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    I am shopping for a shell that can be worn from deep resort days to back country touring. What is everyone’s favorite


    I’m rocking TNF Free Thinker jacket and pants this season (50% off) and digging them very much. Definition of bomber. The jacket may be a little bulky to roll up and stuff in a pack if that’s an issue for you, but I manage it in my 30L stuffed with all my other gear without issue. I like the cut (it’s a bit loose, but not super baggy), good pockets and traditional design, super bright colour (which I like for touring) – it’s 3L Gore Pro shell and sucks badly when you have to wear it skinning up in warm BC coastal rain but find me a Gore Tex shell that doesn’t.

    Soft shell if you can pull it off! In that department I’m wearing TNF Polar Hooded jacket and/or a TNF Jakson Hybrid jacket (which I also wear under the Gore shell).

    I recommend all of the above garments. :doobie:


    My thought is a quiver of jackets is best. I have a Mountain Hardware Kepler (sorta softshell) for touring. Breaths awesome. Only jacket I can literally wear all day and never change a layer. Worn it at the resort, but I don’t think its ideal, because it can be a little cold. I also want to preserve the jacket. Size up a lot on it, from my experience, funky sizing.

    At the resort I wear my older Burton AK. It breaths for crap, but its waterproof and keeps me warm. I can not wear it touring all day. You could try the Mountain Hardware Jovian for everything too. I think DryQ is the shit.


    There are a lot of jackets on the market. It can make you crazy. I’ve really liked the rab line with e-vent. They are very light and pack great but they definetly don’t get many style points. They are always on sale somewhere and breath like nobodies business. Also pretty bomber proof. I have a “hybrid” softshell/hardshell strafe that doesn’t remove moisture as well as e-vent.


    Knowing the climate in which you tour would be helpful if you’re trying to get advice on a single, do-it all jacket. If that’s the case, recommendations would be quite different for someone touring in the Cascades than they would be for someone touring out here in Montana.


    Tahoe, Shasta, eastern Sierra. Obviously the extremes of any area would change the specifics some but a general breathable waterproof shell should cover most situations. Does anybody put there skins inside their jacket. I have never had to do this but if I needed to a big inside pocket I guess would be on the list

    Matt Wood

    Patagonia Powslayer. Loving it :twocents:


    @wjb wrote:

    Does anybody put there skins inside their jacket.

    A few people say they do it. I’ve done it a couple times when I was a noob with wet skins. It’s bulky as hell and I look fat enough already. Is there really a drying effect in the 10-20 your descending? Not to mention your putting wet shit inside your jacket, I thought the point of a jacket is to keep the wet shit out? I can prolly put my skins in my pack quicker than inside my jacket.

    I could go on about carrying your poles too but know one cares and this is a thread about jackets.

    Oh yeah, jackets. What works for one won’t work for someone else. I pretty much never wear a jacket on the climb up so my needs are different than most. I’ve yet to find a jacket, soft shell or hard, that I don’t overheat in. But I’m not normal, I get hot easy and sweat like a motha.


    Jackets are definitely something you have to figure out for yourself. Everyone runs at different temps and ride in different environments.
    For resort days I use a waterproof hardshell and whatever midlayer is needed. Taking the chair up is a lot colder than skinning.
    For bc days, I’m like Ecobrad: I run hot and tend to sweat. Even last week when it was 10 below I was climbing in a long sleeve baselayer shirt. Up on the ridges, when the wind picked up I put on my softshell. For the ride down I use an old REI softshell which was the thinnest I could find. Just wish it had pitzips. They help keep you dry better than any eVent, Goretex, etc. Also, consider if you want a hood or not. For me, it would just get in the way. A lot of times I just wear my helmet on the climb as well since it breathes pretty well and keeps it out of my pack.
    I also keep a down sweater in my pack, but it really never comes out. Pretty much just in case of emergencies.

    As for skins, I do keep them in my jacket. It’s not to dry them out, but to keep them as warm as possible so they’re easier to peel apart. If it’s the last run of the day I’ll toss them in my pack.


    @Ecobrad wrote:

    @wjb wrote:

    Does anybody put there skins inside their jacket.

    I’ve yet to find a jacket, soft shell or hard, that I don’t overheat in. But I’m not normal, I get hot easy and sweat like a motha.

    That makes two of us. I skin in an Icebreaker 150 long sleeve and soak it through, no matter what the temp. Only layer over it if it’s raining or seriously dumping, and it makes me pretty grumpy. All my other shit is for the down or hanging out in the parking lot trying to look cool πŸ™„


    @wjb wrote:

    Does anybody put there skins inside their jacket.

    I didn’t used to, but have started to do this on lap/yo yo days as I’ve noticed my skin glue doesn’t work as well in low temps once it gets snow on it. Body heat is amazing at heating stuff up rapidly (defrosting a frozen water hose/tube also comes to mind).


    @Gormley Green wrote:

    Ecobrad wrote:
    wjb wrote:
    Does anybody put there skins inside their jacket.

    I’ve yet to find a jacket, soft shell or hard, that I don’t overheat in. But I’m not normal, I get hot easy and sweat like a motha.

    That makes two of us.

    Have you guys tried any of the new technology like DryQ or Neoshell? I was that same way with Gore Tex and Event, but I think that DryQ is way beyond what you get from those others. Neoshell I’ve read is the same. It breaths from the start, and is waterproof (not as high a waterproof rating as Gore, but doesn’t need to be, it’s still waterproof). I just change between a long sleeve, short sleeve, or long sleeve with vest depending on the temps. I literally tour all day without changing a layer, and have never been able to do that prior. I used to think I ran hot, but now I think I run normal. My roommate and old roommate always ran hot as well, and both got DryQ, and seem to love it as well for touring. I do keep a puffy in my pack for long breaks where I’d get cold, but I think thats standard with technical shells.

