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shell vs. insulation?

Poll Results: Shells or insulated?

 
  • 61% (48)
    Shell
  • 6% (5)
    insulation
  • 29% (23)
    one of each
  • 2% (2)
    flawed poll (because all are)
78 Total Votes  
post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Do you prefer a shell or insulated jackets? Why?
post #2 of 41
Shells all the way baby. Better layering versitilty. Sometimes I layer a patagucci R4 fleece and Primaloft puff jacket under the shell. I have never liked my shell to be insulated itself. I think that an unisulated shell breathes better.
post #3 of 41
The Karbon and Phenix jackets we were required to buy as ski instructors spoiled me into insulated. They usually had enough vents for warm days, and if it got too warm I would layer down to a fleece vest or a CR-X insulated tee. I think shells remind me too much of the knock-off North Face jacket I once got from a friend in China .
post #4 of 41
I have been spoiled by (lightly) insulated jackets too. I only use shells when touring now.
post #5 of 41
I'm always ten years behind what everyone else is doing gear wise. I used shells exclusively in the early 80s. Now I only use them in spring. I'm rockin a fart bag or jacket with stretch pants. The stretch pants are even black


But, I'm a warm skier looking like an idiot.
post #6 of 41
I'm hot far more often than I"m cold. I haven't worn an insulated jacket when skiing in probably almost 20 years. Now that I ski mostly in the PNW, where it doesn't get as cold, I'll probably never wear an insulated jacket. The only day I ever remember really being too cold was a day when it was -15 at the base of Stowe, and then it was really my head and hands and feet that were too cold.

Shell all the way, baby.
post #7 of 41
Layering - it's what it's all about

capilene
fleece sweater
down vest
soft shell
hard shell

Some combination of the above is right for almost all days.
post #8 of 41
Both.

Shell with a down "sweater" underneath.

Colorado's too cold to not have good insulation.

I've given-up on "fleece", and layers. It takes to many on real cold days, and they bunch-up.

A good shell protects against the elements, and thin down (800 fill) insulates with excellent efficiency.
post #9 of 41
Either... depends on the weather.

If it is nice out (read 0F and above) I'll layer under a shell.

If it's not so nice out (read down to -30F plus wind) I'll layer under a puffy.

post #10 of 41
I have both. It depends on the weather and what I am doing that day.
post #11 of 41
Insulated jacket. I'm lazy. It's easy, simple, only one item to worry about. It it's too warm I can take it off.
post #12 of 41
For me it's a shell with a couple of layers underneath. The types of layers depend on how cold it is. I've only been wearing a shell for the last two seasons and before that it was all insulated all the time. I found Insulated jackets are great if you are just cruising around but if you plan to work hard, attacking what ever it is you love to ski then a shell cant be beat. Back in my insulated jacket days my goggles fogged often when I worked up a sweat skiing the trees. Once I went to a shell, no more fog on the goggles and it's easy to "dump heat" when going hard.
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strato View Post
Both.

Shell with a down "sweater" underneath.

Colorado's too cold to not have good insulation.

I've given-up on "fleece", and layers. It takes to many on real cold days, and they bunch-up.

A good shell protects against the elements, and thin down (800 fill) insulates with excellent efficiency.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPowHound View Post
Either... depends on the weather.

If it is nice out (read 0F and above) I'll layer under a shell.

If it's not so nice out (read down to -30F plus wind) I'll layer under a puffy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
I have both. It depends on the weather and what I am doing that day.

Me too! I have many jackets, vests, mid-layers, base-layers...insulated, lightly-insulated, non-insulated, soft-shell, hard-shell, wool, synthetics, down...puffy, sleek...

I wear what's appropriate for the day...don't you hate it when you get it wrong?
post #14 of 41
If I didn't end up sweating like a pig or skied somewhere that didn't require a hike in or out I'd try skiing in an insulated jacket.

Where do you guys ski that regularly gets down to -30F without windchill? Antarctica?
post #15 of 41
I generally have to contend with a 50 mph wind chill on calm days.
post #16 of 41
^^^^^^^

Yeah, I know all about wind. But I don't think I've ever experienced -30F before even considering windchill or rad high speed skiing and I've lived at Big Sky. Does it really get that bitterly cold in VT?
post #17 of 41
I have both. I use the shell probably 85% of the time with the appropriate layers, depending on the situation. I am not a fan of fleece, so it's a warm sweater or light down puffy for a layer if it's colder. The heavy insulated jacket is best for cold low humidity powder storms, or very cold clear days rarely with a layer.
JF
post #18 of 41
It doesn't usually get that cold in most parts of Ontario Canada, but then again an insulated "FarWest" ski jacket isn't that warm either. If it's colder than say 0 F, which is a noteworthy day, I will need more warmth.
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
^^^^^^^

Yeah, I know all about wind. But I don't think I've ever experienced -30F before even considering windchill or rad high speed skiing and I've lived at Big Sky. Does it really get that bitterly cold in VT?
Rarely, but it does.

