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Jackets - Breathable vs Wind Proof - Page 2

post #31 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
I'd be vary wary of Spyder deals on E-bay, there were a bunch of "deals" on Spyder gear for the last few seasons at unreal prices. Many of them were said to be cheap "knock off's" ... and I watched some sellers that seemingly had unlimited quantity letting stuff go for like $70 .. some were out of Korea ...
... and some are even out of China. I've been reading the articles to determine authentic vs fake as well. Not easy. One of the hint is supposed to be their model name. If I see it in Spyder's web, I am assuming it is real. Or is it?
post #32 of 55
Go with a good hardshell jacket in goretex with a good venting system (ie pitzips or equivelant). Goretex is the name of one waterproof/breathable membrane. There are others that are good. I would worry about a goretex knock off on an off brand of clothing. If it was a name brand (patagonia, marmot, cloudveil) I wouldn't worry as much. Get the DWR treatment and occasionally refresh it with a spray on or wash in product like Nikwax. Don't listen to Telerod! In my opinion he is flat out wrong about this and some other things he has said on this forum. Use a decent base layer made from a sythetic like poly-pro. The name brand stuff fits better and has a nicer feel and is more odor resistant, but you can save some money on this layer. You will also want a mid-layer like fleece or micro-fleece. Again the name brands are better, but you can save money here. I really like a synthetic insulation called primaloft. It's really warm (even when wet), breathes well and is not bulky like fleece. I also have a driclime wind shirt that is an amazing layer. Like primaloft, but not as warm and less bulky still. Softshells are popular with the backcountry crowd because they breath very well and are fairly water repellent. They are not that warm if you are not really burning the calaries hiking. I like hard shells as I am out in the extreme cold and am very hard on my gear. Some Columbia stuff is alright and pretty inexpensive. It won't do the job for me, but might be good enough for the casual user. It's been said in this thread that it's the model and not the manufacteror that matters. This is good advice. I've seen some pretty shakey North Face stuff at the place formerly known as Gart Sports. It's right next to the Columbia. North Face also makes some really great technical gear as well.
post #33 of 55
Re. SSH comments .... sure, I guess I "layer" under my insulated jacket. Lifa, then a t-neck on top. Just Lifa long underwear on the bottom under insulated ski pants. If it's really cold another micro fleece shirt or vest on top. That will get me down to -10 F. But to ski in a shell at that temp I would need a couple more "layers", likely to include a full fleece jacket which means I'm now wearing four layers including TWO full jackets.....and there you have it...I've become a stuffed snowman! I'm sure that the "layering" method works just fine, I just find it less comfortable and less convenient.

Re. Telerod15....the reason they put the Gortex on the inside is that it's a very thin and not very durable membrane. (think latex glove). It needs to be covered to hold up. By the way, this is also why all "waterproof" gear eventually becomes innefective. As the garment ages and is subject to the stress of movement etc. the waterproof membrane starts to break down, eventually causing the membrane to lose it's waterproof traits. This is most apparent in gloves which are put through a lot of stress. There is no cure, only precautions, the most important being not to expose the garment to heat (no clothes dryer) or harsh chemicals (dry cleaning or vodka!)
post #34 of 55
This is what I wear when it is single digits. Capaline base layer, Microfleece, Patagonia primaloft jacket, Hardshell jacket (Marmot or Cloudveil Koven), neck gaitor, helmut. Not that bulky. If it goes below zero I might add a patagonia R4 fleece. Which does bulk it up a bit, but not like a "stuffed snowman. You have to be crazy like a "stuffed snowman" to ski when its -20 anyway.
post #35 of 55
I couldn't agree more with ssh. I get by with nothing but thin base layers under my shell, and a zip-in vest when necessary. There is almost no bulk there. Even my occasional micro-fleece base layer is super thin. I like having thin insulating layers close to my body with low bulk, and the shell loose with no constraints anywhere.
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bootspur View Post
Re. SSH comments .... sure, I guess I "layer" under my insulated jacket. Lifa, then a t-neck on top. Just Lifa long underwear on the bottom under insulated ski pants. If it's really cold another micro fleece shirt or vest on top. That will get me down to -10 F. But to ski in a shell at that temp I would need a couple more "layers", likely to include a full fleece jacket which means I'm now wearing four layers including TWO full jackets.....and there you have it...I've become a stuffed snowman! I'm sure that the "layering" method works just fine, I just find it less comfortable and less convenient.
You'd be surprised, I suspect. I ski down well below zero in my three layers. I use a beefier base layer (Capilene 4 or Wool 4 from Patagonia) and a nice insulation layer (Patagonia R4 fleece) when its colder. No problem. Never more than three layers.

