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I'm currently looking for a couple of things for a Nepal trekking trip. Two things are a good hardshell and a thick fleece jacket. I once had a super cheap fleece + hardshell which I could "zip in", meaning that I could combine both to one.

Searching for hardshells and fleece jackets for trekking, I only found "Schöffel ZipIn". Why is this concept so rarely used?

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    That concept was widely used some years ago, but I guess the ebbs and flows of fashion left it behind. It might come back in the future, though. I suspect it has to do with the fact that you can probably sell both items for more than if you bundled them together. – Gabriel C. Dec 13 '18 at 20:48
  • I just searched for "Doppeljacken" (I'm German) - with this I found a lot more. Is there a more common word in English? – Martin Thoma Dec 13 '18 at 20:50
  • "3 in 1 Jacket" Liner not limited to fleece. – Shannon Severance Dec 14 '18 at 1:21
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I used to work at Eastern Mountain Sports (a New-England, USA, based chain of outdoor goods). Granted, I haven't worked there in over 15 years, but I know what you are talking about. It was very popular early 2000's up to about 2010. Whether due to fashion or pricing (like Gabriel C. has suggested), I also don't see too many combo jackets any more.

I'm not sad about the demise of this trend, though. I'm glad it's going.

The Zip-in feature is nice when you are in a casual setting, but, from a performance stance, you are leaving a huge strip of your torso uninsulated (or under-insulated) if you use the zip-in feature. My old jacket caused 2-3 inches (6-8 cm) of a gap where the insulation of the fleece stopped, and the zippers of the two layers went together. 2-3 inches might not sound like a lot, but, given that this was a strip running the whole length of the center of my torso, I never used the two pieces as one combination jacket when I was doing anything 'for real' outside.

It was also a problem of people mixing the brands. Even though almost all zippers in the USA come from YKK, exact lengths and sizes could vary enough to make mixing brands not 100% easy.

I vastly prefer to have a separate fleece under my wind / water shell, so I don't mind that this trend seems to have died out. If you want one lined jacket for everyday use, go for it. But I really think that the performance of two layers is better than the compromise that was the zip in fleece.

  • Spot on. I can zip my old (but still warmest) fleece into my (slightly less old) waterproof but don't, because the wide gap is made even worse by the rather coarse and draughty zips. My newer waterproof is admittedly lighter but doesn't support zipping in, and I don't miss it. The only times I tended to zip then together was when going in and out a lot without working too hard (various bits of volunteering that involved standing around outside) – Chris H Dec 21 '18 at 13:08
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They are a hassle to use. On every trip I've been on, I've adjusted layers a dozen times a day. The last thing I want to do is to take apart my liner from my shell.

It's much better to have separate layers. This also allows you to mix and match more, and when one wears out, it can easily be replaced.

Example: I have a MEC expedition wind parka, and several different weights of fleece. Summer trips I will carry lightweight polypro underwear, a medium weight fleece, and the jacket. Winter, I'll carry a heavier set of polypro, a heavier fleece that has a hood.

  • +1 I have a two layer one and I use the outer coat but never the inner fleece – Aravona Dec 14 '18 at 16:09
  • Usually, you can use a zip-in system also separately. It is a choice, nothing you have to do. – Martin Thoma Dec 14 '18 at 16:31
  • I did usually zip in once per year, but having the layers zipped together made it much easier to use in our relatively mild winters. For spring and fall the fleece would be worn as needed. – Willeke Dec 22 '18 at 8:03

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