Deciding between winter jackets

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Thanks for all of the replies. I decided to keep the Dragon jacket and wore it on my Tri-Pyramids hike Saturday. It worked great, both the pit zips and the hood were most welcome. As for the fleece, that's a good call too, I don't need so many jackets with hoods so I went back to carrying my older zip-up fleece that has no hood and packs a little better.

I'd like to find a fleece hoodie with pit zips. I can find one or the other but not both in one.


I use an LLBean XCR gortex jacket, which I found at around 1/2 price at their outlet in Nashua. It's a hooded jacket with pit zips and plenty of ventilation for the uphill and plenty of wind-break for the summits. And with the exception of their main zippers (* see below), it's been great.

(*) Admittedly, the main zipper has been the only weakness - but even my old North-face, hooded jacket's main zipper failed, I had my NorthFace's zipper replaced by EMS in Peterborough for about $25. LL Bean's warranty is such that they've taken back the first two XCR jackets I tried when the zipper failed early -- dangers of outlet purchases, I guess. The current one is showing signs of going, but admittedly I've had this jacket for years and taken it everywhere, even on a trip out West. I'll just have the zipper replaced by EMS.

Hope that helps.


PS LL Bean has renamed this jacket to "Ascent Jacket with Gore-Tex"