EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Ski bibs: Westcomb vs. your favorites (recommendations?)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ski bibs: Westcomb vs. your favorites (recommendations?)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

My bomber Mountain Hardwear, 2-layer "Performance Shell" Goretex bibs are getting long in the tooth, and I'm looking to move up to a 3-layer bib pant but would like something with better breathability for my torso.

My current bibs have a front panel that covers much of my chest, and while I like a slight rise at the rear of the waist, I'd prefer my next bibs to be much lower cut in front.

 

I've read some interesting things about the Westcomb Revenant Pants, with a removable Schoeller bib, which look like they'd fit the bill nicely: ski 'em as a pant when it's warm, as a bib when it's cold & deep:

http://www.westcomb.com/product/waterproof-shell/24/revenant-bib.html

 

Questions:

1) Anyone have any first-hand experience with the Westcombs?

In particular, how's the durability of the eVent fabric & breathability of the Schoeller Dynamic upper?

 

2) Can anyone else recommend a better alternative?  What are your personal favs?

post #2 of 15

I'm always sporting bibs.  I run hot, but I like the most waterproof bibs/hardshells I can find and go with few layers underneath to vent.  I had some low cut 3 layer gor-tex Waverave bibs (old snowboard brand that lasted me 9 years), but the company was belly up by the time I needed some replacements.  Those were your bibs.

 

I now have Trew bibs whish are not goretex, but I consider them comparable to a 3 layer goretex.  They are baggy, stiff and are not low cut bibs, but if you want something bomber, they are nice if you can get them on sale.  You could probably size down with these.

 

and

 

I have a pair of stoic bibs.  They are nice, but not goretex.  They have a zip off top, so they are only quasi bibs, but are a good value.

post #3 of 15

Have not used Westcomb's bibs, but I just got their Vapor line pants.  The quality, attention to details, and fabric is phenomenal, easily at least as good as Arcteryx and likely better.  In the past their fabric was pretty thin (and cold), now they are making burly gear that looks and feels great.  Especially Vapor line uses this denim-like textured fabric which feels totally bombproof (I think is it is 820 weight, I believe that 1000 is Cordura).  Main difference is that e-Vent membrane is actually more breathable than Gore-Tex.  

 

Basically Westcomb was founded by former Arcteryx designers that wanted to make garments out of eVent instead of GoreTex.  So, you get same manufacturing techniques, same philosophy, more breathable fabric.  All gear made in Canada too.  Vapor FX line is basically sold out pretty much everywhere, earlier in the season I think it was available at reduced prices, but then people saw the light and Westcomb has a loyal following at TGR now.  Vapor FX pant snaps into the jacket, so you get sort of a bib-like effect.  They also have  nice stiffened high back.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Alexzn: Interesting on Westcomb's background, not least because I've heard for years that eVent has superior breathability, but it seems the fabric has been waning in popularity with manufacturers rather than growing, which made me wonder if the fabric had some serious drawback (durability?) that the industry knew about, but hadn't become common knowledge.

 

Looking at the specs, the Vapor pants are clearly using a heavier fabric: Vapor pants weigh in at 700g VS. the Revenant's 600g in full bib configuration.

I'm less concerned with the inherent "warmth" of a shell fabric than I am the durability.  I take good care of my stuff, but ski pants see some pretty heavy abuse, so I'm not in the market for "fast & light" mountaineering gear, but rather for sturdy bibs that will see 90%+ of their use on the slopes.

 

As for the Vapor pants, I wouldn't benefit from jacket / pant zipper systems, since I already have a closet full of jackets by other manufacturers, and won't be needing a new shell in the foreseeable future.

 

Smithers, interesting you mention the Stoic bibs.  Stoic's Bombshell bibs have essentially the same design as the Westcomb Revenants.

The Stoics are unfortunately sold out for the season, but I'd be interested to hear about how the breathability is for both the shell fabric & the softshell bib.

post #5 of 15

Veloscente-  The Vapor is Westcomb's resort skiing line and is built with this new 820 event fabric that is super-burly and has this denim-like look.  To me it feels burlier than GoreTex Pro.  Caution on the Vapor line- their pants fit like Arcteryx, shells could not be more different- Arcteryx is cut for bodybuilders- thin waist, huge shoulders and chest, Westcomb "progressive freeride cut"- fr&cking huge all around. Lots of room for layers, (but not snowboarder-huge). 

post #6 of 15

That Westcomb is pretty nice. I had not heard of that brand until now. 

