Forums The Gear Room lightweight shell suggestions
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  • #578845
    tyrudder
    16 Posts

    hey i know this topic has been done here but i have a couple parameters that i havent seen addressed. I need a light weight shell for touring mostly in the sierras. ive been looking at rain shells and such with goretex paclite or similar. what i want is no insulation, high breathability waterproof or damn close and length. im 6’2 and used to snowboard outerwear. i like my clothes to have a longer cut, not gangster but i want a jacket a few inches past my belt line. i just bought and returned a marmot hyper because it was too short and did not fit very well over a beacon but a similar design is what im after. any suggestions?

    ps i have access to a 3.5 account so arc’teryx TNF mt hardwear are within my reach.

    #669254

    The Patagonia powslayer jacket is the best jacket I’ve ever had, by a country mile. Fits perfect in exactly the right spots (loose enough for beacon, skins, without being too airy), super light, waterproof, tough, a little longer, cinches and zippers work well and not so many pockets (phone, ipod, etc) that you feel like a goddamn drug mule. Oh, and the hood is a good size for helmet or not.

    kinda pricey, but I saw some were on a pretty deep sale earlier this summer.

    #669255
    J.P.
    29 Posts

    I have the Arcteryx Beta lt jacket and I could not be any happier with the fit and breathablity of it. Arcteryx is incredible, but the retail price is very hard to justify. I can’t justify anything from them unless I’m using the 50% off wholesale coupon (those come out around Christmas sounds like you might work for a shop as well). I going with the rush jacket this year for Christmas. Its their lightest jacket that has powder skirt. Seems like the rest of their whitelines series either really baggy or softshell and a little heavier.

    #669256
    J.P.
    29 Posts

    I have the Arcteryx Beta lt jacket and I could not be any happier with the fit and breathablity of it. Arcteryx is incredible, but the retail price is very hard to justify. I can’t justify anything from them unless I’m using the 50% off wholesale coupon (those come out around Christmas sounds like you might work for a shop as well). I going with the rush jacket this year for Christmas. Its their lightest jacket that has powder skirt. Seems like the rest of their whitelines series either really baggy or softshell and a little heavier. I would go with Patagonia but they do not hookup their vendors very well.

    #669257

    I am in love with my Patagonia Triolet shell, not the most gangsta fit, but for touring, it’s appropriate. Breathes well but the pit-zips really do that work. Good pockets that are backpack friendly.

    I would go to a shop with lots of variety, try a bunch on, then go online and find the best price

    #669258
    96avs01
    875 Posts

    I have a Patagonia Stretch Element, predecessor to the Triolet, and really like its performance in both winter and spring conditions. If I had to buy something new right now, I would probably be looking at one of the Outdoor Research options, like the Mentor.

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg

    Chris

    #669259
    802smuggler
    369 Posts

    Check out Strafe outerwear for a techy well thoughtout line with good cuts, length and fit.

    #669260
    philip.ak
    679 Posts

    The most breathable shells that are truly waterproof will be made with Neoshell from Polartech (until something even better comes out). I have a Neoshell Shift LT jacket from Westcomb, and it’s noticeably more breathable than any of my expensive Gore Pro, Gore Paclite, or Gore whatever jackets. It has a pretty soft hand too and doesn’t feel like such a crunchy hardshell. Great cut too, though the sleeves could be an inch longer, and it only has one chest pocket. I’ve worn it hiking in driving rain here in coastal Alaska and it kept me dry with almost no interior condensation. That pretty much blew my mind. No way Goretex can do that.

    http://www.rei.com/product/847716/westcomb-shift-lt-hoodie-jacket

    #669261
    Powder_Rider
    498 Posts

    Check out the Loki Myth Soft Shell Jacket.

    http://www.lokiusa.com/product_detail.php?id=C101

    #669262
    Taylor
    794 Posts

    Mountain Hardware DryQ Elite. Totally waterproof, unbelievably breathable, long enough cut (I’m 6’3″ or 4″).

    I’ve gone days in wide temp swings uptrack and down without removing this shell – so breathable it precludes layer changes.

    And this summer I mistakenly grabbed it (same color as my rain shell) for a trip plagued by torrential monsoonal downpours… 100% dry.

    @sun_rocket

    #669263
    BCRider33
    2 Posts

    Hey not sure if you’re still looking for that shell but I have a Westcomb Switch LT jacket that uses Polartec Neoshell and it seems like it’s exactly to be what you’re looking for. It’s as breathable as a waterproof shell comes, the lightest waterproof jacket in the world and a nice long cut. It also has a build quality that really is top of the line with the feel and noise free movement of a softshell from the neoshell and the best hood that I’ve ever worn (with helmet and without)

    Worth a look if you’re still in the market, hope this might help!

    #669264
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    If you want lightweight and waterproof hardshell, then nothing is better than Arcteryx. See the FL series…

    #669265
    Matt Wood
    328 Posts

    POWSLAYER. Just hope you can get a pro deal. It is patagucci after all.

    #669266
    FloImSchnee
    291 Posts

    @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.

    #669267
    grubbers
    150 Posts

    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

    #669268
    Powder_Rider
    498 Posts

    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.

    #669269
    802smuggler
    369 Posts

    It’s pretty crazy that EMS is offering neoshell for those kind of prices.

    #669270
    grubbers
    150 Posts

    @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.

    #669271
    JimmyC
    351 Posts

    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.

    #669272
    grubbers
    150 Posts

    @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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