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Best Ski Jacket Shell? - Page 3

post #61 of 82

Can you expand on why you like the Descente ? I'm looking for my 'last' ski jacket. I want something light and flexible, gore-tex or equally waterproof and heavily insulated with no hood ( removable is fine) . My thoughts are, the warmer the jacket will keep me, the less layers i'll need underneath, maybe i'm wrong. Right now I have to wear too many layers on very cold days which restricts movement. I would spend the money on the Arc's if they had removable hoods. Is patagonia really that much heavier that it makes a difference ?

post #62 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by my poor knees View Post

...waterproof and heavily insulated with no hood


I'm curious - why would you need a hoodless ski jacket to be waterproof?  I'm not saying that you should have a hood, but rather just that I don't understand what good having a fully waterproof jacket is if your head is getting soaked and you have water entering through the neck opening.  You might as well get a softshell jacket that will be more comfortable and breathe infinitely better than even the most breathable waterproof jackets.

 

post #63 of 82

Have worked in outdoor retail for awhile, as well as having quite a bit of practical outdoor experience. Would strongly suggest against getting an insulated jacket, and instead would be looking at a decent (not decente ha) waterproof shell - provides tons of flexibility in maintain temperature and allows you to layer which is key. Lots of good products out there, mainly Marmot and Arc'teryx... personally I have an Arc'teryx and love it, but if I didn't get a discount probably wouldn't spend that much money.

post #64 of 82

Poor knees, if you're on east coast, an insulated jacket can be a good idea for the cold days.  If you're on west coast, insulated jacket is likely not necessary. Regardless of whether you get a shell or insulated, get something with a hood.  Seriously.

post #65 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjskis View Post

Have worked in outdoor retail for awhile, as well as having quite a bit of practical outdoor experience. Would strongly suggest against getting an insulated jacket, and instead would be looking at a decent (not decente ha) waterproof shell - provides tons of flexibility in maintain temperature and allows you to layer which is key. Lots of good products out there, mainly Marmot and Arc'teryx... personally I have an Arc'teryx and love it, but if I didn't get a discount probably wouldn't spend that much money.



I used to think that way as well, but I'm now a firm believer in lightly insulated (i.e. 40-60g of high quality synthetic fill such as Primaloft One) breathable jackets for skiing.  My feeling is that this amount of insulation is pretty much the baseline for resort skiing everywhere - i.e., you would rarely want less insulation than this, and on those occasions (i.e. sunny 50+ degree Spring days), you're not going to want to wear a waterproof shell either.  Having a jacket with this amount of insulation therefore let's you skip at least one layer, cuts down on bulk if you do need to layer underneath it and offers better ventilation if you need it because when you unzip either the main zipper or the pit zips, the ventilation extends through a layer of insulation as opposed to just the exterior shell.  Unfortunately there aren't that many jackets that fit these criteria (the excellent Patagonia Nano Storm is one, and I believe Outdoor Research has a couple jackets in this mold as well).

post #66 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

Poor knees, if you're on east coast, an insulated jacket can be a good idea for the cold days.  If you're on west coast, insulated jacket is likely not necessary. Regardless of whether you get a shell or insulated, get something with a hood.  Seriously.


 

I ski primarily the Northeast and prefer a GoreTex shell + down sweater vs an insulated Jacket...  Just more flexible, the shell can be worn 3 seasons and the down sweater can be worn by itself on less windy/wet days.  I have never been cold with a couple of base layers, down sweater and the shell.

post #67 of 82

I suppose it depends on the person, but I tend to run "hot" in my gear, and found that down is not the way to go.  Gets wet from sweat.  Not good.  I prefer a merino base, mid-layer fleece, and shell.....or heavier merino base and insulated jacket.  That covers most east conditions for me.  On really cold days, thin merino, thin fleece, insulated jacket.

