Thank you all for the comments and feedback on ins...

Thank you all for the comments and feedback on insulation.  As you may or may not have read almost all of us agree there is certainly a place for synthetic and down depending on when and where you are hunting.

Cold Morning Java

Most everyone agrees, synthetic offers the most versatility and insurance against wet conditions. In reviewing the feedback it was fairly overwhelming that a synthetic jacket is the way to go this first season.

I want this jacket with you on all your hunts, so it needs to be light and packable.  With this in mind, I will add 80 grams of Primaloft One, which is Primaloft’s highest performing, lightest, warmest and most packable insulation.  I have sourced a 100% poly 40 denier micro rip-stop fabric for the face and inside. This fabric will offer light abrasion resistance while still keeping this jacket incredibly light. Plus it will include an 80 wash high performance DWR for light weather resistance.

The focus on design is to reduce weight and bulk.  Two hand pockets and…………….?

Do you want a hood?  Built in or removable? Zippers on the hand pockets?  Anything else specific on this style you like or do not like?

Let me know on these details and thank you in advance for your help. Your input has been really helpful in dialing in this line.



This article has 29 comment(s)

  1. Tom Ryle


    I’m generally not a “hood” guy with my outerwear and never really have been. I deal with a hood with my MT050 rain gear but it’s far from ideal. I’ve worn my Mad Bomber fur lined hat on a couple of occasions and found it to work pretty well as long as I have a good collar to keep wind/snow off my neck. But in wet weather it’s useless.

    The main reason I don’t like a hood is it covers my ears and makes noise when I move my head. I don’t like the tethering of my hat to my coat. I want to move my head freely and be able to hear well.

    I’d welcome a hood that had a semi-rigid bill and snugging features to adjust the fit to my head (with or without a fleece beenie or ball cap). If it were me, I’d prototype several alternatives for the “neck” area of the hood to optimize head mobility with a snug-fitting hood. I like the hide-away designs if done well but a zip-off option would be good too.

    Pocket design and placement key. I like “slash” style pockets but I’m often not happy with the placement. If they have zippers, down is open; up is closed and the pulls need to be silent and easy to grasp with gloves.

    I like a couple of chest pockets for small items and prefer the vertical orientation on the left chest. The cavity of the pocket shouldn’t be a bottomless pit that makes it challenging to retrieve small items. I dedicated map chest pocket would be good but may not have broad appeal.

    One of the few places I tend to like Velcro on hunting clothing is on coat cuffs. I like to cinch the cuff over my gloves to lock in heat and keep moisture/snow out.

    And I like a waist-cinch solution as well but the typical bungee approach can certainly be improved upon.

    That’s about all for now…leaving tomorrow for my elk hunt. It’s going to be very wet so I’m sure I’ll have more specific input when I get back.


  2. Tony


    My thoughts on the down or primaloft jacket are it should be kept basic, super warm, super light, super packable and super functional. I’m not a huge hood fan BUT I feel it is a necessity. In an emergency, or if you have to spend the night on the mountain without shelter it may make the difference between a comfortable night out and a miserable life threatening night out. If you put a hood on this jacket please make it removable. As for the pocket zips you have them on the soft shell vest and soft shell jacket so I don’t feel they are needed on this jacket.


  3. Lee

    For me I say no hood, zippers on pockets and I also like some type of cinch strap at wrist to tighten or loosen as necessary. Also some type of tie of some kind to tighten or loosen at waist.
    Thanks, Lee

  4. J_Bird

    I vote, removable hood with a stand up collar. Two hand pockets with zippers and one breast pocket with a zipper. Velcro or similar to loosen/tighten the wrist straps.

  5. Tye Abell

    No hood for me as well, for the same reasons as Tom. If you do end up going with a hood, like the others have suggested, please make it removeable. I like the idea of keeping this jacket simple and light. It won’t get much use unless I’m stagnant, and at those times I won’t need zippered pockets or extra pockets.

  6. Mike P

    Has to have a hood…when your sitting on a hillside glassing you need the hood to keep warm. No zips on the pockets for me, just slash pockets or a kangaroo pocket you can slide your hands in and out of.


  7. Dave Beronio

    I am not a hood guy. I usually remove the ones that I can on a jacket and leave in my supply box just incase. A tall collar to cover the neck.

    I have had some jackets with a very lightweight, almost emergency hood tucked in the collar, but this should be removable as well.

