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3-in-1 component jacket vs. independent layers...???

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to upgrade my ski jacket, and I'm considering a system jacket, such as this Marmot component jacket:

http://marmot.com/products/gorge_component_jacket

 

Would anyone recommend this concept or is it better to layer independently, such as a down sweater with a shell?  

 

Also, I'm tall and slender in build, so I'm slightly worried about bulk and bulging around the mid-seciton.

 

Any help and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 28

I have a North Face Mountain Guide jacket that I can zip in my Denali fleece or Nuptse vest.  I never zip them in together.  I find that the bulk of items limit my freedom of movement.  My preference is to wear them separately.  It is much more comfortable.

 

Dennis

post #3 of 28

I have no experience with the higher end system jackets like Marmot or TNF, but my experience with both Columbia and LL Bean made me not want to own another.  They were quite bulky and not terribly comfortable.  I actually purchased the Columbia but the LL Bean was given to me by my employer, both have since been donated to charities.  I've found regular insulated jackets and independent layers more comfortable.

post #4 of 28

I bought a similar Marmot jacket but without the fleece liner. I have used it for several years and it is great. I have a fleece jacket that could zip into the shell part but I don't do it.  I just put them on independently. I don't see a reason to get the inner part unless you don't have a fleece to use. 

post #5 of 28

I'd stick with just layering. I definately find it is a lot more comfortable.

post #6 of 28

My daughter and I both have systems from Eddie Bauer, but they are no longer carried, probably because they are now pushing the extra pricey First Ascent line.  However, she's a early 20's "hot skier" chick and loves her set up and it's the FIRST TIME EVER that she felt warm on the hill AND she still feels fashionable.  The Primaloft zips in and we also each have a down alternative layer that for some peculiar reason is NOT zipped in.  I prefer the zip-in alternative because it's easier to get off and on.  With the non-zip-in liner, I am always putting my arm down the wrong place even though I try to take things off and on as "one".  However, the nice thing about the system stuff is that the lengths of arms and the bottom are all engineered so that nothing is sticking out due to design differences.  If it's really cold, I can even wear BOTH layers, so to me it's more like a 5-in-one system.  

 

When I tore a pocket, I looked everywhere for something to replace the whole system (Eddie Bauer was willing to refund the entire purchase price) but couldn't find anything that came close in terms of price and features, so I just had it mended.  Sorry I didn't buy two sets.  

post #7 of 28

Are there down jackets that work well as a mid-layer? What makes a down jacket breathable? the nylon? I have an old one that is very warm and has light nylon, therefore may work as a mid layer under a Marmot gore-tex shell, but I think it will not breath at all, as it was made in the early 70's, in Colorado by the way.

post #8 of 28

I don't sweat enough to evaluate the "breathability" of what they call down sweaters.  The down layer I use is analogous to that and I open the pit zips if it turns out that maybe putting that on was the wrong call for the day.  

post #9 of 28

I am not a fan of systems.  I want the control of what I choose to wear that day based on the weather forecast. 

 

My cold kit is wool base layer, polartec 1/2 zip fleece over that, down insulating layer and then shell.  I also sometimes use a Columbia Titanium full zip softshell as my insulating mid-layer if I don't need the down b/c I like my gear to be snug to my body.

 

I make sure ALL my gear fits me snug yet retains good mobility.   For example, I wear a large tee shirt but all of my base and mid-layer stuff is medium.  My shell is a large though but the First Ascent pieces are not cut to fit loose.

 

 

post #10 of 28

I tried the component route in the past and now I just get independent layers and I find that works better.  It's nice to be able to vary what I wear as a midlayer to fit the temperature and my layers and shell are less bulky than the 3-1 system was.

post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 

Does anyone have any experience with the First Ascent Down Shirt?  Here:

 

http://www.eddiebauer.com/catalog/product.jsp?ensembleId=40144&&categoryId=28480&categoryName=JACKETS--VEST&pCategoryId=28475&pCategoryName=FIRST-ASCENT&gpCategoryId=1&gpCategoryName=EB&catPath=~~categoryId=28480~~categoryName=JACKETS--VEST~~pCategoryId=28475~~pCategoryName=FIRST-ASCENT~~gpCategoryId=1~~gpCategoryName=EB&viewAll=y&pg=1

 

I've read some pretty good things about this product as a mid-layer, but has anyone heard anything bad?  Any possibility that this could be TOO warm, under a hard shell???

post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

Are there down jackets that work well as a mid-layer? What makes a down jacket breathable? the nylon? I have an old one that is very warm and has light nylon, therefore may work as a mid layer under a Marmot gore-tex shell, but I think it will not breath at all, as it was made in the early 70's, in Colorado by the way.



