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jacket confusion

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

just looking at arcteryx and it seems in the past 5 years, they have exploded their jacket styles into a dizzying collection of small variations. I am mostly a resort/sidecountry skier (20 trips a year with a light pack)with 1 or 2 back country adventures (with a heavier pack). I like layering up so an insulated shell is not something I am looking for. But even with these constraints  I have to look at the Caden, the stingray, the sidewinder, the sabre and the crossbow. And this does even even take into account their more technical line (alpha, beta, theta, etc- which has a fuller cut)

And then there is patagonia and norrona as well.

 

Of course when you go to the arcteryx website and try to compare them, they highlight the similarities, not the differences. so it's near impossible to figure out why they make jackets with different names. Has anyone seen a good review/comparison site? I know the older gore fabrics were noisy. but that's all iknow. my 10 year old patagonia was great but finally wearing out. I loved it for the large pockets-which it seems most manufacturers have trimmed to a minimum.

post #2 of 12

bwana, it is easy to get confused imo.  I see a lot of different techncial shell garments doing reviews.  Haven't reviewed any of the ski shells you are looking at however.  But i have seen almost every material out there used for high quality winter/climbing wear.  Including different versions of Gortex, Neoshell and Event.

 

Bottom line for me isn't the fabric these days (although i do have favorites) but the best are all very good.  How the jackets fit you and the details you might find required/needed more important.  All the offerings work well depending more on fabric/backing combos than fabric technology IMO.

 

"the jacket is winter abrasion resistant"

 

Seriously. wtf does that mean?  Hard to belive anyone actually wrote that to be taken seriously and with a straight face.  Hopefully that guy went to work for BD in the new clothing division. 

 

I have one of the very first Goretex Active Shell garments from just a few years ago and one that is new this Fall.  Totally different jackets but far as I can tell same fabric/technology was used.

 

Likely not want you wanted to hear and may be not all that helpful but all I got.

 

Here is a short series on three hard shells.  Cliff notes above but details here:  http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2013/01/alpha-fl-and-shift-lt-shells.html

post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane View Post
 

bwana, it is easy to get confused imo.  I see a lot of different techncial shell garments doing reviews.  Haven't reviewed any of the ski shells you are looking at however.  But i have seen almost every material out there used for high quality winter/climbing wear.  Including different versions of Gortex, Neoshell and Event.

 

Bottom line for me isn't the fabric these days (although i do have favorites) but the best are all very good.  How the jackets fit you and the details you might find required/needed more important.  All the offerings work well depending more on fabric/backing combos than fabric technology IMO.

 

"the jacket is winter abrasion resistant"

 

Seriously. wtf does that mean?  Hard to belive anyone actually wrote that to be taken seriously and with a straight face.  Hopefully that guy went to work for BD in the new clothing division. 

 

I have one of the very first Goretex Active Shell garments from just a few years ago and one that is new this Fall.  Totally different jackets but far as I can tell same fabric/technology was used.

 

Likely not want you wanted to hear and may be not all that helpful but all I got.

 

Here is a short series on three hard shells.  Cliff notes above but details here:  http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2013/01/alpha-fl-and-shift-lt-shells.html

I know some fabrics are pretty fragile when frozen...like they literally shatter in to many pieces when you apply force on them. 

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaserPower View Post
 

I know some fabrics are pretty fragile when frozen...like they literally shatter in to many pieces when you apply force on them.

None of the modern fabrcs designed for the outdoor/military will react that way to cold temps.  My first linked write up on Gore and Neoshell was at -20C or so during parts of the day.  Never seen a modern high quality outdoor fabric shatter even at -40C temps.  I stay indoors when it is colder.


Edited by Dane - 11/6/13 at 9:53pm
post #5 of 12
I'm with Dane and think you should worry more about design details than fabric or technology used, I have gore, dry.q and event stuff and they all perform great!

outdoorgearlab, backcountryskiingcanada have some good reviews, I also find the reviews from buyers on bc.com really usefull, but take bc's employees reviews with a good grain of salt!
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane View Post
 

None of the modern fabrcs designed for the outdoor/military will react that way to cold temps.  My first linked write up on Gore and Neoshell was at -20C or so during parts of the day.  Never seen a modern high quality outdoor fabric shatter even at -40C temps.  I stay indoors when it is colder.

I was joking and forgot about the "lol"~yeah that sounds like over advertising

 

Just pick a color and look...

post #7 of 12

Agree that there are plenty of jackets that will do the job.  If however you are going to pay the freight for an Arcteryx,  you might want to try on different ones before you decide.  I have a couple of them that fit and feel just right.  I've tried others that don't give me fit, mobility and feel I like nearly as much.  Arcteryx on the one hand has created confusion with their many options, but the other side of that is it's easy to find something close to your ideal personal specs.

 

I'd add that based on the your stated preferences, consider The Rush.

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaserPower View Post
 

I was joking and forgot...Just pick a color and look...

It is the Internet.  People say all sorts of weird chit...and most of them believe every word of it :D

 

These days..If I am not testing something to review I generally pick one of two ways.   The best fabric (for my use) or just as likely my favorite color.   Seriously.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane View Post

It is the Internet.  People say all sorts of weird chit...and most of them believe every word of it biggrin.gif

These days..If I am not testing something to review I generally pick one of two ways.   The best fabric (for my use) or just as likely my favorite color.   Seriously.

Yeeeessss...the color is always the uttermost important factor of choosing any equipment lol
post #10 of 12

i was looking at all the arcteryx and norrona and was getting confused... looked at Sweet Protection and bought the crusader one... 

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottydonald View Post
 

i was looking at all the arcteryx and norrona and was getting confused... looked at Sweet Protection and bought the crusader one... 

Just get one of each... 

post #12 of 12

I own a Arc Crossbow Jacket that I purchased last seaon.  As stated above, the reviews posted on BC and similar websites are very helpful....  I believe BC also has a Q&A section to the reviews which are also surprisingly helpful (questions asked by a perspective purchaser and then answered by a previous buyer).  Also, there are some reviews on Youtube.

 

Regarding the Arc jackets you are looking at...sizing is a big deal.  I am 6' 180 and, for me, I am a M or a L depending on the jacket.  I tried a bunch of Arc jackets on last year and I was a L in the Stingray, L in the Rush, M in the Crossbow and I cannot remember my size in the Sabre.  I bought my jacket from a guy that is generally a M but the Crossbow M was too big for him.  The Crossbow M is almost too trim for me (esp this year after adding a few pounds lifting) so I could probably have gone large in that too although it would have been a loose fit.

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