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New Hard Shell Suggestions

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm in need of a new shell. I'm looking for a light weight shell that is Waterproof (Goretex or equal), noninsulated, zip pits and a powder skirt. Living on the East Coast I need a jacket that will keep me warm and dry when its 30 degrees and raining, as well as on the subzero powder days. I would use the shell strictly for skiing.

I currently have a Marmot three layer Goretex jacket that has served me well, but it's getting worn out and is a bit heavy on the warmer days.

Any suggestions from the experts out there would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 26
You might get too many recommondations to be useful. But I'll bite...

I bought an Arc'teryx Sidewinder AR (http://www.arcteryx.com/product.aspx?prod=1948) this year.

It's reasonably lite (23oz). Has pit zips, powder skirt, hood. Gore-tex XCR (seems to breath better than other gore-tex gear I have). As with all Arc'teryx gear, it's incredibly well made. I've skied several wet days with it already this year and it's been fantastic (as it should be for the price!). I expect it to do double duty as hiking rain-gear.

My only real complaint is that the inside pocket isn't quite big enough for my iPod. I may have to spring for a nano
post #3 of 26
I just got an Arcteryx Javelin SV jacket and couldn't be happier:

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/xq/...qx/product.htm

3 layer goretex soft - powder skirt - great hood - excellent quality. 4 outside pockets - no inside - a simple no-frills shell.

This code could get you another 20% off the sale price (I don't know when it expires): IMAGT05

Goood luck.
post #4 of 26
I'll add my vote for Arcteryx too! The Sidewinder is the best jacket I've ever seen. The Gortex XCR is lighter, breaths better, and still keeps you warm and try. Stuck on the lift at Mt Rose last March for 45 minutes in the howling winds and snow, I dare say I was almost comfortable.

I won't be looking to upgrade this jacket for a VERY long time. It might be a little more expensive then most, but I feel it's total worth it for the comfort level.
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCWVA
I'm looking for a light weight shell that is Waterproof (Goretex or equal), noninsulated, zip pits and a powder skirt. Living on the East Coast I need a jacket that will keep me warm and dry when its 30 degrees and raining, as well as on the subzero powder days. I would use the shell strictly for skiing
In my eyes there is only one option. Get out and get a jacket using Airvantage system. Might be a bit of an expense for a start but very well worth it! No other jacket adapts to temperature.

I use the Rossignol Air Pro and am very happy with it. I use it as everyday jacket, for skiing, for snowboarding.......... Gore Tex 2/3 Layer, very lightweight and nice features.

If you have the money you could as well get the USST Team jacket or other ones. Dunno how easily available they are in the US. Here in Europe it's quite a pain to find an airvantage hardshell jacken in the stores.
post #6 of 26
Here's a few from my "short list" - I ended up with the Patagonia Chute to Thrill.

Patagonia - Chute to Thrill Jacket, Primo Pants
Cloudveil - RPK Jacket, RPK Pants
Mountain Hardwear - Maneuver Jacket, Maneuver Pants OR Tenacity Descent Jacket, Tenacity Pants
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
I stopped by HTO today at lunch. They had the Cloudveil - RPK Jacket, Mountain Hardwear - Maneuver Jacket, & Arc'teryx Sidewinder AR (they didn't have the Javelin). All were nice jackets, here are my comments:

MH - Maneuver jacket was very light, but the sleeves seem to be out of proportion with the size of the jacket and were way too long.

Arc'teryx Sidewinder AR jacket is sweeeettttt! Unbelieveably Light and seemed very durable for such a light jacket. But I guess thats why it costs so much. Has anybody had any problems with the sealed/coated zipper? It felt like it could become troublesome when it is cold.

Cloudveil - RPK Jacket is a semisoft shell and is very light. This is a very nice jacket, but I really don't know anything about Cloudveil's reputation in regards to durablity, warranty, construction, etc.. Does anyone have experience with them?

Thanks everyone for you help.
post #8 of 26
Arcteryx

I have the Sidewinder and Theta shell and love them both.

The pants are also bomber.
post #9 of 26
I hear good things about Arcteryx...(why such a hard name?) I bought a Patagonia Primo Jacket this year and have sveral days in with it...so far it has been awesome...now if I could just figure out what to wear under it...think I will try a vest next
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCWVA
Arc'teryx Sidewinder AR jacket is sweeeettttt! Unbelieveably Light and seemed very durable for such a light jacket. But I guess thats why it costs so much. Has anybody had any problems with the sealed/coated zipper? It felt like it could become troublesome when it is cold.
I'm not sure what you mean by troublesome.. hard to zip or not water/wind proof? We've had some pretty cold days (<20) up here and it hasn't been a problem for me. I also have an arc'teryx pack with the same type of zippers which I've also used in cold/wet conditions. The zippers don't seem to leak and aren't otherwise difficult to deal with. I do like not having to deal with storm flaps and such.

I'm slightly worried that the construction on the zippers will start to deteriorate at some point. But I've had the pack for about 4 years and no sign of trouble.
post #11 of 26
The only annoyance is possibly with the pit zips.

They are hard to yank down with one hand or without holding the material above it sometimes. It may be easier to have both the zippers on the bottom and just pull up.

I found it more on the Sidewinder which has less of an athletic cut then the Javelin or Theta models.

Also the Sidewinder has internal pockets which is good if you have a radio and have an external speaker/mic.

For some reason alot of other models do not have them.