I was surprised at how great the modern layers are. They breathe amazingly well, insulate at all temps, and protect from the elements. I was astounded, and now really enjoy them. I'd much rather be in my Patagonia stuff than in my heavier uniform stuff.
post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiny View Post
... and some are even out of China. I've been reading the articles to determine authentic vs fake as well. Not easy. One of the hint is supposed to be their model name. If I see it in Spyder's web, I am assuming it is real. Or is it?
Just buy from a reputable shop or a reputable online place like sierratrading or backcountry. I got burned 4-5 years twice from two different sellers on a North Face jacket and pants. Unless you want to make a career out of determine whether a seller and their parts are legit, then just spend a little extra for piece of mind. Plus, I've returned stuff to backcountry and sierratradingpost and both experiences were superb. Sierratradingpost actually gave me instant credit and I purchased replacement products before I sent my return back, which was great since it was right before a trip.

I've had ok experience buying skis off of ebay, but I gave up on clothes a while back. However, my g/f got me new spy goggles off of ebay in October for my bday. It was one of the most popular Spy sellers on ebay and the price wasn't "too good to be true". I still put a 1% chance on them being fake because it's ebay.
post #38 of 55
More thoughts --
I ski a lot in the midwest and am never far from the base chalet or my car, so it is easy to shed or add layers as the weather dictates.

Skiing the mountains calls for more thought as what to wear. The day often starts cold and warms up considerably and the trip down (or a hike to the stash) generates lots of body heat, while the ride up can be cool.
I have learned to appreciate the value of layering, the built in vents and a pack that can hold a layer that I chose to shed.

One other thought on the "stuffed snowman/the Christmas Story movie little kid in the snowsuit" effect. I find too many layers in the arms very constricting, so when I need more warmth, I like to add a down vest.

My helmet is a Giro Fuse with adjustable venting.
post #39 of 55
Down is soo warm... I don't like skiing with it though because I feel like i'm compressing the loft when its layered over and I'm moving a lot. It's also bulky. On the few times I have used it, it seems to come out a bit damp. Down isn't warm when its wet, and it takes forever to dry and loft out properly again. Try the primaloft. I resisted it for years and now I really love it.
post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by skugrud View Post
More thoughts --
I ski a lot in the midwest and am never far from the base chalet or my car, so it is easy to shed or add layers as the weather dictates.

Skiing the mountains calls for more thought as what to wear. The day often starts cold and warms up considerably and the trip down (or a hike to the stash) generates lots of body heat, while the ride up can be cool.
I have learned to appreciate the value of layering, the built in vents and a pack that can hold a layer that I chose to shed.

One other thought on the "stuffed snowman/the Christmas Story movie little kid in the snowsuit" effect. I find too many layers in the arms very constricting, so when I need more warmth, I like to add a down vest.

My helmet is a Giro Fuse with adjustable venting.
I'm in the same camp. A vest is usually my first option as an additional layer. I have a north face apex vest which is pretty light. For my arms I usually have a base layer + north face tka100 fleece tshirt (long sleeve). Next in is the vest if necessary, then the polartec fleece.

The other thing I can't stand about layering is that almost every garment out there has a collar. I specifically look for fleeces and base layers without collars (base layers aren't as hard to find). Just a pet-peeve of mine, but I do agree with you, the less crap around the elbows and armpits the better. That's why I can't say this enough, buy the expensive layers that are thin yet keep you warm. It's worth the premium.
post #41 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post
Down is soo warm... I don't like skiing with it though because I feel like i'm compressing the loft when its layered over and I'm moving a lot. It's also bulky. On the few times I have used it, it seems to come out a bit damp. Down isn't warm when its wet, and it takes forever to dry and loft out properly again. Try the primaloft. I resisted it for years and now I really love it.
I agree. I have a Hot Chilis down jacket. I can't find any detail on it since I found it in a sales bin a few years back for $99 (down from $249). It's thick, like a north face 800 but maybe 2/3 as thick. It always comes out drenched and smelling like down (which smells like pee a little bit when wet, at least to me). It usually is my top most layer and if I'm wearing it, it's cold and I have at least three layers on under that. The fact that it's so wet tells me two things: 1) My bottom three base layers are wicking real well (since they're not really wet). 2) The down jacket has absolutely no wicking ability.

