/ Belay jacket

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CMcBain - on 13 Oct 2013
Was hoping to get a new belay jacket for this winter but i'm a little confused by all the options. For the past few years I used a rab photon but didn't find it warm enough if belaying for any length of time.

From doing a bit of research it seems like primaloft one is the filling of choice (I think my photon was sport or eco or something). However I noticed most down jackets are now coming out with 'hydrophobic' down and I wondered if anyone could comment on the reliability of this new down in relation to trusty old primaloft?

I'm fairly slim, so i've ruled out the DAS parka because it wont fit and I cant afford the brand new version with an improved fit. The ME citadel and fitzroy both look good although the citadel seems like overkill and the fitzroy seems fairly similar to my old photon which was too cold.

Anyone got any advice/suggestions that i've missed?

Cheers
mrchewy - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to CMcBain: I have that 'new fangled' down in one of my jackets and it does work BUT the jacket could now do with a wash - I have no idea if that will stop the down being 'special'.
For this reason alone, I'd go with primaloft or some such.
Taurig - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to CMcBain:

I've got the ME Fitzroy which has never left me wanting but a) I've not done any proper winter climbing yet i.e. hanging in a belay for an hour getting dumped with spindrift and b) I've no idea how it compares to the Photon. To make this post slightly less useless, I'll suggest you check out the Montane Ice Guide jacket which I had a fondle of recently and it did seem a tad thicker than my Fitzroy. Montane generally have a pretty good fit if you're slim too IME.

http://www.montane.co.uk/range/men/insulation/ice-guide-jacket
In reply to CMcBain:

> I'm fairly slim, so i've ruled out the DAS parka because it wont fit

Why won't it fit? You want a relatively loose fit on a belay jacket because it has to go over everything on your harness - ice clipper racks with screws on them for example.

> although the citadel seems like overkill and the fitzroy seems fairly similar to my old photon which was too cold.

The DAS (or my 11 yr old one at least) is in between the Citadel and Photon for warmth but not so different from the Citadel in that regard.
http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=4444
http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=2685
http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=1375
lardbrain - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to CMcBain: i guess to sort of agree with Toby - if the photon was too cold & the fitzroy is similar, why does the citadel seem like overkill? IME being too hot isn't usually an issue & i imagine they probably pack down ok...agreed they will probably be a bit heavier than the Photon but there is undoubtedly somewhere else weight can be saved (I use a Haglofs one from a few years back & the Mrs uses a Wild Things belay jacket)
lardbrain @ work
In reply to lardbrain:
> ..agreed they will probably be a bit heavier than the Photon but there is undoubtedly somewhere else weight can be saved

Before a bikepacking trip I weighed a couple of jackets to see which was lighter, and having started decided I better weigh all my jackets and make a list in google docs. I've updated that over the years even though I don't have some of the jackets anymore - but it gives some idea of the different types of weight we're talking about:

Brand Model Weight
Decathlon down vest 187
uniqlo U/L down jacket 231
Patagonia Puffball Vest 276
Marmot Variant 338
Jack Wolfskin Smock 401
Jöttnar Alfar 457
RAB Photon 520
TNF Nuptse 560
Jöttnar Fjörm 606
Patagonia Speed Ascent 786
Patagonia DAS Parka 809
RAB Ascent 895
Mountain Equipment Citadel 947

So the Citadel is going on for double the weight of the Photon but it is a massively warmer jacket. The Photon is great though - excellent hood for example - just not nearly as warm. Interestingly it seems RAB has dropped it from their line this winter, not sure what now is the closest comparison.
CMcBain - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to all:

Cheers for the thought's, didn't actually know about the montane jacket although slightly put off because its primaloft eco rather than one.

Toby, I like the DAS, like you say its inbetween the citadel and the fitzroy in terms of warmth and that's exactly what i'm looking for. I've tried a friends on and even in my size (small) it felt massive which is exacerbated by the fact I usually only wear a base layer and rab VR to climb in for winter.

I think i'll give it another shot and see if more recent models have a slightly less 'sack of potatoes' style fit (my friends was quite an old model I think). It seems really hard to source one though, even online, nevermind in a shop to try it on...

Any more thoughts appreciated
Haighy - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to CMcBain:
Slightly more expensive but have a look at the new stance belay parka from black diamond. Comes in at £260. Weighs 790grams. Two layers of 80g/m2 primaloft synergy.
iksander on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to CMcBain: >didn't find it warm enough if belaying for any length of time.

Just how cold did you get? In practice a belay jacket should just keep you functional unless you like carrying stuff around for the sake of it. Are your boots and gloves warm enough? Some fleecy insoles and/or overmitts take up a lot less weight and space than a mahoosive jacket.
captainfire576 on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to CMcBain: Just bought an ME Fitzroy and it's brilliant. Great hood and very warm for it's weight.
CurlyStevo - on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to captainfire576:
and you've taken it winter climbing already?
xplorer on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Why? Have you been winter climbing already?
sam.sam.sam.ferguson - on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to CMcBain: Have a look at the Hangar 18 gear, i've been using the down jacket for the past 3 years and had no problem. Been everywhere with me and still looks great.
http://www.h18orr.com/products/down-jacket
captainfire576 on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Not yet, but I have owned virtually every TYPE of jacket on the market and have 27 year of winter climbing experience and a winter ML, so I know a good jacket when I see one lol ;)
Simonfarfaraway - on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to captainfire576: Agree with Captain. I've used the same ME Fitzroy for 4-5 years now (I think!), its brilliant, perfect in fact for Winter Climbing. Used it every winter in foul weather, Lakes, Wales and mainly Scotland and found it great down to -10 (without wind chill added). Obviously layer appropriatly. I love Patagonia stuff but the fit of there jackets suck for me. They are always big/square shaped for the size, and when they say things like 'sized for the UK/Europe market' and 'above harness pockets' generally thats bull! Also hood on the Fitz much better design and fit than the Das Parka
johnvmelia - on 16 Oct 2013
In reply to CMcBain:
I have the Rab Photon and the Generator jackets, the generator is by far the warmer jacket, I rarely use the photon in the winter. A mate of mine let me his Fitzroy jacket on a trip, warmth wise it was as good as the Generator. My wife has a Haglofs Nevluk jacket, I think Cotswold’s had some in a sale in men’s sizes, full waterproof and very warm, if in the sale they are a great jacket. Try eBay as well, I picked up the Arcteryx fission SV normally £500 for £95 (second hand but like new) I used the Arcteryx this winter as a ice/mixed climbing belay jacket. It was so cold I climbed in the jacket all day. Also got a crux plasm down off eBay for £90, very warm and lighter that the rab jacket however not sure how it will hold up in driving rain.
purplemonkeyelephant - on 16 Oct 2013
In reply to CMcBain:

Perhaps see if you can find the Arcteryx Dually on sale somewhere. That things a beast
ads.ukclimbing.com
Robert Durran - on 16 Oct 2013
In reply to Simonfarfaraway:
> I've used the same ME Fitzroy for 4-5 years now (I think!), its brilliant, perfect in fact for Winter Climbing.

Everyone is different and you can only find out what keeps you adequately comfortable by trying things. If the Photon wasn't warm enough for the OP, then probably nor will the Fitzroy be. I feel the cold enough to wear my Fitzroy as a layer while actually climbing (unless conditions are unusually benign) and put the extra super warm version of the Photon (can't remember what it's called, but it's more like a Citadel) on over the top for belaying; a Fitzroy alone would be completely inadequate for me.

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