    Something to look into for touring I think. :twocents:


    I definitely run hot as well, even in a snowstorm. So breathability is paramount. Was looking at the Westcomb Switch LT. I thought I needed to get a jacket with a powder skirt but my last one did not have one so I guess I can continue to live without one. Does anybody have experience with Flylow?


    I got this one: older version.

    And I love it, they call it rain jacket, but from my point of view it is a solid light mountain shell and eVent is a great membrane (at least I’m a fan). A little less expensive (especially when you can get it on sale, which REI has all the time) than similar jackets from the big brands. Only bummer is no under arm vents, but I don’t need them. I combine that with 3 baselayers and a light down jacket. Down jacket comes on at lunchbreak. Shell is for riding and strong winds. If it’s supercold, down jacket can go under shell. That and varying 3 baselayers should cover a very wide range of temperatures. It does for me. Hood fits over helmet too if that’s your thing when it’s dumping.
    But I second what Ecobrad and others have said. I never wear a jacket on the up for long, unless there is a strong windchill. Might start out with it on if it’s cold, but usually comes off quick. If you sweat a good deal, most membranes are limited to what they can handle. (Of course they like to claim otherwise)

    After much research, experimentation and consideration, I have decided adulthood is not for me. Thank you for the opportunity.


    If shopping for one jacket for multiple purposes I would look for these attributes, at a minimum:

    – Waterproof hardshell (you need maximum protection for bad conditions)
    – Bomber, durable fabric and seams (durable to abuse and long-lasting)
    – Spacious, adjustable hood (helmet-compatible weather protection)
    – Lots of ventilation, underarm at least, for uptracking (to mitigate the inevitable lack of breath-ability that attends bomber hardshells)
    – Ample storage in locations that remain accessible when wearing a pack (so that getting at stuff doesn’t require undoing your pack)



    Check out the Trew Cosmic jacket. Nice fusion of style and function, bomber, reasonably lightweight, very well thought out.

    For ultra-ultra light, Arcyteryx Alpha SV or one of the new Neoshells. I find i rarely need heavily waterproof stuff when I tour, unless it’s freezing rain @ 34F, then nothing is waterproof enough anyway.

    2-3oz windshells are nice to have for the way up.


    I really like my Loki Myth SoftShell Jacket for B/C touring! :thumpsup:

    Loki has some really cool features that are not in any other mountain jackets.

    See: [youtube:1h8y1yo3]ROGiL0kWoEc[/youtube:1h8y1yo3]

    Loki, LLC
    2249 Broadway, Suite 8
    Grand Junction, CO 81507

    Tel: 970-248-9693
    Fax: 970-241-8032



    I forget which one it is, but I have a NF Summit series shell that is probably my favorite jacket of all time. Ultra wind and water proof, taped/sealed seams, zippers, etc., pit zips, hood, pow skirt, ample pockets. Forget whether it’s Goretex, but that shit is bomber. Normally too warm in the skinner but a sweet outer layer as part of a good laying system. Looks like this πŸ˜‰


    I’m still looking for a shell I’m totally happy with. Couple thoughts if you’re looking at hardshells:

    – Look for a powder skirt or at least some snaps that will connect to little webbing hooks that may be on your pants (some sort of pants/jacket interface). Just having a draw string around the bottom of the jacket ain’t enough to keep snow out of your crack when you tomahawk. And everyone tomahawks, just not everyone admits it. πŸ™‚

    – Pit zips are KEY for the up.

    – Speaking of zippers, ones that don’t require two hands to actually operate are nice. Some of the ultra waterproof ones bug me in that regard, getting the pit zips open can require yoga moves.

    As far as skins in the jacket, yes that can actually be useful. IMO it’s not about speed or drying out, I’ve found it mainly useful when the skins are super cold and aren’t sticking anymore. Then having them in the jacket even a short time can warm them up enough to stick.


    Resort insulation and wind protection is a completely different need than for touring.


    Touring top layer – Shell ONLY if it’s dumping or wet. If it aint rainin keep your got-damn shell in the pack. If it’s high pressure keep your got-damned shell in your got-damned car. In the words of an IMG guide that did this TR –> “If it’s not precipitating you should not be wearing Gore-Tex. It will make you sweat and hinder evaporation at the same time.”

    Base layer – I love the orage polyester layers that have been on sale lately. Soft touch and easy for the skin to warm. Very breathable, which is key.

    Mid layer – Dead bird atom LT.. vented sides, highly wind resistant front/back/arms/hood + 60g of insulation that won’t be compromised by uptrack perspiration.

    Outer layer – on the up it better be fucking cold b/c the first two layers will keep you warm down to 0 without wind, higher temps with wind. The LT and breathable base are amazing at keeping the skin warm but letting excess heat dissipate.

    Changeover from up to down in wind or bitter cold – 100g synthetic insulation parka with DWR. Again, no need for a shell unless it’s dumping, wet or the wind is howling.

    Downhill – base/mid/outer is appropriate when 20. The wind feels good and gets rid of perspiration. With a parka in colder temps you get a lot less heat loss and stay comfy.

    Chairlift – It’s usually appropriate to have an extra layer on, assuming your downhill clothes are appropriate. You’re not exerting yourself and have less spare heat to share with the world.

    So your question of what jacket to wear leads to questions about what you’re wearing beneath the layer in question. And it also leads to the question of whether or not you’re using a layering system.

    There is no quiver killer when it comes to upper body heat management in the mountains – particularly if you include the extreme situations of skinning uphill in the sun vs. riding a chairlift in the shade with wind.

    Learn the way your body responds to different situations and get the lightest layers you can that perform when wet. And for god’s sake, don’t wear goretex when it’s sunny.

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