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Jacket advice: Pro shell (stiff and crinkly) vs. Gore Tex soft shell?... RPK, Sidewinder, Stingray - Page 2

post #31 of 47

I have both the Arcteryx Theta AR (proshell) and the Scorpion (softshell). While I love both jackets, I definitely spend a lot more time skiing in my Scorpion. I really like how it is quieter and has just a little bit more warmth (without being insulated). Also, the main difference between the Scorpion and the Stingray is that the Scorpion has a slightly loftier internal fleece bonded to the goretex than the Stingray. It basically makes the jacket just a little bit warmer. I feel like there are very little, if any, differences in breathability and waterproofness between the proshell and softshell. If there are any differences, they are a result of the different backing material and nylon that the goretex membrane is bonded too. Finally, I have been lucky enough to get to try out lots of different companies products, but I definitely think Arcteryx is by far the best!

post #32 of 47

I have both the Arcteryx Theta AR (proshell) and the Scorpion (softshell). While I love both jackets, I definitely spend a lot more time skiing in my Scorpion. I really like how it is quieter and has just a little bit more warmth (without being insulated). Also, the main difference between the Scorpion and the Stingray is that the Scorpion has a slightly loftier internal fleece bonded to the goretex than the Stingray. It basically makes the jacket just a little bit warmer. I feel like there are very little, if any, differences in breathability and waterproofness between the proshell and softshell. If there are any differences, they are a result of the different backing material and nylon that the goretex membrane is bonded too. Finally, I have been lucky enough to get to try out lots of different companies products, but I definitely think Arcteryx is by far the best!

post #33 of 47

Chutas:

 

Can you comment on the sizing differences between the Theta and the Scorpion?  I'd like to get a Scorpion, but there's nowhere to try one on around here and I'm often between sizes with Arc shells.  Have the sidewinder AR now and the medium fits, but doesn't leave much room for layering.   I've also had the Theta in the past, I think in a large.

 

I'm 6' and 185 lbs.

 

Mike

 

 

Quote:
 

Originally Posted by chutas View Post

I have both the Arcteryx Theta AR (proshell) and the Scorpion (softshell). While I love both jackets, I definitely spend a lot more time skiing in my Scorpion. I really like how it is quieter and has just a little bit more warmth (without being insulated). Also, the main difference between the Scorpion and the Stingray is that the Scorpion has a slightly loftier internal fleece bonded to the goretex than the Stingray. It basically makes the jacket just a little bit warmer. I feel like there are very little, if any, differences in breathability and waterproofness between the proshell and softshell. If there are any differences, they are a result of the different backing material and nylon that the goretex membrane is bonded too. Finally, I have been lucky enough to get to try out lots of different companies products, but I definitely think Arcteryx is by far the best!


 

post #34 of 47

I can tell you that if you're 185, then the Medium Scorpion's going to be very snug with layering underneath.  I'm 6'1"/170 and it's pretty sleek/form fitting with just a power stretch top/Clouveil enclosure primaloft vest under it....

post #35 of 47

Sorry for the few days delay Mike. My theta fits just slightly larger than my scorpion. I am a woman, so I don't know for 100% sure that the size runs are the same for men. ALso, my Theta is from 2003 (or 2004?) and my scorpion is 2008, so there could have been some very slight changes to the cut in those years. That being said, my dad is exactly the same hight and weight as you, and he tried on a large scorion and said it would be great.

 

I hope that helps! I think you'll love it!

post #36 of 47

I have had in my possession at some point or another the Stingray, the Sidewinder, and a Patagonia Light Smoke Flash.

 

The Stingray is my go-to shell for winter conditions and I think you can't go wrong with it if you are looking for a resort jacket.  Breathability is on par with the Pro-shells...if there is a difference it is negligible; maybe the low-loft lining makes it slightly less breathable, but I can't tell. The Gore Softshell may be a tad warmer.  Waterproofness should be exactly the same.  I like the Sidewinder too and I agree it doesn't feel too crinkly or stiff (at least in west coast weather), but the Stingray is definitely remarkably supple.  I love the simplicity of the Stingray.  The way its cut, the texture of the fabric; you forget you're even wearing a jacket almost.  I have the "copper" orangish color and I agree, the brighter colorways make you more visible in a useful way.  I do think though that the Sidewinder maybe slightly sturdier and I actually like the diagonal zipper...its a close call.