I am also looking at new bib pants.  Anybody have any comments on the Marmot Randonee pant?

Thanks!

http://marmot.com/products/randonnee_pant

post #7 of 15

I have an eVent jacket from Rab that I bought for backpacking. It is very light & breathes really well. eVent is becoming a little more popular. REI is using it in some of their house-brand products & Mountain Hardwear is introducing a line of Dry.Q products which use an eVent membrane in the Elite version.

 

http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Mountain-Hardwear™-Introduces-Dry.Q™-Waterproof-Breathable-Technology/About_Us_Press_Release_2010_11_15,default,pg.html

 

http://www.trailspace.com/articles/2011/02/08/mountain-hardwear-dry-q.html

 

Westcomb is going to use Polartec's new Neoshell fabric in some of thier new products. Might be worth checking out.

 

http://www.trailspace.com/articles/2010/11/30/polartec-neoshell.html

 

http://www.trailspace.com/blog/2011/01/23/outdoor-retailer-polartec-neoshell.html

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Was looking into the Marmot Randonee myself, but there seem to be two main drawbacks:

1) repeat complaints about bibstraps that don't stay put

2) two layer Gore fabric: not their top-of-the-line three layer Proshell stuff.

There was a fair amount of additional user feedback on Backcountry's website.

 

Straps are a *big* deal for me when it comes to bib pants (velcro adjusters on my current Mtn Hardwear bibs cause pilling on my nicer baselayers, which bugs the f*** out of me), so #1 is a dealkiller for me.

post #9 of 15

I have  a pair of Taiga Works Gortex bib pants with over 500 days in them and still in great shape. Taiga is a Vancouver B.C. company and instead of having clothing made for them in Asia, they have their own factory with Asian workers in back of their Vancouver store.

post #10 of 15

I have the North Face Freethinker pants.  Gore-tex pro, zip off raised back/suspenders and bomber.  I'm not a huge fan of TNF but these pants are great.  I wear them in all conditions and just layer appropriately.  They have full zips and breathe well, so they can keep you warm but also vent well.

 

Highly recommend them.  I picked mine up cheap on geartrade.com, so that helps.  Slightly used, but a little washing made them pretty good.

post #11 of 15

Trew gear

 

http://www.trewgear.com/pdp.php?pID=trewthbib

 

After seeing someone land on a vicious rock that snapped their femur in two, then lay in the snow for an hour. With no holes from the rock impact, and no leaks....I'm pretty sold. Bomber stuff.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by quattro98 View Post

I have an eVent jacket from Rab that I bought for backpacking. It is very light & breathes really well. eVent is becoming a little more popular. REI is using it in some of their house-brand products & Mountain Hardwear is introducing a line of Dry.Q products which use an eVent membrane in the Elite version.

http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Mountain-Hardwear™-Introduces-Dry.Q™-Waterproof-Breathable-Technology/About_Us_Press_Release_2010_11_15,default,pg.html

http://www.trailspace.com/articles/2011/02/08/mountain-hardwear-dry-q.html

Westcomb is going to use Polartec's new Neoshell fabric in some of thier new products. Might be worth checking out.

http://www.trailspace.com/articles/2010/11/30/polartec-neoshell.html

http://www.trailspace.com/blog/2011/01/23/outdoor-retailer-polartec-neoshell.html

Some serious tech-geek shizzit here.

If the Polartec Neoshell fabric lives up to the hype, it sounds like it'll be worth waiting for it to hit the market next fall. Waterproof, stretchy, best-in-class breathability: that's no small boast.

Of course next Fall I'll be looking at paying full pop, but if Marmot & Rab are bringing out jackets at the $370 pricepoint, bibs should be comparable, which still beats Westcomb's eVent bibs by a C-note.

 

On the waiting front, I was googling around a bit on Neoshell & DryQ and found this article comparing these fabrics to next-gen fabrics by Gore & Columbia as well:

http://www.adventure-journal.com/2010/11/guaranteed-to-make-you-buy-three-new-fabrics-take-aim-at-gore-tex/

Since Columbia owns Mountain Hardwear, I don't know whether we're talking about a fourth alternative, or just rebranding for the mainstream consumer, but it's an interesting development nonetheless.

Obviously it's wise to take all the talk of "game changing" tech with a serious grain of salt, but I think I may just ski out the season in my current bibs and roll the dice with one of these new fabrics.

