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A Tale of Two Coats: How do I pick?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have:

Rossignol Tribe Jacket 08-09



and

Spyder Bolt Ski Jacket


Sitting right next to me. The Tribe is an insulated jacket, while the Bolt is just a shell. I can't choose between the two.

Long ago, I used to wear a non-breathable non-vented parka and would sweat my A$$ off everyday. I ditched that in favor of a cheap (Body Glove) nylon shell with pit zips, but otherwise not breathable, and layers. This was OK, but if I did overheat even a bit I was done for as the nylon retained moisture. Two season ago I bought a Spyder Telluride breathable softshell (but no venting) and layered under that. it was fine if I got the layering just right, but with no core venting heat could cause problems. Basically, my issue has alway been getting too hot and damp on the way down then freezing on the lift up.

I got both jackets for the same price, and they both had the same MSRP, so that is not a deciding factor.

They Rossignol Tribe feels heavy on my shoulders, but it is insulated. I also like the inner cuffs with thumb holes. It's Rossignol, I have no idea how their clothing holds up.

The Spyder  is lighter, but it is a shell. I also think it has better venting. It has a lifetime warranty. the color is sick in person. I'm not sure about the cuffs though, and the sleeves could be about a 1/2" longer. The zippers on the vents are 2-way.

I just tried on just about every men's L or XL jacket at the local shop, and nothing stood out positively or negatively. I did notice that only a few coats had the inner cuff (and one brand had several that were sewed on backwards...). Spyder seemed to fit me the best there. HH was too short in the torso. Nothing fit any better then the two coats above.


What's the best way to decide between two coats like this? I guess in the past I have prefered layering under a lighter shell, but I have also never spent more then $50 on a dedicated ski jacket. The insulation in th Tribe ins't super thick, but I don't want to overheat. My gloves go over the cuff on the Spyder, but in the cuff on the Tribe.


Help?
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post

Help?
 
My priorities, in descending order:

1) Windproofness.    (This is not the same as venting, mind)

2) how well it works (and moves with) layers (bunching at sleeves, shoulder clearances, waist gaps).

3) Seam and stitch finish

4) Material feel
post #3 of 21
BTW  totally last year.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post


BTW  totally last year.


As is most of my clothing. Like I said, I've never spent more then $50 on a ski jacket before...
post #5 of 21
FWIW, I have a Rossi insulated ski jacket. It is pretty much too warm to wear on all but the coldest days. If I put any layers under it at all and the temps get above 20 F I'm cooking. I've relegated it to town duty on cold nights.
post #6 of 21
I use to be an insulated coat guy and now only do a shell jacket with layers. It is just so much more comfortable. I currently have a Spyder Jacket shell similar to what your showing up there. Excellent quality, waterproof very well(never got wet yet), blocks wind great, good useful pockets/storage, and in general very good all the way around. Warmer days(28+ degrees) I can ski just with a sweatshirt or long sleeve shirt under it and be fine usually. Colder days I'll put a underarmor style shirt on first followed by my Spyder shell coat(not sure what you call that rubbery type material/you see alot of North Face style shell coats like it) followed by my actual Spyder jacket. With this set up I've never been cold.


P.S.: I like that color when I see it in the stores. Really pops out. Would look great with black, gray, or white ski pants.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post

FWIW, I have a Rossi insulated ski jacket. It is pretty much too warm to wear on all but the coldest days. If I put any layers under it at all and the temps get above 20 F I'm cooking. I've relegated it to town duty on cold nights.

That's kind of how I was feeling about this one, the insulation is thin but thermolite packs a LOT of warmth.


Quote:
Originally Posted by skylolow View Post

P.S.: I like that color when I see it in the stores. Really pops out. Would look great with black, gray, or white ski pants.
 

Color usually ins't a concern of mine, but between the two I like the blue better. and I have gray pants....

I was, and obviously still am, leaning towards keeping the spyder. Plus I can return the Rossi coat locally and not have to deal with the shipping hassle.
Edited by krp8128 - 11/5/09 at 5:33pm
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post




That's kind of how I was feeling about this one, the insulation is thin but thermolite packs a LOT of warmth.



....and I have gay pants....



 


I have an insulated Rossi coat too.  It's very similar to the one pictured and I picked it up in the offseason before last season, so it's from the clothing line from two seasons ago.  You thoughts on the insulation is pretty spot on.  I never felt overly hot but I didn't ski much in really cold weather but a couple of times last year.  On sunny days out west at plases like Mammot, Squaw and Solitude, I had no need for any layers under the coat.  I either wore a long sleeve or short sleeve technical shirt and that's it.  And I had the vents open a good bit too. 

The flip side was skiing at night in Pennslyvania when the temp was 16 and windy, I was toasty warm.  So far, I haven't decided to make a move away from the coat though.  It's my go too coat.  I did however pick up a Salomon vest to wear on those really warm March & April afternoons so I can ditch the coat all together.

BTW, what are gay pants?  :D


(I know it's a typo)
post #9 of 21
 Have you tried them on to see how the hood works with your helmet?  I find i really use the pockets in my ski jackets-goggles, apples, sandwiches and what not.  How do they feel with things you might carry in the pockets.  Personally i much prefer a soft shell to an insulated jacket.
post #10 of 21
What type of conditions do you normally ski in?  If you do a lot of night skiing or skiing in 15 degree weather you might want the insulated coat but I have found that I prefer a shell as you can just add some layers.  I used to have an insulated  jacket but could never get it right.  I was either too hot or too cold.  It seemed to me that on the insulated jacket even though the shell material was breathable the insulation didn't allow it to "breathe" and I would get hot and sweaty on the trail and then freeze on the lift.  I don't have that problem with the shell.  As comprex mentioned you definitely want a shell that is fairly windproof.  The wind is always what does me in.  Just make sure your shell will allow you to wear a layer or two when needed.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
I don't think I have ever had the desire to wear a hood and a helmet, but I guess that migh tbe something to check.

