An insulated jacket should be a wardrobe essential for climbers, hikers and others who enjoy the outdoors.
Synthetic or down? Does loft matter? What temperature should you wear? How warm should you go?
You should ask, Why am I buying this item for my outdoor pursuits?
Really warm jacket for cold areas.
The Mont Icicle Down Jacket is a must-have. This jacket is genuine and suitable for serious trips. It’s the ultimate Downie, and it doesn’t have to meet the requirements of 8000-meter parkas. If you are looking for a warm-than-average insulated jacket, the Mont Icicle will be your best friend.
Many people purchase the Mont Icicle to travel in extremely cold areas. You could, for example, travel to Siberia. One customer wore the Icicle while riding a camel through Mongolia. The Icicle is also the ideal jacket to take on an Antarctic cruise. It’s very cold outside but warm inside. It’s also popular to trek at high altitudes in Peru and the Himalayas. These trips offer a lot more downtime at the end of each day, and at 4000m, it will be freezing no matter where you go. In winter, the Icicle is a great jacket for belaying at the bottom of a sports rock where you mostly just stand and hold a rope.
Jacket for cold-weather sports such as skiing, ice climbing and other winter activities.
The Outdoor Research Incandescent Hooded Down jacket is the best for warmth, lightweight and portability. This jacket is puffy and has 800+ fill power (responsibly sourced goose feather). This jacket is unbeatable in terms of warmth-to-weight. This jacket is made of lightweight fabrics.
Additional noteworthy points
- One pocket doubles as a bag.
- A durable water repellent finish makes water (from snow or light showers) roll-off.
Pluses: The ultimate warmth-to-weight ratio
Minuses: Puffy (some people do not like wearing fat jackets); it can also be used as an insulating layer. If you require high water resistance, you will need to wear a lightweight waterproof jacket.
Hood or no hood
It is a personal choice. The Bogong staff loves a hood. It’s an easy way to increase warmth (since a lot of heat escapes your head). Some people think a hood can get in the way of your active pursuits like climbing or skiing. It’s up to you, and there’s no right or wrong.
Synthetic or down?
Down It could be said that down has an unbeatable warmth-to-weight ratio. It’s very warm, and you only need to carry a small amount of weight. A fleece, for example, is lighter to provide the same warmth. Down has a downside: it hates getting wet. Quality brands now use extra production steps, such as using a highly waterproof shell fabric, treating down with a water repellent coating and sewing seams with hydrophobic thread. This problem can be avoided on multiday hikes by stuffing your down jacket in a waterproof bag and then packing it into your backpack. Down can be more difficult to care for. It’s also very breathable, so it doesn’t overheat.
Synthetic: Although synthetic insulation can be as warm as down, it is now surprisingly efficient. It’s also not as breathable as down, but technology is improving, and high-quality synthetic fibers are surprisingly breathable. Synthetic insulation is more comfortable than down because it retains warmth even when damp. Synthetic jackets are generally easy to wash.
How about fleece?
Fleece can be a great budget option. It’s warm and easy to clean and less expensive than a synthetic or down jacket. It’s not as lightweight (especially wet), and it doesn’t pack down either. A fleece layer is not as expensive and can be easily replaced. Sometimes simplicity is better. If you are staying in a cabin, fleece can be very cozy. You can also add it as an extra layer to keep you warm on a dry, cold night. High-quality fleece (yes, you might think it is fleece, but it is not) is durable.