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ski shell jackets?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi,
Im new to the forum so forgive my naivety!
I have a bunch of questions, but any response would be grateful.
Im looking for new skiing gear, jacket and possibly pants/trousers. Im thinking a breathable shell would be good for the warmer days, but i cant find any decent looking ones at a good price. My price range is quite low but it would be nice to get a discussion going and possibly help any others in my situation. Is now a good time to get gear, and if so, where from? Im from the uk, midlands, so can anyone recommend any clothing at discounted prices? I have an old maier sports jacket that is too baggy and torn and black tresspass trousers also slightly torn. I would like bright clothing, is it worth getting new trousers, preferably thinner ones with better breathability? And finally, do underlayers and socks make much difference? I have just been using any found around my house but late season skiing combined with thick trousers and a jacket make me sweat like a pig.
Any input appreciated!
Thanks
post #2 of 15

Now is a great time, lots of deal on last season's gear. I'm in Europe too (Netherlands), and I order most things online. Lots of (mostly German) webshops with the greates deal.

 

Have a look at snowinn.com, for example. They also have an 'outlet-inn' site, great stuff.

 

In my experience, a good base layer should be wicking most of all, a mid layer (fleece, polartech, etc) will provide insolution and a waterproof and breathable shell as an outer layer. This way, you can dress for all conditions (and the shell jacket and pant can double as rain gear in other seasons too). In the UK, Berghaus (high-end) and Trespass (more budget, but still very good) are leading brands. Other brands you may wanna look at are icepeak (icepeak.fi).

 

Hope that helps. 

post #3 of 15

one suggestion, which worked for me, I choose better pants than jacket in terms of waterproof rating and breathability. 

I would go with Gore-tex pants and not necessary stress about getting Gore-tex or similar tech specs jacket.

post #4 of 15
Welcome to Epic. Here are my "rules" about clothes for skiing.
only one pair of ultra-light (thin) high content merino wool socks
merino wool long underwear, 3/4 length is best because nothing but feet and socks go in boots
Patagonia R1 grid 1/4 zip pullover or Outdoor Research equivalent
Both of my ski pants are Outdoor Research windstopper material, not waterproof like GTX but I have never had moisture inside, also have thigh vents for really warm weather
One jacket is Patagonia Powder Bowl H2No material, no insulation
Other jacket is Descente DNA, don't remember the waterproof/breathability rating but it works well, lightly insulated
when it gets cold I add a down sweater

Don't worry about whether the jacket or pants are actually Gore-Tex, eVent and HyVent are both very good and will absolutely do the job. Dermazax is another, but I think only Spyder uses it and you're not likely to find any Spyder gear at great prices. Don't even think about going to eBay looking for Spyder, because you will find truckloads of "Spyder" clothing, NWT, at very cheap prices, all made somewhere in China and not genuine Spyder. There is some real Spyder gear on eBay but it's really hard to tell what's real and what isn't.
post #5 of 15

If you're really looking for value, I skied probably 20 days (over several years, just going a couple times a year) in a cheap pair of wicking polyester blend long underwear, and a $25 pair of fleece lined Nike wind pants I got at a regular sporting good shop. Since I tend to get very hot too, it was warm enough down to probably 15 degrees or so, and I took many falls in the wind pants with nary a scratch on them. 

 

I always had a decent jacket but cheap base layer underneath too, that was wicking/breathable/quick-dry of some type. You'll probably find that you don't feel quite as hot if you get clothes that keep you a little drier and less sticky - especially the base layers. So that means wool or wicking light-weight socks, wicking long (or short) underwear, and a wicking tshirt (long or short sleeves). 

post #6 of 15

I have mostly Patagonia and Helly Hansen.  Both have great warranties. Unfortunately, with Patagonia, you will have to exercise it on almost everything you get.  For the big ticket items I bought from them, 3 for 3 in needing to go back or be replaced.  They are good about it and cover everything, but I bought the items to wear and not send back to them.

 

The Primo shell I bought from them is very durable and I like it (could use larger inside pockets), but within a month of wearing it, the velcro on the cuff ripped (maybe not so durable then?).  Another shell delaminated and the full length zipper on the shell pants broke.  I didn't mind the pants so much as it was the 3rd season, but when I got them back, I noticed the pants above the front pocket is delaminating now.  Plus I had to go a month of the ski season without them.

 

I have learned to always have back up gear.

 

Ken

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post
 

I have mostly Patagonia and Helly Hansen.  Both have great warranties. Unfortunately, with Patagonia, you will have to exercise it on almost everything you get.  'm surprisedFor the big ticket items I bought from them, 3 for 3 in needing to go back or be replaced.  They are good about it and cover everything, but I bought the items to wear and not send back to them.

 

The Primo shell I bought from them is very durable and I like it (could use larger inside pockets), but within a month of wearing it, the velcro on the cuff ripped (maybe not so durable then?).  Another shell delaminated and the full length zipper on the shell pants broke.  I didn't mind the pants so much as it was the 3rd season, but when I got them back, I noticed the pants above the front pocket is delaminating now.  Plus I had to go a month of the ski season without them.

 

I have learned to always have back up gear.

 

Ken

Wow.  I'm surprised.  The only Patagonia item I've had trouble with was a down sweater, the zipper broke with about a month left in the season.  They replaced it within about 2 weeks.  The Powder Bowl jacket is about 4 or 5 years old and has been bombproof as were the Powder Bowl pants, which I gave to my son and he's still using them.  Maybe it's just that I haven't bought any big items from them in a while, tend to use Outdoor Research when I can.

