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Mountain Hardware DryQ elite Jackets

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hello All,

 

I am interested in the Mountain Hardware DryQ Elite Jackets, I was hoping you guys could give me some insight into the differences between the Jackets(snowtastic, keler, snowpocalypse, drystien II, Alakazam) because I can't seem to figure it out.

 

I am looking for an all purpose skiing jacket.

 

Thank you for all your help!

post #2 of 25
Snowtastic and snowpocalypse are ski specific jackets with ski features like powder skirt. The first one is a softshell and really good feel confortable fabric. Sowpocalypse would pretty much be the hard shell version of it.

Drystein ii is a mix of soft/hard shell, but I think it is just too expensive and worse than the old victorio jacket.

Dont know much about kepler or alakazan other than the kepler is a softshell and the alakazan is a hardshell I guess.

Take a look at the ictorio jacket, 70d hardshell jacket, but no ski specific feature.

My top choices would be victorio and probably snowtastic. Really liked the snowtastic but the cuffs were a dealbreaker since they are now wide enough to go over gloves,

Sierratp has great dry.q elite stuff available and probably the best price you will find if you usa a coupon, 35% extra are available every week. The have 12/13 snowtastic and drystein II. Also snowpocalypse, victorio, kepler, last year snowtasic and drystein, really good selection.

What are you looking for on the jacket? Anything specifics? Hard/softshell? Features?
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the info!

 

This Jacket will be used almost exclusively for skiing, resort and side country and some backcountry as I learn more about backcountry skiing. I do like a powder skirt, and my gloves can go over sleeves if necessary although I prefer the other way around.

 

I have never owned a softshell so I am not sure how well the new fabrics hold up to wetness and wind as compared to a hardshell.

 

I also noticed the maximalist which seems to be pretty close to the snowtastic.

 

Thanks again.
 

post #4 of 25

Search on the Alakazam and you'll find a longer thread with lots of discussion on the the DryQ stuff.

 

Note that the Alakazam is more of a hybrid hard/soft shell jacket with ski specific features.  It also has one critical difference that made it the best choice for me - the collar design.  When the hood is down, the collar is still up on the Alakazam.  I had the Snowtastic before the Alakazam and returned it because the collar drove me crazy.

post #5 of 25

I believe this is the thread that Noodler refers to regarding MH Out Dry jackets. It's a good read because the sizing of MH Jackets is somewhat strange and they run small.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/106336/mountain-hardwear-kepler-softshell-jacket

 

I did ski with Noodler in some heavy wet snow last year in Tahoe, and, that day I really wished I had his Alakazam jacket for it's hood protection.

post #6 of 25

I have the Snowtastic. Great jacket if it fits you. it runs short, for sure.  At 5'9" it is the shortest Lg, I own.  So when you layer something under it, the layer usually sticks out at least an inch.

 

Hard to figure out why this is considered a Softshell.  Works as good as any hardshell I've owned.  With the rubbery feel, it doesn't feel like a typical softshell, but it does breath great. If it were 2" longer and had one more interior pocket, it would be perfect. 

post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

Search on the Alakazam and you'll find a longer thread with lots of discussion on the the DryQ stuff.

 

Note that the Alakazam is more of a hybrid hard/soft shell jacket with ski specific features.  It also has one critical difference that made it the best choice for me - the collar design.  When the hood is down, the collar is still up on the Alakazam.  I had the Snowtastic before the Alakazam and returned it because the collar drove me crazy.

I think the Alakazam is the ski specific version of the Drystein II, isn't it?

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

The Alakazam does look like a good jacket, I also like the victorio but It doesn't have the ski features so I am leaning towards the Alakazam. Do you guys know if there is any difference between this years model and last years model of the alakazam besides pocket placement?

 

Thanks again. =)

post #9 of 25

From the MH web site it looks like the only differences are the pockets and colors.

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

Excellent Well I jsut found a great deal on STP for last years Alakazam and I think I will pull the trigger, I will let you all know what I think when it arrives. Thanks again
 

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeSki View Post

The Alakazam does look like a good jacket, I also like the victorio but It doesn't have the ski features so I am leaning towards the Alakazam. Do you guys know if there is any difference between this years model and last years model of the alakazam besides pocket placement?

