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Best Ski Jacket Shell?

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

I'm looking to buy my first real ski jacket shell. Last winter I used the mountain hardware gortex parka... it was nice and warm with proper layers but it was just too poofy around the chest and stomach area as well as an eyesore shape wise on a fit guy like myself. I'm exactly 6'0 tall and about 163 pounds and wore that particular jacket in a size medium.

 

I've been doing extensive research for ski jackets and came across this old thread:

http://www.epicski.com/t/38146/what-is-the-best-ski-jacket

 

Reading all the posts, and I do mean all of them my consensus is that ArcTerx and Spider brands make the best shells. Is this still true? That particular thread is dated from 2006.

 

I tried on the ArcTerx Sabre SV jacket last summer but opted out of it. I regret it since it was in the high $300's price being off season blowout. My main beef was the total color mismatch with my gear. It was yellow.... but now looking at the prices being through the roof I kind of regret it.

 

Anyway do you guy's know when these jackets usually go on sale? I noticed there was a huge re-run of the 2010 model. I'm thinking at some point seeing as these are becoming a comon sale item in most stores.

 

If you have any recommendations for other brands I’m open ears too. I always buy all my gear on sale or offseason. Not a big fan of paying MSRP prices. I'm a patient person and will wait until the time is right. biggrin.gif

post #2 of 82

Sale?  HAAHAAHHHAAHHHAAA...   seriously, you looked at a dead-end thread form 2006?  Dude, there have been several discussions of shells in the past 2 weeks.   SEARCH and look right here on gear discussions!    If you are lucky, you may be able to find something for maybe 10-20% if you are lucky.. REI has 20 % coupons for members and if you are not too picky can fine clearance stuff on Dept of good or Sierra. BTW- its SPYDER not spider and no, it sucks.

post #3 of 82

Yep, you have to wait until next spring summer.

And then some stores/estores have different timing for

sales. Mountain Gear discounted their Arcteryx a couple of

weeks before Backcountry.com.  On the hill and skitown

shops discount as the season ends.

Arcteryx, Westcomb, Marmot, Mammut all good.

Besides Gtex, there is eVent(Westcomb) and Neoshell (Mammut and

Westcomb).

post #4 of 82

Or become a supporter and use promotive.  I got a HH for 50% off and it is great!

post #5 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

Or become a supporter and use promotive.  I got a HH for 50% off and it is great!


 

What is a HH?  

post #6 of 82

Helly Hansen.  I just checked and it doesn't look like they are being offered to us through promotive any more.  Bummer.  There are others though.

post #7 of 82

Go to Mountain Gear and check their "Sale" tab.  They have quite a few technical shells on sale including OR, Mountain Hardwear, North Face, Marmot and Patagonia.  Our ski school had Avalanche for several years.  The jackets were lightly insulated and seemed to be pretty durable since they were used for at least 5 years.  You might also check out theclymb.com   Somebody already mentioned Sierra Trading Post but that can also be a good source of moderately priced gear.  Department of Goods, not so much IMHO.

post #8 of 82

If you want an Arc'teryx, trust me that you won't be happy until you get an Arc'teryx. But they never really go on sale. Your best bet is the 20% off at REI that members get a few times per year. And you'll get 10% of purchase price back in the form of the dividend at the end of the year. So if you get a Beta AR that's $450, minus 20% will put you at $360. And you'll get $36 in store credit at the end of the year. So in a sense you can get it for $324. That's not bad. 

 

If you have a shop that you frequent that sells Arc'teryx, it's worth simply asking them, "Hey, can you match the 20% off I'd get at REI?" I'm always in favor of supporting your local shop before the major retailers.

 

Beware of buying Arc'teryx on eBay. Not sure what the current situation is, but there used to be a fair amount of fakes on there.

post #9 of 82

Hi there,

 

I have some DNA shells for sale. I'll have them up on the site later.

I had DNA/Descente for years, never let me down.

Stylish, warm, bullet proof gear.

 

So as far as what is the best, hard to say. All I know is that I had great success with my gear.

post #10 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by kauffee View Post

If you want an Arc'teryx, trust me that you won't be happy until you get an Arc'teryx. But they never really go on sale. Your best bet is the 20% off at REI that members get a few times per year. And you'll get 10% of purchase price back in the form of the dividend at the end of the year. So if you get a Beta AR that's $450, minus 20% will put you at $360. And you'll get $36 in store credit at the end of the year. So in a sense you can get it for $324. That's not bad. 

 

If you have a shop that you frequent that sells Arc'teryx, it's worth simply asking them, "Hey, can you match the 20% off I'd get at REI?" I'm always in favor of supporting your local shop before the major retailers.

 

Beware of buying Arc'teryx on eBay. Not sure what the current situation is, but there used to be a fair amount of fakes on there.


A number of shops/eshops discount Arc'teryx in the spring and summer.  For more than 20%.  Have to clear inventory, the new colors and design changes come along.
 