Cloudveil looks like thay have some good stuff but I haven't seen alot in person to judge.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
The only annoyance is possibly with the pit zips.
Yes, I agree with that. I've had the opportunity to mess with these on the slope once. They are a little difficult. But not unmanable. For that matter, manipulating the side pockets is a little difficult with one hand as well. Not a showstopper and I kind of like the extra security on the side pockets.
post #13 of 26
I really liked the Sidewinder jacket too until I realized that I rarely ski with the collar zipped all the way up. The Sidewinder, with its zipper on the side of the collar, is kinda funky when the zipper isn't all the way up - one side of the collar is longer than the other and I think it would tend to flap in your face. That's the only thing that stopped me from buying this jacket since it actually was the best fitting jacket I tried. I tried lots of other Arc'teryx jackets, but never found that same "magic" in the fit that I had with the Sidewinder.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisInSeattle
I'm not sure what you mean by troublesome.. hard to zip or not water/wind proof? We've had some pretty cold days (<20) up here and it hasn't been a problem for me. I also have an arc'teryx pack with the same type of zippers which I've also used in cold/wet conditions. The zippers don't seem to leak and aren't otherwise difficult to deal with. I do like not having to deal with storm flaps and such.

I'm slightly worried that the construction on the zippers will start to deteriorate at some point. But I've had the pack for about 4 years and no sign of trouble.
under 20 cold ahahaha, you should coem to pa some day in feburary.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA
under 20 cold ahahaha, you should coem to pa some day in feburary.
Hehe.. oh, I've spent a lot of time in PA in February. More than enough time, as a matter of fact
post #16 of 26
if u look carefully around town in different stores, you can usually find the arc'teryx brand at regular stores ( not liek specialty ski shops) these stores sell them for way less!!. In canada there is a chain of stores called coast mountain sports, there is about 5 of these stores nearby my house and although they only have like 2 sidewinder jackets at each store they were only 399 CANADIAN THAT LIKE 340 american i picked one up instantly after going to each store and trying on all the sizes/couolrs i ended up getting medium. It is genuine, made in canada, goretex xcr, top of the line arc'teryx with the side zipper that kind curves to the side and with the nice laminated smoked pocket on the side for pass/ticket i love this jacket can't wait to try it out!!!
post #17 of 26
Patagonia Primo. I bought mine on Epicski, love it, & the current ones are nicer -- more pockets.
post #18 of 26
Just don't get The North Face Free Thinker...especially in Orange!
post #19 of 26
I agree with what everyone said about the Sidewinder. Its performs great, but could use a couple of larger internal pockets. One other problem is I have the jacket with the stowable hood. When the hood is stowed in the collar I find it VERY difficult to fully zip the jacket. Forget it if you are wearing a neck gator or a thick fleece with a high collar.

In hindsight I would just buy the Sidewinder with the regular hood.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisInSeattle
My only real complaint is that the inside pocket isn't quite big enough for my iPod. I may have to spring for a nano
Just an update on my impressions about this jacket... I don't know what I was smoking, but an iPod fits into the inside pocket just fine.

I also have not had any trouble manipulating the pit zips.

The only complaint I have about the jacket now, after 10 days skied with it, is that when the hood is rolled and zipped into the collar, it feels a little uncomfortable when the jacket is fully zipped.
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrester
Just don't get The North Face Free Thinker...especially in Orange!
I was actually looking at that jacket a few days ago, it seemed alright to me. Are there problems with it?
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckInstructor
I was actually looking at that jacket a few days ago, it seemed alright to me. Are there problems with it?
Not at all. It's a fatastic jacket. I just don't want everyone on the hill to have the same jacket as I! In all honesty, get that bad boy if you're considering it. Especially with the lifetime warranty.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisInSeattle
You might get too many recommondations to be useful. But I'll bite...

I bought an Arc'teryx Sidewinder AR (http://www.arcteryx.com/product.aspx?prod=1948) this year.

It's reasonably lite (23oz). Has pit zips, powder skirt, hood. Gore-tex XCR (seems to breath better than other gore-tex gear I have). As with all Arc'teryx gear, it's incredibly well made. I've skied several wet days with it already this year and it's been fantastic (as it should be for the price!). I expect it to do double duty as hiking rain-gear.

My only real complaint is that the inside pocket isn't quite big enough for my iPod. I may have to spring for a nano
I just noticed that REI has this jacket on sale for $80 less than I paid

http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000& productId=47925478&parent_category_rn=4501456&vcat =REI_SSHP_SKI_LD

Size XL only.
post #24 of 26

The bargain hunter strikes again

If you're going for Arcteryx and find price a problem how about the Javelin SV at sierratradingpost@ $297:

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/xq/...qx/product.htm

Looks and sounds like a really good shell.
post #25 of 26
I tried a bunch of shells and ended up with the North Face Mountain Light jacket ($299 but I got it at 20% off from brms.com using their December catalog coupon). It seemed like the best choice for several reasons:

1) extremely light weight, can barely feel it over your inner layers

2) Gortex XCR is the most breathable out there, which is important to me as I often work up a sweat skiing.

3) vents are in the front, not in the pits. Pit vents can feel bulky and are hard to operate sometimes.

4) zip off hood; don't like jackets with permanent and/or stowable hoods as they can be bulky in the collar

I found plenty of other jackets that were nice and would also have been great for me, but the Mountain Light had a great combination of little features that added up. And keep in mind that I have been predisposed against North Face gear for a while, due to the high cost and "too-cool" image. This particular jacket, however, earned my business!
post #26 of 26
I'm really happy with my North Face Free Thinker jacket. Identical in material and quality of the Arc'Teryx Sidewinder, but with better styling (IMO), and has more pockets.
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