/ Patagonia Winter Sun hoody or similar? -- thoughts
I'm currently using a twelve-year old down EMS (American company) belay jacket that really needs to be retired from Scottish winters. I'm open to other suggestions along the lines of the Patagonia, but really want to go the synthetic route.
Emily, the Winter Sun is a good jacket, but as a pure belay jacket I think it falls down due to a few issues. There are better pure belay jackets around for the money (IMO only).
Bear in mind these are just my thoughts, and you might see some of them these "negatives" as "positives" (especially point 2):
1.) The Winter Sun now uses 100g Primaloft Eco which is neither as warm nor as hydrophobic as Primaloft One - if you look on the Primaloft website it suggests Primaloft Eco is roughly 2/3rds as warm as Primaloft One.
2.) It also has a Gore Wind Stopper lining which is basically Gore Tex without the taped seams. This is good for reducing wind and keeping some water out, but it means that if the jacket gets wet on the inside (which is VERY likely if your throwing it on over all your other layers in winter) it will not dry out easily from your body heat.
3.) The hood is not very big and hence very tight when worn over a helmet. This also means you can't close the zip fully on some occasions.
There are many jackets on the market which are specifically designed as belay jackets, off the top of my head ME Citadel (200g Primaloft One), ME Fitzroy (100g Primaloft One), Patagonia DAS Parka (170g Primaloft One). Out of these the ME Citadel is the warmest but also the heaviest at 900g.
If I was to buy a belay jacket tomorrow it would probably be the Patagonia DAS Parka beacuse a.) it is very warm b.) it is not overly heavy c.) it dries out easily d.) the hood is excellent, e.) the internal stuff pockets are huge and easy to throw gloves etc into, f.) build quality is high.
Having said all of which there are some very good deals (try Outside) on the Womens Winter Sun at the moment, and it might suit your needs perfectly.
I have a jacket with the eco and jacket with one, but one is much heavier than other so its hard to compare directly, but do you really think the difference is so much? I've used various synth filled jackets and they seem rather much of muchness if they are around the same thickness (grms/mtr2 or whatever it is they measure it in).
Not sure, but Primaloft website suggests a wet rating of 90 CLO/OZ for P1 and 60 CLO/OZ for Eco.
Someone selling a large here:
I can't get much of a sense of what these things are like, just looking at them on the internet, and I live 50 miles from anywhere so can't easily nip to the local gear shop.
I want warmth above all else. I'm not bothered if the warmest is a little bit heavier. I run so cold I was probably a lizard in a previous life. Sounds like the ME Citadel or the Patagonia DAS should be at the top of my list?
Here are some useful links to previous UKC articles by Toby:
Belay Jackets general info:
ME Citadel Review:
And a some reviews of the DAS:
If you buy from a decent supplier then you can always return it if it doesn't fit / you don't like it.
One word of warning if you do choose a Patagonia DAS: the DAS fit is slightly oversized (so it easily goes over everything else). I am 6ft and 11 stone and a medium fits me easily. You will want a small I would guess.
It looks like it wouldn't help me if I were in town, as none of the three main Glasgow outdoor shops (Cotswold, Tiso, and Nevis Sport) offer the DAS or the Citadel on their websites, so they probably would not have them in the stores, either.
The internet tells me that the Citadel might be warmer and it certainly is cheaper and easier to find a deal online (more shops sell them -- makes sense as ME is a UK company).
How are the zips on Citadels? I used an ME Gore Tex shell for about four years, but the zips were rather flimsy and have since died.
For absolute warmth though, consider the Citadel (or a down filled jacket of similar design).
You can buy via post and still return for a full refund on unwanted goods from Needlesports, Facewest, Joe Brown, V12 Outdoor, or Cairngiorm Mountain Sports.
Needlesports stock the DAS:
Cairngorm Mountain Sports stock both ME Citadel and the DAS Parka. (I was in there on Sunday and saw them both).
Cairngorm Mountain Sports
111 Grampian Road
Highland PH22 1RH
Tel 01479 810 903
Regarding the ME Citadel zips, I'm not sure to be honest.
One word of caution on the ME Citadel though: the Citadel is a lot heavier and more bulky than the DAS. ME say the Citadel is 900g but having picked up both I wouldn't necessarily believe that, personally I'd think it is a fair bit heavier.
If you want a super warm belay jacket for use in the Scottish Winter mainly which it both very compressible, not too heavy, and very warm then I think the DAS fits the bill perfectly.
If you really don't care about how heavy, or packable the jacket is - then admitedly the ME Citadel will be the warmest.
One thing is for sure, both the DAS and the Citadel are very warm, more than enough for Scottish Winter.
Yes, the DAS comes in one fit only.
I would imagine Patagonia do this because the fit of a belay jacket is purposely loose / square - therefore any male / female cuts are pretty superfluous in reality.
The PHD Zeta has also been brought to my attention. Ahhhhh.... too many choices!!
I have just spent several weeks looking for a belay jacket, looked a the ME Citadel, OR Choas and finaly brought the DAS, as it had all the features I wanted and no more, plus it uses primaloft one, that is warmer than the eco.
If you feel the cold badly, I don't think this will be warm enough although I can see current deals will be tempting.
Me and my ex both have Arcteryx Kappa hoodies, significantly warmer, also with Windstopper (although I know some prefer pertex for breathability) and an excellent and spacious hood (ME hoods never work so well in my experience).
There's a women's specific version and still some good deals to be had.
Sorry to add to the confusion!
The Arcteryx looks good as well. I have their Pro Shell Gore Tex thing and it's fantastic.
The qualities I'm looking for are warm (if you handle cold as well as your average reptile), durable, more durable, and relatively faff free.
So far my top three (after looking at lots of websites) are the Arcteryx, PHD, and Patagonia.
The Kappa has reinforced shoulders and arms. Seriously, if you want warmth and durability it's your jacket.
Winter Sun is 80g of insulation, Kappa is 140g. I think something like the ME Citadel is properly OTT for UK use (200g?) even for chilly types.
I've read concerns on here that whilst pertex allows you to get rid of internal moisture (any belay jacket will trap when putting on over shell) better than a shell like Windblock, I've never found this a problem.
The debate continues..
I love the warmth and the superb design.
2 hrs standing still getting spindrift dumped over you in strong winds and, lets say, at -5 feels very much same in Scotland or Norway, believe me. Perhaps you've been in climbing in too much fair weather! ;-)
Kappa is not really designed as a pure belay jacket though is it.
Cuffs are too narrow to remove jacket over mitts / large gloves.
Hood has same problems as the PHD Zeta Belay Jacket.
Winter Sun is 100g. Kappa is 133 in body and 100g in arms.
Haha - touché!
When I've been to Rjukan I took a big down jacket. But didn't go out unless the sky was clear, obviously...
To the other respondent, I think we're mixing our PHD and Arcteryx Kappa jackets here?
Well, the plan now is to go for a Citadel if I end up buying from an online retail store, although I certainly would not turn down a DAS if one suddenly became available at a decent price.
I'm keeping my eyes open on the "for sale" section of the forum for small versions of either one of these. If anyone knows of any....
So it is, but not in my size. :/
Thanks to UKC, looks like I've gotten an ME Citadel. Looking forward to it!!
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