/ Belay Jacket advice needed

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Piers Harley - on 16 Jul 2012
Guys, I'm heading to the Alps next Winter (Feb/March). I have read dozens of reviews that the Patagonia DAS Parka is just about the best Belay jacket on the market for colder environments. I already own a RAB Photon Belay Jacket and on paper I can't really separate them. They both are stuffed with about the same amount of Primaloft. In fact the RAB slightly more and they weigh about the same.
Would I be better off keeping with the RAB or would the DAS Parka offer more protection etc??? I'm also looking at the 2 Belay Parka's from PHD.

Am I "over planning" this?

Piers.


Damo on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Piers Harley:
>
> Am I "over planning" this?
>

Yes. You should love it here.
In reply to Piers Harley: is your Rab the older version with the non fixed hood? I reckon that's one of the most important things. I've written an article about belay jackets, but also see my reviews of the ME belay jacket and Rab summit duvet for more on these issues. Just click on my profile and scroll down.
iksander on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Piers Harley: >Am I "over planning" this?

If you plan on standing around all day at -20, no

If you plan on ice cragging in regular conditions, yes
Up High on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Damo:
> (In reply to Piers Harley)
> [...]
>
> Yes. You should love it here.

Your reply is about as much use as a boat......with a hole in!!!!
Piers Harley - on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to TobyA: It has a fixed hood.
Also what's the difference between Primaloft "One" and "Sport" the DAS is filled with Primaloft "One" and the Rab jacket is filled with "Sport"??
Mr Fuller on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Piers Harley: One is better performance for its weight.
Darkskys - on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Mr Fuller: But which one?
lardbrain - on 16 Jul 2012
Mr Fuller on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Darkskys: Sorry, I hadn't realised how misleading my post was! Primaloft One is superior to Primaloft Sport. In the tests I've done it's to the tune of about 10%.
nickcj - on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to Piers Harley:

Have you read Dane's Cold Thistle blog? Lots of thoughts on Belay jackets and layering systems for alpine winter climbing.
Damo on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Up High:
> (In reply to Damo)
> [...]
>
> Your reply is about as much use as a boat......with a hole in!!!!

Piers' main question was 'am I overplanning this?' and so I directly answered his question with my view. I do think he is overplanning it and maybe he wanted some reassurance that this was the case, given he'd obviously already thought about it.

He had a general question about 'protection' in there, which is a bit vague, but no other specific issues regarding the two jackets, to which definite answers could be given. Toby has very usefully stepped in and noted that the older Rab had a removable hood(!) - that might be a relevant point.

I happen to have two DAS parkas, they're good, but not as fantastic as numerous web posts would have you believe. They're cut too baggy around the waist, even for an overgarment, unless you're chunky, and have relatively short sleeves for their girth. My guess, having other non-belay RAB garments, is that a Rab jacket would be cut slimmer - maybe too slim - and have relatively longer arms. DAS have a very good hood. In the vein of Toby's post it is also worth noting that older DAS have Thermaguard(?) fill and not Primaloft, which may be of earth-shattering significance, or not. But without Piers trying on both these garments and noting fit, for him, not me, this is a bit of a moot point. Maybe durability is an issue? Piers didn't say. I'm leaving on a trip tomorrow and packing a DAS. I have two good down jackets but I always worried about them getting damaged from packing/unpacking, picks, rocks etc so if such things are an issue I will go synth over down as a tear in a DAS doesn't result in your insulation floating off in the wind. But Piers did not ask about synth vs down, so I did not write about that.

Winter alpinism (not Cogne from La Barme) is serious stuff, involving a whole heap more to worry about than the relative merits of Primaloft One vs Primaloft Sport. Most people worrying about a 100g difference in jackets would be better served spending that web time out running or in the gym, removing 100g of fat from their bum, and wearing whatever jacket was generally suitable, fit properly and was affordable, and available. Can Piers ski? Can he he solo WI3 to save time on easy ground? The fact that Piers' is concerned with something so insignificant as synth jacket fill could make someone wonder that he's being distracted by nice sexy gear (as we all are, not that there's anything wrong with that) and not concentrating on more important stuff. I mean, it's July, and he's contemplating relative jacket fills for a February trip! Sorry Piers, just making a general point, nothing personal.

The second half of my first post was meant to be at least a little bit humorous. If only useful replies were posted, UKC would have died years ago.
Piers Harley - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Damo:
I understand that whilst it may seem "fussy" to be weighing up the merits of very similar Belay Jackets, they are however different and I want to buy the best one I can afford.
I agree that winter alpinism is serious stuff and details matter hence my fussy interest in Belay Jackets. Ask most people who know me and they will confirm that I am like this with all of my gear and preparation, like I said, details matter.
Don't assume that I havenít been looking at all areas that I think need attention and addressing them.My post was simply a question about Belay Jackets, nothing more. I think you are reading too much in to my questions and forming conclusions that are based on speculation. (nothing personal)



MJH - on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Piers Harley: But you did ask if you were overplanning things (I agree with Damo) and you already own the Rab...
iksander on 17 Jul 2012
In reply to Piers Harley: Horses for courses - how are you going to be using it? multi-day trips from the valley floor (eg some likelihood that you could get wet and stay wet), or ice cragging day trips at 1300m plus? (in which case you're unlikely to get wet, and you'll have a chance to dry out every night). In my experience a DAS isn't great in either scenario - it's too big and heavy to carry (unless you're into carrying an 80L pack).

FWIW I use a combination of a primaloft vest and rab generator alpine coat when it might be wet and a down jacket when it definitely won't be.
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In reply to Damo:

> I happen to have two DAS parkas, they're good, but not as fantastic as numerous web posts would have you believe. They're cut too baggy around the waist, even for an overgarment, unless you're chunky,

My DAS is over ten years old now and I still use it a lot ice climbing. I hadn't really thought about it much before, but I agree mine is also quite baggy around the waist but, in comparison to the ME Fitzroy, http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=4444 this actually suits me well because 90% of the time I wearing it over a harness full of climbing gear (ice screws on racks in particular).

I would be very interested if people have really noticed the difference between the different insulations. I tend to use my belay jackets in sub-zero temps so wetting has never been much of an issue and, perhaps as a result, I've never really notice much difference between the insulation types. A warm coat is a warm coat!

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