/ Scottish Winter Belay Jacket

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fertilious - on 29 Nov 2018

Hello,

Travelling to Scotland in March to climb ice routes, hopefully, and I am looking for the top three picks for a current winter belay jacket. Any ideas? Cheers in advance.

Post edited at 04:14
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gneiss boots on 29 Nov 2018
In reply to fertilious: Mountain Equipment Fitzroy was my recent choice. I had a look at others from Montane ( too light/ lower grade of insulation) or Rab (same insulation as ME but thicker grade and so heavier/warmer). Fitzroy seemed to be light and packable enough to work with my other layers and not be a full kilo in the rucksack. Snugpak were warm but heavy and often hoodless. Alpkit do one just like Fitzroy that looked ideal for mewhich would ordinarily be cheaper than ME but deals at the moment mean ME comes in at same price. That was my review based on my use and requirements. Lots of good jackets out there and I never really looked at haglofs, Patagonia etc.

 

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DaveHK - on 29 Nov 2018
In reply to fertilious:

Lots of options and choosing from the big manufacturers there's probably not a bad one out there.

I like my ME Fitzroy. I particularly like how water resistant the outer fabric is.

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Ben Sharp - on 29 Nov 2018
In reply to fertilious:

I opted for the ME citadel, similar to the fitzroy but heavier and warmer.  I think it's the same outer fabric. Takes up a lot of space but you never regret the extra weight once you put it on. Nice pocket configuration inside and a big flask pocket which I've made use of a lot when wearing it elsewhere.

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fertilious - on 29 Nov 2018
In reply to fertilious:

I do currently have a Patagonia DAS parka but wondered if a more waterproof belay parka was needed for say....Ben Nevis ice climbing in March? 

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LucaC - on 29 Nov 2018
In reply to fertilious:

The Fitzroy really isn't warm enough for use as a belay parker, unless your moving really quite quickly, which is unlikely on a hard winter route! 

I used the old Citadel for a couple of seasons before it wore out, and the new one didn't seem to fit as well or have the same good features, so I opted to replace with a Rab Photon X which seems to tick all the boxes for me. 

In my option you need a jacket with at least 170g/m2 of synthetic insulation to be effective when standing still for a prolonged period of time. Primaloft is basically impervious to water, and you'll probably be wearing it over a hardshell anyway, so don't worry about waterproof face fabrics.

Post edited at 22:46
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olddirtydoggy - on 29 Nov 2018
In reply to fertilious:

+1 for the Fitzroy. I'm seeing a pattern here. The new price for it is mad.

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Flett - on 30 Nov 2018
In reply to fertilious:

ME fitzroy, seen it for 165 squid on google, definitely worth the coin!

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saintlade - on 30 Nov 2018
In reply to fertilious:

I'm a big fan of the Rab Photon X jacket, great well thought out bit of kit.

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angry pirate - on 30 Nov 2018
In reply to LucaC:

I used a Rab Generator for a while, which was equivalent to the Fitzroy, and didn't find it warm enough for serious Winter faffing.

I upgraded to the Berghaus Belay parka (probably discontinued now) which is similar fill to the Citadel etc and I couldn't agree with you more. It's well worth the extra weight for the toastiness when you lob it on. 

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DaveHK - on 30 Nov 2018
In reply to LucaC:

> The Fitzroy really isn't warm enough for use as a belay parker, unless your moving really quite quickly, which is unlikely on a hard winter route! 

> so don't worry about waterproof face fabrics.

Quite a lot of people would disagree with your first point. It depends on whether you feel the cold and what you wear for leading. A personal preference / approach thing.

A water resistant face fabric isn't a necessity for a single day but makes a big difference to drying times if you're doing multiple days in poor weather.

Post edited at 06:51
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jonnie3430 - on 30 Nov 2018
In reply to fertilious:

Nopey, nope, nope. Old das is still a god amongst belay jackets and will cope with the ben in march with ease.

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Alex Riley on 30 Nov 2018
In reply to jonnie3430:

The bergaus 7000 extrem belay is a great jacket for the money. 200gsm of their own brand insulation and it has some sort of foil lining. Super warm, used mine down to -30c wind-chill last year.

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LucaC - on 30 Nov 2018
In reply to DaveHK:

I can't say I've ever struggled to get a pertex shelled (or similar) primaloft filled jacket dry overnight, even when its been fully saturated from standing around in a monsoon.

The original question was regarding Scottish winter belay jackets, rather than one for multi-day use. I would definitely find a Fitzroy too cold to belay in if my route was taking more than one day!

