/ Advice wanted- best insulating jacket

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jenniwat001 on 15 Dec 2012
I'm a lady....I can find loads of reviews of blokes jackets but not much about the ladies. I am looking for a warm insulated jacket, with a hood large enough to go over my helmet. Mainly to be worn belaying. Colour not important but I tend to avoid pink. Things I want advice on are things like cut, filling (down vs other) etc etc. Thanks in advance.
In reply to jenniwat001:
> Mainly to be worn belaying.

Belaying where? Halfway up some wind-blasted high Scottish cliff whilst ice or mixed climbing? Get a belay jacket: http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=1375 But if you mean for general cragging, not mountaineering then you can be less fussy.

The New NickB - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001:

If using as a belay jacket, I would go synthetic, primaloft being the benchmark. You can throw a synthetic jacket over everything else and not worry about it getting wet.

I am a couple of years out of date on current jackets, I like my Haglofs barrier zone, 130g primaloft in the body, long fit and a nice big hood.
Iain Thow - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001: Rab Photon Hoodies are brill. Primaloft so still warm when wet (and pretty water-resistant anyway) and easy care. Weighs only 180g, good helmet-compatible hood, Wms is fairly shaped cut - size tends to be smallish, like a lot of Rab kit, so often worth going up a size.
neuromancer - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001:

ME Alpamayo (Womens fitzroy) for the UK, ME Citadel abroad. Done deal.
GridNorth - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to Iain Thow: I don't know if they have changed,. My mate has a Rab Photon but it's more like a replacement for a fleece than a belay jacket. I have a Rab "Belay Jacket" and it more substancial and much warmer.
kestrelspl on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001: My girlfriend loves her ME Alpamayo.
Adam Hughes - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001: The north face redpoint Optimus is worth a try too, I have the men's and I know people who have the lady's version, I love mine!
neuromancer - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to Adam Hughes:

Had an optimus, hood not good for a belay jacket unless drastically improved recently!
Jon Wickham - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001: In reply to jenniwat001: Hi Jenni, there is unfortunately not that many women's specific belay jackets out there but as a starting point here are a few thoughts.

Most people will go for a synthetic fill garment, as down although having the best warmth to weight ratio, looses much of it's heat retaining properties when wet. Waterproof down garments do exist but the waterproof shell adds considerable weight, bulk and cost. More details on insulation here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=5105

So synthetic fill is probably best, but how much do you need? Well this will depend on how hot you run and what other layers you are using. However as a generalisation most brands go for 100g in the body, with perhaps 60g in the arms.

As I said above if you want a women's specific jacket then you have a shorter list to choose from. However, as a belay jacket is designed to go all your other layers, a womens's specific cut may not have much relevance as the jacket simply needs to be 'big'. Also on cut, just like men's jackets, various brands will have differing interpretations of a female cut, and therefore trying the jacket on is vital to find one that fits you, especially when your wearing your other gear.

Female specific, synthetic belay jackets to consider (some already mentioned above) listed roughly in order of warmth:

Mountain Equipment Women's Citadel Jacket: http://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/the_gear/clothing/insulation/womens_citadel_jacket---719/

Arc'teryx Women's Atom SV Hoody: http://www.arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?EN/Womens/Atom-SV-Hoody-W

The Mountain Equipment Women's Alpa Mayo Jacket is also good but not as warm as the Citdael. http://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/the_gear/clothing/insulation/womens_alpamayo_jacket_---282/

The North Face Women's Meru Jacket http://uk.thenorthface.com/tnf-uk-en/women-s/shop-by-category/jackets/summit-series-jackets/women-s-...

Jacket that are also good but designed more as a mid layer.
These sometimes get used as belay jackets for people who don't need as much warmth or because the warmer jackets out there are all aimed at men.

The North Face Women's RP Optimus Jacket
Montane Women's Flux Jacket
Marmot Women's Dena Jacket
Rab Women's Photon Hoody
Haglofs Barrier II Q Hood (Women's)
Berghaus Women's Ignite Insulated Hoody

Above all I would get to as many shops as possible and try lots of jackets on. Hope this helps.
sleavesley on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001: at two different ends of the scale.