 

post #11 of 82

All this stuff is highly personal and subjective, but for a tall slim fit, try Patagonia. Best warrantee in the outdoor industry as well. 

post #12 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by John J View Post


A number of shops/eshops discount Arc'teryx in the spring and summer.  For more than 20%.  Have to clear inventory, the new colors and design changes come along.
 

 



That's true. I get most of my Arc stuff off-season. But it sounds like the OP wants something for this year. Unfortunately, REI just did 20% off about 2 months ago so they probably won't have another until late Winter or Spring.

 

My point with my first sentence was that a lot of us get in the habit of grabbing deals on gear that's *close* to want we want and then not being 100% happy. Then, in the long run, we end up spending more money when we finally buy what we wanted in the first place.

post #13 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

All this stuff is highly personal and subjective, but for a tall slim fit, try Patagonia. Best warrantee in the outdoor industry as well. 


As long as your sleeve length is abnormally long, this is the way to go.  A medium is usually around a 33" Sleeve length.  This is also true on patagonias size chart.  All the top end jackets have a 36 to 37 inch sleeve length.  So, if you like your sleeves to extend past your finger tips, have at it.

 

 

post #14 of 82

Another great choice is Mammut, here:

http://www.mammut.ch/en/productDetail/101010510_v_0001_L/Nordwand+Jacket+Men.html

 

I have this shell, I really love it.

post #15 of 82


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kauffee View Post

If you want an Arc'teryx, trust me that you won't be happy until you get an Arc'teryx. But they never really go on sale. Your best bet is the 20% off at REI that members get a few times per year.


This would be uncorrect. Right now Travelcountry.com has 30%+ off (Theta) and some other models, and depending on what your size is, you could score.

 

Anyway, I'm an Arcteryx junkie, and have enough that particular ones don't get worn much, and sometimes sell off jackets to get new colors I like better, so tell us your size, and you might get lucky (particularly if you're a large wink.gif).

post #16 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

 

This would be uncorrect. Right now Travelcountry.com has 30%+ off (Theta) and some other models, and depending on what your size is, you could score.


Just to note, the ones that are on sale there are last year's models.  Not that they go bad... in fact, I was going to mention that your best shot at a heavy discount is looking for closeouts/overstock like this.

 

I'm really happy with my custom soft shell from www.beyondclothing.com.  If you're hard to fit, look no further.  For about the same price as a high-end jacket they'll make one to your measurements, with pockets where you want them, etc.  Looks like they now have Goretex hard shells too, but they're a little pricier.

post #17 of 82

I love my Goldwin Shell mainly because no one else has it...

 

post #18 of 82

This is the second season I've used Mammut products - had been using Arcteryx for several years, but find the quality and features of Mammut surpass Arcteryx.  Had the CMH version of Arcteryx shell and an Alpha - both great shells, especially the CMH version which is designed with heli skiing in mind. 

 

Skied in the Mammut Alyeska this weekend & some of the features I liked included:  soft shell fabric which has a bit of stretch to it; fuzzy soft material around the face (Arcteryx has a little, but mostly nylon which led to frosty cheeks on cold days); asymmetrical front zip with an extra side zip that opens the neck wider when desired; and Lycra arm gators keeps the snow out of the arms.  The jacket is a bit pricy, but found it online for reduced price in early season sale. 

post #19 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

All this stuff is highly personal and subjective, but for a tall slim fit, try Patagonia. Best warrantee in the outdoor industry as well. 


As long as your sleeve length is abnormally long, this is the way to go.  A medium is usually around a 33" Sleeve length.  This is also true on patagonias size chart.  All the top end jackets have a 36 to 37 inch sleeve length.  So, if you like your sleeves to extend past your finger tips, have at it.

 

 

 

 

well, seeing how arcteryx's size chart is awfully similar in sleeve length, I guess those are only for freaks as well...
 

 

post #20 of 82



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by splitter View Post

 

 

well, seeing how arcteryx's size chart is awfully similar in sleeve length, I guess those are only for freaks as well...
 

 



Not necessarily.  The size charts (I've learned) are the sizes of the people they are supposed to fit.  The actual (in this case) length of the sleeve can differ by several inches.  Helly Hansen and Patagonia list a medium as something like a 33" sleeve (from backbone at base of neck down a bent arm to the wrist).  Helly's medium jacket sleeve comes just past my wrist.  Patagonia's went past my finger tips in the same size, medium.

 

Some companies list the actual dimensions of the garment in different sizes.  Patagonia lists the sleeve length for a medium in the jacket I wanted as either 36.5" or 37".  Their chart says a medium is a 33 or 33.5.  I thought this was to account for wearing a liner under it.  I could have worn football shoulder pads under it before it was the right legnth.

 

I believe some mannufacturers do this (Rab is another one) because people are also using the jackets for mountaineering and the longer sleeve is prefered.