 

Thanks again. =)

STP description says 2L softshell fabric and MH website says 3L Dobby on this years jacket. I wonder if the new one is a 3 layer softshell while last year's was a 2 layer.

post #12 of 25

After a weekend of deliberating on jackets, it seems the Alakazam on STP is indeed last years model. I got one last night for 170.62 and free shipping after all their discounts. I'll let you know what I think of it. As long as it fits, all I really care about is the DryQ Elite and the powder skirt.

post #13 of 25

congrats. Did you not know anything on that site is a closeout or former year model?  Go to the site for fabric spec's my guess is it's still a 2L but they are fantastic products, the fit on them is a bit odd which is why they were blown out at crazy prices. I started a thread on them last season.   Enjoy

post #14 of 25

Anyone know the difference between DryQ Elite and DryQ Core? Both technically and in terms of functionality.

 

I know Core is the lower/mainstream version. Is it going to be anywhere near as waterproof as Elite? I bought a Dry Q Core jacket (MH Whole Lotta Jacket) and Dry Q Elite pants (MH Snowpocalypse) from Backcountry. MH stuff seems to fit my body well (5'10 200lbs, stocky build, thick/short legs). I'm coming from Westcomb Vapor FX (event) where the jacket was too tight in the torso and the pants piled after 100 days to the point snow would stick to them excessively (although the water barrier still worked).

 

I have the option to return the jacket and spend another $100 to get the Snowtastic which has DryQ Elite, just not sure it's worth the money and I like the styling on the Whole Lotta.

 

Use will be resort skiing and sidecountry/day tours around Whistler, no multi-day stuff at this point although hut trips are a possibility in the future.

post #15 of 25

I spoke with MH directly earlier this year, and the way I understand it, the DryQ Core needs some internal humidity to start to breathe (like Gore-Tex), whereas the DryQ Elite is "always on" and not dependent on internal humidity build-up in order to breathe/vent.  So to oversimplify, think of the Core as Gore Tex-esque, and Elite as eVent (which is what they are anyways, just a customized version).

 

In any case, the new Alakazam has different pocket placement and colours, but the real functional difference is the change between materials on the jacket.  The previous (original) model was all one type, but the new one has dobby vs ripstop I believe, to allow for more "give" under the arms.  Not worth the price premium in my opinion.  The previous Alakazam jacket is excellent, waterproof, breathable, ski-specific, and soft exterior.  So it's like a hybrid soft-hardshell.

 

My only problem with the Alakazam is the sizing proportions.  It's longer than the snowtastic but it's also wider.  I'm 6'2" and needed an XL.  However, if you're a bit slimmer (ie-190 lbs) it's far too boxy.  If your body build is more stocky to begin with, then it'll fit great.  If you're more athletic/slim, then you'll be swimming in it, and the arms will be too short.  I lost 30lbs and had to sell my jackets and find new ones that were more slim fitting with longer sleeves.  Unfortunately the MH stuff didn't factor into my options.  I LOVE the jackets and DryQ Elite, but the fit was terrible for me after I slimmed down.  If it fits you, the previous Alakazam model is an EXCELLENT jacket for the price, highly recommend.

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

I spoke with MH directly earlier this year, and the way I understand it, the DryQ Core needs some internal humidity to start to breathe (like Gore-Tex), whereas the DryQ Elite is "always on" and not dependent on internal humidity build-up in order to breathe/vent.  So to oversimplify, think of the Core as Gore Tex-esque, and Elite as eVent (which is what they are anyways, just a customized version).

 

In any case, the new Alakazam has different pocket placement and colours, but the real functional difference is the change between materials on the jacket.  The previous (original) model was all one type, but the new one has dobby vs ripstop I believe, to allow for more "give" under the arms.  Not worth the price premium in my opinion.  The previous Alakazam jacket is excellent, waterproof, breathable, ski-specific, and soft exterior.  So it's like a hybrid soft-hardshell.

 

My only problem with the Alakazam is the sizing proportions.  It's longer than the snowtastic but it's also wider.  I'm 6'2" and needed an XL.  However, if you're a bit slimmer (ie-190 lbs) it's far too boxy.  If your body build is more stocky to begin with, then it'll fit great.  If you're more athletic/slim, then you'll be swimming in it, and the arms will be too short.  I lost 30lbs and had to sell my jackets and find new ones that were more slim fitting with longer sleeves.  Unfortunately the MH stuff didn't factor into my options.  I LOVE the jackets and DryQ Elite, but the fit was terrible for me after I slimmed down.  If it fits you, the previous Alakazam model is an EXCELLENT jacket for the price, highly recommend.