I now consider it a life or death garment that is for the absolute worst conditions. I over-used it last season and with my new polartec fleece, I don't plan on using it at all.
post #42 of 55
FWIW...I've been using a North Face 100 in 1 jacket for a year now, and I must say it's pretty damn good.
The inner jacket is basicall a polartec insulated softshell with a few pockets and pit zips to keep cool.
The outer shell is simply a lightweight, seam sealed, breathable shell with multiple pockets, venting options and a removeable hood.
Each of them on their own work very well, and together they keep me warm and dry in some pretty miserable temps.
I only need to go from lightweight base layers to midweight on the most miserable days.
It works for me, and I was always the guy who was freezing on the lift.

Mike
post #43 of 55
Thread Starter 
All these posts are very informative! Thanks everyone.

So, if I get the following, would it be sufficient for Toronto skiing?

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/,...x-For-Men.html

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/,...o-For-Men.html

Never heard of Lowe Alpine but I trust they are ok.

Is it worth going for XCR version of Gore Tex for another $50?
post #44 of 55
I have been using and selling GT and similar fabrics to skiers, runners, backpackers and posers for a looooong time. In general, these fabrics all work to one extent or another but they are not perfect. The closer they get to raingear, the worse they breathe. Despite the breathability ratings, the best assurance of staying fairly dry in high output conditions is quality, well thought out venting.

I currently sell North Face, Colombia, Patagonia, Helly, and Spyder (among others) Many of these brands offer high quality, high priced stuff. The best thought out garment that I have seen this year is the Spyder "Outturn" from their non race Venom collection. It has a great fabric and feel, the best venting, a great collar and wind flaps and it is properly sized for the typical American. I am not really suggesting this garment to the OP, just mentioning in light of a negative comment or two about Spyder.

An unbeleivable deal on a major name from e-prey is highly risky....don't do it.

As an aside, asking..."will this keep me warm?"............is impossible to answer.

SJ
post #45 of 55
Tiny,
Those look like decent options, and the Sierra Trading site has good deals. Lowe is a very well-made brand.

A couple comments, suggestions. The removable hood on the jacket is a nice option, esp. if you can remember where you stored it when you need it
One thing to strongly consider is a jacket with pit zips. I have an EMS goretex shell, with a zip-in mid/heavy fleece liner, both of which have pit zips, helpful to release excess steam after a monster run, while in the lift line!!!

I add either a thin polyprop layer or my heavier underarmor tops/bottoms, depending on the location and weather, and sometimes another thin fleece shirt on top.

One thing I am seriously considering this year is some heated gloves I recently saw, I think they were from Gordini. My fingers get cold, and the electrics seem cool, though they were about $125 or so.

Rap
post #46 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by skugrud View Post
2. Unless you ski in the rain, you do not need the waterproofness and extra expense some of the high tech waterproof/breathable fabrics have.
I definitely disagree. If you ski in storms a lot, waterproof jackets come in really handy. My old shell wasn't very waterproof at all, and on mild snowy days (temps in the 20's), I would get soaked because snow would gather on the jacket and melt (lift rides, for example). It worked for the time being, but I am definitely glad I upgraded to a more waterproof jacket.

One note on waterproofness. There is a difference between waterproof and water repellent. Water repellent is what makes moisture bead up on the outside and run off, waterproof keeps any water from soaking through the jacket all the way to the inside. Water repellency wears out over time and must be updated with spray products, wash-in products, or in some cases just running the garment through a warm or hot drying machine. If you don't do this periodically, the outer layer of the fabric on an old jacket can get soaked. Water won't get inside the jacket due to the waterproofing, but this soaked layer of fabric will kill the breathability.
post #47 of 55
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I re-read every message on this thread, and did more research. It is more clear to me now...

I will definitely go with a shell, an underlayer and a base layer. I'm still looking at the link I posted earlier on Lowe Alpine stuff. Went through SierraTrading again and ended up with the same conclusion again.

I do have a question on the base layer - is cotton still a big no no at this level? It seem so odd (to me) to not wear cotton as your most under layers. I understand that you don't want these layers to absorb sweat but it feels so counter intuitive based on how I was raised. Do non-cotton layers still feel comfortable touching directly against your skin for many hours?
post #48 of 55
Cotton is comfortable except when wet. In the summer, it's great as that will keep you cool. in the winter, it can kill you as the retained moisture in the fabric will increase your convective cooling rate. Go with polyester (NOT polypropylene) or wool, if you're a natural fabric guy. Recommended material vendors are Malden Mills or Milliken. Recommended next to skin garment vendors are Patagonia, UnderArmor, Marmot, etc.

