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Patrol jacket recommendations

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
HI folks,

Kind of a basic question, but before I make a purchase I thought I'd pick your brains for a bit...

I need to purchase a full patrol jacket with crosses for this season and have been pointed to Mountain Uniforms online as the best source. I'm considering between the mid-length Patrol Jacket and the Rescue Jacket with zip-off sleeves (converting it to rescue vest). I can read and see the basic differences in each, but I'd be interested in hearing your opinions of these two outerwear options before I make my decision.

My initial interest is in the Rescue Jacket simply because all the pockets can negate the need for a rescue pack (I patrol at a very small hill and need minimal gear compared to huge mountains or backcountry patrollers).

Yet the mid-length Patrol Jacket appeals to me because of the length and style (and a fanny pack may not be that big a deal).

Is the quality of construction or ease of use/movement similar in each option? Does it come down to personal preference, or is one option better than the other?

Thanks for your thoughts and advice.

Cheers,
post #2 of 24
I also patrol at a small resort. I have a Mountain Uniforms parka. I have been please with the quality.

Our patrol requires you to have a fanny pack or vest. I don't like the fanny pack, because it keeps falling down, due to a lack of hips. I will be wearing a vest this year. I would have seriously consider the Rescue Jacket. The only drawback is that I personally like a parka style coat. Other than that I would get the convertible.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the thoughts, Fischermh. I, too, like the looks of the parka but the functionality of the rescue jacket. Hmmm! Skiing here the last couple years has been interesting. Some days are rather moderate and others are downright miserably cold. So the flexibility of a jacket with zip-off sleeves sounds appealing. Then again, the longer length of the parka may shed more snow on the powder days and keep me warmer on the cold ones. But...

Geez. I think I'll just flip a coin.

-- Heads --

Parka it is! :
post #4 of 24
I have both, from Mountain Uniforms. They are very good quality, though more a shell than a true heavy parka (so wear stuf funderneath the way you are supposed to). I patrol in the parka (mid-length) with a fanny pack, but have the zip-off sleeve version for a SAR team I belong to (different insignia than ski patrol but otherwise the same; our whole SAR team has them) and they are terrific. You can carry lots in the pockets, there's a camelback pocket in the back, and you can zip off the sleeves and stuff them in the "game pouch" if it warms up. Happy with both, but if I had it to do over again I'd probably buy the ski patrol version of the zip-off vest to patrol in. Two downsides - these are not real Goretex, but they still do a pretty good job of keeping you dry. And with the vest, the radio is exposed which is tough in bad weather. But well made, good looking, good company, reasonable price. If you get the vest version and plan to carry much stuff in the pockets you should probably go up one size.

nypatroller
post #5 of 24
I use a vest from Patagonia and like it because i can ware whatever jacket under it I want depending on the weather
post #6 of 24

Whatever happened to...

..."Mountain parkas"? I still have a red, wool-lined LL Bean parka that I wear more than any other jacket I own. They were great for ski patrol, SAR, recreational skiing, wearing around town. Woolrich/LL Bean and Sierra Designs (the venerable "60/40 Parka") made most of them, and now you can't find them anyplace.

That being said, I have two jackets for ski patrol. I have a Mountain Uniforms waist-length micro-fleece jacket for tracked areas and special events (races) and a hip-length red LL Bean "mountain anorak" shell for backcountry patrol. I use a fanny pack with the jacket and a large daypack (Jansport Osprey) for remote groomed trails as well as in wilderness/near-wilderness areas over the anorak. The Bean anorak was going for less than $30.00 last time they had them on the website. You can supposedly still get them by special order. We had our patrol logo and wording screen-printed on the sleeves.

Steger Mukluks made a really nice, slightly longer anorak/cagoule for a number of years, and the fleece liners to go with them, but they cut out that line to concentrate on mukluks. Wintergreen Northern Wear, also in Ely, MN, ( http://wintergreendesigns.com) make fantastic but spendy gear, and I know the ski patrol up there uses some Wintergreen items.

