/ Another jacket question (which one for 6000m)

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Arete - on 05 Jun 2017

Ok so I realise this question gets asked every season, but every season a bunch of different jackets is available, so here we go again.

I'm heading to Nepal next year to do Mera. I've never been so not sure what to expect in terms of weather extremity. I'm comfortable with every other item of clothing, but swithering on the jacket front. I'm looking at the following jackets, would be interested to know people's thoughts and if you have any other suggestions? Although price is obviously a consideration, let's pretend that it isn't.

Arcteryx Ceres SV (full-on expedition jacket, probably too warm and won't be useful? Still very tempted as I have found an awesome price)
Arcteryx Firebee (same problem? Bit more packable, marginally less warm. Same awesome price and thus still tempted)
ME K7
ME Annapurna (just horribly dated looking styling :P )
Rab Neutrino Endurance
Jottnar Fjorm (have heard it's not that warm. Short fitting)

At a bit of a loss otherwise. Gotta have boxwall and a decent amount of about 750-850 down I would think.
Post edited at 16:37
jethro kiernan - on 05 Jun 2017
In reply to Arete:

I got a full on Rab expedition jacket for nepal and to be honest it was too much and (I traded it in for a Rab Nutrino when I got back), nice for sitting around at base camp, but I only had two or three days honest use out of it, Depending on what you do, using the sport pursuit web site get yourself two jackets like a Nuclie SL (Packs up coke can sized)and a decent down jacket or a Belay jacket (depending what your climbing/mountaineering requirements aspirations are) and use them both together for the Mera trip and when you get back you will have two usable jackets for different scenarios.
Obviously its very tempting to get the big jacket at a bargain price but unless your going to spend lots of time standing around in subzero temperatures probably going to spend a lot of time in the cupboard.
huwj - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Arete:

I would say those Arcetryx jackets are overkill.

I have a Neutrino Endurance (the standard version NOT the boxwall) and have used it on several expeditions up to (and just over) 7000m in bad weather. I personally wouldn't carry anything heavier.

One caveat – you'll want to keep moving. I wouldn't want to be stood around for hours on fixed ropes amongst a queue of newbies... if you plan on doing that you might want go a bit warmer. I'm sure the boxwall version of the Neutrino would be good.

Spend the money you save on a Gorilla Balaclava, down mitts, an expedition base layer etc...
Flett - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Arete:

I wore the north face shaffle jacket on Mera a couple years ago, can get them fairly cheap in sales, brilliant jacket!
Arete - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Arete:
Thanks for the replies, sounds like everyone's saying the same thing. I currently have a Rab Nebula, which could probably put underneath a down jacket for basecamp time. Looking again, I'm not sure the Neutrino has boxwall...i'm thinking of the Positron.

Can't seem to find a shaffle for sale..
Post edited at 12:43
Damo on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Arete:

If you have a half day or so in KTM before you start, you can pick up a serviceable down jacket for a fraction of what you'll pay at home, in any one of a dozen shops in Thamel. The down quality and overall finish won't be as good as brands at home, but perfectly good for what most people do.
huwj - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Arete:

"Neutrino Endurance PLUS" had boxwall but looks like it's been discontinued. may find one in a sale bin or on ebay...
Arete - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Damo:

I do but I'd rather not risk it tbh, and get everything before I go - the paranoia of the Nepal newbie I guess. reading the above I'm erring towards the Neutrino, as it's the least extreme of the lot (and the cheapest which is nice).
CliffPowys on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Arete:

For 6000m peaks I have an old Rab Neutrino which I use over a Rab softshell. Underneath I have a medium weight fleece and a base layer. I have climbed Mera three times and have seen many people overdressed on the standard route.

If you feel the cold, I suggest that you buy/rent a down jacket in KTM, as suggested by Damo.
Arete - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to CliffPowys:
Thanks, that persuades me even more towards the Neutrino. As I mentioned I'd rather get everything here due to paranoia reasons rather than in KTM so not an option I'm considering right now.

Just noticed in my dossier that JG are recommending a double box wall jacket with 400g of 800 fill - that seems ridiculously overkill. Exodus only recommend a "medium weight down jacket".
Post edited at 13:06
Tom F Harding on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Arete:

RAB Positron looks really good (I'm in the same boat as you) Anyone have any opinions?
Arete - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Tom F Harding:
Me too. It's hard weighing up what people say on here (which I'm inclined to believe) and what the tour company says (which I'm skeptical about). I was thinking the Positron might be too warm to be useful.
Post edited at 13:05
huwj - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Arete:

People on here will assume you are competent and sensible enough to make an informed decision based on how much you feel the cold and how fit and healthy you are.

