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.
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: 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.
> (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.
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.
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.
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...!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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