 

Anyone here have any inside dope on how Neoshell or these other fabrics perform in a universe not narrated by PR guys?

Improved breathability & stretch sound great, but for bibs a fabric has to meet or beat Gore Proshell 3L on waterproofness, or I ain't buyin'.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloscente View Post

Was looking into the Marmot Randonee myself, but there seem to be two main drawbacks:

1) repeat complaints about bibstraps that don't stay put

2) two layer Gore fabric: not their top-of-the-line three layer Proshell stuff.

There was a fair amount of additional user feedback on Backcountry's website.

 

Straps are a *big* deal for me when it comes to bib pants (velcro adjusters on my current Mtn Hardwear bibs cause pilling on my nicer baselayers, which bugs the f*** out of me), so #1 is a dealkiller for me.


I wear Randonee and love them. Very warm and breathable. The knee pads have come in handy.

Straps: the bibs run long in every way. I have a long torso and I still can't get the straps tight (run out of Velcro). It is like the were made for Beeker or something. I just crisscross the straps and the problem is solved. Will ask the wife to move the Velcro around in the offseason. As long as you are cool crossing the straps or modding the Velcro then I give them super high marks.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloscente View Post

Alexzn: Interesting on Westcomb's background, not least because I've heard for years that eVent has superior breathability, but it seems the fabric has been waning in popularity with manufacturers rather than growing, which made me wonder if the fabric had some serious drawback (durability?) that the industry knew about, but hadn't become common knowledge.

 

GE took a different road than Gore(tex). It is licensing the eVent technology to manufacturers, as well as allowing them to use the eVent fabric directly. It appears most manufacturers are forgoing the eVent name in favor of using the technology under their own 'proprietary fabric' name. Unfortunately, I don't have any inside knowledge as to who is using the eVent technology in their products. This is a relatively new development, so some manufacturers may not have the eVent technology in their product line yet, but if you see numbers like 20k/20k when it comes to waterproofing and breathability for a manufacturer's proprietary fabric, my guess is that this is likely licensed eVent technology.

 

Starting last year, there seemed to be an explosion of proprietary fabrics claiming 20k/20k. One example is Armada, which started creating outerwear for the first time two years ago, used eVent in their top-of-the-line product for their first year producing outerwear. This last year they created a new outerwear line without eVent, but claiming a new fabric (DryRex) with 20k/20k numbers for their top-of-the-line product. All speculation, but it sounds like they moved from using the eVent name to licensing eVent technology.

 

The benefit of eVent is true air-permeability by eliminating the PU coating used in Gore-Tex. The eVent membrane has MUCH smaller holes than Gore-Tex membranes, and doesn't need the PU for water resistance.

 

Source:

http://www.wildsnow.com/1166/rei-shuksan-shell-jacket/

http://skiingbusiness.com/1590/newswire/press-release/manufacturers-allowed-to-brand-event-as-their-own/

 

Interesting discussion of both eVent and Neoshell:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=40110


Edited by Brian Lindahl - 2/21/11 at 4:00pm
post #15 of 15

I want to see how waterproof Neoshell is in the real world. In the article you mentioned, the guy from Polartec talks about 10,000 mm of water resistance. I haven't seen any numbers for Neoshell, but my suspicion is that it is waterproof when walking around in the rain, but may not hold up under pressure (like when you sit on a wet chairlift or underneath straps). Backpackinglight seems to have the best technical discussion of these kinds of things. I also wonder how stretch will affect waterproofness, both for Neoshell & for the custom-label applications of eVent. Mountain Hardwear's Dry.Q is the only eVent membrane that I know of, but I don't know if all 3 versions use eVent. From the descriptions, only the Elite really sounds like eVent. Hopefully we'll see direct comparisons between eVent & Neoshell since Rab & Westcomb will use both. It will be interesting to see what these are all like. While all of these changes are being made, Patagonia is going back to Gore-tex this fall.

 

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/

 

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/42727/index.html

 

http://skiingbusiness.com/2569/uncategorized/2011-12-pant-preview-rab/
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloscente View Post

Quote:

On the waiting front, I was googling around a bit on Neoshell & DryQ and found this article comparing these fabrics to next-gen fabrics by Gore & Columbia as well:

http://www.adventure-journal.com/2010/11/guaranteed-to-make-you-buy-three-new-fabrics-take-aim-at-gore-tex/

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Ski bibs: Westcomb vs. your favorites (recommendations?)