The Preferred Puffy

jblenker

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Nov 12, 2018
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Hey All
I've been upgrading my gear and was wondering what everyone's preferred or most effective puffy/insulation layer is for backpack hunts. I'm more curious about puffy bottoms as I have a decent top layering system already.
 

jims

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Feb 12, 2006
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A lot depends upon where you plan on backpacking and what time of year? There's a dramatic difference in layers I would wear in Alaska vs Colo in the early fall. Even in Colo I would have a different set of layers at 5,000' elevation vs 12,000' the same time of year. You may or may not need any additional layers depending upon the timing and location of your hunt.
 

TexAg09

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Nov 18, 2015
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Central Texas
I just got a new Eddie Bauer down jacket to try out. I went with 700 down as a happy medium. So far so good. Their gear has been surprisingly good, but the biggest thing for me is that they carry tall sizes. They had up to 60percent off their down jackets today. Not sure how long that sale is going on.
 

mtnrunner260

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May 26, 2015
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Puffy pants are awesome!
I have the sitka ones. There are several brands offering them, both hunting and non.
I only take them on late season hunts but if you plan on glassing they are worth carrying for sure.
 

Backofbeyond

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Jan 2, 2018
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Boise, ID
I'm a big fan of my Kifaru Lost Park parka. I like that it's a synthetic fill, that's in a sheet, so no warmth sucking baffles sewn in. Also a HUGE proponent of synthetic fill over down. Yes, I love my down sleeping bag for summer backpacking trips; it packs much smaller and is lighter than my synthetic bag, but come September it goes on a shelf and is swapped out for a synthetic bag. Same with my puffy layer. The hydrophobic downs are nice, but when it comes to moisture wicking and keeping you warm on a cold, sloppy, wet day they don't hold a candle to synthetic.
 

dcopas78

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Dec 4, 2013
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Decatur, OH
I have the Kuiu top and bottoms and like them. Dad has the First Lite Umcompaghre puffy jacket and it's nice too, albeit a little more bulky.
 

nrpate05

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Jan 5, 2015
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The First Lite Uncompahgre pants were a live saver this past season. Even if you think you don't need them, they are light enough and make long sits way more pleasant. I suppose this could be said for any puffy pant.
 

Mthuntr

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I had puffy pants back in the late 80s and early 90s :hump: now I really only have cream puffies...bazinga!

Back to the OP...I don't have insulated pants though First Lite tends to be my go-to these days for most everything else. I think you'd be safe with just about any of the bigger hunting brands
 

wllm1313

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Aurora, CO
In general I think mountaineering companies make better down layers, so I would go with Rab... that being said with puffy pants I would probably go with Kuiu.

In the context of hunting you are not going to want to wear your down pants hiking around, you will be dripping with sweat, you will want them in your pack until you get to your glassing spot/tree stand and then you will want to layer up. Therefore you want puffy pants that can go over your hunting pants so full length zippers are a must, and you will probably want a layer that you can put under your rain pants/hard shell layer.

A 800-850 fill down layers will be warmer/lighter/ and more compressible than synthetic layers so I would pick the kuiu superdown over the first lite uncompahgre or sitka kelvin.

If you don't have a gortex hardshell already and/or don't plan on carrying one then go with the synthetic layers.
 

Schaaf

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I have the FL Uncompahgre pants but forgot they were in my closet. Froze my ass off on several glassing knobs this fall. I’ll try to remember to grab them for some coyote stands this winter.
 

jblenker

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Albany, Minnesota
A lot depends upon where you plan on backpacking and what time of year? There's a dramatic difference in layers I would wear in Alaska vs Colo in the early fall. Even in Colo I would have a different set of layers at 5,000' elevation vs 12,000' the same time of year. You may or may not need any additional layers depending upon the timing and location of your hunt.
I want them for classing or sitting on a ridge all day. I'm thinking for later in the year where it's more likely to snow than rain. I don't have any hunts planned to coastal state anytime soon it'd be for MT/WY/CO areas.
 
Joined
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For long sits I put on the kuiu down pants. I wear sitka for almost everything, but the zip off feature trumps the sitka pants IMO. They are very easy getting on and off. I also like the 3/4 length as well so they don't mess with my boots.
 
Joined
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Chicago
For insulation layers I like to pack the Kuiu Super Down Ultra pants and hooded jacket. Super light weight (15.8 oz total), warm and pack extremely small. Perfect layers to throw on for those cold glassing sessions.
 

SnowyMountaineer

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I'd think more about the down load in whatever fill power you can afford, or what g/m2 of your preferred synthetic insulation...then pick the brand and model that provides that in a cut you like. It's kinda like picking a rifle based on a bullet or two you want to use; it seems crazy until it makes all the sense.
 

devon deer

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Aug 25, 2011
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Great Britain
I agree, I went with this for my most recent visit to Montana https://rab.equipment/us/continuum-jacket-29481
Packs down really small and is so warm.
I have been in some nasty cold Montana before, and to be honest you don't lose too much heat through your legs, I found merino base, followed by Sitka pants and outer waterproof layer was all I needed and I stayed warm.
Cheers
Richard
I’d look for something with 800+ down with a hoody.
 

Carlin59

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Jun 28, 2018
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Puffy pants are great. I have a pair of Primaloft Eddie Bauer pants that I love. They aren't made currently, but it may be worth checking Ebay or the classifieds. Regardless of brand, puffy pants serve a valuable role in my late season gear kit. I'll often wear them in my sleeping bag on winter backpacking trips. Helps to extend the temp rating of a sleeping bag quite a bit, and since they are synthetic i don't worry as much about moisture accumulation/compression overnight. Good luck with your search!
 

onpoint

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Feb 12, 2011
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Gallatin Valley, MT
Puffy pants are great

Unless caused by eating Mountain House three nights in a row - chili mac, spag, sweet/sour pork..................
 
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