 

Again, it depends on the person I think, if you tend to run cold or hot in your upper torso.

post #68 of 82

I want to second people who advise against insulated jackets. When I was just starting out, I tried skiing in one of TNF Triclimate jackets - basically a Goretex shell with thin down jacket underneath. It was just too hot. Switched over to Arcteryx outershell with various mid and base layers and can't be more happy with this setup. It's extremely flexible and I basically feel that I can handle pretty much any temperature now without having to sweat too much.

post #69 of 82

Another East coast skier who avoids insulated jackets. My setup from late 90s until a couple seasons ago was:

  • Patagonia Capilene base layers (light, medium or heavy depending on temps)
  • EMS fleece mid layer (not needed > 40 degrees)
  • North Face bib & Helly Hansen shell

On frigid days, say < 10F, I simply wore two base layers: light weight next to my skin and heavy weight over that, then the fleece, then the shell. I skied in this setup on -25F days with 40mph winds and didn't die.

 

My current setup is similar but with higher quality materials and gear:

  • Icebreaker merino base layers (150, 200 or 260 depending on temps)
  • Arc'teryx Tau windblocking fleece mid-layer
  • Arc'teryx Stinger bib & shell

On frigid days I do the same as before, layer a merino 260 over a 150, then the Tau, then the Stinger.. and I still haven't died.

 

The Icebreaker and Arc stuff is way nicer than the Capilene and HH, and they're so well tailored that they move with you like an Armani suit. No fluffy shell is going to do that.

post #70 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by mx22 View Post

I want to second people who advise against insulated jackets. When I was just starting out, I tried skiing in one of TNF Triclimate jackets - basically a Goretex shell with thin down jacket underneath. It was just too hot. Switched over to Arcteryx outershell with various mid and base layers and can't be more happy with this setup. It's extremely flexible and I basically feel that I can handle pretty much any temperature now without having to sweat too much.


I used to think that, but now have both a soft shell for days where it isn't too cold (OR Cirque, retails for $170, awesome jacket) and an insulated shell for cold days (Patagonia 2-layer hardshell with insulation, from the alpine climbing line, as the "snowsports" jackets are all super baggy and a poor fit for a slim guy).  The insulated jacket is awesome in anything under 30F, and I don't have to worry about an insulating layer (which I have a few of, mostly I use the Patagonia Nano Puff jacket). But, the fit is bulkier and worse than the jacket w/insulation, which I don't even notice.  Provided I have a jacket for warmer days, I am covered no matter what the weather.  Soft shells are far superior for breathability and days when one doesn't need water proofing.  It used to be that everyone used soft shells unless they lived in really crappy weather areas, but I don't see them as much anymore.  Hard shells are just way too warm for full-time use into the spring, insulated or not.  Which is why 2 jackets makes more sense than 1. 

Full selection of 2015 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

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post #71 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post


I used to think that, but now have both a soft shell for days where it isn't too cold (OR Cirque, retails for $170, awesome jacket) and an insulated shell for cold days (Patagonia 2-layer hardshell with insulation, from the alpine climbing line, as the "snowsports" jackets are all super baggy and a poor fit for a slim guy).  The insulated jacket is awesome in anything under 30F, and I don't have to worry about an insulating layer (which I have a few of, mostly I use the Patagonia Nano Puff jacket). But, the fit is bulkier and worse than the jacket w/insulation, which I don't even notice.  Provided I have a jacket for warmer days, I am covered no matter what the weather.  Soft shells are far superior for breathability and days when one doesn't need water proofing.  It used to be that everyone used soft shells unless they lived in really crappy weather areas, but I don't see them as much anymore.  Hard shells are just way too warm for full-time use into the spring, insulated or not.  Which is why 2 jackets makes more sense than 1. 

icon14.gif +1

 

Although I rarely use my Arcteryx Fission, it's because I typically combine business and skiing, and use an Arc' Atom with a Beta or Theta shell, so I can travel and have what I need at hand for any location or weather.

 

Having the Fission with just a thin layer underneath also works really well.
 