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DaveHK - on 30 Nov 2018
In reply to LucaC:

> The original question was regarding Scottish winter belay jackets, rather than one for multi-day use. I would definitely find a Fitzroy too cold to belay in if my route was taking more than one day!

I was thinking about multiple days not multi-day routes. I had a Haglofs one with a not very water resistant outer and unless I had access to a drying room or could drape it over a radiator it would sometimes not dry overnight after a damp route. Not something that happened often but enough to make me go for something different when I replaced it. It also ended up weighing quite a lot more at the end of a damp day.

 

Post edited at 10:51
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Pay Attention - on 30 Nov 2018
In reply to LucaC:

I've got a Montane smock which is brilliant for ice but is not waterproof.

I had a Rab quilt which was expenaive and ripped easily - till it was replaced by a Decathlon product at a quarter of the price.

On my last winter climbing trip all the way to Scotland what I needed most was a waterproof jacket for the incessant rain.

Post edited at 11:14
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Ramon Marin - on 30 Nov 2018
In reply to gneiss boots:

I was going to suggest the same, as I use the apogee and it's great, but it looks like to can bag a fitzroy for a £100, a no-brainer really

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TobyA on 30 Nov 2018
In reply to Alex Riley:

> Super warm, used mine down to -30c wind-chill last year.

How could you feel the the wind if you had a belay jacket on!? Perhaps no trousers on to get the full windchill experience?

 

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Alex Riley on 30 Nov 2018
In reply to TobyA:

I could tell by the way I had to keep clearing the ice out of my eyeballs

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pjor on 30 Nov 2018
In reply to Ramon Marin:

Would appreciate it if you could send me link or tell me where I can buy Fitzroy for £100

> I was going to suggest the same, as I use the apogee and it's great, but it looks like to can bag a fitzroy for a £100, a no-brainer really

 

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Ramon Marin - on 01 Dec 2018
In reply to pjor:

I think i saw it in Trekinn

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Exile - on 01 Dec 2018
In reply to fertilious:

> I do currently have a Patagonia DAS parka but wondered if a more waterproof belay parka was needed for say....Ben Nevis ice climbing in March? 

If you have a DAS take that, I used one for years in Scotland and it was brilliant. I only stopped because I lost the hood, which on the early ones was pop fastened on rather than sewn. 

(If yours is an early one super glue the pop fasteners)

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TobyA on 01 Dec 2018
In reply to Exile:

You could get a DAS with a removable hood?! I'm going to have to reconsider its place now as one of those design classic which were perfect from the start! I bought mine in I think 2001 (still use it!) - does anyone know when Patagonia first brought the model out?

Post edited at 10:31
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Exile - on 01 Dec 2018
In reply to TobyA:

You could Toby, and very detachable it was too as my mate who seconded Savage Slit in it proved - it had the hood when he started climbing but didn't when he finished - never to be seen again!

 

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TobyA on 01 Dec 2018
In reply to Exile:

My mate had a similar hood escaping experience from his Rab duvet. It was a Fabruary midnight outside the CIC hut after a long and harrowing descent down Tower Ridge in very cold and rough weather. He was taking a sling off from over his shoulder and that pulled the hood off. He stamped on it before it got chance to blow away into the dark. Unfortunately it was then he remembered he still had crampons on!

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Simonfarfaraway - on 01 Dec 2018
In reply to fertilious:

ME Fitzroy is 'the' best Scottish winter belay jacket. It just works

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phizz4 - on 02 Dec 2018
In reply to fertilious:

I agree with the comments about the Fitzroy, but you could layer it up with a lightweight alpha fleece gillet, like the Rab one, which gives you more flexibility.

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wbo - on 02 Dec 2018
In reply to fertilious: what's the fill weight on a DAS parka - mine died a few years back.  Some of the above are nice jackets but I doubt they're significantly better than what you have unless you go to a big hydrophilic down jacket.

 

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Misha - on 02 Dec 2018
In reply to fertilious:

Used the ME Citadel for the first time this weekend. To be fair it wasn’t that cold (at or just below freezing) and there was no wind but it felt like being in bed under a warm duvet. Takes up a fair bit of space even when in a stiff sack so something to consider if you have a small pack. 

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Emily_pipes - on 02 Dec 2018
In reply to Misha:

If you are like me and a reptile in your past life, ME Citadel all the way.  It takes up a lot of space and doesn't make your pack light, but it's worth it.  However, if you're warm-blooded, it might be overkill.  Fitzroy is made out of the same stuff and is lighter.

