Insulated Jackets
January 28, 2004 5:33 PM   Subscribe

Outdoor gear question: I'm trying to choose between a Mountain Hardwear Chugach jacket and a Moonstone Cirrus jacket, or a similar synthetic-insulated jacket. Anyone have experiences or recommendations to help me make my choice? [a little bit more inside]

I've more or less narrowed my choices to those two, based on fit, features, and cost (they're quite similar on paper, but I'd really like to know about real-life experiences). If you know of others I should check out, that would be cool also. Thanks!
posted by The Michael The to Shopping (2 answers total)
Mountain Hardwear used to sponsor me, back in 1996, when the company was brand-new. I tested some gear for them -- notably a $700 pants/jacket GoreTex shell -- that I'm still using to this day. (And, in fact, used this very day.) I preferred their jacket over anything similar that I tried or that potential sponsors got me to try out, and I still prefer it over the options that I periodically check out, despite that a mouse ate through the pants and the jacket some years ago.

It concerns me that I see their gear everywhere now, only because when a company's gear becomes commonplace for daily wear, their quality tends to slip, because they know that people aren't using the products for their intended purpose. If you're getting this jacket for a January ascent of Mt. Washington, maybe it's not the best thing to get. But if you just want a jacket, I'm sure it's fine.

Moonstone fans are -- or at least were -- pretty hard core. Their gear has long been known as being really quite nice. They've never had anything near the popularity of Mountain Hardwear, and that's a better thing for quality, I suspect.

Again, I love my Mountain Hardwear gear and, also again, if you're just using this to walk from your car to your office, it may not make much of a difference. :)
posted by waldo at 9:00 PM on January 28, 2004

I've got a Mountain Hardware Chugach and I love it.

It's good down to about 30 deg F with just a t-shirt. It's got enough room for layering, so I can add my softshell jacket between them, and easily go down to 0 F. Add a fleece vest and I'm good to about -15 F. I haven't had to get out anything heavier this winter and it's been a particularly cold one (Anchorage, AK).

The pockets are well-placed and well-sized and it's jlong enough to keep my waist covered if I have to bend over outside, but not so long that I sit on it while I'm driving.

I took it to Antarctica last year (just a tourist cruise), and the packability was an additional plus.

I have no experience with the Moonstone.
posted by mccreath at 1:36 PM on January 29, 2004

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