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Author Topic: New down mountaineering parka on its way!  (Read 844 times)

Offline 300winmag

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New down mountaineering parka on its way!
« on: January 01, 2019, 06:43:21 pm »
A few days ago  I ordered LL Bean's men's "Ultralight 850 Big Baffle Down Jacket" (Item #TA505278)

It was and still is on a double sale at a final reduction of 32%. For my size of Large Tall it was $309.  but now on sale at $209.!

This is Bean's warmest parka because of the baffle design instead of being sewn-thru. Only the hood is sewn-thru, which is OK for me B/C I always wear a warm hat anyway.

MODS:
1.  Velcro-detachable fur ruff form Glacier Wear in Maine $60. + $12 S&H (Not a cheap date but as folks here know fur is 'spensive unless you trap yer own. Should arrive within 7 days from today (1/3/'19).
2. Down filled internal zipper baffle over the plain strip provided by the factory (Got to buy some down for it.)

This parka will be my "camp parka" and hunting stand parka as well as for a very cold weather alpine skiing parka when at high altitudes above 8,000 ft. here in the western states.

Q. What do you folks wear for an extreme cold garment or do you just keep adding layers?

Eric B.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 04:00:07 pm by 300winmag »

Offline GearFreak

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Re: New down mountaineering parka on its way!
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2019, 08:32:21 pm »
Sounds like a good score at that price.

Have many cold options depending on activity/temps:

For heavy to moderate activity at below -15C
my homemade anorak with fleece liner and layer under as required

For low to moderate activity below -25C
my Canada goose parka

for snowmobiling & hunting
fxr jacket and bib snow pants - but I will overheat quickly if working or when walking.

Above -15 I wear an old winter coat and hoodie or my anorak depending on what I am doing.

My down puffy coat is used when hiking around 0C and above 0 is a whole different set of gear.

I would consider anything below -30 extreme (that's actual temp not windchill "feels like").  That puts it in the anorak/layers when active in the bush or my Fxr gear, or my Goose.  The goose is heavy, the the fxr suit in the middle, the anorak is light.  depends on how much i figure I will sweat.
 


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Offline 300winmag

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Re: New down mountaineering parka on its way!
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2019, 01:27:28 pm »
Hi Gear Freak,

Like your handle. Reminds me of my motto, "I can stop buying backpacking gear anytime I want. I've done it hundreds of times."  ;D

My layering system is varied as well.

20 F. to 0 F.
1. Moving with pack -> polyester long johns, wool Norwegian sweater, fleece vest, vented GTX parka

2. In camp -> add light down jacket (after removing mountain parka and "airing out" to get red of moisture buildup)

   0 F. to -20 F.
1. Moving with pack -> same as above plus synthetic fiber filled (Thermolite Micro) jacket

2. In camp -> my new LL Bean baffled down parka
and mittens when done cooking.
mitten shell-> OR Gore-Tex gauntlet style
mitten liner-> double layer fleece or Dachstein boiled wool with thin liner gloves

Eric B.
P.S. The new down mountaineering parka and the -20 F. sleeping bag both have Down Tech treatment on the down for moisture resistance. Mainly it means it will dry more than 2X faster than untreated down. It does absorb 30% less moisture and that helps a bit. Still a waterproof VBL suit keeps that to almost nothing.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 01:34:54 pm by 300winmag »

Offline 300winmag

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Re: New down mountaineering parka on its way!
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2019, 11:52:41 pm »
Aaaaarrrggghhh!

That LL Bean "Big Baffle" parka was SEWN-THRU, and NOT baffled. The ad copy was wrong and their Product Specialist admitted it.
I sent it back.

But Monday (1/7/'18) I ordered an Eddie Bauer PEAK XV parka. It actually IS baffled and, like the LL Bean parka, has a DWR treatment for the down called Dri Down. At $299. for baffles and 800 fill down it is $90. more than the Bean parka but well worth it given its much better construction.

Now I'll be warm on ski lifts and back country winter camping.

AND I got the 30" coyote fur ruff from Glacier Wear in Maine. A nice ruff that is made of 4 pieces of matched fur with grosgrain tape on the edges. It will get Velcro on it and on the parka hood so I can remove it when I want.

Eric B.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 07:13:51 pm by 300winmag »

Offline Jawax

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Re: New down mountaineering parka on its way!
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2019, 10:10:42 am »
Aaaaarrrggghhh! That LL Bean "Big Baffle" parka was SEWN-THRU, and NOT baffled. The ad copy was wrong and their Product Specialist admitted it.
I sent it back.
Ad copy?  Seems like a very poorly chosen product name given the construction, and I can't believe they would charge that much for a sew-through..  Better luck on the next one. 

I have a Mountain Hardware big hooded puffy belay jacket I got on clearance from Backcountry or Sierra TP.  I always bring it with me on my winter trips as I think of it as my "fail safe" warmest layer, but in honesty I rarely wear it as its usually too warm. Then again, I'm not at your altitude, and I hot tent.  My ruff is on my Wintergreen shell anorak, which is always my outer layer. 

Offline 300winmag

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Re: New down mountaineering parka on its way!
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2019, 07:23:14 pm »
OK, the Eddie Bauer PEAK XV parka arrived 2 days ago and it is an excellent "expedition" severe weather parka.

PROS:
1. DWR treated down - absorbs 30% less & dries 60% faster than untreated down
2. baffled construction in torso, arms and hood
3. hood is "helmet compatible" (will fit over my ski helmet)
4. Drawstrings at hem (tighten from inside hand warmer pockets if desired), face (ends inside hood to keep wind from slapping them in your face), rear of hood drawstring pull  (horizontal drawstring  to pull hood away from eye area on each side)
5. light and tough Cordura brand fabric shell (does not lock like Cordura pack cloth but is tough. Snagging it on a Ponderosa pine branch stub did not phase it.
6. 800 fill down
7. Three outer pockets and three inner pockets (2 large mesh pockets, one on each side)

CONS:
1. needs more down fill in upper sleeves (easily fixed from an inside lining seam.)
2. interior zipper baffle needs filled with down. (another easy fix) and maybe a 2nd baffle on the other side like the Patagonia Grade VII parka has.

UPDATE:
I took the parka on a ski camping trip this week and though the temps were just barely below freezing the parka proved to be a virtual "cocoon" after sunset. Yeah, it's bulky to pack but to me it is comforting to have that "insurance" along.

TODAY (2/19/'19) I unstitched the top of the zipper baffle and filled it with down then sewed up the baffle. It's now very puffy and I'm ready to add a left side similar baffle so it looks like the Patagonia GRADE VII and Fitz Roy parkas' baffles. I figure if Patagucci did it there's a good reason to do it that way. Those guys make very few design mistakes.

Eric B.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 11:23:06 pm by 300winmag »