New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Shell Jackets

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I will apologize upfront for continuing to beat the perverbial dead horse, but I have a couple of questions regarding jackets.

I have searched this subject to death within this forum, the Goretex website, google, etc. and I have learned that a lot has to do with opinion. So I figured that I would explain how I layer, what I wear and what I use it for, and then you guys can blow holes in my garment selections and recommend new options.

I ski mostly in Maine at Sunday River. Typical day is freakin cold, (it was around minus 10 last Saturday - pre any windchill factors). Of course, in typical New England fashion, it could be forty later in the afternoon. It also tends to be quite windy, with winds in the twenties fairly often. We had windchills New Year's day which made the relative temps minus 33; frosty.

To date, I have taken the cheap route with jackets. I always wear a decent, snug fitting base layer, a lightly insulated Marker jacket, and my $30 insulated Stryke as the outer layer. When it is very cold, I will add a fleece vest. So, I basically look like the Michelin man, but I stay fairly warm. The coat over coat strategy is what I use to really cut the wind. Without the Marker (which is very light in weight) the wind just cuts through the outer layer. I have been doing this for a long time and it works, but it would be nice to cut some bulk and weight.

So, if I am going to make a change and blow some serious dough on a shell, I want something that will be the best for the conditions I usually encounter. I also, hike, mountain bike, fish, etc., but the primary use is skiing. My backcountry excursions are usually very limited, however, I should note that the minute I have to skate with the skis at the mountain or hike, I sweat out and I am unzipping left and right. I am pretty skinny, and usually don't sweat much, but I am sure my current setup works like a suana.

There are four types of Goretex options and countless other materials. Is the Pro that much better than Performance? Given the conditions I ski, I am certainly leaning towards a hardshell. How about the other material options. is there truly a significant difference in how they perform?

Finally, I do not see much of a difference in price when looking at different brands that offer the Gore Tex Pro, as an example. What am I missing here? It seems that the better riced options have more to do with proprietary materials.

Thanks in advance

Pete
post #2 of 13
The more expensive membrane will retain its characteristics longer, and is more breathable and water resistant to begin with.
post #3 of 13
I have a Marmot goretex XCR shell, very breathable and waterproof.
I have also used Marmot's Membrain shell jacket and have not noticed any differences in breathability or waterproofness.
Goretex is manufactured diffferently than other waterproof breathable garments, (which may be sprayed onto the fabric),
Goretex should last longer .
Just be sure your next parka has enough features that you will use and that the zippers, hood and pockets are functional in harsh conditions
post #4 of 13
Arcteryx Sidewinder AR or SV. Both shells are top notch. About as good as you can get! And huge pit zips to help you out on those warm New England afternoons
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladat View Post
I have a Marmot goretex XCR shell, very breathable and waterproof.
I have also used Marmot's Membrain shell jacket and have not noticed any differences in breathability or waterproofness.
Goretex is manufactured diffferently than other waterproof breathable garments, (which may be sprayed onto the fabric),
Goretex should last longer .
Just be sure your next parka has enough features that you will use and that the zippers, hood and pockets are functional in harsh conditions
Goretex uses a DWR coating, as do most membrane based products.
post #6 of 13
OK, if you are searching for easy answers, get a GoreTex SoftShell or Pro shell from a reputable manufacturer (Arcteryx, Marmot, Cloudveil, etc.) and you will be happy with it. Despite the name, GoreTex softShell is not a soft shell, it is the same hard shell with a bit of a plushr lining that makes the garment smoother and quieter, overal a great choice for Maine skiing. If Cloudveil fits you, buy their RPK parka and you will be set. Arcteryx Stingray or Sidewinder are also great choices.

The new kid on the block is eVent fabrics, and it has substantial advantages for people skiing in warm CA weather, but in NE you will need GoreTex. Patagonia uses their own laminate that is pretty much as good as GoreTex, so it their stuff fits, buy it.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post
OK, if you are searching for easy answers, get a GoreTex SoftShell or Pro shell from a reputable manufacturer (Arcteryx, Marmot, Cloudveil, etc.) and you will be happy with it. Despite the name, GoreTex softShell is not a soft shell, it is the same hard shell with a bit of a plushr lining that makes the garment smoother and quieter, overal a great choice for Maine skiing. If Cloudveil fits you, buy their RPK parka and you will be set. Arcteryx Stingray or Sidewinder are also great choices.

The new kid on the block is eVent fabrics, and it has substantial advantages for people skiing in warm CA weather, but in NE you will need GoreTex. Patagonia uses their own laminate that is pretty much as good as GoreTex, so it their stuff fits, buy it.
My main issue with the eVent products is the lack of vents, even though they claim they don't need vents.
post #8 of 13
watch www.steepandcheap.com and buy a good shell made by Arcteryx, Marmot, Cloudveil, Mountain Hardwear... Should just take a day or two if you aren't picky on color.

One thing I wanted to toss out there - I picked up a 66 degrees north softshell on SAC cheap last year and have been very impressed as long I have some sort of mid layer (don't have to be much but there needs to be something there).
post #9 of 13

eVent products do not indeed need pitzips...

Quote:
Originally Posted by karpiel View Post
My main issue with the eVent products is the lack of vents, even though they claim they don't need vents.
I have an eVent shell (Westcomb), and I didn't need pitzips during very warm spring skiing last year in Tahoe; I was comfortable even after hiking uphill a fair distance (carrying skis). The real problem with eVent shells is that they breathe so well that they are quite cold; so if you are used to wearing only a thin fleece under your GoreTex, you will need a heavier weight fleece under an eVent shell. So, the lack of pitzips will be your least problem. If anything an event shell is just too breathable for a New England ski area use, or for any cold western mountain (JH, etc.). My usual shell is a GoreTex, but when it is warm, I take out the eVent.

If I recall correctly, Westcomb initially put pitzips on their shells and then just stopped doing that; indeed- no need.

Alex
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments. The softshell vs. hardshell is even more confusing. Is it just the inner coating that is different? I thought it would be the exterior,thus the better wind and water resistance with the hardshell. I figured that the hardshell provided better protection during high wind days, and rain of course.

P
post #11 of 13
In general, softshells are more breathable and less water resistant than hard shells. Wind protection can be had with both the hard shell and the soft shell (for instance, a Windstopper jacket). Arc'Teryx calls its Stingray and Scorpion lines soft shells because of their feel, but the operate closer to a hard shell.

CJ
post #12 of 13
I had a jacket that was the most breathable that goretex was making for mountain hardware at the time. I wore it on a cold day with wind over about 3 layers and I froze on the chair. problem: some of these jackets are for backcountry skiing, lots of hiking, super breathable. thing is, when the wind increases the wicking, they just don't hold any heat. so, don't go overboard on the breathable, super light weight fabric unless you wear a substantial layer under it. I like the thicker goretex by Marmot now, and wear my arcteryx softshell under it for cold days.
post #13 of 13
Hardshells have the laminate which will make them waterproof ,and breathable. If you get one jacket, make it a hard shell.
You can layer up for warmth and it will always be wind and waterproof all season ong
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion