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 Post subject: Re: lightweight shell suggestions
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:24 pm
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Location: Salzburg / Austria
BCRider33 wrote:
...Westcomb Switch LT jacket ... the lightest waterproof jacket in the world

While I'm sure this is a nice jacket, at 440g it is far from being the "lightest in the world".
There are other hardshell jackets available that weigh half as much.


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 Post subject: Re: lightweight shell suggestions
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:31 pm
Posts: 167
Location: 802
This jacket is crazy light. Right now is a good time to buy it as well since it's on sale, I don't think you'll find any other Neoshell jackets for just under $175.

http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=18474736


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 Post subject: Re: lightweight shell suggestions
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:18 pm
Posts: 472
Location: New Castle, Colorado
Wow an Anorak! EMS MEN'S HELIX ANORAK. An Anorak is a useful shell for the backcountry.

I would get this shell, but I just purchase a Mountain Hardware Shell for about the same price.

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 Post subject: Re: lightweight shell suggestions
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:27 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:07 pm
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Location: Green Mountains
It's pretty crazy that EMS is offering neoshell for those kind of prices.


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 Post subject: Re: lightweight shell suggestions
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:47 am 
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Location: 802
802smuggler wrote:
It's pretty crazy that EMS is offering neoshell for those kind of prices.

It helps that Polartec and EMS are owned by the same parent company.


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 Post subject: Re: lightweight shell suggestions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:17 pm
Posts: 277
I have a few recently purchased "lightish" shells that I have been using for mountain biking, XC ski touring, and splitboarding in the Tahoe area---and I thought that I would throw a few more jacket options into the mix.

Mountain Equipment Firelite: This jacket may be discontinued/upgraded in the near future---I bought it as closeout on mgear.com about 9 months ago. This is a Gore Activeshell jacket with a claimed weight of 9.5 ounces. This is a minimalist jacket with one chest pocket and an athletic/slim fit. Breathability is good to very good but certainly not in the same league as a softshell. The jacket has been waterproof in the few rainstorms that I have ridden in. I run hot and prefer soft shells for touring---and this is a really nice jacket to have in the pack if the precipitation turns from snow to rain. This jacket does fit over my Smith Variant helmet---but just barely. This has become my primary foul weather mountain biking jacket due to its light weight, compressibility, and performance. Durability appears to be OK but I am pretty sure the lightweight fabric would tear if I had any serious encounters with tree branches. So far, so good.

Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Hybrid Jacket. This is a fall 2013 jacket. I bought the jacket primarily because I was intrigued by the softshell/hard shell fabrics. This jacket uses Schoeller c-change hard shell (front and shoulders) and Schoeller softshell (back). This jacket also has a slim fit----but it has 4 pockets and a ski helmet friendly hood. Claimed weight is 17 ounces. I bought this jacket to be my "go to" touring jacket in nasty weather. I have only had a few extended tours with this jacket but I was inspired enough to write this post. The jacket is quite comfortable due to the stretch of the softshell fabric. Weather resistance seems to be quite good but my favorite feature is the breathability. I usually tour with a very light softshell (and this isn't going to change) but I wanted something burlier for foul weather that could still breath well. This jacket seems to fit the bill quite well. Even when wearing my pack, the breathability of the softshell material in the back almost had me convinced that I was still wearing a light softshell. In most 100% hardshells (Gore XCR, Gore Proshell, Cloudveil fabrics, etc--I haven't tried Neoshell), I tend to overheat and sweat quickly when pushing hard. That hasn't happened on my few tours with this jacket. At least for me, this jacket seems to have a pretty ideal balance of weather resistance and breathability. In any case, this jacket is worth a look.


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 Post subject: Re: lightweight shell suggestions
PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:20 pm 
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Posts: 167
Location: 802
802smuggler wrote:
It's pretty crazy that EMS is offering neoshell for those kind of prices.

FYI, the Neoshell pullover is 50% off at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: lightweight shell suggestions
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:39 pm
Posts: 21
Burton AK 3L (Goretex Pro Shell).
I have a "Hover" jacket that is a couple years old now that I love. FYI designed and all Goretex Pro Shell.
I got it on a bro form, so I didn't have to break the bank. But all the top of the line jackets/fabrics seem to be about the same price point.

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 Post subject: Re: lightweight shell suggestions
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:37 pm 
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Posts: 241
Location: 109-blocks-of-watch-yo-f'n-back, CA
Neoshell and Gore Active Shell is the future but $$. The Arcteryx Alpha and Beta series have some with long enough tails for your needs.
Montbell Versalite is a great budget option @ 6.7 oz
MEC has some surprisingly good pieces in the pipeline if you can wait a season.
Dane's coldthistle blog has some *exhaustive* treatise on the subject.

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 Post subject: Re: lightweight shell suggestions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:31 am
Posts: 206
grubbers wrote:
This jacket is crazy light. Right now is a good time to buy it as well since it's on sale, I don't think you'll find any other Neoshell jackets for just under $175.

http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=18474736


Thank you! I had to get one.


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 Post subject: Re: lightweight shell suggestions
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:09 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:15 am
Posts: 71
Location: sofoco
+1 on the EMS Helix anorak. I was planning to try the Flylow neoshell offering, but the Helix is too good of a deal. Buy one for half off and get a gear bucks card for $25, then get a backup for under $100.

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 Post subject: Re: lightweight shell suggestions
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:58 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:02 pm
Posts: 249
Location: OR
Anyone tried the Patagonia M10?

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 Post subject: Re: lightweight shell suggestions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:11 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Seattle, WA
I have not tried the gore active shell products, but was always far from happy with the pro-shell for breathability.

I have been extremely happy with Helly Hansens "hellytech professional" membranes. I have used the odin mountain and guiding light shells extensively. Snowmobile access from a low elevation where we start in full on rain with slush spraying off the track I have not been wet ever. I actually rank the breathability higher then event items I have tried (a stoic shell and REI shuksan pants). I've had both event items fail and wet out also.

I have not tried it out yet but HH does have the odin "fastpack" jacket which comes in at a scant ounces. No bells and whistles, pockets are vents (which I find work better then pit zips). Only downside off their other jackets is that it doesn't have any stretch.

All that being said most people could really evaluate whether they even NEED a hardshell jacket most of their days touring. If it's not raining or snowing heavy with air temps in the low 30s (ie you don't live in the pacific northwest) then you need a good DWR, not the membrane below it, you're not wetting out the shell fabric. Consider wind shirts most days, pack a hardshell when the weather forecast is bad enough that you're having a hard time finding riding partners.

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