Im sure this topic has been beaten to death. Lord knows ive gone back and forth myself on it many times and still am clearly. I have 2 down jackets. One a very expensive light hoodie one. And one cheap department store one thats got no hood but is still quite light and cost under $30. The weight difference between the two is negligible and so this topic is a matter of if I bring one of them instead of my synthetic.
but while im mentioning both of them - the cheap one will fit under my raincoat better, and it wont upset me if it gets trashed on the hike, ill still have my nicer one for town and dry day hikes... On the other hand im sure its not as warm. but again as Id likely be using it just for around camp, I could add my raincoat to protect the down from rain when needed, and or to add warmth. Ive already learned not to hike in down as you sweat right through it.
But heres the rub, and maybe Ive already answered my own question above. Down is useless for warmth when it gets wet. I bought a nano puff a few years ago because of this (hoodless) which I adore. Its a few ounces heavier than my down coats but as a synthetic theres no risk of losing warmth if its wet. There are many times ive been caught out in it and it rained and I was glad I had it vs my down coats. I do look at the forecast so I do plan accordingly but youre not always in control of the weather are you. So neither are the weather apps
Im planning a multi-week to multi month A.T. hike in the spring and I am still conflicted on which jacket to bring. One of the down jackets (hood? No hood?) or the synthetic? I dont care about 4 extra ounces for such a critical item. The synthetic has the added benefit of being able to hike in it in cold weather without sweating through enough that it loses insulation power. And keeping warm in camp without the raincoat if it starts to rain a bit and I still have camp chores to do.. I always have the raincoat. the down is a little lighter and compacts down much better than the nano puff in a pack. As I own all these already , im not inquiring what to buy, but what to bring.
Its never mattered so much before because ive never been out more than 3-4 days and I can manage in the worst case till I get home. This hike will be at least 3-4 weeks. In spring, either from springer nobo or HF nobo. Your advice is appreciated. Again sorry if this is a repeat topic.
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