Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:48 pm Posts: 673 Location: Kodiak, AK
Waterproof? If so, fabric preferences (Gore, Neoshell, Event, Membrain, etc)? Weight range (in ounces or grams)? Price range? Waist or hip cut? Pocket configuration? Room for a puffy or 'athletic' fit? Need pit zips?
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Waterproof would be nice. Yet nothing is actually waterproof, so I would like it to shed rain and snow well and wick moisture well.
The venting thing is probably more important for me. So I'd like pit zips. The Marmot Stretch Man that I mentioned has pit zips that cut out toward your stomach area for "Core Zonal Venting". I usually sweat because of my pack. There is no way to not sweat when you are booting up a couloir with your split on your back.
Anyway. I tend to run hot and therefore I'm usually in my cap baselayer when other people are still skinning or hiking with their insulating layers on.
Just looking for some opinions and stoke on shells. So I'd just like to hear someone say that "I like x jacket because..."
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:45 pm Posts: 852 Location: hopefully not at work
The venting thing is probably more important for me. So I'd like pit zips.
If you really want some major pit/core zips, check out some of the Outdoor Research offerings such as the Furio. They make a side zip that runs from your bicep all the way down to the waist hem, and can be left completely open on both side much like a poncho if desired. I had an older model with this feature and loved the way it could dump some serious heat, unfortunately my jacket was stolen...still pissed about that. OR stuff is bomber, and their customer service is top notch. Happy hunting.
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am Posts: 1523 Location: Colorado
For spring I like to use a softshell, my favorite is the Arcteryx powershield ones with hood (Gamma MX I think…). Then, for full bombproof protection, I would also carry a fully waterproof lightweight shell, the best is probably the Arcteryx Beta FL, with the new super breathable Gore Tex. I do not have the Beta FL, but I sure want it! Like all Arcteryx stuff, this is an expensive solution, but you only live once… I think the Beta FL could be a suitable shell for all winter long, weighs around 11 ounces, and of course has great warranty backing form Arcteryx (as it should for the money).
For spring conditions, I prefer a softshell as well. It has the versatility to shed snow/light rain or use as insulation on colder days. The only downfall is that it is heavier and bulkier than a true shell, but since it could replace two layers, that could balance out. Marmot gear seems to fit me well and I love my Rom Jacket. I find myself bringing it more often than my Arcteryx ProShell, especially since it breathes better. Mine is a few years old so they may have something better out now (pit zips would be nice).
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:11 pm Posts: 45 Location: Seattle, WA
I've been using a HH Odin Mountain jacket two years now and been very happy with it. I've had gore pro-shell before and found the breathability ok, but not great. Event breathed well, but the seam tape on pants and jacket rolled off (stoic and REI brands). The HH fabric breathes better then gore or event without a doubt. Even if I do sweat moderately heavily I find myself dry again quite fast. That being said if it's not windy and over 25 degrees my shell just stays clipped on my pack for the tour up.
The pit zips open well with a pack on and the 4 front pockets also double as vents. It is quite light and packs well. Another bonus is that the fabric has a slight stretch to it also, never felt constricted by my shell.
My only gripe is that the fabric around the collar has pilled up, but that's expected with a beard of sand paper. Also the arm pocket is just slightly too small for my radio to fit in.
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:07 pm Posts: 363 Location: Green Mountains
I sware by my rab latok alpine for 4 seasons in the North East. It Breaths and repels water in the worst conditions. It's not my favorite to ride in, it's a short cut, but it's light, packable, and reliable. If you don't mind black, they are normally on sale for under 200. They don't have pit zips but I've never missed them on this jacket. It's a minimalist shell designed to save your ass in any weather, in my opinion. I got worked up because they wouldn't warranty some pack rub on the jacket, but after two seasons, it hasn't been an issue.
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:59 am Posts: 272 Location: Amsterdam
I wouldn't really get a hardshell for those conditions. Unless you expect a lot of rain, a softshell will breathe better and be waterproof enough. They are also more comfortable to wear.
Untill you've tried a good softshell you won't believe me though. I use hardshell pants (because your knees and ass get wet from sitting in wet snow) but wear only a softshell jacket most of the time even though I have a gore-tex shell too.
Marmot has some nice softshells too, the Nabu has Neoshell fabric but is also expensive. The cheaper ones are slightly less waterproof, but unless you're walking in the rain for hours they will keep you dry.
Gore X-Fast is supposed to be very nice material for softshells, but I haven't tried it myself.
After seven straight days touring in a Dry Q jacket I'm now a devotee. It breathes as well or nearly as well as many soft shells (that I've used), is waterproof and far lighter. I run hot too; I had remarkably few layer additions or subtractions (some days none at all) while wearing it over a base layer uphill and down on long days with wide temp swings.
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I love my patagonia triolet shell, Its a hard shell (oficially) but it breathes well... I would also look at the Patagonia Mixed Guide Jacket, and the Patagonia Knifeblade Pullover....(yes, a pullover) both of these are incredible shells, and the knifeblade combined with a down jacket would be a great deep winter setup aswell.
_________________ "Finding hope in uncertainty is far different than temping fate."