 

I would recommend though that you take a look at the Patagonia Light Smoke Flash if you are willing to sacrifice complete waterproofness for breathability...This is a really versatile jacket; it breaths much better than any goretex shell, and has every feature you could want in a ski jacket.  It's not going to withstand a downpour of rain for a few hours, but it should have no problem with snow.  The range of temperatures it can function in is amazing b/c it's substantial enough for the cold but breathes from the softshell panels so well you can use it spring skiing.  Only downsides are that it is surprisingly heavy and the fit is unusual.  The arms are very long and the waist is pretty narrow compared to the chest.  If you have short arms or are a little thick around the middle, it may be problematic.

 

I have never tried on an RPK...I am curious though as well how it compares to the Stingray. 

post #37 of 47

Thanks!  Ordered the large Scorpion and it should be here tomorrow.  Just wish they had some better colors in the Scorpion.  Ended up going with the brown (woodsmoke), but would have liked a nice red!

 

Quote:
 

Originally Posted by chutas View Post

 

Sorry for the few days delay Mike. My theta fits just slightly larger than my scorpion. I am a woman, so I don't know for 100% sure that the size runs are the same for men. ALso, my Theta is from 2003 (or 2004?) and my scorpion is 2008, so there could have been some very slight changes to the cut in those years. That being said, my dad is exactly the same hight and weight as you, and he tried on a large scorion and said it would be great.

 

I hope that helps! I think you'll love it!

 

post #38 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by monologuist View Post

 

I have had in my possession at some point or another the Stingray, the Sidewinder, and a Patagonia Light Smoke Flash.

 

The Stingray is my go-to shell for winter conditions and I think you can't go wrong with it if you are looking for a resort jacket.  Breathability is on par with the Pro-shells...if there is a difference it is negligible; maybe the low-loft lining makes it slightly less breathable, but I can't tell. The Gore Softshell may be a tad warmer.  Waterproofness should be exactly the same.  I like the Sidewinder too and I agree it doesn't feel too crinkly or stiff (at least in west coast weather), but the Stingray is definitely remarkably supple.  I love the simplicity of the Stingray.  The way its cut, the texture of the fabric; you forget you're even wearing a jacket almost.  I have the "copper" orangish color and I agree, the brighter colorways make you more visible in a useful way.  I do think though that the Sidewinder maybe slightly sturdier and I actually like the diagonal zipper...its a close call.

 

I would recommend though that you take a look at the Patagonia Light Smoke Flash if you are willing to sacrifice complete waterproofness for breathability...This is a really versatile jacket; it breaths much better than any goretex shell, and has every feature you could want in a ski jacket.  It's not going to withstand a downpour of rain for a few hours, but it should have no problem with snow.  The range of temperatures it can function in is amazing b/c it's substantial enough for the cold but breathes from the softshell panels so well you can use it spring skiing.  Only downsides are that it is surprisingly heavy and the fit is unusual.  The arms are very long and the waist is pretty narrow compared to the chest.  If you have short arms or are a little thick around the middle, it may be problematic.

 

I have never tried on an RPK...I am curious though as well how it compares to the Stingray. 

 

Thanks for all of the insight!  it just so happens that Patagonia has their Light Smoke Flash jacket on sale for 50% off right now, so I think I'm gonna have to check it out.  I got to try on the Stingray and really like the feel, fit, and style.  But I'm just not 100% diggin' the color palette, and for that amount of $ it seems like you should love everything about it. 

 

Mike let us know how you like the Scorpion .

 

 

 

post #39 of 47

Awesome Mike! I hope you love it! Bummer about the color. I just had another awesome day with mine!

post #40 of 47

Got the large Scorpion on Friday and it fits like a glove and the fabric feels great!  I'll give it it's first test on the hill on Saturday.  

 

My medium Sidewinder AR is available if anyone is searching for a new jacket.  Very lightly used and in perfect condition.  I have it listed in the gear swap.  PM me if you are interested. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Yeffer View Post

 

 

Thanks for all of the insight!  it just so happens that Patagonia has their Light Smoke Flash jacket on sale for 50% off right now, so I think I'm gonna have to check it out.  I got to try on the Stingray and really like the feel, fit, and style.  But I'm just not 100% diggin' the color palette, and for that amount of $ it seems like you should love everything about it. 

 

Mike let us know how you like the Scorpion .

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chutas View Post

 

Awesome Mike! I hope you love it! Bummer about the color. I just had another awesome day with mine!

 

post #41 of 47

I own both the Sidewinder SV, and the Patagonia White Smoke jacket (slightly older version of the Light Smoke).