I think what this thread tells you is that there are a million opinions (just like ski preference) regarding what to wear and how to wear it. No one answer works for everyone in every situation. The best approach is to invest in an array of garments that gives you the flexibility to adjust you garment suite for any particular conditions. Even then, you can still get it wrong on some days. But on most days, you will be warm, dry and comfortable. :
post #49 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
I have been using and selling GT and similar fabrics to skiers, runners, backpackers and posers for a looooong time. In general, these fabrics all work to one extent or another but they are not perfect. The closer they get to raingear, the worse they breathe. Despite the breathability ratings, the best assurance of staying fairly dry in high output conditions is quality, well thought out venting.
That's what I'm trying to say. It's all about the vents. And the trade-off between breathing and waterproofness.

It does keep you warm. I rode today in goretex base layer (Windstopper N2S, not "waterproof"), with another base layer under the top and shorts under the bottoms. Nothing else. That stuff is warm. I love it. Every one else was bundled, gloves, face mask, I'm running around in my underwear. Sweet!

I've got a nice Helly Hanson rain jacket that was $30 that I will use when it's really nasty out. It is not breathable, the water will bead up, run off the rubber outside of this jacket forever. I'm pretty sure it will work better than Goretex for me.

If it's not raining or wet snow, I don't see the need for rain gear. Sorry. It's expensive and not necessary for most ski days. I have that stuff, but I save it for when I need it. As others had mentioned, it wears out.
post #50 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiny View Post
Ok, so I re-read every message on this thread, and did more research. It is more clear to me now...

I will definitely go with a shell, an underlayer and a base layer. I'm still looking at the link I posted earlier on Lowe Alpine stuff. Went through SierraTrading again and ended up with the same conclusion again.

I do have a question on the base layer - is cotton still a big no no at this level? It seem so odd (to me) to not wear cotton as your most under layers. I understand that you don't want these layers to absorb sweat but it feels so counter intuitive based on how I was raised. Do non-cotton layers still feel comfortable touching directly against your skin for many hours?
Yes, the base layer and insulating layer are as important as the shell. Good deduction.

Cotton feels better against your skin because it absorbs sweat. Synthetics are hydrophobic and will leave the wet on your skin. If you ski with a cotton base layer, you will die.
post #51 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
Cotton feels better against your skin because it absorbs sweat. Synthetics are hydrophobic and will leave the wet on your skin. If you ski with a cotton base layer, you will die.

Actually, cotton feels better because it is a natural fiber and has great material properties like softness. When it absorbs moisture, it holds it and it just feels damp or wet, which is typically perceived as uncomfortable. Synthetics, like polyester, are actually hydrophilic and will wick moisture away from your skin, leaving you feeling dry(er) and more comfortable. Synthetics then rapidly evaporate the moisture away, allowing them to wick more moisture. Very amazing stuff.

Under extreme conditions (wet & cold), wearing cotton will increase heat loss and could lead to dire consequences. It is best to avoid cotton if there is any chance you will sweat.
post #52 of 55
I have never heard of anyone dieing form hypothermia from a day skiing lift served because they wore cotton. If you were skiing out of bounds and got lost and had to spend a night out. You might be hosed though.

But, but but, a high performance base layer is key whether you get a shell or an insulated jacket. Most times I am wearing a jacket, pant, baselayers, and little else.
post #53 of 55
My entire wardrobe can fit in a boot bag......uhhhh......it doesn't, but it could.

Patagonia C-1 (2) Marmot 'wind pro' fleece P/O, 100 wt. fleece vest, hardshell.

On moderately cold days I'll wear two baselayers or one base and the 'wind pro'. If it's real cold, I'll add the fleece vest. With that minimalist combo, I'd go anywhere in N.A.

Wellllll.........there was a week in Alberta in December where I wore an insulated coat and was glad to have it. (real glad).

SJ
post #54 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiny View Post
I do have a question on the base layer - is cotton still a big no no at this level? It seem so odd (to me) to not wear cotton as your most under layers. I understand that you don't want these layers to absorb sweat but it feels so counter intuitive based on how I was raised. Do non-cotton layers still feel comfortable touching directly against your skin for many hours?
Once you use the more effective modern base layers, you'll understand. I use both (Merino) wool and poly (Patagonia Capilene). Like you, I wore cotton for years. I'll never do it again.

And, yes, it can get serious if the weather turns and you can't get inside and the cotton is wet! :
post #55 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
My entire wardrobe can fit in a boot bag......uhhhh......it doesn't, but it could
Mine, too. Especially with the welded seams, even the hardshell layers compress pretty darn well!
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