    Option to cinch waist

    loose cuffs and like Tom said, velcro,,,,cant stand an elastic cuff or waist

    Definitly a vertical breast pocket with zipper


  8. Ron Spomer

    Sounds as if you’ll need a hood version and no- hood version. For my tastes, stay away from too many cinch closures. I have a Sitka jacket with so many cords and those nylon locks that there’s no room in the pockets for hands! And on collars, cinch cords just poke me in the neck. A zipper is enough to close up the neck. I prefer my hood on my waterproof/windproof breathable jacket. If it gets so cold that I need a hood, I don that jacket over the insulation layer. Stretch fleece Balaclavas are the way to shield/warm the head. They turn with you and don’t block vision, minimally block sound. Hoods are good for hunkering and waiting.

  9. Matt

    I have a hood on my current jacket and would not want to give it up. Having the ability to remove it might be a nice feature. IMO it would make the jacket more versatile. My use for such a jacket is around camp, glassing, potential emergencies and the like. I can’t think of a single time I have worn my Thermawrap when actually moving around. I like having a hood for these purposes.

    As for extras, simple hand pockets and perhaps a small internal chest pocket are what I would want. Like others said your other layers would be wear I would want / use pockets.

    Another consideration is the stuff sack for this jacket. I loose those things after a while. Perhaps you could design a pocket somewhere on the jacket that could double as a stuff sack??

  10. Kevin

    Have to have a hood on a serious jacket. Can’t be beat for blocking wind while glassing, or just keeping a bit more heat in when the temp drops. This is pretty much a deal breaker for me. I have yet to see a removable hood that worked well. Zippers on pockets are a plus for me, but not a huge deal.


  11. Brandon Hammonds

    Hoods seem to get in the way of sight, I am the same way zips on pockets as well

  12. Janis Putelis


    The main reason I carry a piece such as this is to insulate while my body is dormant or an emergency situation. In both cases great visibility and hearing are minor needs. In my opinion the jacket has to be a light as possible so scratch extra pockets, zippers, removable features. One vertical chest pocket is all I need. I’d like it to be a pleasure to pack this jkt around with me. One feature I do like is a micro fleece lined collar, it’s comfortable and makes for a cleaner jacket.

  13. Michael Sendrowicz


    Put me in the no hood camp.

    My clothing system is just that – a system. The garments need to fulfill fit, form, and function, and work together.

    I’m expecting I’ll have a wind shirt and a rain shell with me. Both of those garments need a hood, IMO.

    In addition, I”ll certainly have some type of hat and/or balaclava with me. When temps dip, the first insulation layer I’ll reach for is my hat. I don’t want to be forced to add a whole layer just to cover my head, or to have totally redundant layers.

    I’d rather see a higher collar, and no hood.

    Regarding pockets, I think most outdoor gear is ‘over-pocketed’. I like good pocket selection on my pants, but really don’t need a plethora of stash places on my other gear.

    Some simple slash pockets would be enough. I like the kangaroo pockets, or a pass-through ‘muff’ style pocket (especially on an insulation layer), although those don’t work too well on a full-zip garment.

    The only other pockets I’d find particularly useful on an insulation layer would be strategically placed ‘micro pockets’ for chemical heaters. Just a though.


  14. Joaquin d’A


    If you design a removable hood, then you will be satisfying both groups!

    Not too many pockets will do fine for me, one vertical on the chest and two lower on both sides will be enough.

    Just one note for the rifle men: why not a small bullet holder, just 3 or 4 cartridges, inside the chest pocket? When hunting in bad weather, with so many layers on, it’s great to know you can reach extra bullets easily, without unwanted noises.

    Hope this helps!

  15. Bob Griggs

    No Hood
    I usually carry a stocking hat of some sort, I feel that it works better when moving your head around. the micro fleece collar sounds nice though, slash pockets are great and a chest pocket too. Maybe a drawstring at the waist, loose cuffs. if the ability to reach the pocket through the outer layers is an option then micro fleece in the pockets might be nice too.

  16. Josh

    No hood. If the goal is light and compressible then make it with slash pockets at most and reduce the number of snaps, zippers, etc, etc. Also, while this layer will end up on the outside often it also needs to play the role of insulation layer, so no crazy collars or anything else, slim and trim is my vote. The down sweater from Patagonia is a good example of what I would want. I don’t want chest pockets, waist drawstrings or anything else on this coat, especially if I am wearing it under a pack.


    I don’t like a hood, only on rain gear. I like the suggestion of zippers on the pockets and down being open. I also like a small zipper pocket on one of the sleeves. That is great for calls or other small items.