 

You have to ask ahead of time.  Might mean a call to customer service.  Patagonia's is top notch btw.

 

Ken

 

post #21 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post


You have to ask ahead of time.  Might mean a call to customer service.  Patagonia's is top notch btw

 

 

 



you don't say....  smile.gif

post #22 of 82

I have a Patagonia Powder Bowl shell, size medium, and the sleeves are perfect, they don't come anywhere near my fingertips.  I just checked their listed sleeve length on at least a dozen jackets and every single one listed 34" for a medium, 35" for a large and 36" for XL.  I don't know what you could have been looking at that listed 36" for a medium.

post #23 of 82

I have to put in a word for Burton, especially the AK series.  Yes, I know they're a (gasp) snowboard brand.  Two years ago at Crystal Mt I forgot my jacket at home and needed a shell.  Stopped in at their ski shop and as it was late in the season there were slim pickings.  Got a way-too-flashy-for-me shell, and it was a size too large, BUT it was at a end-of-season closeout (50% off).  It's a great shell, excellent quality.  My girlfriend borrowed it when her jacket got wet and she wanted one, too.  I'd buy more Burton gear anytime.

post #24 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post

I have to put in a word for Burton, especially the AK series.  Yes, I know they're a (gasp) snowboard brand.  Two years ago at Crystal Mt I forgot my jacket at home and needed a shell.  Stopped in at their ski shop and as it was late in the season there were slim pickings.  Got a way-too-flashy-for-me shell, and it was a size too large, BUT it was at a end-of-season closeout (50% off).  It's a great shell, excellent quality.  My girlfriend borrowed it when her jacket got wet and she wanted one, too.  I'd buy more Burton gear anytime.



I wore an AK shell all last year in the PNWet. Pretty bomber stuff.

post #25 of 82

do you happen to have on in XL ? 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post


 


This would be uncorrect. Right now Travelcountry.com has 30%+ off (Theta) and some other models, and depending on what your size is, you could score.

 

Anyway, I'm an Arcteryx junkie, and have enough that particular ones don't get worn much, and sometimes sell off jackets to get new colors I like better, so tell us your size, and you might get lucky (particularly if you're a large wink.gif).



 

post #26 of 82

Go with the Arcteryx. I avoided paying the high price for years and finally broke down and got one. Best money i ever spent. Good fit, warm, water proof, it took a beating in the trees for three years and still looks good. I just picked up a new Stingray for $459.00 in the Big Sky color, made in china now but still looks as good as the one made in Canada.

post #27 of 82

I have a feeling that the actual differences between high-end Patagonia / Arcteryx / Marmot / etc. brands are awfully minimal.  All those companies sponsor athletes that "test" new products in worse conditions than anything you're likely to ever encounter.  I've had a Patagonia Primo shell for years and it doesn't have a scratch on it; find a brand that fits, has the features you want, etc. and you'll be happy for a long, long time.

post #28 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

I have a Patagonia Powder Bowl shell, size medium, and the sleeves are perfect, they don't come anywhere near my fingertips.  I just checked their listed sleeve length on at least a dozen jackets and every single one listed 34" for a medium, 35" for a large and 36" for XL.  I don't know what you could have been looking at that listed 36" for a medium.


Your looking at the sizing chart.  You have to call them and ask them the specific demensions.  Measure your sleeve length on the jacket.  I'm pretty sure the Powder Bowl medium sleeve length is 36.5 inches.

 

It's sort of how a man's jeans are a 33 or 34" and his waist measures a 36 or 37 but in the opposite direction.
 

 

 

post #29 of 82

I sell jackets and shells :-) check out a Mountain Hardwear shell with DryQ technology. It's a new proprietary membrane to use instead of gore-tex. Most of the big companies have their own membranes (except Arcteryx) for a few reasons. One being that goretex is old technology and has a higher humidity point inside the jacket before it starts to breathe the sweat vapour than something like DryQ Elite. Now that being said, gore also has over 25years of proven durability and performance so we can't say gore isn't great. The other reason to create and use your own membrane, is that every goretex piece has to be designed with and approved by goretex before it's made... this can be tricky for the brands. The feel of the jackets with waterproof, windproof yet highly breathable membranes can sometime be nicer than a gore pro shell for instance. 

 

Anyway I put a lot of people in jackets, and this season's mountain hardware line up is a huge crowd pleaser. We sell all major brands, Arc, Marmot, Mammut, Peak Performance etc. Every brand has a great piece that is very dependant on fit of the buyer. Personally I wear a softshell gortex jacket by Haglofs (Swedish competitor to Arcteryx).

 

There is a site I've bought from before... think its gearsample.com. Doesn't appear to be up right now. They sell samples of Arcteryx when they are around. Should be up soon with samples. 

post #30 of 82

If anyone needs a med Arcteryx then PM me.  I have one in great shape.  

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