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North Face/Patagonia gear?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm getting back into skiing after a 13 year layoff and needing to buy some new ski clothes. In my day, my preference was always a North Face Mountian Parka with some Patagonia mixed in as well. Is this still the way to go or is there somthing else to consider? Not necessarily looking for somthing that is ski-specific, just somthing that works well in the snow. Any thoughts?
post #2 of 22
Layering is key. An uninsulated Gore-tex shell over a soft shell or fleece over a polypropylene or merino wool base layer is pretty much the standard. Parkas don't breathe well and are bulky.
post #3 of 22
I'm a big North Face fan. I still ski in my 1998 Yellow and Black Mt Patrol Parker. It's a 2 or 3 layer Gore-Tex shell and 3 layer North Face Edge pant. Over a North Face 200wt Fleece jacket. With everything else from www.sierratradingpost.com they have the best prices on clothing I have found. I've been buying form them and wwwcampmor.com for over 10 ytears.

I wear there $10.00 light wt poly underwear. You don't want to wear cotton in any layer. Sierra's Wickers band works great for the base layer, there $14.00 T necks are great for the second layer. Then I wear my North Face stuff or another band of 200wt Fleece under the Shell.

I ski 65+ a season and work as a Mt Ambassador at Okemo. I spend most of my Winter outside.
post #4 of 22
North Face Mountain Light jacket over a couple of light layers for normal days, or fleece for cold days works great.
post #5 of 22
Folks, TNF is no longer the bomber gear that it once was. There is better gear for the money. My goretex pants ripped twice (at seams) and the waterproof taping failed in the seat area (not in the vicinity of the rips). Poor quality. I am not the only one that has noticed the drop off in quality. I gave up on repeatedly sending them back and bought Arcteryx. Can't tell you about Patagonia.
post #6 of 22
There have been a number of threads regarding clothing brands. Here's one to get you started: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=32203.

Personally, I worship Patagonia and Mountain Hardwear gear. It's expensive, but it just works. Be honest with yourself before shelling out the big bucks for high-tech waterproof / breathable / stretchy blah, blah blah's. If you're going to be skiing only a few days a year on the "nice" days, then I don't really see the point for high-tech jackets. If you're going to be out there a couple times a week regardless of what Mother Nature puts out -- then get something good.
post #7 of 22
KevinF has hit it right on. I upgraded to Patagonia last year and couldn't be happier. The difference from my older gear is night-and-day. I think that the welded seams are terrific, too (make stuffing them into a bag easy, and they are less bulky). I wear a hard shell (may get a soft this year), fleece, and base layer in all conditions (vary the base and fleece for warmth).
post #8 of 22
Agree with the above -- North Face is no longer what it once was (i.e. my 1993 Mountain Light). Mountain Hardwear stuff is pretty bulletproof and I've had good luck with it. However, I've slowly but surely become a Patagucci devotee. The extra cash is well worth it -- their stuff almost never fails, and when it does, they replace it on the spot. In the last 15 years, the only time I've had a problem with their gear was when I lost a heavily used cuff snap on my soft shell pants after a long backcountry ski trip. I had a new pair in my hands within 3 days of putting them in the mail back to Patagonia. My every day ski pants are a pair of hard shells that are entering about their fifth season and still going strong.
post #9 of 22
I've had a pair of Patagonia pants for several years that have been through hell and back. They're awesome. Have one of their softshell jackets with welded seams. What a great invention. It's well made, light, very breathable, and is wind proof.
post #10 of 22
The only complaint that I can think of for Patagonia is that their stuff never wears out so I don't have excuse to get new gear. I have a closet full of Patagonia clothing, some of which is 20 years old, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with any of it. Yes, the newer fabrics are better and work better, but it just never dies. If you amortize it, it's probably the cheapest stuff out there. Their Capelene underwear is bombproof! If you don't have any, get some, but be prepared to have it for quite some time.

I do have some Eider gear that's equally durable. Hard to find, but I'd give it very high marks for design, style and durability.
post #11 of 22
patagonia all the way, costs way too much, last way too long, works way to well
post #12 of 22
Patagonia is absolutely fantastic gear. You will pay a premium but it is so worth it. I personally use Arc'teryx but I would use Patagonia anytime without hesitation. TNF is currently owned by Vanity Fair, they have started to rebound their quality of late but it's not The North Face of years past. Salomon is making some killer outerwear thanks to their partnership with Arc'teryx, Helly Hansen makes some great gear but most shops carry their cheaper stuff.
post #13 of 22
I love the Arc'teryx stuff, but went with Patagucci from head to toe for all of last season. I ended up using my soft shell mostly (White Smoke) and kept the hard shell (Chute to Thrill) for the really nasty days. My only complaint is that my pack straps rubbed up the soft shell material a bit, but a depiller took care of it and the jacket looks like new again. The Primo ski pants are also very good with my only complaint being that I wish they would shed fresh snow more easily.