Ski safe,
Hans
post #7 of 24
My dad and I, and nearly everyone on my patrol wears mountain uniform.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by trochilids View Post
HI folks,

Kind of a basic question, but before I make a purchase I thought I'd pick your brains for a bit...

I need to purchase a full patrol jacket with crosses for this season and have been pointed to Mountain Uniforms online as the best source. I'm considering between the mid-length Patrol Jacket and the Rescue Jacket with zip-off sleeves (converting it to rescue vest). I can read and see the basic differences in each, but I'd be interested in hearing your opinions of these two outerwear options before I make my decision.

My initial interest is in the Rescue Jacket simply because all the pockets can negate the need for a rescue pack (I patrol at a very small hill and need minimal gear compared to huge mountains or backcountry patrollers).

Yet the mid-length Patrol Jacket appeals to me because of the length and style (and a fanny pack may not be that big a deal).

Is the quality of construction or ease of use/movement similar in each option? Does it come down to personal preference, or is one option better than the other?

Thanks for your thoughts and advice.

Cheers,
I needed to buy a vest to supplement my mountain-supplied parka, so when I saw the Zip-off sleeves for not much more money, I jumped on it. It is now my primary garrment. I wear it over a winter jacket when it's cold but dry, wear it over a goretex shell when it's raining, when it's going to be warm, I wear it alone with the sleeves at 7am, then zip the sleeves off when it gets warm, then put the sleeved back on at 4:30 for sweep. About the only time I wear my parka now is on snowmaking days.
A good friend tried the pocket stuffing thing, his radio name will forever be "Lumpy". I use a fanny pack with all these combos.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2-turn View Post
A good friend tried the pocket stuffing thing, his radio name will forever be "Lumpy". I use a fanny pack with all these combos.
Classic!

Point well made. I did order a parka from Mtn Uniform. Excellent service, fast, friendly. A+++++++++++

Ooops. Wrong forum. :

The parka fits great and I think I'll be pleased with it. May get a zip-off vest at some point, but up here in Alaska I'm thinking that if it's THAT warm, I might just wear a fleece...

Thanks again for the comments, everyone.
post #10 of 24
DON'T GET MOUNTAIN UNIFORMS!

The gear they make is nothing short of horrific. Out of our 65 Pros, there are less than 10 who can stand to wear the zip-off sleeves of the vest/jacket, and less than that who can stand the uniform pants (soaking wet ass on the first chair of the day anyone?)

While the quality of construction might be fine, the materials are unbelievable. I actually believe they defy basic laws of physics for their ability be both non-waterproof AND non-breathable.

If you want a jacket or vest, Patagonia makes patrol uniforms that are great and probably cost less (on pro form) than Mountain Uniforms. Spyder Coach's bibs are as good as it gets and have built in knee pads, but are insulated and hot.

I wear my vest with a black Patagonia White Smoke jacket under it if it's snowing or cold (it has a great hood and we are required to have either red or black sleeves), or a black wind resistant fleece if it's warm and the Patagonia Rubicon Pants. I highly recommend both (I think the White Smoke may have been replaced with the Light Smoke this season)
post #11 of 24
I don't have the MU pants or zip off jacket, but I have had the exact opposite experience with my MU parka. It is both waterproof and breathable. Skiing in Ohio the past two seasons, I have had plenty of experience skiing in the rain. Mine was a great deal for $185.
post #12 of 24
The Flash Jacket is only $179 and the Vest is $89, both in the NSP Catalog, and I'll take Patagonia over most other companies, certainly over MU, especially when it's cheaper. I'm glad Fischer had good luck, he's one of the few i've ever heard. And who knows, maybe it's different when you're wearing it once in a while (I'm not sure how often you patrol) vs 9-10 hours a day, 5 days a week.
post #13 of 24
For the same price given the choice between Patagonia and MU, I would also choose Patagonia.

