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View Full Version : Polyfill VS Thinsulate



Clarence Martin
01-18-2016, 5:49 PM
Well, the old Winter Parka bit the dust. Checking out the sales and clearance items for a good buy ! Found 2 different Parkas . One has 195 Grams of Polyfill in the main part of the Parka, , 125 Grams of Poly Fill in the sleeves and 60 grams in the Hood. The other Parka, has 150 grams of Thinsulate in the sleeves and body of the Parka and 100 grams of Thinsulate in the Hood.

Question:

Which is warmer ? How much the Parka weighs does not matter. I am used to heavy, bulky Parkas. Warmth is the important factor.

Chuck Wintle
01-19-2016, 6:16 AM
Well, the old Winter Parka bit the dust. Checking out the sales and clearance items for a good buy ! Found 2 different Parkas . One has 195 Grams of Polyfill in the main part of the Parka, , 125 Grams of Poly Fill in the sleeves and 60 grams in the Hood. The other Parka, has 150 grams of Thinsulate in the sleeves and body of the Parka and 100 grams of Thinsulate in the Hood.

Question:

Which is warmer ? How much the Parka weighs does not matter. I am used to heavy, bulky Parkas. Warmth is the important factor.

to be warm you need to dress in layers as thinsulate and polyfill by itself is not that warm. The down filled parkas are still the best for deep cold protection.

Lenore Epstein
01-19-2016, 6:59 AM
I just had to lookup "polyfill" because I'd never heard of any such thing when shopping for technical clothing, and I'm quite the fiber-and-fabric nerd whenit come to outdoors gear. All I can say is that it's a generic term that covers everything from the most primitive, least wicking and heaviest thing on the market to Patagonia's Primaloft Gold, which brings absurd process because it's unbelievably warm despite feeling completely insubstantial.

Heavy does not necessarily mean warm with modern insulation, and heavy insulation isn't likely to breath and wick well enough for your sweat to escape. Even moderately priced synthetic jackets probably feel lighter than your old parka, so if you're looking at single-layer insulation I suggest walking around the store for five or ten minutes to see how hot you get. What brands are you looking at?

BTW, I'm really into layering because it's the most versatile way to dress for outdoor activities, but I've recently discovered how nice it is to have one super warm coat for wearing in town or on really bitter ski days when I need something completely bombproof over my base layers and fleece to seal in the heat

For what it's worth, I haven't had great experiences with Thinsulate in gloves or boots, but it might be different in a jacket.

I hope something in there is useful. Oh, and you might try Sierra Trading Post, which had insanely marked down winter gear, too

Erik Loza
01-19-2016, 10:03 AM
....to Patagonia's Primaloft Gold, which brings absurd process because it's unbelievably warm despite feeling completely insubstantial...

I actually just bought a new jacket last week with Primaloft in it, to replace a Thinsulate one that was getting long in the tooth. The "volume" of the jackets (at least to my perception: Weight, packability, etc.) is basically identical but the Primaloft one is SIGNIFICANTLY warmer than the Thinsulate one, despite not being any bulkier. Also, mine is a different brand than Patagonia. You might be able to get the same fill in a variety of brands. Really a warm jacket for being so light.

Erik

terry mccammon
01-19-2016, 10:09 AM
This whole issue can get "political" fast. That said, if you want to read way more than you can imagine about insulation for coats and sleeping bags then go to www.wiggys.com. The guy can get more than a bit shrill on this stuff, but in fairness knows a whole lot and has decades of experience. I can tell you that it is a verified fact that he does supply various special operations organizations.

At the end of the day it all comes down to, good down, properly installed is great until it gets wet or dirty. Therefore everyone is looking for a way around that simple fact by substitution of whatever for down.

Stan Calow
01-19-2016, 4:14 PM
terry, thanks for that note! I wondered if Wiggy's was still around. I had a couple of his bags years ago and liked them a lot, but had no arctic experience with which to compare. I still use the pillows for travel.
As far as brands of insulation, I think the quality of the outer shell and the especially the way the seams are sewed makes as much difference.

