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Compare Ski Jackets

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello, i am getting ready to purchase my first dedicated ski jacket. I have been using a TNF Mountain Guide jacket from the mid 90's that i purchased for all things outdoors in inclement weather (camping, hiking, football games, fishing etc.). This forum has been unbelievably helpful in narrowing my choices. I am looking for a do it all jacket, northeast conditions. I have narrowed it down to four shells including 1) Arc Stingray, 2) Pata Powder Bowl, 3) MH Alakazam and 4) TNF Enzo.

I don't know a lot about 2L vs 3L, Gortex vs DryQ etc. but I think all of these jackets would be considered similar other than brand and price....is that correct?

Also, can you tell me from a functional standpoint how these jackets may differ? For example, i think these Stingray may be slightly more insulated compared to the others but i am not sure about that. Also i would think the Arc is the most expensive of the four.

My plan if to figure out which one i want and then find a deal online perhaps even a leftover.

I am also interested in advice regarding what size i would take in these jackets... For example, i understand the MH runs somewhat short so i would likely take a L ....in the others maybe a M?

I am 6' 185. Intermediate all mountain skier. Thanks in advance
post #2 of 10

Actually the MH jacket is the most expensive of the bumch, with Patagonia the least expensive.  They are all shells so no insulation in any of them.  Unless you ski where it sometimes rains, I wouldn't worry too much about waterproofness, so I don't think there is a huge functional difference in the 2-layer, 3-layer and Dry-Q.  One of my considerations in buying a shell is the number of pockets.  Especially when teaching you can never have too many pockets, but there is one area at Red Lodge Mountain, the Cole Creek area, where when there's a fresh dump I will go in there and not want to come out until I am done for the day so having plenty of pockets for snacks is important since there is no food available.  I can tell you the Powder Bowl jacket has plenty of pockets and the neck gaitor is also very nice.  I have another jacket, DNA Giga, that does not have that feature and unless I have something fairly thick around my neck I can definitely feel a cold draft on a chilly day.  Based on your height and weight you would need a large Patagonia.  I'm 5'7", 145 pounds and a medium fits me nicely.

 

If you live near an REI, go there because they carry all four of these jackets and you can't really tell much without trying them on.

post #3 of 10

I've been thinking about buying a new shell jacket this season too. The choices are bewildering. If you want to learn about different fabrics look here for the answers to: 2 vs. 3 vs 2.5 layer; Gore Tex vs. eVent vs others; DWR; etc..

 

http://blistergearreview.com/articles/outerwear-101

 

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Hardshell-Jacket-Reviews/buying-advice

 

I was also considering the Arcteryx Stingray. Haven't tried one on but from inquiring the "light insulation" is just a fuzzy inside liner layer which is slightly warmer than the standard hard shell liner.

 

I've tried on other MH jackets and I would guess you would need at least a "L". I am 5'10" 185 lbs and need a "L". "M" is just a little too snug for me.

post #4 of 10

I don't think the TNF Enzo is up with the other 3 jackets, it looks like a plastic chips bag. Personaly the fabric doesn't look durable. I have never seen the Alakazam so I can't comment on it. The Powderbowl has a lot of features, lots of pockets, and it's a great jacket with a few caveats 1) the hood isn't really helmet compatible, it looks like a swimming suit over my medium size smith helmet, really tight. 2) It's heavier than other shells. 3) a little expensive if not on sale. The stingray is more minimalist design as expected on Arc products, softshell which is  great for most condition, but more expensive! The other difference is that the powderbowl has a liner, since it's a performance shell 2L, that's good because it makes the jacket a little warmer if compared to a 3L shell.

 

I have a powderbowl and like the jacket, I'm 5'5" / 150 and the small works for me with room for layering! MH requires you to size up in most cases, I have a MH Victorio Jacket and I use M, fit is comparable to the S powderbowl.

post #5 of 10

The MH Alakazam jacket is currently on STP for $262.50 plus you can get an additional 20% off on orders over $100.

post #6 of 10

STP has unbeatable prices... although I would recommend you to wait for one of those 25 / 30 / 35% coupons, they usually come with 99cents shipping since STP shipping rates is kinda expensive since it's based on the purchase value!

 

There is a 35% going on using the code NZY46696  but no discount on shipping :-(

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfa81 View Post

I don't think the TNF Enzo is up with the other 3 jackets, it looks like a plastic chips bag. Personaly the fabric doesn't look durable.

 

I have the TNF Enzo as well as a couple of Arcteryx jackets (Sabre and Stingray), and have owned owned a few other Arc jackets as well as Mammut and Westcomb.  I almost didn't consider the Enzo, because of whatever bias I had against TNF products, but it turns out their higher end (Summit Series) stuff is very high quality.  The Enzo is at least as well put together as the Arcteryx jackets I have, and the shell fabric is super burly and durable.  Its my favorite jacket right now - excellent fit and function, and I like the looks of it too.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

If you live near an REI, go there because they carry all four of these jackets and you can't really tell much without trying them on.

 

This ^^^ is key. In my experience, these companies cut their jackets rather differently, and each company also seems to change the pattern every few years (e.g., I had a Patagonia shell 3-4 years ago that fit perfectly; tried on the Powder Bowl last year and it was way too tight in the shoulders). They are all good jackets, so proper fit should probably be the biggest factor in deciding between them.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyles View Post

Hello, i am getting ready to purchase my first dedicated ski jacket. I have been using a TNF Mountain Guide jacket from the mid 90's that i purchased for all things outdoors in inclement weather (camping, hiking, football games, fishing etc.). This forum has been unbelievably helpful in narrowing my choices. I am looking for a do it all jacket, northeast conditions. I have narrowed it down to four shells including 1) Arc Stingray, 2) Pata Powder Bowl, 3) MH Alakazam and 4) TNF Enzo.
I don't know a lot about 2L vs 3L, Gortex vs DryQ etc. but I think all of these jackets would be considered similar other than brand and price....is that correct?
Also, can you tell me from a functional standpoint how these jackets may differ? For example, i think these Stingray may be slightly more insulated compared to the others but i am not sure about that. Also i would think the Arc is the most expensive of the four.
My plan if to figure out which one i want and then find a deal online perhaps even a leftover.
I am also interested in advice regarding what size i would take in these jackets... For example, i understand the MH runs somewhat short so i would likely take a L ....in the others maybe a M?
I am 6' 185. Intermediate all mountain skier. Thanks in advance

 

Where do you ski? Do you do any hiking or backcountry touring (I assume not)? 

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Wow.  Thanks for all the great responses.  I have been tracking sales on STP and SAC and also watching ebay for deals on all of these jackets.  I also found a local store that stocks Arc, Pata and MH so I will be checking out the fit of whatever jackets are in stock.

 

I ski exclusively in the NE, Poconos and VT.  No backcountry touring but I do cross country ski.

 

One confusing thing is that all of these companies make great jackets but they each seem to have a half dozen or so with very minor (in my view) differences; for example Arc has the Stingray but also the Stinger, the Sidewinder, the Sabre etc..  Looking at TNF it looks like a couple of dozen that are similar:)

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