  18. Brant McGee

    I hunt deer in Southeast Alaska in both early fall and early winter and sheep in September in Southcentral Alaska.

    An insulated jacket–synthetic is our only choice here–does not require a hood but should have a complement of pockets that include two insulated lower slash pockets, one shallow left chest pocket, and a larger right chest pocket for maps, headgear, etc. (but not large enough to interfere with shouldering a rifle).

    A rainproof jacket must have a hood with a stiffer brim and a similar pocket arrangement.

    In cold weather both garments can be worn but in cold, dry weather the synthetic jacket should be sufficient (with underlying layers) and in warmer wet weather the rainproof should work well with only some layering.

    Both jackets should have long pitzips with the zipper starting on the upper arm and extending to mid torso.

    Pants with matching functions (one warm and one waterproof) do not need back pockets but should have a least one pantsleg pocket and two zippered front pockets of modest length.

    Quiet is nice but current such clothing has fibers that attract and retain any moisture and become way too heavy.

    Velcro is barely acceptable and should be limited to wrist and ankle closures. Side zippers on the lower pants legs are essential.

    Most of us already have hats, gloves, packs, and layers that work fine. I hope you focus on the above items for 2011.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment. Any chance that you will have jackets and pants available for purchase and/or testing prior to mid-November?


    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Brant,

      I really appreciate your detailed response. I really appreciate sharing your ideas and will put them to use. Please let me know if you think of anything else.



  19. Ron Green

    A bit of a late reply, but I’m in the no hood, or removable hood camp. I normally am already carrying some sort of ‘insulated’ hat, and a hood would just be doubling up my gear.

    Even on rain gear a lot of times I dislike hoods unless it is raining/snowing hard, but I definitely think hoods should be included on rain gear. Another item that gets overlooked that I like to use and have a hard time finding a good one is a waterproof ‘boonie’ / wide brimmed hat. I like this to keep the rain/snow from going down my neck, but not having to wear a hood allowing me better visibility and better hearing. A system that would incorporate an insulated hat with ear coverings for very cold temps while glassing would be nice as well. The waterproof (hat) shell could be used on its own for keeping the sun off your neck, ears, and face as well when not stormy.

    In regards to zippers on pockets, I like them, but wouldn’t sacrifice light weight for them.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Ron,

      Thanks for the help. Your comments regarding the hat is well noted. I am working on some new hat designs and will keep this in mind for sure.


  20. Brant McGee

    I have a Gore-Tex boonie hat that works well in most rain. I also carry a thin balaclavea to wear under it when it is cold.

    I’m in the permanent hood camp for the outer uninsulated waterproof layer, proably because I hunt in Alaska. It doesn’t get in the way when not in use and is far more handy and secure than an attachable (which never seem to fit right). It must have a semi-stiff brim to preserve side to side visibilty.

    When it is cold and rainy I wear a light polypro hat underneath and take it off to regulate perspiration.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Brant,

      I really appreciate the help. I am working on some new hat designs, so your timing is great. Thank you.


  21. Brent Hahn

    Jason, no hood or removeable your shell should have hood, good collar, two hand pockets , 1 vert chest pocket that doubles a stuff sak , no velcro on cuff, some type of elastic to keep wind out there, and a few inches longer in the tail to cover kidneys and below while sitting and glassing, etc. 1lb. or less, packs as big as a softball in sack,you probably already have this stuff though, cant wait till you get these out, I want one!

    • Jason Hairston

      Hey Brent,

      Thanks for your help. Your comments are well noted. Can’t wait to hear how your hunting season turned out.


  22. Doc

    To be honest the only time I find a hood handy is when it is cold and I’m sitting by the campfire up in the Mountains. Every-time I actually out hunting and it gets cold or starts to rain and I put my hood up, I loose two very important tools while hunting, my ability to hear and my ability to see with my parafilias. I would have to say DON’T put on a hood, but if you did figure out way so you can still see to the sides and you can still hear those elk bugling from a mile away.

  23. Kevin Bahr

    I prefer no hood. Can’t hear with the hood up, and with it pulled down it makes noise when I move my head. I’d prefer a stocking hat for warmth and packability.

  24. Greg

    Got to have a hood. Up high the weather can do anything and a hood is a survival necessity. You might also need to spend a night out and a hood is a few ounces of gold when it gets really cold.

    • Jason Hairston

      Well noted on the hood Greg! Thank you for taking the time to respond.