Clarence Martin
01-19-2016, 11:31 PM
Well, I just found out that the Parka I was interested in, is one of those 4 in 1 Parkas. The sales Manager told me that the Thinsulate is a removable liner. Take it out, and what I would have is a waterproof rain parka. I had a Parka years ago with a removable Thinsulate liner. I FROZE in that thing all Winter until I got a Parka WITHOUT a removable liner. Why can't they just make a regular Parka with the insulation built into the Parka ?

Ken Fitzgerald
01-20-2016, 1:07 AM
Clarence,

Until I broke my back in 2001, I was a serious elk hunter. We hunted on foot. We used horses and mules to pack the elk out. In those 18 years, I got hypothermia twice. I have been wearing parkas for the last 40 years. What I found to prevent hypothermia was to layer my clothing and adjust early. When I left camp in the morning, if I wasn't shivering a bit, I had too much on. For about 10 years we skied seriously and were season pass owners using them all weekend, every weekend during the season. All of my parkas have removable liners except one. The only time I carry that parka is when I am driving in extremely bad weather. It goes in the back of my SUV to be used should I get stranded. It's too warm to wear otherwise.

Look at Northface, LLBean, Cabelas and REI for parkas with non-removable liners and removable liners. Shop the high end parkas and you will find some very warm, windproof and waterproof parkas. I own 2 currently, the aforementioned one from LLBean and an LLBean Maine Warden's 3-in-1 removable down liner parka. Both of my parkas are Gore-Tex lined, double seamed and are extremely durable.

Lenore Epstein
01-20-2016, 2:36 AM
Terry's right that several companies now use Primaloft, so it's just a matter of finding something that fits and has the features you want. In my case that means pit zips for outer layers, helmet compatible hoods, meaningful pockets for necessities, and cuts that leave room for layers.

By the way, very few salespeople have used the stuff they're selling, and even if they have they may well use their gear for very different activities than you do, so ask lots of questions.

Speaking of which, what did you use that old parka for?

Clarence Martin
01-20-2016, 9:16 AM
Terry's right that several companies now use Primaloft, so it's just a matter of finding something that fits and has the features you want. In my case that means pit zips for outer layers, helmet compatible hoods, meaningful pockets for necessities, and cuts that leave room for layers.

By the way, very few salespeople have used the stuff they're selling, and even if they have they may well use their gear for very different activities than you do, so ask lots of questions.

Speaking of which, what did you use that old parka for?

Hunting Fox and Coyote. Wore it last Winter when the temp got to -20 with a -45 Degree Windchill. Toasty warm. Wore it in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks one Winter when the windchill was -60 Degrees. Again , toasty warm. Only layer I had on underneath, was a T- Shirt and a heavy Wool shirt.

Jerome Stanek
01-20-2016, 12:29 PM
Hunting Fox and Coyote. Wore it last Winter when the temp got to -20 with a -45 Degree Windchill. Toasty warm. Wore it in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks one Winter when the windchill was -60 Degrees. Again , toasty warm. Only layer I had on underneath, was a T- Shirt and a heavy Wool shirt.

Wind chill has nothing to do with the actual temp if you are covered and the coat stops the wind there is on wind chill on that part or the body.

Myk Rian
01-20-2016, 9:03 PM
My Carrhart waist length is the warmest coat I own.

Clarence Martin
01-20-2016, 9:15 PM
Went to Cabelas this Morning and went through both of the Herters Parkas they had left in stock. Both 2 1/2 inches too short in the sleeves and the length. Then they brought this Parka out,
The Cabelas Snow parka in the Zonz Woodlands Camo.

That Parka fit perfectly. Tried it out in the backyard when I got home. Wind was blowing and it was snowing . It was about 18 Degrees out.

I was toasty warm !!

It was originally $159 . Got it on sale for $99.99 since it was the last one in the store.

Ken Fitzgerald
01-21-2016, 5:16 PM
I am happy for you Clarence!