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

Wow.  I'm surprised.  The only Patagonia item I've had trouble with was a down sweater, the zipper broke with about a month left in the season.  They replaced it within about 2 weeks.  The Powder Bowl jacket is about 4 or 5 years old and has been bombproof as were the Powder Bowl pants, which I gave to my son and he's still using them.  Maybe it's just that I haven't bought any big items from them in a while, tend to use Outdoor Research when I can.

 

I think it is the highlighted part.

 

I'm guessing their business model is have the items made in a 3rd world country for pennies on the dollar & sell at a price of a tailor made suit here in the U.S.  That way, no matter how poorly the product is made, they can always cover the warranty.

 

Pretty sure I'm going back to Helly Hansen if I don't find something interesting in Europe.

post #9 of 15

Well, in (continental) Europe, there are quite a few very nice brands that offer high quality shells: Mammut (Switzerland), Millet (France), Bergans of Norway (Norway), Berghaus (UK), Trespass (UK), Vaude (Germany?), Jack Wolfskin (Germany), Helly Hansen (Sweden), Peak Perfrmance (Sweden), Norrona (Norway?) and some more international brands, such as The North Face, Patagonia (not so much available), Marmot (also not very wide spread), etc.

 

Not all of them budget-friendly, but you will find first-class products. If you need help googeling them and find good deals from shops that ship to England, just ask me.

post #10 of 15

I like Gore-Tex because I like to ski in the rain (don't mind it, anyway), and Gore-Tex is pretty wetproof, especially in a nylon or polyester shell.  (I've never tried the other waterproof-breathables, though, so that's a caveat).  

 

I bought a Marmot shell a few years back for around $350 (about 230 pounds) and have skied completely dry through all-day rain, while my wife in her Columbia proprietary-membrane jacket got damp.  Ten years ago, I bought a pair of EMS Gore-tex bibs (maybe $300), and they're still almost perfect.  I've never gotten wet.

 

The prices may sound high, but they're fairly moderate for good skiwear, especially considering brands like Arcteryx, Mammut, or Kjus.  

 

If you avoid rain, which many people do (fine by me!), there's no reason to spend your life's savings.  Any of the other materials work almost as well.

 

 

Edit -- I believe this is the jacket I bought, currently on sale at Moosejaw for $226.99:  http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/shop/product_Marmot-Men-s-Palisades-Jacket_10252620_10208_10000001_-1_  

 

Don't know if that helps you where you are, but it's an idea.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the pointers, sorry about not responding just been mega busy.Ive attached an image of a wind breaker. Is this the sort of thing worn on ski slopes?I cant seem to find skiing specific shell jackets /a decent website that sells them.what is considered a good price/reduction? And are there any uk based websites with good sales? Thanks
post #12 of 15

Generally, ski shells are heavier than this one appears to be — Amazon calls it a running jacket.  On the other hand, a person does what he or she can, and this one would work fine for a while, with compromises (e.g., no internal pockets, for instance, no helmet-compatable hood, and a less durable construction). People wear worse things to the mountains. I would recommend avoiding challenging weather conditions, though.

post #13 of 15

Yes --jackets like that are worn on the slopes, although most people prefer heavier fabrics. If you do wind up with something that light weight get it large enough that you can get a thick insulating layer(s) underneath, be prepared to use a balaclava under your helmet (if you wear a helmet) since the hood won't go over the helmet, and figure out if, between your pants and jacket you'll have enough pockets to carry everything you normally take with you on the slopes, unless you wear a pack. And stay out of the trees--doesn't sound like it would stand up well to getting snagged. And probably not the best choice for serious bad weather. 

 

As far as overheating goes--an unlined shell with pit zips (which this one has) combined with different base layers depending on the weather should work. On a sunny spring day in California I might wear just a light long underwear shirt under a shell and no insulation under my pants shell. On a really cold, stormy day I might wear a heavier base layer, a medium weight mid layer, and a puffy jacket under the jacket and a heavier base layer and mid layer under the pants. 

 

As far as what is a good price--for ski specific gear, end of season sales of 50% off are not rare, 30-40% off is OK, maybe better than 50% off for discontinued items from outlet sites (sorry, can't help you re England).

post #14 of 15
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much to everyone who contributed, even after I forgot to respond to people! I think I have perhaps narrowed down my choices

http://shop.hellyhansen.com/gb/item/mission-stoke-shell-jacket-62322/?t_type=src&COLOR=442%20PARK%20GREEN&t_type=cat

http://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/frontier-hooded-jacket

Im mainly looking for durablilty, versatility and breathability. I would like a jacket that i can ski in, but also wear in cold weather and I think these fit my needs. Are there many jackets like these-there seems to be quite a few similar companies that all do similar mountain wear such as Mountain Equipment, Helly Hansen etc.

Everyone has been suggesting great products but i now realise that I never fully explained my situation-size, what i ski, when I ski. I ski on piste only, in mostly warm/sunny weather and have been making do with a thick and heavy maier sports insulated 'laramie' i believe its called. I was just looking for a general outdoor shell, that can have a snow skirt or not, with durability, bright colors and a trim fit if possible-im long and thin, like a giraffe! I want to apologise for not specifying what i wanted-you have all been really helpful but I led you all on a wild goose chase and then wondered why there was nothing that fitted my criteria.

The Frontier Hooded Jacket is the perfect thing for my situation, but I cant tell if its rugged, or waterproof enough. Any similar just general outdoor shells for a cheap price out there?
Lastly, without wanting to drag on a thread, are trousers important-i have cheap tresspass 3000/3000 water resistance/breathability. Should I look on similar websites for shells?

Thanks everyone for your time and input, and Cheizz for searching for deals.
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