/ Recommend me a synthetic / primaloft jacket.....
Then would you recommend with or without a hood?
Rab Generator Alpine
Mountain Equipment Fitzroy
I'll second the Flux. Great piece of kit.
Did you try a few jackets on? I have read Dan Bailey's review of them all on here but am wondering what do you think of the cut of the Flux?
Were you walking in it last night or just sat stationary?
If you can find one to try one, I'd suggest having a look at the Montane Ice Guide as another alternative. I've given the other three a go, and ditched them all in favour of it.
weight to warmth ratio is a must.
well everything has a weight to warmth ratio! I presume you mean a *good* one? In which case what about down? No primaloft jacket will have a better warmth to weight ratio...
agree with toby - what for?
even then, id say WHEN for? polartec has new insulation coming onto the market for next autumn. it may be worth just getting a cheap synthetic till then.
down isn't great for UK wet weather!
Outdoor Research Chaos. It is a pretty good spec jacket 100 fill on body and 60 in the (good) hood, Gore shell. I have one and think it is excellent only: 120 quid from Rock bottom too! It fits quite large.
Also agree with I.S. the primaloft/TNF Thermo ball looks very interesting indeed!
Thermoball may/may not appear. Ive been wearing it and it has issues in some ways. Very good for some things, less so for others.
Polartec has something else that will excite consumers. Worth keeping an eye out.
I used a down jacket for a belay jacket in Scotland for a couple of years and it was great, and in the same way don't over estimate how good primaloft is when wet. It might be better than soaked down, but that doesn't make it 'good'. If it's raining hard your best bet will always be a shell with fleece under it. In drizzly weather, I guess a synthetic is better, but down jackets made with good water resistant shell materials are surprisingly good too - and that's leaving aside these new hydrophobic down jackets which look interesting.
Again, it all sort of depends on what you plan doing with the jacket.
I recently had my Rab photon jacket stolen and have replaced it with a North Ridge (Go Outdoors own brand I believe), Couloir jacket. It seems to have been copied from the Rab, with only a very minor difference on the cuffs that I can see, but was significantly cheaper when I bought it and seems to be performing well.
That new Polartec Alpha insulation isn't a direct competitor to primaloft so probably not worth holding out for. Most of the demo jackets I saw it was more being used in a warm softshell, replacement fleece or thick base layer. Usually with powerdry as well.
Like Toby says, the type of synthetic jacket you get does depend on what you are going to do with it. Although none of us could afford a different one for each use.
For example RAB have the
With different weights, face fabrics and features for different types of use.
Similarly with all the major outdoor companies...
I think for the UK, with our climate, a synthetic jacket or two is essential for the outdoor person whether cragging, alpinism, running or biking.
I recommend reading http://cascadeclimbers.com/synthetic-insulated-jacket-layering-review-by-dane-burns/
Nice a long to cover the rear, nice fleeced pockets and the hood, which can be rolled down, is really good too.
Main thing is its warmth.
Ive used it in very cold temps with just a mid layer fleece underneath and Ive been toasty warm.
Not cheap at £180 but I suspect I will get a lot of use from it.
The holy trinity are the Montane Flux, ME Fitzroy and Rab Generator but I personally prefer my TNK Makalu which lists at about £220 but which is available at nearly half price in a few stores right now. It has a proper waterproof membrane (rating similar to Goretex Activeshell) and therefore a hardshell exterior so you can hug chimneys and climb in it (abrasion resistance). It will double as a waterproof to climb in if you strip down to a base layer underneath, and it will resist a full day's rainy belays staying perfectly dry and light (wet insulation is heavy insulation). It also looks better around town (which I expect many, me included, would say is TNF's natural habitat... weighs 100g more than the other three, which is pretty acceptable for a genuine waterproof outer.
Hey what about this?
To OP: regarding warmth, the best fit will give you best warmth, large air gaps reduce effectiveness, so of the 3 you are thinking about which have roughly same insulation, then choose fit and it will be warmer than a baggy/boxy jkt
Montane Prism 2.0. Lightweight, can just about squeeze the hood over a helmet and I find it to be nice and warm. Cheap too.
Without a hood and really really lightweight and compact: Rab Generator. 390g and goes into it's pocket for carrying. I've lived in mine for three years everywhere from the high street to windy Alpine rock routes and walkies in Nepal and it still looks new.
With a hood and best warmth/weight: Haglofs Barrier Hood. 600g and 150g/m2 insulation which is Haglofs own version of primaloft type stuff. Also packs into it's pocket, but only just. Goes everywhere with me in Winter. Incidentally if you can use a medium they've got it at Castleberg in Settle for £65 - not far from you? Normally £100+
I suspsect he means he's not wearing one at all, since he can just clip his jakcet to the back of his harness.
However, I'm not sure why you should be 'rummaging' for a belay jacket. It just sits on the very top waiting to be used.
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