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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Cascades
    Posts
    468

    Touring midlayer/insulation advice: what is like a BD First Light?

    Couldn't find a relevant thread, if there is one I am happy to delete this one and post there.

    My BD First Light jacket is losing most of its loft, and I don't have a BD deal anymore. I'm looking for something similar to use as touring insulation, but I don't have experience with any other companies' products.

    My winter touring layering strategy: baselayer T-shirt and Patagonia thermal something (R1 or Cap 4) are on all the time, BD Alpine Start hoody (wind shirt, like a Houdini but better) probably on all the time as well. First Light goes on at the top or during breaks. In the rare cases when this isn't enough, Rab shell and/or giant down puffy go over everything else. Midwinter touring for me usually does not involve heavy snowfall, so I hardly ever end up using a real hardshell.

    What I like about the First Light:

    1. Schoeller fabric + DWR sheds light precip very well, and hardly ever wets out when it isn't snowing pretty hard. Stretch is nice too.

    2. This jacket seems to breathe pretty well, so I can sidestep and pole and whatever with all my layers on without getting soaked with sweat.

    3. "Euro" fit works very well for me; goes over a windshirt, but under the various hardshells and thicc puffies I have.

    4. Just the right amount of insulation for PNW (60 g/m^2 Primaloft Silver).

    So, what similar jackets should I be looking for? Seems like OR, Patagonia etc make some kind of insulation that is supposed to breathe well and be weather-resistant, but I'm worried they won't be warm enough. Do I just look for something else with 60 g/m^2 insulation that is marketed as breathable?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    West Shore
    Posts
    2,322
    It may be slightly warmer than what you're looking for (80 g insulation), but I've been digging the Arc'teryx Proton FL lately. Slightly more insulation than the Patagonia Nano Air (and probably a touch less breathable), but the outer fabric feels way burlier and more weather resistant.

    I run warm when I'm moving, so I'm generally in just a baselayer and softshell for 95% of the time I'm in the backcountry here in Tahoe, but I could see myself bringing this along on really cold days when I'm not just trying to get a few laps in before work.
    No kick turns
    No mercy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Whistler, BC
    Posts
    1,355
    I started a similar thread last week, search for ‘naked polartec alpha’ and it should come up. Maybe some info of use to you there.


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    Big Balls is worst asshat kind.
    kind that wear bukkake from above.
    with warm drown he gurgles final death, for one time not worried about his misplaced import known of african american social standing and prominent community members. for he is only drown, as is the way.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    54
    I have used a Nano-Air hoody for the last three years. I burned a hole in the sleeve earlier this winter so just picked up a Proton LT. Both will do what you want. The Nano-Air is softer and more breathable, the Proton a little more weather resistant. Nano-Air is warmer under a shell, but less wind resistant. Both are pretty much magic compared to stuff available even five years ago.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    4,578
    that BD first light is tough to top, imo. you can sometimes find a deal on them on BD's site, in-store, or on theclymb...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Methow Valley
    Posts
    824
    The First Light is currently on sale in Medium and XL. http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com...PY4FG_cfg.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Cascades
    Posts
    468
    Thanks all for the suggestions. Might try out an OR Ascendant (not really that similar), and watch out for deals on the others.

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