Tour operators make a one-size-fits-all recommendation to everyone who might possibly attend regardless of weight, sex or experience. If, based on their recommendation you suffer frostbite or are just miserably cold, at best you will not enjoy the trip and slate them online, at worst you might try and make a claim against them.

So tour operators have to make extremely cautious and safe recommendations.
Arete - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to huwj:
Very good point. In any case, I'm not going to dress as if I were wild camping on Svalbard in January lol
Post edited at 13:20
Damo on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Arete:

There are also other relevant considerations - are you going in May (warm) or November (cold)? Are you going with Sherpa assistance, or are you carrying all your own gear and thus pack weight is an issue? Are you planning to do other high altitude climbs after Mera? Do you do other activities at home that require similar kit - ie do you live in Scotland or in Spain?
Arete - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Damo:
Good questions. I'm going in April-May for about 4 weeks, and with sherpa assistance. After Mera I'm not sure, it depends on the wallet, but I think I will want to. Nothing technical as I'm only Scottish grade I/II at the moment. And yes I live in Scotland, so cold/waterproof gear does get used a fair bit :P
In all honesty I'm still tempted by the Firebee (simply because I'm an Arcteryx whore), and it does claim to be "breathable", but also prohibitively lofty and oddly cut, and it would be a real shame to waste £££ on something which won't get used. So I'm erring towards the Rab Neutrino...
Post edited at 21:23
Dave Perry - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Arete:

Just wear an extra T shirt.
Arete - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Dave Perry:

Maybe two if it's chilly
DanielJ - on 09 Jun 2017
In reply to Arete:
GearNerd alert.

The Neutrino will probably be perfect. You wont stand still for long periods on Mera. No belays.
The Firebee sure looks nice but somewhat insanely priced.

For my Nepal trip with a couple of 6000m peaks I think I go for my BD Cold forge Parka. I'll probably wear something like Brynje wifebeater, Patagonia R1 hoody, Nano air light hoody, M10 jacket. And then the Parka for belays/camps.
I also got the Jottnar Fjorm but thats little bit too short for expedition use. (Perfect for ice though)
In reply to Arete:
Have you tried any of these jackets? The new top end ME down clothing is arguably superior to Rab. Better fit, more technical (optimised distribution of down) etc. The K7 is an exceedingly nice jacket (great hood in particular). Annapurna feels a bit heavy thesedays.
Post edited at 15:36
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Arete - on 18 Jun 2017
In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe:
I haven't had a chance to try any in person. Nice to hear about the K7 - however I do note that you're from JG and you sell that jacket haha (but seriously thanks for the advice, the K7 is definitely a potential option).
Post edited at 15:34
Arete - on 18 Jun 2017
In reply to DanielJ:
Thanks that's really useful to know about the Fjorm, the length was something which had occurred to me as it looks short in the photos - shame as it's actually quite well priced and looks awesome!

From what I've read since originally posting the Firebee is so lofty that it's actually restrictive, so might not be the best option.
Post edited at 15:42
In reply to Arete:

We stock the K7 as it's the best jacket available for that weight/warmth. We wouldn't stock a crap jacket, nor recommend one as most of the people who buy our stuff travel/climb with us. But feel free to take my advice with a pinch of salt : )
Arete - on 21 Jun 2017
In reply to Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe:
Lol, the K7 is currently winning ;) Are the pretty true to size or is it worth going up a size to fit layers under?
Post edited at 15:57
Arete - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Arete:
As a curve ball I've ordered an Arcteryx Thorium SV. 90/10 750 fill and box wall construction so I'm hoping it'll be ok, but if not it can be returned or used in the UK.

I was looking for a ME K7 (90/10 800 fill) but this popped up and on sale so it was cheaper.

My concern is the fill weight (177g), which I'm not sure is enough (especially when jackets like the K7 claim 300g). If anyone has any thoughts I'd be interested, I can return it if it isn't burly enough - just couldn't let a good deal slip away.
Post edited at 10:57
Arete - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Arete:
+ from the reading I've done people tend to overdress for Mera (as it's often their first Nepal outing, like me) and find they only need a down jacket around camp and on summit day for several hours.

I'm just keen to avoid overdressing (plus it'll be a May ascent for me, not the dead of winter). Money saved on jackets will be put towards bomber gloves/boots.
Post edited at 11:12

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