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Western Mountaineering Flash XR Down Jacket

re: Western Mountaineering
re: weather
re: clothing and footwear and sunglasses

I thought at this appropriate time of year I’d re-post a longstanding recommendation for a down jacket, one that’s never gone wrong. And even in July in the mountains , you might need a jacket like this at high altitude.

Roy P writes:


Western Mountaineering Flash XR jacket

I had seen your review of this jacket a few years ago when you published it first. When I wanted to buy it, it was never in stock, and when it was in stock, somehow I never bought one. Finally, the planets aligned, and I bought one (the XR version) from Amazon, using your site to reach Amazon.

I haven’t yet tested it in rain or severe winter cold anywhere, but it looks exceptionally well made!

I went back to your site to check if I had bought the right version, and indeed, I think I did. However, in the photo on this page, you are wearing the same Flash XR jacket, but you’re also wearing another jacket over it. What is that, and why is that necessary?

DIGLLOYD: to my knowledge you cannot buy a better-made down jacket. And you cannot find better down quality (really 900 fill power though WM calls it 850+). Made in the USA in San Jose CA.

Weather Comfort: Down Jackets
Staying Warm While Photographing in Cold Conditions: Western Mountaineering Down Jacket, Pants
Camping Comfort: Western Mountaineering Cypress GWS and Sequoia GWS Sleeping Bags

Classic layering for weather changes: the extra jacket was for additional warmth (note also the WM down pants), though it also adds handy extra pockets.

A down jacket under another jacket adds a lot more warmth by adding an additional air baffle, when standing around making photos. The down jacket alone would be too hot if steadily hiking. Also, a tougher jacket over down forestalls damage (brush, sticks, etc), thought up there that's not a concern. When it’s colder (20°F on down), all these layers go on, plus another seam-sealed water/windproof shell, plus waterproof pants.

The layering is crucial; even with the down jacket along I’d quickly overheat if hiking around. But stopping and standing to photograph means far less body heat is produced, so I zip up.

Lloyd Chambers, November 2011, White Mountains of California, Patriarch Grove at 11,300' elevation
(Western Mountaineering Flash XR jacket + Western Mountaineering Flash pants + Ibex wool jacket )
f8 @ 1/500 sec, ISO 80; 2011-11-07 12:52:56
M9 Digital Camera + Super-Elmar-M 21 mm f/3.4 ASPH @ 21mm

[low-res image for bot]

 


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