 

 

My typical setup consists of a Capilene base layer, Patagonia's down sweater, and the Powder Bowl shell.  If it is a warmer day, I swap the down for a fleece (or even just use the Capilene and a soft shell), or if it is an exceptionally cold day, I add the fleece to my standard setup.  In response to your question, the down sweater makes an excellent mid layer.  I have had a couple 3-in-1 systems from TNF and others, but I much prefer my current setup.

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

Are there down jackets that work well as a mid-layer? What makes a down jacket breathable? the nylon? I have an old one that is very warm and has light nylon, therefore may work as a mid layer under a Marmot gore-tex shell, but I think it will not breath at all, as it was made in the early 70's, in Colorado by the way.


It would have to be made from waterproof fabric and seam sealed to not breathe at all.  Try compressing it, that will tell you and I'm betting it will breathe.  Even DWR treatments are breathable.

 

post #14 of 28

cool, thanks, worth a try. I'll report back on breathability for very cold days, which is the only time that layer would be worn.

post #15 of 28
Down jackets aren't breathable at all. That's why I like down vests under my shell on the really cold days, keeps just my core super warm and arms comfortable.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by huhh View Post

Down jackets aren't breathable at all. That's why I like down vests under my shell on the really cold days, keeps just my core super warm and arms comfortable.


Sorry but that is just plain wrong.

 

post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by huhh View Post

Down jackets aren't breathable at all. That's why I like down vests under my shell on the really cold days, keeps just my core super warm and arms comfortable.


Sorry but that is just plain wrong.


I have a friend that uses a northface down jacket, at the end of the day he's soaked under it. Down traps heat and moisture, simple as that. Maybe a uber high end down jacket might be better.
post #18 of 28

Your friend is wearing a down jacket with too much down for the conditions and level of exertion.  My normal mid layer is a Patagonia down sweater.  If the weather is too warm I switch to a fleece mid layer.  I have never been soaked or even sweaty using the down sweater.  

post #19 of 28
3 in 1 systems seem too bulky and restrictive to me - most outer shells that come with these tend to be insulated as well - which seems to be tbe cause of the bulk problem. Me personally, I'd wear a heavyweight polyester base layer, a primaloft jacket such as TNF Redpoint or REI Revelcloud (instead of a bulky fleece, which will slide into the sleeves of a shell nicely and wear comfortably instead of bunching up and grabbing under your armpits like the fleece would) and a good quality shell - this setup should be warm, comfortable and versatile enough for most people.
post #20 of 28
Unintended duplicate post
post #21 of 28

ideal mid layer would be like those down sweaters everyone makes, but mine would be SILK with down. mmmmmm, nice.

 

(the breathability of down is based on the nylon used. think about a cotton down comforter. breathes well. my jacket, with all the down pumped out, would not breath through the two layers of ripstop nylon because the nylon is a very old type, I think.  also, perspiration levels vary greatly from one person to another.)

 

post #22 of 28

I have a North Face system jacket that I love. I don't find it bulky at all-- but I seem to be in the minority. I feel less bulky when the liner is zipped into the shell than if I I wear multiple independent layers under just the shell.

I also find that if I buy just a plain shell with no or very little insulation, if I buy it big enough to fit all the layers I'd need on the coldest days we get to keep me warm enough then it's too big and loose to wear just the shell in warm conditions.

For me, the TNF system is sized that it works best for me right now.

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miramar View Post

I also find that if I buy just a plain shell with no or very little insulation, if I buy it big enough to fit all the layers I'd need on the coldest days we get to keep me warm enough then it's too big and loose to wear just the shell in warm conditions.

 

You should not wear more than three layers.  There is such a thing as too many layers and after three layers the additional one become a detriment.  You vary the insulation by adjusting the base layer and mid layer.  The shell is there for wind and rain protection.

post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeTheBuckeye View PostMy typical setup consists of a Capilene base layer, Patagonia's down sweater, and the Powder Bowl shell.  If it is a warmer day, I swap the down for a fleece (or even just use the Capilene and a soft shell), or if it is an exceptionally cold day, I add the fleece to my standard setup.  In response to your question, the down sweater makes an excellent mid layer.  I have had a couple 3-in-1 systems from TNF and others, but I much prefer my current setup.