I probably average about 20 hours a week. Maybe I just got lucky with my coat.
post #14 of 24
For the past five years I've worn a Mountain Uniform Vest under the Mountain Uniform Shell. This combo is good to about 10 or so. That covers 90 to 95 percent of the weather here. Using the Vest at all times (sometimes under the shell) gets you used to having the equipment in the same place all the time.
post #15 of 24
We get all our parkas from Mountain Hardwear. Waterproof, durable and breathable. They make bomber clothes period. Id also recommend Patagonia too.
For vests I would recommend Ski Area Supplies out of boulder. Super high quality. Great service too. They do custom orders even if its just one item.
They got tons of gear. They sell an awesome 25$ leather work glove too. Its not on their site but its made by Kinko.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptpowder View Post
We get all our parkas from Mountain Hardwear. Waterproof, durable and breathable. They make bomber clothes period. .
.

Does Mountain Hardware sell individual jackets, I mean can I buy one , or do they still just do multi piece large orders? If so what is the contact info? Thanks
post #17 of 24
You can buy individual jackets/vests from Mountain Uniform. Price is slightly higher for an individual vs. group order (or put another way, group buys get a discount). Contact info is here: http://mountainuniforms.com/ For buying individual items, go here: http://www.mountainouterwear.com/

No - I'm not affiliated with them, but our patrol went to these two seasons ago and they have been fine so far. Waterproof - yes. Breathable - mostly. A lot depends on conditions and layering (as with any jacket). Highly recommended, although admittedly, our area pays for the jackets (the jacket is "on loan" to us each season).
post #18 of 24
Some of our peeps are using the Mountain Hardware and they seem to be very nice , any gear i have from them has been indestructable . no powder skirt on their patrol jacket but If you have a waist pouch or strap , a moot point I guess.
post #19 of 24
Kind of a "JONG-ish" question here, but what's the difference between the rust/blue & red/white jackets? I worked at an area as an instructor where the patrol all wore the rust/blue, but I don't see them very often any more. Mainly the red/white's at most areas I ski at.

Is it a different affiliation?
post #20 of 24
no just the passage of time.

Rust and blue has been phased out, for the most part, replaced by red.

Although some areas use their own colors, for instance I think Copper (Co.)wears Yellow.

Even when Rust and Blue was the predominant color, some areas still used ther own colors. Brodie Mountain (now defunct) here in western mass was knicknamed Kelly's Irish Alps and as a result, wore green jackets.
post #21 of 24
I have both rust/blue MountainUniforms and red/black patagonia. The patagonia is well above the Mountain Uniforms in terms of quality for me. I have the patrol vest from Mountain Uniforms and the flash primo jacket from patagonia.

-Phil
post #22 of 24
Even though it's a late reply, I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents for future readers. I bought the Mountain Uniform parka (mid-length) rather than the Patagonia through the NSP catalog. I'm glad I did.The Patagonia has no radio pocket and I don't believe it's set up that well for patrolling. The MU parka has a removable hood, powder skirt, radio pocket and loop for the mike, etc. I was wearing it on a day with 45 mph winds and rain storms...went out 4 times. Stayed absolutely dry. My opinion, but I made the right move with MU.
post #23 of 24

I have since ditched the MU parka and went to a Patagonia vest.  The MU parka was rust and blue. Our patrol has switched to red and this season is the last one we can wear rust.  That being said, I switched to the vest, because I absolutely abhor the fanny pack.  If we wear a vest, we do not have to use a fanny pack.

 

I bought a Clouldveil Hobacks coat at TJ Maxx, a Marmot Soft Shell at Marshalls and a North Face Fleece coat at a local thrift shop.  Depending on the weather, I wear one of the three jackets under the vest.

post #24 of 24

I love my Mountain Uniforms jacket along with a Cascade Vest.  Covers most of possible conditions.  Don't buy for bluebird days but for the rain, sleet and sub zero weather.

 

It's snowing in WV!

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