 

Thanks for the in depth response. I'm going to try the DryQ Core (Whole Lotta Jacket) and see how it fairs in storm skiing and sidecountry touring. If it's not up to snuff, BC.com will take it back no questions ask and I'll upgrade likely to the Snowtastic in large (not sure I will be able to find a large Alakazam by the time I'd be ready to do the exchange if necessary, likely around Christmas). I'm definitely stocky, which is why I'm trying out MH this time around, Westcomb is too tight in the torso in Large, some Arc'teryx larges are ok in the torso but the arms are 6+ inches too long and the only other Gore Pro models I've looked at (Peak Performance) are too expensive and hard to find on discount.

post #17 of 25

I bought a Kepler softshell (DryQ elite) at the begining of last season.  I've got just under 60 days of skiing with it now.  So far it's been stellar, the fabric is quite impressive.  My son has a Salomon jacket with their latest fabric and mine beads water noticeably better.  I like the softshell a lot better than my old hardshell, it's more supple, and less noisy when cold or moving fast.  (ie the fabric doesn't get stiff in the cold and it fits closer so there is less flapping around when at speed.)

 

It takes a bit of getting used to as the fabric breathes so well you feel somewhat cool all the time.  Through lift rides, sidestepping, postholing, whatever, you stay the same temp.  I never even bother with the pit zips.  I wear a capilene top, a fleece, and my shell and I'm good no matter the temp or style of precipitation.

 

I had a Mountain Hardware hardshell for the previous 7 seasons, it took plenty of abuse and weathered it all in style.  The abuse my old jacket took convinced me of the quality of Mountain Hardware products.  So far I haven't disappointed in my latest.

post #18 of 25

Currently have a MH Snowtastic 2011/2012 jacket that I have really grown to like.

 

As others have stated, the fit is weird and you definitely want to try one on or order two sizes and send one back. At 6'0 170lb I ended up with a size large which is pretty rare... most of the time I am a size medium. My only gripes with the jacket are the cuffs are too small to go over gloves, and the 'helmet compatible hood' won't fit over a helmet. The fabric is great, and I will definitely buy more DryQ Elite products in the future.
 

post #19 of 25

Had a chance to try my new setup (Whole Lotta Jacket - DryQ Core, Snowpocalypse pants, DryQ Elite this weekend up in Whistler, where it snowed about 80cm in 48hours and was snowing hard most of the time. Temps were around -4C to -1C and it was very windy/wet at times. I'm impressed with the DryQ performance, neither the jacket nor pants had any saturation (other than the cuffs of the jacket, probably because my gauntlet gloves soaked through). Snow/water beaded nicely off the outside of the jacket (which was a problem with my Westcomb eVent stuff) and I was fully dry inside. I did not ski with a pack or skin, but did 3 boot packs and was satisfied with the breathability (I sweat a lot, very easily). 

 

It's still snowing up there so I will report back after a few more weeks, especially after I have a chance to do a bit of touring, but so far I am happy with the performance and also happy I didn't have to spend $1,000 on Arc'Teryx like I was originally planning.

post #20 of 25

1. Glad you're happy with the setup, sounds great for a decent price!

 

2. 80cm in 48hr?  EPIC, lucky you.

 

3. Send some of that snow to the East Coast PLEASE! wink.gif

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

3. Send some of that snow to the East Coast PLEASE! wink.gif

Amen brother! 

 

I thought we were getting close with the wintry weather late last week, but the recent mild temps have really put a damper on things. :(

post #22 of 25

No, in fact I'm new to STP and online clothing shopping in general, though I'm not so naive as to not realize there's a catch to such good prices. I wasn't crazy about buying something without knowing if it even fits, but it looks like I made out with this one and I like the look so I guess it's not really a catch at all. My previous jacket is a seven year old Mountain Hardwear Exposure II, and it's a size L. Bought it in person so I knew how it fit. The XL Alakazam (2011-12) fits my 6'3" 180lb frame just right. It's slightly shorter than the Exposure II but still plenty long to keep me covered. I have a 38" chest and it's a nice fit with room for layering. I imagine this year's model is the same dimensions, but then again if I'm L on one design and XL on another from the same company...anyway I just wanted to go on record for all the other tall people out there looking at these jackets. As for the actual function of the fabric, I'll test that out next weekend. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

post #23 of 25

N8M, I hear ya.  My kids were bugging me because Horseshoe and Mt. St. Louis were open on the weekend, but should be getting colder starting tonight, we're just waiting for Glen Eden to open so I can take them.  Heading to Blue middle of Jan, so should be ok by then.

post #24 of 25

For those who got the Alakazam, how do you like so far? Can you use under the cuff gloves?

post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 

I am loving it so far. It fits me quite well, but I cannot use the little thumb holes in the jacket as the sleeves don't reach quite far enough. I wear my gloves over my sleeves. Only used it in nice sunny weather so far but it does breath quite well. I will update again when it has seen some more variable conditions.
 

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