

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