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thwapy - on 02 Dec 2018

“so I opted to replace with a Rab Photon X which seems to tick all the boxes for me”

I would second this, the Photon X is superb and well worth a look...

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Misha - on 02 Dec 2018
In reply to Emily_pipes:

Yes. I’ll have to remember the reptile analogy! Weight wise, it’s 220g heavier than the Mountain Hardwear belay jacket I have but  seems to be significantly warmer. Admittedly the MH one is several years old. 

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TobyA on 03 Dec 2018
In reply to Misha:

I reviewed the Citadel for UKC years back. I still reckon the warmest jacket I've ever used! Are the newer ones simplified at all? The original was a bit over specced for a belay jacket.

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Misha - on 03 Dec 2018
In reply to TobyA:

It’s great om features - large outer pockets, one inner zipped pocket for gloves and a wallet sized zipped one (car keys?), plus an unzipped thermos flask holder pocket. The latter can be used for gloves or indeed to keep a thermos flask warm. You mentioned sleeves in your review, these have been simplified so no issues there. I would just say the hood could be a bit bigger - it’s not small but a bit more would be handy for wild days. 

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fertilious - on 07 Dec 2018

Thanks for all the input lads.

Mountain Equipment Citadel

Rab Photon X 

Patagonia DAS

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Subseaclimber - on 08 Dec 2018

I've got an Me fitzroy jacket great bit of kit, warm enough for me, Also got a berghaus ramche 2 and holy crap it's warm great for colder days and soon as you start moving gets very warm it's also very thin any scrapes would demolish it. Hope this helps 

 

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Robert Durran - on 08 Dec 2018
In reply to Simonfarfaraway:

> ME Fitzroy is 'the' best Scottish winter belay jacket. It just works.

I like my Fitzroy, but it is nowhere near warm enough as a belay jacket for me. I use it as one of several mid layers for climbing and as an extra layer when walking if it is chilly. As  belay/photography jackets I have a monstrous cosy Black Diamond thing and an older monstrous Rab thing which are twice as thick (and warm) and which fit nicely over the Fitzroy.

What is needed as a belay jacket is going to vary greatly from person to person depending on how you feel the cold.

Post edited at 10:30
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In reply to fertilious:

The DAS is IMHO the best by far. I had a ME Fitzroy and it just didn’t cut it - not warm enough.  I do not get cold easily, I tend to stay warm with not too much on, but it just didn’t cut it in so many blizzards.

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angry pirate - on 08 Dec 2018
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:

Couldn't agree more: 100gsm primaloft isn't warm enough for me for proper minging conditions.

My current belay "parka" has 200gsm and takes up loads of space in my pack but is equivalent warmth to my big fat down jacket and is a haven of toastiness in nasty weather.

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coldwill - on 09 Dec 2018
In reply to angry pirate:

All making me nervous now, just "upgraded" to a Fitzroy from a Haglöfs Barrier III and haven't had the chance to use it yet.  Looking at the specs, the Haglöfs has 120gm² rather than 80/100 like the ME. Hopefully it won't get as wet though.

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DaveHK - on 09 Dec 2018
In reply to coldwill:

> All making me nervous now, just "upgraded" to a Fitzroy from a Haglöfs Barrier III and haven't had the chance to use it yet.  Looking at the specs, the Haglöfs has 120gm² rather than 80/100 like the ME. Hopefully it won't get as wet though.

I find my Fitzroy better than the Haglofs Barrier it replaced. The Haglofs was warm enough but seemed to suck up all available moisture.

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drsdave - on 11 Dec 2018
In reply to LucaC:

Agreed, Citadel makes a much better choice,

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drsdave - on 11 Dec 2018
In reply to fertilious:

Wild card

PHD Zeta ;)

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nufkin - on 12 Dec 2018
In reply to drsdave:

>  PHD Zeta

Their Belay vests also look intriguing 

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gneiss boots on 27 Dec 2018
In reply to fertilious: in case anyone is still looking and was, like me, looking for a thinner Fitzroy style jacket rather than weight of Citadel etc. then I notice the Alpkit Apogee is down to £125 in the Alpkit sale.

 

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planetmarshall on 27 Dec 2018
In reply to fertilious:

I've used a Jottnar Fjorm for the past three years, which has served me well but occasionally I find it overkill for Scottish Winter conditions. I'm looking into an Arcteryx Nuclei as a lighter alternative.

 

Post edited at 15:41
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