The worst I've seen was at Sugarloaf USA, in January '94 (I think?) - it was below -40 degrees (C or F, take your pick!) and with absolutely wicked wind. The reported windchill (using the old formula, granted) was -95 degrees at the peak! YIKES! As you might imagine, the peak was closed, but I think they kept the lower lifts open.

EDIT: Also, don't forget about Mount Washington in NH- http://www.mountwashington.com/weather/index.html - how's 231mph wind sound? Tuckerman Ravine, anyone?

I find that the humidity in the east makes temps feel MUCH colder than the same temp in the west - I generally add 10 degrees to whatever temp it is out west to figure out what to wear compared to what I wear in the east.
post #20 of 41

Insulated or Shell

HAVE both, Karbon insulated jacket and MtHard Shell.

Doesn't get too warm up here unless we are talking May.

Wear jacket/insulated when teaching and just regular skiing on groomers and a little off etc.

Wear shell when skiing off piste, some BC, hiking for powder etc.,Karbon insul. coat is too warm if really skiing the whole mt.
post #21 of 41
I prefer layering so I use a shell. I have many insulated jackets but use only the shells. You can always put on or take off a layer if needed.
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post
Shells all the way baby. Better layering versitilty...... I think that an unisulated shell breathes better.
What he said right there.
post #23 of 41
Well, everyone layers, unless you just wear your jacket over bare skin. (Very 70's image ) More a question of how much energy you want to put into layers on, layers off. For years did the whole deal, but calibrating which temp range I wanted each am, what to do with the damn things as they came off, stopping all the time to fine tune; it became weirdly ritualistic. Now a well-vented lightly insulated jacket takes care of 80% of everything; put it on my pack when postholing, wear fleece underneath when it gets seriously cold, go to a light shell in the spring when it's 40 degrees and bluebird.
post #24 of 41
A few of each. And the older I get, the more I'm liking insulated. But if I ever hike, the suck like no other.
post #25 of 41
Hard to believe that nobody finds a shell with a zip-in liner to be the bomb. I'm on my 2nd Marmot component jacket (TNF and others makes 'em too). I love having a single jacket that has the convenience of an insulated jacket (i.e., one less layer/zipper to deal with) but can be a shell when it needs to. To me this concept is the ANSWER!

Oh and BTW - no matter what approach you think is best I would argue that pit-zips is the real key to temperature control (what an great idea that was - huh?).
post #26 of 41
Both for me.... for those really bone chilling cold & windy, my spyder insulated jacket keeps me much warmer than a shell with layers. But 90% of the time I'll be wearing a shell.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski-ra View Post
Hard to believe that nobody finds a shell with a zip-in liner to be the bomb. I'm on my 2nd Marmot component jacket (TNF and others makes 'em too). I love having a single jacket that has the convenience of an insulated jacket (i.e., one less layer/zipper to deal with) but can be a shell when it needs to. To me this concept is the ANSWER!

Oh and BTW - no matter what approach you think is best I would argue that pit-zips is the real key to temperature control (what an great idea that was - huh?).
i have a marmot gore-tex shell and compatible zip-in fleece. i can't remember the last time i actually zipped the fleece in. it sounded like a good idea, but i don't really see the advantage to zipping the fleece in vs. just wearing it as a layer. the extra zipper just adds weight. come to think of it, the gore-tex part is useless too. it's unnecessary in cold weather and in the rain, you just get wet from the inside instead of the outside.
post #28 of 41
I wear soft shell with insulation layer(s) 60% of the time.
Hard shell with insulation layer(s) 10% of the time.
Insulated soft shell w/no venting 30% of the time.

I'm most comfortable on days when the insulated jacket is appropriate.
post #29 of 41
I wear a shell with a little insulation and layering most of the time.
I have a heavy down jacket for brutal days.
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by epl View Post
i have a marmot gore-tex shell and compatible zip-in fleece. i can't remember the last time i actually zipped the fleece in. it sounded like a good idea, but i don't really see the advantage to zipping the fleece in vs. just wearing it as a layer. the extra zipper just adds weight.
I too never understood the whole "zip-in" thing.
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