Much of the TNF line these days is all show, no go. There are some decent pieces though (at least that's what I've been told).
post #14 of 22
I've been looking around for a new ski jacket. I ski primarily in the East at Mount Snow, Jay Peak, Stowe, etc. Translation: some days it's very very cold (below 0 degrees F). However, later in the season it does warm up a bit. I would also like to wear it around town during the winter. For the past 5 seasons I have been wearing a Karbon jacket because I was a ski instructor. It was very warm, a bit puffy, and had a synthetic insulation. I don't think just getting a Gore Tex shell will be warm enough for the east, so I'm thinking of getting something with insulation. I have an EMS and and TNF fleece jacket that I could wear as a midlayer I suppose under a thin shell, but that seems a bit bulky and doesn't solve my problem of having a warm jacket for every day wear. Therefore, I think an insulated jacket is my best bet (correct me if I'm wrong). As a law student, my funds are limited. I'm looking to spend $200-$250.

EMS has a good sale today and tomorrow.
I really liked the feel of TNF Plasma Jacket. It's thin but has primaloft insulation. Almost feels like wearing a sleeping bag. Very comfy. Would this be warm enough?
http://www.ems.com/catalog/product_d...=1164474618759

I also looked at TNF Amplitude Triclimate. It has a zip in liner jacket. It feels very warm because it's a 3-1. It is a bit bulky, but it might be worth sacrificing a bit of mobility for the warmth.
http://www.ems.com/catalog/product_d...=1164474618757

I also saw this Mountain Hardware Torque jacket on campmor. It also has a primaloft insulation.
http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...rId=1250022 6


Any recommendations on these jackets, or others, that will keep me plenty warm would be very appreciated. Thanks for the help!
post #15 of 22
Keep an eagle eye on SAC for deals like this:

http://sacattack.com/items/428
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterK View Post
Keep an eagle eye on SAC for deals like this:

http://sacattack.com/items/428
I do check SAC regularly, and I've heard great things about Arc'teryx. However, I've never worn these thin Gore Tex shells. I've worn an insulated and thicker Karbon coat for awhile that was very warm and a Columbia 3-1 before that. I guess I'm just skeptical how well these thin shells provide a lot of warmth when its -10F. Does it really only provide protection against wind and snow, and you need to rely on a fleece jacket for a mid layer and thin smartwool or synthetic shirt as a base layer for warmth?
post #17 of 22
The shells don't provide warmth. They're not meant to. Any warmth they do provide is a result of their windproof qualities, which is where most insulated pieces fail- sure, they've got tons of bulky insulation, but the wind still blows right through them and they don't breath at all, making you sweaty and clammy. If you absolutely cannot fathom ditching your insulation habit, ditch the zip-ins (which are actually warmer when worn separately) and go with something like Orage, who make fantastic insulated jackets with very little bulk and very neat features like over-the-hand cuffs and a neoprene neck. They aren't very breathable, but at least you won't sweat and look like the stay-puft marshmellow man at the same time.

My Patagonia White Smoke with a fleece or my Patagonia Super Guide softshell underneath is warmer and provides more mobility than my Marker or Descente insulated jackets do.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by bongorific View Post
I do check SAC regularly, and I've heard great things about Arc'teryx. However, I've never worn these thin Gore Tex shells. I've worn an insulated and thicker Karbon coat for awhile that was very warm and a Columbia 3-1 before that. I guess I'm just skeptical how well these thin shells provide a lot of warmth when its -10F. Does it really only provide protection against wind and snow, and you need to rely on a fleece jacket for a mid layer and thin smartwool or synthetic shirt as a base layer for warmth?
You'll be amazed. You can vary the base and insulation layers to address whatever the weather is. I am far more comfortable in my Patagonia shell with the appropriate base and insulation than I ever was in an insulated jacket. Takecontrol618 is right on!
post #19 of 22
Gunner,

Get pants that keep you dry, maybe $100 GoreTex from SierraTradingPost.com or something cheaper if you're always in dry snow, and a durable water repellent (cheaper and usually not as good as GoreTex) mountain parka. Note that the really expensive DWR stuff is very good. Get the fleece or other insulated layers you'll be comfortable in.

I like to add a silk scarf from a western wear store, and don't forget thin ski socks. Have fun.


Ken
post #20 of 22
.

Arc'teryx.

.
post #21 of 22

Consider Burton as well

I'd suggest considering Burton for outerwear as well. I've got an AK jacket and pants from last year that I found to be quite impressive in terms of functionality--they're reasonably breathable while still being extremely water-resistant; my only significant gripes are that (a) the hood doesn't fit over my helmet and (b) the pants aren't reinforced to deal with inner-edge damage (but that's to be expected with snowboard pants, I suppose). They're also lightweight while still being insulated, and both the jacket and pants have multiple vent zips to assist with thermoregulation.
post #22 of 22
I have a mix of stuff ranging from Helly Hansen, TNF, EMS, and Patagonia that I've just accumulated. I always use my mix of Capilenes (Patagonia) and Bergelenes (EMS) for my baselayers. I have a TNF Mountain Light Gore-Tex XCR Shell with a midweight fleece for those "warm New England days". I also have an insulated HH jacket (with HellyTech and pit zips!) for those "cold New England days". I find that the insulated jackets are warmer than a fleece + shell for some reason, my girlfriend is the exact opposite. For those days when it's -10 out, I usually add a microfleece under the insulated jacket. I'd just say try different things, but make sure you have something that allows you to breathe, because if you don't, your sweat will soak in and make you colder.
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