Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

A Whole Lot of Down Jackets

Its now really autumn here, rainy and windy. It snowed already last weekend in parts of Finland, and the thermometer here was dipping already a few times under the 0°C mark. Its the kind of weather where you're happy to put on a warm jacket if you go out, so that you stay toasty.

And while I got some downy loveliness in the gear closet, I am looking for a full blown down jacket with a hood to keep me warm when the thermometer says -15°C and more. It would be sweet if the jacket also would have a water repellant outer, so that the downs don't get wet too easily and lose their ability to loft. I'm currently doing some research on such a jacket, and thought maybe others are thinking about a similar investment; thus I share here my findings:

Montane North Star Jacket
- 525 g in Size M
- 185 g of down at 800+ Cuin (US Method)

Montbell U.L. Down Inner Parka
- 255 g in Size M
- 70 g of down at 800+ Cuin (US Method)

Nunatak Shaka Plus Down Sweater
- 284 g in Size M, Microlight outer
- 142 g of down at 800+ Cuin (US Method)

Sir Joseph Koteka Jacket
- 490 g in Size L
- 220 g of down at 800+ Cuin

Klättermusen Bore Jacket
- 565 g
- 275 g of down at 800+ Cuin

Rab Neutrino Endurance Jacket
- 625 g
- 220 g of down at 850+ Cuin (US Method)

Patagonia Down Sweater Full Zip Hoody
- 431 g
- no info on how much g down

PHD Yukon Down Jacket
- 450 g
- 900+ Cuin down, but no info how many g of it

Nahanny Down Jacket
- 830 g, can be less depending on size, materials, etc.
- 350 g of down at 650+ Cuin, can be upgraded to 750+ Cuin and can get overfill

GoLite Roan Plateau 800 Jacket
- 546 g
- 165 g of 800+ Cuin goose down fill

Quite a lot of choice, as you can see, and I surely missed some other options - feel free to let me know. Currently I'm leaning towards the Rab Neutrino Jacket, excellent quality and build, and very nice colour that orange; or the Sir Joseph Koteka Jacket, which looks also superbly build and has smart extras. Which down jacket are you wearing in the winter when backpacking?

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First Look: Klättermusen Loke

Dear aficionado of all things made of down, please take a seat, strap yourself in, I'll bring you the ultimate temptation. Ready? Here we go, the Klättermusen Loke:

Weights 428 g in Size S, of which are 95 g 750+ white goose down. Fabric and lining from recycled polyamide with a PFOA free impregnation. Its super warm, packs into its inside pocket, and the tunnel pocket in the front is very useful. The elastic bands at the hems keep the warmth inside, the hood is comfy and keeps your head warm. I'm planning to combine it with the GoLite Ultra 20° to push the quilt into the minus degrees, and keep me warm at camp after walking. Initial review after I spent some days and nights on the trail with it.

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Gear Talk: Smartwool Microweight Zip T & Bottoms Initial Review

Smartwool scored high in my article about environmental performance, and the company also makes some very comfy, warm and good looking merino baselayer garments. I will introduce you today to two garments out of their Microweight Series: The M's Microweight Zip T and the M's Microweight Bottom.

Lets start with the top. If you're living on the Northern half of this planet, then its now slowly that time of the year where leaves turn yellow, red and brown and fall from the trees. That means for me its time to get the baselayer out of the closet. However, its not yet so cold as that a heavy layer is needed, and so the Smartwool Microlight Zip T is what I take. The Zip allows me a good possibility to ventilate, and if its one of those windy days or cold nights, then there's nothing better than zipping it up to the top and feeling toasty.

Great ventilation for on the go.

Zipped up for the break.

The Zip T weights 196 g in Size M and works great on its own. With my Rab Microlite Vest its very warm for the breaks and nights, and the merino wool keeps what it promises: After a weekend out I came home and asked my girlfriend to have a sniff, and lo and behold, she didn't find me smelly at all! The quality it top, and I very much like the colour, Willow is what the guys from Smartwool call it (I would say olive).

The bottoms are of the same high quality, and weigh 154 g (Size M) on my scale. They got a fly, which is pretty handy because so you don't need to pull your complete underwear down if you heed natures call, giving the last surviving mosquitos no chance to bite you in your bottoms. The fly is a tunnel system which works well. The waistband is perfect, it doesn't push but sits comfortably on my waist without falling down.

Warm, zipper, flat seams and light.

I've been wearing the Zip T and the bottoms already a lot in the past weeks, and they will see more action in the next months. I also will use them in everyday life, as they are so thin and light that they are perfect for under my jeans and shirt in the winter (we have about -15°C minimum at daytime in the winter where I life, and with the wind it often feels like -30°C = you need to wear long underwear). On the last few trips I have been wearing the longsleeve and the bottoms, and they performed admirably.

In Finland you can get Smartwool garments at Partioaitta and Partiovaruste. If you're a shop owner and would like to add Smartwool garments to your collection, you should contact Greendoor Oy.

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