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Thread: Looking for vest recommendations

  1. #1
    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
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    Looking for vest recommendations

    Looking to get an insulated vest. Seems like everyone has down vests. I'm looking for synthetic insulation. Like the idea of down, but don't they have to be dry cleaned?

    Thanks
    "The fact that going off the deep end appears
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    in this life has not escaped me." Jim Harrison

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    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peakbagr View Post
    Looking to get an insulated vest. Seems like everyone has down vests. I'm looking for synthetic insulation. Like the idea of down, but don't they have to be dry cleaned?

    Thanks
    Nope. You can wash (gentle) and tumble dry.

    Only worry is that a lot of down garments are a built so light they're not very robust. Tiny bits of down can leak through the seams during ordinary use. Should be fine for years, but the more you manhandle them the more fluff you'll lose. An exterior garment like a down vest shouldn't need to be washed more than once a year, if that.

    Down is lighter and MUCH more compressible than any synthetic, makes a HUGE difference in your winter backpack. Go with real down unless you need something you can wear in the rain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peakbagr View Post
    Looking to get an insulated vest. Seems like everyone has down vests. I'm looking for synthetic insulation. Like the idea of down, but don't they have to be dry cleaned?

    Thanks
    What do you plan on using the vest for?

    I'll recommend something like this one: https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/5141...erm=vest&pos=5
    Last edited by jfb; 12-12-2020 at 11:03 AM.

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    The downtek treated down is pretty amazing stuff. In most conditions it retains its loft is far better.

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    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
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    Peakbagger, who makes vests with downtek treatment? Might be leaning toward down now.
    "The fact that going off the deep end appears
    to be a requisite to doing anything of consequence
    in this life has not escaped me." Jim Harrison

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    I think Beans is the biggest brand. The DownTeK website has a list of the other brands but they dont seem to be name brands.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Vermonster's Avatar
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    Big Agnes also has/had a DownTek vest: Big Agnes Men's Ways Gulch Vest
    Sold out on their website but REI and Moosejaw seem to still have stock in smaller sizes.

  8. #8
    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the great input.
    "The fact that going off the deep end appears
    to be a requisite to doing anything of consequence
    in this life has not escaped me." Jim Harrison

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    Treated down is mostly marketing. Here's what Western Mountaineering has to say:

    "Why isnít Western Mountaineering using hydrophobic down in any products?

    We have found in our own testing that the performance enhancements of hydrophobic treatments on high quality down are widely overstated. High quality untreated down already has naturally water repellant oils on it left by the geese (makes sense since geese spend a lot of time in water). These oils help repel water and keep down lofted. More importantly is that these oils last indefinitely. Hydrophobic treatments wash out like a DWR and remove the natural oils during the application process. Because of this, and the water resistant capability of our shell fabrics, we feel that hydrophobic down does not provide a considerable impact on performance and could actually inhibit performance over the lifetime of our products."

    My down gear doesn't go anywhere near water. Treated or not, wet down is useless and the treatments only marginally improve dry time while providing little real-world protection to resisting wetting out to begin with. If you're looking for something to be reliably effective while wet Climashield APEX is your best bet.

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    I've used some of their stuff, booties, hoodlum, quilts. Good quality. The lead times can be excessive, at times. Its not a vendor for someone used to instant gratification.

    https://enlightenedequipment.com/mens/

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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    I've used some of their stuff, booties, hoodlum, quilts. Good quality. The lead times can be excessive, at times. Its not a vendor for someone used to instant gratification.

    https://enlightenedequipment.com/mens/
    Their Torrid line is a great option.

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    I'm still wondering what everyone is using their vests for. Is it something to wear on a cool evening when camping and a jacket is too warm or as a mid-layer under a shell while hiking when a base layer is not enough and something with sleeves is too warm? Or maybe as a outer layer when hiking in cold weather when a shell might not be necessary? Or maybe it's something you only carry as emergency insulation if you have to spend a night in the woods? Or to wear inside a sleeping bag on cold nights? I can see where three different vests might be needed.

  13. #13
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    I rarely if ever use an insulating layer when hiking. I use my Downtek jacket for long stops like lunch or post hike. If I need an intermediate layer for hiking I use fleece. IMHO Down is not great option in typical New England conditions when hiking but great for winter camping post hike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I rarely if ever use an insulating layer when hiking. I use my Downtek jacket for long stops like lunch or post hike. If I need an intermediate layer for hiking I use fleece. IMHO Down is not great option in typical New England conditions when hiking but great for winter camping post hike.
    Are you recommending a fleece vest?

  15. #15
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    No I dont do vests, I just buy my shell large and make sure they have pit zips

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