UKC

NEW ARTICLE: Belay Jackets, by TobyA

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Toby Archer shares his thoughts on belay jackets for the coming winter. Going somewhere cold? Need to wrap up warm? Take a look at this article...

With recommendations from several different manufacturers, some good points about what to look for and some real 'test' situations, this is a comprehensive and interesting article.

Toby also asks the question: Synthetic or Down?

Read more: http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=1375
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Does he get this stuff for free?

 vincentvega 04 Nov 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

good article, an essential bit of kit, although i have the rab belay jacket without a detachable hood!! maybe its the last model!!
 Morgan Woods 04 Nov 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

thanks for the review Toby - i like your approach. To add another name to the mix...I am very happy with my mountain hardwear voodoo belay jacket (now replaced by the Compressor). Another factor you may like to consider is how quickly a jacket will dry. My synthetic one can usually dry out overnight in a decent dry-room but a down jacket would stuggle.
 lithos 04 Nov 2008
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:

what stuff - his 8 year old DAS or NF jackets ?


good review with good level of detail about what 'you' look for
in a jacket and some pointers for us all to be aware of.

PS I have a Rab Belay with fixed hood - old style
In reply to lithos: Well, he does seem to be able to do gear reviews.
 Michael Ryan 04 Nov 2008
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC) Does he get this stuff for free?

No one gets stuff for free.

 Michael Ryan 04 Nov 2008
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:
> (In reply to lithos) Well, he does seem to be able to do gear reviews.

Toby along with Jon Griffith are two of our star gear reviewers. You may notice that very few of the climbing media actually do gear reviews anymore, it is mostly advertorial.

Some more of Toby's work

Tricams from C.A.M.P
£11 - 19 depending on size, added 27/Oct/2008
reviewed by TobyA
This review has been read 925 times

http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=1366

•DMM Shadow Quickdraws Aug/200
•C.A.M.P Armour helmet Jul/2008
•DMM Alloy Offsets Jun/2008
•SnaPack Tarp May/2008
•DMM Shadow and Phantom Quickdraws Nov/2007
•First Look: Metolius Ultralight Curve Nuts Nov/2007
•Mad Rock Frenzy Lace Oct/2007
•Missing! Has anyone seen Vertical magazine? Jun/2007
•Vertical Magazine - un magasin pour l'union européenne Dec/2006
•Berghaus Optimus 40 Nov/2006

Check the gear page: http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/

Ian Black 04 Nov 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Aye, I think we know the DAS is the benchmark.
In reply to Morgan Woods: Good call Morgan. I tried to make the suggested list reasonably comprehensive but forgot unfairly MH because they make serious gear that is widely available in the UK. Does it have a good hood you can hide inside?

The Buffalo belay jackets are another - slightly different possibility. I used the original one for years with the full Buffalo system.
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Review/Article slightly updated to include Morgan's comment about the MH jacket and Toby's comment about the Buffalo.

Thanks guys.

Nice article (as usual) Toby.

Jack
 icehockeyhair 04 Nov 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Nice article, another jacket which I think fits the bill and was missed is the Paramo Torres Smock, I've had one for a few years and it serves me pretty damn well.

Cheers

Duncan
 chris_s 04 Nov 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Nice review, but is there any chance of smaller paragraphs and/or a bit more linespacing on article pages? Great chunks of text like that aren't the most welcoming to read.
 chiz 05 Nov 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Nice article, I've had a NFace Redpoint Optimus jacket for a few years, and have to agree the hood is the weak point, you can cinch it at the back of your head to tighten a bit, but there's no drawcord around the face to close it up. Most annoying as it is light, and packs down really small, and is warm. I usually would be wearing a balaclava though.
 Morgan Woods 05 Nov 2008
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Morgan Woods) Good call Morgan. I tried to make the suggested list reasonably comprehensive but forgot unfairly MH because they make serious gear that is widely available in the UK. Does it have a good hood you can hide inside?

yes the hood on the old mh voodoo is good....i would expect it has been carried over to the compressor....maybe someone can confirm.
 Strontium Dog 05 Nov 2008
In reply to vincentvega:

I also have the Rab Belay Jacket with the non-detachable hood. It is a fantastic jacket, but now that the new model has a detachable hood I would hesitate to recommend it.

There is no advantage, for what it is designed for, in it having a detachable hood. It's a real shame.

RIch.

Fauvé 05 Nov 2008
In reply to Richard White:


I have used a RAB belay jacket with the non-detchable hood, which I think is an essential thing to have, and because of this, I would never have bought anything with a detachable hood.

However, borrowed a friends Zeta jacket and ended up buying one myself.
Can't rate it highly enough and even the zip on hood is excellent.

Expensive though, but worth it :0)

http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=82
 Strontium Dog 05 Nov 2008
In reply to Fauvé:

The Zeta looks like a good bit of kit. I will try and find one to borrow this winter up in Scotland, unless you have one I can borrow?

I really rate PHD equipment and have one of their Hispa Gore Tex outer sleeping bags which is great for Scottish bivvies.

Rich.
 telemarker 05 Nov 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Good article. I have a berghaus infinity jacket with a detachable (massive) hood. Purely bought it as it was an excellent deal and so far its been really good.
Fauvé 06 Nov 2008
In reply to Richard White:

Hi Richard,
I would say that the one I have would be quite small!