 

The White Smoke is my go-to jacket 99% of the time, echoing what monologuist wrote.  It is surprisingly heavy, but is bombproof, has welded seams, and very full-featured.  One thing that makes it heavier than my Sidewinder is the fact that it has a hanging nylon mesh liner.  It also breathes better than any gore-tex jacket I've seen.  I find the fit perfect, and don't have particularly long arms, but agree that it's a slightly athletic cut, which I like.

 

The Sidewinder is also a nice jacket, but I reserve it for (any) rain, heavy snow, or heavy wind.  It is definitely more wind and water proof than the White Smoke, but also fits baggier, and is less comfortable (read: hardshell).  Also, I like to ride with my collar open and no hood, and this jacket is really designed to be ridden with the hood up and the collar closed. 

 

I think I could get by in most conditions with just my White Smoke, and haven't yet seen a jacket I'd trade for it (it looks sharp, too).

 

Now I'm fiending for those Powder Bowl or Primo pants...

post #42 of 47

The primo pants look really sweet on the web but have not seen them in person.

post #43 of 47

I have the Patagonia Primo pants and they are by far the best ski pants I've ever had in over 30 years of skiing.  The only thing I have had to do is keep up on the DWR treatments.  These pants are also available in short, regular, and long lengths - great for the vertically challenged like myself .

post #44 of 47
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for all of the great advice.  After much agonizing, I happened across a Sidewinder AR on eBay.  The price was right and I liked the color (red), so I decided to go ahead and give it a try.  I have to say, after spending 3 days at Killington in it from everything from dumping snow, single digits and 30-40mph gusting winds, to a sunny day with temps in the 30s, it was amazingly comfortable and kept me totally dry and toasty the entire time.  I was surprised by the fact that I didn't have to layer any heavier in it than I used to with my MUCH heavier old jacket.  I actually found that I had to dump a layer to keep from over-heating.

 

And, just as several people mentioned, it really doesn't feel stiff and crinkly after you get it on with a couple of layers.  All-in-all, I love it.  It truly does feel bomb-proof.  That's not to say that I might not love the Stingray or Light Smoke more given the right opportunity... I just have to come up with a way to rationalize that one with the boss.

 

My only complaint might be the fit... I'm 6' 2" and 210lbs.  I bought an XL, and while the shoulders and arm lenght are about right, it's definitely a little baggy through the middle. 

post #45 of 47

Sorry for the newb question, but how would a Stingray compare to a Helly Hansen Verglas jacket?

post #46 of 47

Hi, Anyone on this thread know about Norrona Falketind Goretex Pro Shell jacket? A Norwegian brand. It looks much more reasonably priced than Arcetyx! But what's the quality like? Where are they made?

post #47 of 47

I own the Falketind.  It is very nice and I would say its quality is on par with Arc.  There are a few differences:

 

1) The Norrona is a slimmer cut.  I have an XL and it fits perfect w/ a T-shirt under it.  I wore it last year with a P-gonia down sweater and it was "filled out." There was room for it, but not by much.  I wear a Arc Theta A/R in L w/ plenty of room (except in shoulder); the Theta in XL is like wearing a bag.

 

2)  The Norrona is quite a bit shorter than a Theta (I read that it's that way for use while climbing...I don't care; I just know I don't like it).  I like the length of the Theta A/R much more.  A Beta A/R is a bit too short...the Norrona is comparable to the Beta (or maybe even a bit shorter).

 

3) If you have monkey arms...the Norrona sleeve is perfect.  I do have monkey arms and the Norrona goes waaay past my wrists; it's the perfect length.

 

Notes:

I have worn the Norrona in everything from 15-55deg. It works well and has proven to be waterproof and decently windproof...but...it is a shell (zero insulation) and your comfort is going to depend on what you wear under it.  Below 15F: I started pulling out the heavier insulated coat. 

 

The hood is helmet compatible, but it's adjustable so it works well with or without helmet. The adjustment system is pretty easy to use and hasn't broken yet.

 

Also, if you want to go CHEAP: I picked up the Stoic eVent shell off SAC for $130.  It appears very nice and so far it has proven to be waterproof; it's VERY light and breathes well.  It is shorter than the Theta, but longer than the Norrona. 

 

Finally, to compare sizing: I am 6'4", 235 w/ 48" chest/39"waist/37.5" sleeve.    

 

-Smarty 

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Jacket advice: Pro shell (stiff and crinkly) vs. Gore Tex soft shell?... RPK, Sidewinder, Stingray