This.  I like the layering system b/c of the flexibility it provides.  I have some capilene and some heavier (for colder temps) stuff as underwear.  I own a down sweater, a lighter merino thick sweater, a windstopper shell, a thick soft shell, and a Gore ProShell.  I mix-and-match depending on the temps.  High temps = windstopper shell; a little colder throw in the sweater, colder still = down + windstopper; cold + snow = down + thick softshell, full on blizzard = layering + ProShell. 

The flexibility to adjust with the weather is why I like the layering.

 

My first jacket was a Columbia with a zip-in fleece liner. It just didn't work as well in as many conditions as what I've built up.  It was also much bulkier than what I can put together with the above (with the exception of multiple-layers under the Proshell...and then I think the Columbia wouldn't have been warm enough for those conditions). I will say this: the jackets I've accumlated was a boat-load more $$$ than that Columbia jacket, so it should work better in more conditions.

 

-Smarty 
 

 

post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smartyiak View Post

My first jacket was a Columbia with a zip-in fleece liner. It just didn't work as well in as many conditions as what I've built up.  It was also much bulkier than what I can put together with the above (with the exception of multiple-layers under the Proshell...and then I think the Columbia wouldn't have been warm enough for those conditions). I will say this: the jackets I've accumlated was a boat-load more $$$ than that Columbia jacket, so it should work better in more conditions.

 

-Smarty 

Had a similar experience with one of those Columbia jackets - it worked better when the liner wasn't zipped in, and it wasn't really warm enough without a sweater or another fleece. 

 

For several years I skied almost exclusively in a shell with various layers underneath, but have recently gravitated back to a parka with pit zips. Most days I wear a mid-weight polyprop top and microfleece underneath. There's less to put on/take off not to mention pack with by adjusting the pit zips, this combination is comfortable over a wide range of conditions.

post #26 of 28

Hello, my name is Rick G and I am a gear-a-holic. LOL   I own several of both systems and have also used a dedicated insulated ski jacket in the past.  Lately I have been perferring the layering system as I have moved upstairs to better shells using Gore-Tex.  The zip in systems from Columbia (Titanium is better in some cases) and other main stream makers are just fair to good in quality.  I have had mixed success with Columbia's Omni Tech.   I know many alternative wp/b barriers exist that work well but none offer the quality standards needed to use Gore-Tex in your products.  Therefore I reccomend having a good Performance or Pro Gore-Tex Shell from your favorite brand with the ski features you want and then mix and match layers to suit conditions.

 

I picked up a sweet Marker branded Gore-Tex Performance Shell with built in Recco and the usuall powder skirt, media pocket, vents etc for $150 at a pre-season ski sale. It is bright yellow/green (to make it easier for patrol to find my frozen lump of a body) which just happens to match my new Lange RX130's.  There is even a splash of the same color on my new E98's.  Like I said, I am a gear-a-holic who just happens to like being color co-ordinated.  Which means more opportunities to buy more gear.  You see how this works? 

 

Excuse me, I have to go to rehab now.

 

Rick G

 

 

post #27 of 28

I don't see where there can be "too many layers" except maybe in regard to constriction of movement.  If it's blowing and the combined wind and temps makes it minus 60 F, I'm going to put on more clothes and still ski.  IMO most people in the lodge could be perfectly happy if they had just put MORE CLOTHES ON that morning!  I in fact PREFER those days because there is no one out there but me and ski patrol.  If you've engineered the layering correctly, there won't even be much of a movement problem.  Who cares if you look like Sasquatch?  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

You should not wear more than three layers.  There is such a thing as too many layers and after three layers the additional one become a detriment.  You vary the insulation by adjusting the base layer and mid layer.  The shell is there for wind and rain protection.



 

post #28 of 28

I'm a layering fan, I typically ski in a midweight base layer, a light synthetic insulation layer and then a soft shell on top. I ski in colorado and I can't remember the last time I needed a hard shell. If it's really cold (sub 0) , I'll throw a patagonia DAS parka over everything else.

 

I usually stay pretty warm so other people may like more insulation. Also I'm a big fan of skiing in soft shells, the breathability is great, and you can combine wind resistance and insulation so it cuts down on the number of layers you need. Also it gives me breathability so if I work hard hiking or skiing bumps, the sweat moves out. Granted I live in the dry west, but I ski snow or shine and I never get wet. I do renew my DWR treatment every year though.

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