Besides, I shall need it when I head off to Germany for snowboarding. Always get comments, people think it's a retro 70's jacket!

The Zeta is worth the money and also have a look at the Yukon:

http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=93&products_id=159

It has a popper hood and is very toasty :0)
keithspencer 07 Nov 2008

The Dually Belay Parka from Arc'teryx is also tremendous. Fixed hood with really easy adjustment. Oh and it's massive so no worries over a helmet. Really very very nice. If only it wasn't so stupendiosuly expensive.
 pebbles 07 Nov 2008
In reply to keithspencer: has anyone got any good reccomendations for pint sized climbers? being on the small side I often end up buying kids outdoor gear to avoid being swamped by gear designed for burlier folk, but this rules out many of the reccomended items - the DAF one for example only comes in a mens version.
 Ron Walker 07 Nov 2008
In reply to TobyA:

In the winter I still use the Buffalo Belay Jacket.
It's simple, faff free, light and bombproof.
You can even use the Buffalo as a furry, snug replacement base layer after a sweaty Helly approach OR as an outer jacket over your Paramo or soft shell gear in a Cairngorm blizzard.
I've tried several of the newer, lighter and more compressible modern offerings in summer alpine conditions but when the shit really hits the fan and it's going to be tough, cold, wet and windy it's still the Buffalo Belay Jacket for me...!

Cheers Ron
 cham749 10 Nov 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: I've been looking for a belay jacket with ahood for a little while now. I have come up with a choice of 3:

1. Mountain Equipment Fitzroy Jacket, 700 g and £150.

2. Patagonia Micro Puff hooded jacket 598g and £150.

3. PHD Zeta Jacket 915g and £185.

At the moment I am favouring the patagonia one slightly, it will be used mainly in Scotland and Norway. Any thoughts?
In reply to cham749:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC) I've been looking for a belay jacket with ahood for a little while now.

I've got both the Zeta and the Micro Puff. The Zeta is a full on rufty tufty belay jacket... suitible for mega belays and scottish storms.

The micro puff isn't... it is a nice warm jacket, but isn't weatherproof or warm enough for Scottish winter or Norway... It also has crap pockets. They are un-insulatted so might as well not be there.
>
> At the moment I am favouring the patagonia one slightly, it will be used mainly in Scotland and Norway. Any thoughts?

I've climbed in Norway in winter and even in good weather it is properly cold. I would have been too cold in my Micro Puff.

Patagonia also do the excellent DAS parka, which would be suitible for your needs. I don't know anything about the ME jacket so can't comment.

The Micro Puff is an excellent jacket for summer alpine climbing, but it just isn't warm enough for Scottish winter or futher a field.

HTH
 whiting.jp 10 Nov 2008
Arg, why why why did they make the Rab Belay Jackets hood detachable!?

I'm yet another with the old style fixed hood Rab Belay and it's a superb low faff practical jacket, but I guess I wont be able to recommend them any more, bah.
In reply to cham749: Since those three use roughly the same materials (give or take) you can probably guess the warmth from the weight.

The one one I've seen in the flesh is the ME fitzroy, which looks like a reall nice jacket but it's not got nearly as much insulation as my Montane Bivvy, which I find is about right for Scottish Winter/Norway.

I'd guess that the Zeta will be a good bit warmer than the other two, the the ME second and the Patagonia third.
 cham749 10 Nov 2008
In reply to Alasdair Fulton: Thanks for all your advice.
 cham749 10 Nov 2008
In reply to Tom Ripley: Thanks Tom.
 Will1 11 Nov 2008
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: and why have they put pit zips on the Haglofs Barrier Zone Hood?
 cham749 12 Nov 2008
In reply to Alasdair Fulton: Right, I've investigated further, after advice received here, and have now come down to two options:

Patagonia DAS Parka £200

PHD Zeta Belay Jacket £185

It seems to me that there is little to chose between the two jackets, except price and that the Zeta's pockets seem to be better placed, but you get a choice of colours with patagonia, not that it's important.

In reply to cham749:
> but you get a choice of colours with patagonia, not that it's important.

Of course it's important! If you are going to be totally cold and scared, at the very least it's nice to know you're lookin' gooooood. Bright colours and the right label is all important.

 cham749 12 Nov 2008
In reply to cham749: http://www.psychovertical.com/?phdzetabelayjacket

After reading this article again, I think the Zeta just about takes it. Although the price has gone up to £185 since the article was written.
In reply to cham749:
> (In reply to Alasdair Fulton) Right, I've investigated further, after advice received here, and have now come down to two options:

I've got both jckets and have used them both extensivley. They are both pretty similar and you can't go wrong with either really. Bellow I've listed some of each jackets positives and negitives - but really I'm splitting hairs.

> Patagonia DAS Parka £200

Better and more protective hood.
More stylish
Elasticated cuffs
The warmer of the two, but only just
>
> PHD Zeta Belay Jacket £185

More weather resistant
Removable hood - PHD will sew one on for you though.
"Hardcore" rufty tufty design - reflective piping - belay clip loop ecetera.
Big sleeves and velcro cuffs so easier to put on over big gloves than the DAS.
British made

The pockets are, near enough, in the same place on both jackets.

I'd go for the PHD, as it is British made, cheaper and much more weather resistant.

If you want anymore info email me.

HTH
 cham749 12 Nov 2008
In reply to Tom Ripley: Thanks very much for the advice.

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