I give up on a down jacket mid layer...

Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by Foxster, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. Foxster

    Foxster Section Hiker

    I've had three down jackets I've used as high-warmth winter mid layers. Even under a good hard shell each has ended up like a sopping wet sponge after a couple of days of wet weather.

    I need something as light and warm as a down jacket but that won't soak up water.

    So, what do I get?
  2. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I still like a fleece for active wear, then a down or synthetic layer for camp
    DodgyKnee, FOX160 and cathyjc like this.
  3. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    I never wear a down layer when walking (or synthetic), they're purely reserved for around camp……...a merino base layer + a fleece (I've a few different thicknesses to match the conditions) with a wind proof or waterproof when necessary works for me. I've occasionally packed a second thin fleece when it's really nippy but can't remember ever adding it to walk in.
    PhilHo likes this.
  4. Ally

    Ally Ultralighter

    Ive gone back to fleece too, after trying every variant of down / synthetic mid layer. Drenched every time under a shell.
  5. Michael_x

    Michael_x Section Hiker

    I have a Rab Altus jacket. Provides a little too much insulation when particularly active but OK for moderate activity below 5 Celsius. Still gives reasonable insulation and warmth if it gets wet, and it dries out fairly quickly while worn, once the rain stops. I really like it.
  6. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    'VBL' Vapour Barrier Liner..... Sorted :thumbsup:
    Michael_x likes this.
  7. Charlie83

    Charlie83 Section Hiker

    Maybe I'm to simplistic, but I rekon if a down jacket is wet under a shell, it's either a crap shell or it's to warm to be walking in a down jacket under a shell
  8. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    Fleece comes in so many weights. Breathes and keeps you warm and best of all dries quickly if wet. A nice 100 wt fleece is perfect over a baselayer around zero. Breathes and keeps you warm. If you want it for below zero get a 200 wt one. Decathlon is your friend. If you are highly active there is the Patagonia Cap Thermalweight- combo of grid and thin layer. Excellent under a raincoat when active. Down is for static warmth.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
    edh likes this.
  9. Foxster

    Foxster Section Hiker

    The shell is good but after a couple of days of Lakes rain blowing in at the neck and generally creeping in when the shell is off for a minute then the down jacket is just wet.
  10. Lempo

    Lempo Thru Hiker

  11. Foxster

    Foxster Section Hiker

  12. Charlie83

    Charlie83 Section Hiker

    My wife was after one of them :thumbsup:

    Oops, that was meant to a quote
  13. Foxster

    Foxster Section Hiker

    So, we seem to be talking a good fleece of some kind or a more water-resistant synthetic-fill jacket.

    Synthetic jackets I can find fairly easily, like Rab Altus/Nimbus/Nebula Pro, but am I just going to have the same spongy problem but it'll dry out quicker?

    If I go fleece then what high-end stuff do you recommend?
  14. Taz38

    Taz38 Thru Hiker

    I rarely wear an insulated jacket under a shell. Over a softshell or sometimes over a rainshell if its gone really cold suddenly. Most (syn) insulated jackets are a little rainproof and will still be warm when a bit wet.
    I have a thin berghaus etrem jacket for summer and a rab photon or keelah belay jacket for winter. A decent fleece should work as well.
    edh likes this.
  15. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    High end? Get a nice light cheap fleece, quarter zip for venting and try it first. Most end up getting fleeces way too heavy then scale back for their activity level to fine tune. Won't cost you much this way.
    Superoatsheep and edh like this.
  16. OwenM

    OwenM Section Hiker

    For on the move, base layer, 100 weight fleece and if I want more a Rab Vapour-rise gelet. When the hardshell goes on the Vapour-rise normally comes off. For stops either a Xenon vest or Xenon jacket goes on top. It comes off once I start moving again. Can't remember the last time I took a down jacket out in the UK. I do carry one on Scandinavian ski trips.
    Daymoth and edh like this.
  17. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    Your not warming to the idea of using a VBL then....
    If your active enough to sweat... Polartec Alpha... Something in the material weight of 80 up to 120 if your wanting some static warmth aswell as working while active.
    Cranston and WilliamC like this.
  18. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    Yep, something in Alpha Direct - like fleece but lighter :). Some good offers on Rab Flash at Sportpursuit at the moment.
    FOX160, Cranston and Chiseller like this.
  19. Padstowe

    Padstowe Thru Hiker

    I prefer fleece jackets to pull-ons
    I had a choice of either a ME Diablo for most year usage, or the old style MH Monkey man grid II hoodless jacket for winter.
    I got a new style MH Monkey man grid II hooded jacket, & for reasons beyond my control a ME Pivot jacket before the holidays.
    Ok so I may have got a couple of pull-ons in the sales
    A Rab power stretch pro & a Rab freak, but only cause the first is for sleeping & the second is well cause I haven't tried alpha so of course went for the warm one :oops:,
    or maybe cause I have one more reason to go ahead & click on that alpha flash lite jacket now. :angelic:
    WilliamC, Balagan and Chiseller like this.
  20. Diddi

    Diddi Thru Hiker

    A micro fleece jumper under windproof at stops or really cold on the tops when walking.
    Down jacket for around camp only.
    edh likes this.
  21. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I'd die in more than my base under a waterproof - but we all run different.
    If super cold I'd use my Hypertherm as it's there when backpacking.
    If not backpacking, take a range...
    Light fleece good.
    Really, you don't need the latest Alphadalpha... Just look at Chisellers sales pages...
    Baldy, Arne L., FOX160 and 3 others like this.
  22. Padstowe

    Padstowe Thru Hiker

    He's right you don't, I know I don't
    Ok, so I have a Rab alpha flash lite jacket now, well had to spend that £10 for signing up to the news letter some how. :)
    Balagan likes this.
  23. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    I'm feeling a run on these is coming. Nice. What temp range are you thinking? Would have to be very cold?
    But a Pata Cap Thermalweight I am wondering if it might do the same thing? Less bulky. Maybe better in a layer scenario? Shifts moisture very, very, well. Nice fitted hood. Just wondering mind you:thumbsup:
  24. Foxster

    Foxster Section Hiker

    Funnily enough I'm just sorting out a return of my Rab Alpha Flash - zip bust on first wear.

    Decent enough jacket I suppose but not warm enough as a mid later with just a base and shell for my old bones in the winter.
  25. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    Sounds like excessive warmth not an issue so-Chucking out a there a Highly breathable windshirt (Fauxdini very, very high CFM shines here-or Kor Preshell -much warmer ) over a Patagonia R1 over a Rab Pulse Hoody? Surely that would have you warm and that lot with the windshirt as part of your mid layer you'd be laughing?
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020

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