WHAT KIND OF OUTER SHELL/JACKET | High Sierra Topix  

WHAT KIND OF OUTER SHELL/JACKET

Share your advice and personal experiences, post a gear review or ask any questions you may have pertaining to outdoor gear and equipment.
User avatar

WHAT KIND OF OUTER SHELL/JACKET

Postby DAVELA » Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:21 pm

iM WONDERING WHAT KIND of outer layer i should get to finish my base and mid-layer system.

Ive seen soft and hardshell.Some shells look rugged yet porous, others seem like my rain shell.What exactly is the difference between soft and hard shells?Is my patagonia rain shadow a hard shell?

I dont want one with insulation.

My layer system is patagonia cap and R2 fleece.However their outer shells are 300-600.Looking for cheaper choice.

Im looking for something that has to be good for snowshoeing and if possible will be ok for non winter hiking.



User avatar
DAVELA
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:23 am
Location: los angeles
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: WHAT KIND OF OUTER SHELL/JACKET

Postby fishmonger » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:18 am

depends on the time of year and activity.

softshell fabric is more breathable, but not very waterproof, especially when it comes to rain. For snow and short trips when getting wet is not going to be very critical, they are fine. Basically a highly repellant fabric that's meant to keep you a little warmer without making you sweat as much as a real rain shell will do.

For rain in the summer, I use a very light goretex Marmot Precip jacket as outer layer. Not really super waterproof in extended rain situations, but it will do the job until you can get into the tent if things turn ugly. Those jackets are light and keep you from getting soaked, even if after half an hour water will make its way into the jacket's fabric and essentially end the breathable part of the design. Good venting helps, lightweight and easy to pack. All I need in summer as an outside layer.

When it gets colder, I bring a 3-layer goretex shell - seriously waterproof compared to the light jacket, but also less breathable and heavier. I got mine on ebay, a model from a few years ago and already broken in, but still does the job, for 1/4 the cost of a new jacket. The big brands are all very much the same - Arcteryx, Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, TNF, Mammut, Berghaus, Marmot, etc. Key is the 3-layer Gore-Tex and taped seams and a loose enough fit for layering. Pockets should be accessible with a pack or harness on, and most of the good jackets are cut that way.

Of all my rain gear, my goretex Arcteryx snow pants are the best in terms of water repellancy - they never ever get wet. It's the fabric that almost feels like really short and fine velvet on the outside, I think, simply shedding water before it can penetrate and soak in. Can't afford their jackets, though, because even used they sell for $250+.

Search ebay for "goretex pro shell" or "goretex XCR" and you'll find various jackets that fit this category. They weigh about 1.5 pounds, have hoods that fit over helmets, waterproof zippers, spindrift collars, pit zips, etc.

Other fabrics are trying to compete with the high end Gore-tex XCR material, but when you look at the high end jackets from all manufacturers, you won't find any other material at that price point. The lighter jackets are made with materials like Conduit, which is fine for a sleeping bag or down jacket, but nothing you want to rely on when it gets really wet. eVent fabric is more breathable, but not quite as waterproof. I have stuff sack made of this and it is quite impressive how the air gets out of it when you compress it.

Softshells jackets mostly rely on what is called DWR treatments, which is really just a lot of that Nixwax stuff on the fabric surface to make the water bead off. If you're taking it skiing at the resort, it'll probably breathe better than anything else, but for protection in foul weather, I would go with a hardshell
User avatar
fishmonger
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 945
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Madison, WI
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: WHAT KIND OF OUTER SHELL/JACKET

Postby DAVELA » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:24 pm

Thanks Fish
Im looking at this from a winter aspect.However since im going to be exerting myself and using a layering system i think I need something simple only.I(n fact maybe just a cheap simple shell thats windproof-ish.I already have a PAtagonia rain shadow but thats really a rain jacket and too sweaty.
I saw some Patagonia 3layer nylon stuff that sounded great and 14oz but was $300+...I really like the idea of layering.I got a great deal on a PAt down sweater but that isnt ideal for sweaty exertion.
For a basecamp/toasty winter jacket im looking at a subzero sl...
User avatar
DAVELA
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:23 am
Location: los angeles
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: WHAT KIND OF OUTER SHELL/JACKET

Postby markskor » Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:48 pm

Believe in a light waterproof shell, taped seams, no insulation, with pit zips/ventilation...
Fleece and a WM vest takes care of the rest underneath.
FYI, any colder than that, either in my Badger or I don't want to be there.
Carry a NF DIAD...works through the summer too.
http://www.backcountry.com/store/review ... -Diad.html
Mountainman who swims with trout
User avatar
markskor
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 2047
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:41 pm
Location: Mammoth Lakes
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: WHAT KIND OF OUTER SHELL/JACKET

Postby fishmonger » Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:07 pm

DAVELA wrote:
For a basecamp/toasty winter jacket im looking at a subzero sl...