 

post #72 of 82

I agree with epkdadoo that having just a little insulation is a great way to go.I have the patagonia nano storm and if it's in the mid 30's or higher you can be comfortable with just good long underware and a turtle neck ( i run a little on the cold side ).If it's colder i just use fleece instead of the turtle neck.The light insulation is also nice if you have to go out at night.Very versitle and the wind just bounces off of it.

post #73 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 agree here with DesiredUsername. The Burton AK stuff is made super well and tough as nails. Find a 3 layer AK or ProShell AK on ebay and get it. It will be a jacket you have for a few years at least.

post #74 of 82

I am looking for a ski shell that has a high collar. I found the Sierra Design Solar Fusion, and loved the tall collar, but it was super noisy, felt like tin foil. Is there something that you know of that comes close to this jackets collar height, but without the noise?

 

 

 
 
post #75 of 82
If you want the sabre jkt try ldmountaincentre.com 20% off now
post #76 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by viking9 View Post

I agree with epkdadoo that having just a little insulation is a great way to go.I have the patagonia nano storm and if it's in the mid 30's or higher you can be comfortable with just good long underware and a turtle neck ( i run a little on the cold side ).If it's colder i just use fleece instead of the turtle neck.The light insulation is also nice if you have to go out at night.Very versitle and the wind just bounces off of it.



The Nano Storm is what I have. Great jacket, although mine is comfortable down into the mid 20's with just a thin layer underneath. I have the 2012, maybe it has more insulation than the old one.  Great fit too, and a lot of jacket for the $299 price. 

Full selection of 2015 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

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post #77 of 82

 

After using a Gore-Tex shell for years, I recently picked up a shell that uses eVent waterproofing fabric with a Schoeller "dryskin" laminate.  The comfort difference between Gore-Tex and eVent is like night and day, but the waterproofing is essentially identical.  In short, the eVent jacket feels like I stepped into a magical bubble - there's almost no resistance to the evaporation of my perspiration.  It's actually UNCANNY.  This contrasts to the Gore-Tex shell that does remove my perspiration, but very slowly (too slowly) and sometimes feels like a rubber jacket.  Up until now, I'd thought there was nothing possibly better than Gore-Tex but the winner for me is now eVent.

 

I did a little research into eVent as a result.  It turns out that it's a membrane by General Electric (GE) and is a byproduct of their water desalination R&D.  (Gore-Tex is a duPont chemical product) I also found that a major difference between Gore-Tex and eVent is that Gore-Tex has a polyurethane layer that requires a two-step process to ridding perspiration whereas eVent has none.  This actually may be a negative for eVent in that eVent will lose its efficacy when it's soiled - the dirt finds its way into the pores requiring washing whereas the poly layer in Gore-Tex blocks dirt.  I would as a result probably be sure to bring a Gore-Tex outer layer for expeditions where I would be unable wash the eVent material - at least until I experienced the truth of the matter in far-off expeditionary situations.

 

For skiing, though, eVent's now my go-to choice if I am torn between Gore-Tex or eVent.

 

SR

 

post #78 of 82

Mountain Hardwear's DryQ Elite is essentially a customized version of eVent.  Highly recommended as well.  I got rid of all my Gore-Tex gear after I discovered eVent/DryQ Elite.

post #79 of 82
Friend of mine asked about eVent but since he didn't wash his last jacket for 10 years, I suggested he buy a bottle of tech wash. He chose something else b/c he thought eVent was too much trouble. Go figure.
post #80 of 82

I like Flylow brand Shells for their features and durable construction. They are designed like Mountaineering clothing but adjusted to the movements skiers need to do. They are well vented if you like to tour in the backcountry.  

post #81 of 82

The question is flawed. There is no "best". there is only what works best for you.

post #82 of 82

^^^^ More or less this. There are a few obviously inferior shell water barriers, by third party test, but IMO all the top ones are roughly only separated by issues that are mission dependent (like tradeoffs between permeability and wind-resistance), or individual (what mammal do you sweat like?). Seriously; if you ski in a very cold dry place, do you really need to parse the differences between eVent and Gore Tex? And if you ski in a very wet place, neither one is gonna keep you dry for very long, face it. Issues IMO will be more about underlayers that will keep you warm even when you can wring them out.

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