Typically I ski during the day in new england. Sugarloaf has been about the worst weather I have experienced. Saltlick, that is my exact problem, hot on the way down and frozen on the way up. I can get a couple layers under the shell no prob.
post #12 of 21
I have used shells and insulated stuff. IMO, insualtion or not doesn't matter for inbounds skiing. For me the key to me is not trying to stay warm. The key is keeping form overheating. IMO, the proper ammount of insulation is when in the morning after just getign out from the car, I just start to feel chilled (but not yet shivering) after siting / standing around for [an average length lift ride]. If I feel warm at rest when my motor is low  then you will overheat while skiing when my motor ramps up and I will not cool enough on the lift and eventually sweat through my clothes. Once that happens I get dehydrated, loose my insualtion, my motor starts running down and I freeze big time.

One benefit of the insualted jacket is you can open the vents and get cool air right inside through to my base layer and cool quickly. With a shell and mid layer its often hard to cool off quickly unless that midlayer has pit zips too...

I also like jackets with good vents that I can easily open / close with one hand with out taking off my gloves. That way I can easily close the vents as soon as I get on the lift and open them as I am about to get off. If I have the right amount of insualtion, I can go all day and I never get sweaty.

A hood over the helm is only needed for skiing when it is really dumping / blizzard conditions or if you ever go heli skiing (I hear the rotor wash is like gettign nailed by a snow gun).
Edited by tromano - 11/6/09 at 11:50am
post #13 of 21
Jacket quiver?

When it's very cold and windy, a highly breathable shell doesn't work that well. The wind just pulls (wicks) whatever heat you have managed to generate right out of the air space surrounding you. In that case the layer under the shell has to hold the heat, so I wear a softshell under the hard Gortex shell.


continuing Compres's concept for #2: The collar is a critical performance element. It has to do a lot for you: high enough to interface with goggles, comfy turtle fur, snug and air-wind-tight. And lots of pockets, lots, including some way to carry water.
post #14 of 21
I have an insulated Spyder jacket from a couple seasons back. It has the thumb holes in the cuffs. After using them, I can say that they are one of the best features. Just for those alone I would get the Rossi jacket. Or better still, try to find a Spyder with the thumb holes.
post #15 of 21
i had the same problem between two Cloudveil jackets, just couldn't decide, so i bought them both :-)  and i couldn't be happier.
post #16 of 21
Have you looked at Arcteryx or Cloudveil?  Either way I'm a big believer in the shell.  After all it is easier to layer a shell to stay warm then to cool down in an insulated jacket.  If you go with the shell (& I think you should) and want to stay as warm as the insulated jacket then pick up a down or synthetic liner from REI.  It will cost around $100 but worth the money and when it gets warm, take it off and replace it with a fleece. 
post #17 of 21
 Kyle-  You ski on the East coast, so overheating is not a big issue for you.  My advice is to try to layer both coats as you would on an average day and see what feels better to you.  Both of those coats should breathe better than your average cheap jacket.  Don't overlayer though as good ski jackets are very warm for the weight.     

I second also the Arcteryx Cloudveil advice, but I would look into their insulated jackets for East coast skiing.  West coast- shells all the way. 
post #18 of 21
Ok here's the tie breaker. The Rossi jacket (at least mine does) probably has that stupid backwards zipper that will always drive you crazy.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post

Ok here's the tie breaker. The Rossi jacket (at least mine does) probably has that stupid backwards zipper that will always drive you crazy.


Backwards zipper? You mean on the left side, like on a woman's jacket....

I have them both sitting on a chair in my living room, I try them on a couple times during the day. Something that I didn't catch earlier on the Bolt shell is that the hood is non-removable and small. With the jacket zipped, I can just get it up over my head. This also ties in with the collar, which is too short and not loose enough for me to stick my face into to avoid wind. It also hits me right on the chin where I had a bad case of frostbite snowmobiling a few years ago. I have to watch this spot constantly now, and I don't need a jacket rubbing my skin raw on top of that. I think the Spyder Bolt may be going back...

Alxzn, you would be supprosed how much of an issue overheating can be on the east coast. I tend to be an "oven" anyways, so improper clothing can doom me in a few runs.


I just bought a Marmot of Tramdock, my CC bill is going to suck this month until i get everything straightened out and returned...
post #20 of 21
hooded jackets have become the style for snowboarders, and stylers in general: big,baggy hooded stuff. But if you don't ski with a hood, ever, they are a pain. And as good as Arcteryx is, many of their jackets have the stowable in collar design. Sucks, IMO. The collar with the hood in it is a wrinkled, shapeless, POS, IMO. A design to avoid if you want a really awesome, functional storm collar.

Once bought pants from a new company. The vent was inside thigh. The vent flap faced forward and caught tons of snow on deep days. The makers said it was to capture more air when open. sucked. Yeah, so zippers are also a big deal, quality, placement, flap orientation.
post #21 of 21
FYI, backwards zippers are found on most European designed &/or manufactured jackets.  Years ago I bought a NorthFace ski jacket in Munich and even it had a backwards zipper as well as my Barber English jacket.  It's kind of strange at first but it's not hard to get use to.  That being said, the placement and ease of the jacket design is very important, guess that's why I'm with Arcteryx now. 
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