Alpkit filo http://www.alpkit.com/shop/cart.php?target=category&category_id=301 £120

Phd made to measure or off the shelf choices with amendments to your size http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/index.php £140 upwards!
ryan_d - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001: Rab generator hoody is what my girlfriend uses and thinks its great. Have a look at Cold Thistle as Dane has written up a lengthy piece on synthetics. Try to get primaloft one filling. Much better than the other primaloft materials.

Also there are some deals on womens Arcteryx Atom SV which will fit your bill really well- saw one at £126 v's £180 rrp. Nice colours and superb jacket (was pissed off the deal was only on womens- think it was with Snow and Rock).

Hope this helps

Ryan
jenniwat001 on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001:

Thanks guys, that really helps. I run cold, really cold, even in summer. And I don't ice climb (yet). Definitely got some things for me to think about, then off to the shops to try them out!
Neil Pratt - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001:

Wife has an ME Alpamayo that's never off her back - she's never complained about the cold on a hill day in the Scottish winter since she got it.
Denni on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001:

I have just sold mine as it was slightly too small on my arms, buying the next size up, and my wife has one and she loves it, Patagonia Winter sun hoody:

http://www.patagonia.com/eu/enGB/product/womens-winter-sun-windproof-hoody?p=83895-0-028

Awesome piece of kit that I have used for belaying, ice climbing, skiing and my other half has used hers to go to Asda but she does love it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZIhLqXjxWY
AlanLittle - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Denni:

There are several Primaloft variants: make sue you're getting Primaloft One (Haglöfs / Arcteryx proprietary name variants are also ok)

Details here:

http://coldthistle.blogspot.de/2012/11/primaloft.html

... and in numerous other articles on the same site. (Dane also pops up here occasionally)
iksander on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001: Remember that your body provides the heat, your clothing just retains it. If you're cold all the time, maybe think about your food and drink intake and activity levels too? http://www.cs.earlham.edu/~outdoor/wiki/Body_Climate_Control
captain paranoia - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001:

The down vs synthetic question is now complicated by the appearance of effective water resistant down, e.g. Berghaus' HydroDown, used in their Ilam down jacket. Sadly, I can't see a women's version... Oh, there is one.

Other manufacturers are also using similar down treatments, making down items that are less vulnerable in wet conditions.
jenniwat001 on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to iksander:

Partially due to my under active thyroid and medically poor circulation, but yes I should generally be a little more active and healthier!
Kevin Rutherford - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001: also worth a look at, new waterproof down and not just in pink.
http://store.berghaus.com/p/clothing/womens-mount-asgard-hybrid-ii-jacket/420602
ads.ukclimbing.com
fairweatherclimber - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001:
I agree that the 100g body/ 60g arms type spec is what many/ most people want from a jacket like this, but I personally want more warmth than that. By the sound of it Jenni, you may too.

Me and my ex both have Arteryx Kappa hoodies, which have substantially more insulation and the design is excellent (e.g. big and very adjustable hood). Otherwise, the ME Citadel; some will prefer its Pertex shell over Windstopper.
iksander on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001:
> (In reply to iksander)
>
> Partially due to my under active thyroid and medically poor circulation, but yes I should generally be a little more active and healthier!

Sorry I didn't mean to imply you were lazy or overweight :(

Actually the opposite - what I meant was you should eat and drink plenty of fatty calories in the cold to fuel your body and wave your arms and legs about to get warm!

SGD - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001: My g/f uses one of the following 3 options depending on the weather.

Damp conditions not massively cold: A North Face optimus jacket RP jacket.
Damp conditions, cold and windy: A North Face optimus jacket RP jacket with a good wind proof over the top.
Dry and cold: A Montane Men's North Star Down Jacket

ps. she adores her Montane down jacket
Pummelzacken - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to jenniwat001: with all the advice on the ME Alpamayo Jacket, it just so happens that I got one for sale in the WANTED/FOR SALE forum in size 10...;-) have a look if you are interested! I am not selling it because it doesn't do the job, I just got given another belay jacket which I have been using since as it is a little lighter (a berghaus one)and don't see the point in having two...sounds like the thicker one from ME might fit your bill?!

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