I have one of those - rather short cut - get the parka version for "base camp" use. Also not the lightest jacket for the insulation you get, but it's a good price/peformance ratio. With 800 or 900 fill, that jacket would cost $700. It fits under my hardshell just in case I get really cold.
User avatar
fishmonger
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 945
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Madison, WI
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: WHAT KIND OF OUTER SHELL/JACKET

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:56 pm

After many expensive Goretex shells, all which leaked eventually, I went back to old-fashioned coated nylon jacket for about $40. I bought it large for ventilation. When I was climbing, I wanted a "breathable" outler layer because one does get stuck up on mountains. Now that I backpack, I simply choose not to hike in a storm so my rain gear is mainly for camp and fishing. I do not sweat much just sitting around or fishing, so the coated nylon is OK. Just remember, that long before Goretex, a lot of people kept dry using coated nylon. I also have a Marmot Precip jacket that I got on sale and it is fine for light rain, but in a heavy rain I get damp on the inside. I am seriously looking into a backpack umbrella! As stated by others, for real rain protection, you have to go with the heavier 3-layer Goretex. The Packlite is just not that waterproof. Theoretically NOTHING is truely waterproof and breathable.

I also have an Arcterex softshell that I use for a combination insulation/wind layer. It is perfect for hiking in cold windy conditions. Softshells are really good for high altitude conditions (not rain).
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2606
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: WHAT KIND OF OUTER SHELL/JACKET

Postby DAVELA » Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:46 pm

All i need is a protective windproof non insulated light jacket to cut out the wind as i will be wearing a cap2 or 3 base and PAtagonia R2 fleece.This is just for WINTER activities.Just need something to keep the wind out -I have a shell for rain.Thx...

Yeah i saw a $300 patagonia ascent and it didnt look much different than cheaper shells -it certainly didnt look that durable.I guess it breathes better.I ll be hitting the thrift stores for cheap shells.
User avatar
DAVELA
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:23 am
Location: los angeles
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: WHAT KIND OF OUTER SHELL/JACKET

Postby paul » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:24 pm

I use a Marmot Precip year round. Not perfect but it works, it's pretty light and it's cheap. You can almost always find some on sale somewhere for about 70 bucks. They are not tremendously durable - I've worn the coating off a couple around the neck and shoulders. I do like pit-zips. when I'm using it as a wind shell and I start to get too warm, I open the pit-zips an stick my arms out the holes.
User avatar
paul
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:35 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: WHAT KIND OF OUTER SHELL/JACKET

Postby rlown » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:38 pm

Precip worked well last week in Humphreys and French basins. Not like it was pouring on me or I needed to hike in it. It cut the wind nicely and when warm, the pit zips were perfect. When cold, the hood was comforting over my fleece/gortex hat. Allowed me to fish through the snow flurries and light rain.

With layers under it, I was happy until well after dark.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5325
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: WHAT KIND OF OUTER SHELL/JACKET

Postby quentinc » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:22 pm

The Precip is hit or miss. I got completely soaked in mine that weekend in August with the monsoon weather. Hard to understand how some of them work and some don't.
User avatar
quentinc
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 890
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: WHAT KIND OF OUTER SHELL/JACKET

Postby sparky » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:51 pm

I just use a cheap 20$ dickies jacket. 10oz in large, layers nice over my down jacket. I'm on my second one, decently tough. Won't stand up to hours of driving rain, sowhen in the sierra I like to carry a light poncho. The only times I have needed both, I didn't have both and have suffered ;-).
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
User avatar
sparky
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 880
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:01 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: WHAT KIND OF OUTER SHELL/JACKET

Postby DAVELA » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:21 pm

found a very good condition cheapo sierra design vinyl windbreaker with hood and a stuff sack.No insulation,no pit zips just superlight.Paid 10$.
User avatar
DAVELA
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:23 am
Location: los angeles
Experience: N/A


Return to Outdoor Gear Topix



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests