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Topic: Favorite hardshell, why?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2013, 5:03 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just curious what is your favorite go to hard shell and why do u love it?

If there is any particular shell you could have, price of no concern, which do you think you would choose and why?


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2013, 5:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've got two main hardshells I use depending on the type of trip.

Winter with significant precipitation in the forecast or high-elevations: Mountain Hardwear Drystein. Sized perfect for me to layer over all my insulation, very breathable, great features and design . . . just generally an awesome hardshell for the crappiest conditions I backpack in.

Spring/summer/fall/mild-winter with no precipitation in the forecast: Marmot SuperMica. Light -- about half the weight of the MH  Drystein -- and gets the job done. Not too much else to say.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2013, 7:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Patagonia Torrentshell.  Own it, love it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2013, 11:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Military shell because it's got pit zips, zips up or down, Gore-Tex, heavy duty (although heavy) and is tough enough to handle years of off-trail abuse in heavy brush.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 15 2013, 5:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

RAB Latok.  eVent, great array of pockets, hood, armpit zips.  A heavy duty shell that can take the worst winter weather but also fend off summer rain.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 15 2013, 5:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Agree w/Tigger and leadbelly - pit zips are great.  Wouldn't buy a shell without them.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 15 2013, 6:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

yes..i agree about the pit zips also

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 15 2013, 7:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't know what Patagonia's H2no is made out of, but it works for me.  I've tried on some of the Arcteryx shells in a semi-local REI store, and while they definitely seem "harder", they're too much for me.  I felt like I was wrapped in an impermeable trash bag and would suffocate in my own sweat, even with the pit zips.  But I had no doubt that they were great shells.  They just weren't for me and the conditions in which I use them.

The question is how much do you need/want?  For me the Goretex dead bird shells are too much - too stuffy, even with pit zips.  For others they may be the perfect cup of tea, and something like the Torrentshell may be way too light.

Do you run hot or cold?  An ice climber or day hiker?  Do you hike 20 miles up and down in a day and crash after a quick dinner, or hang around camp a lot after 5 flat miles?

A lot depends on the conditions in which you use it, what you'll do while wearing it, and your personal physiology.

There are a ton of great jackets/stoves/pants/bags/tents/socks out there.  The hard part is finding what works best for you.  By all means, try on everything you can, even if it's just in a store - that's how I ruled out pretty much all of the dead bird shells.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 15 2013, 9:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Right now I am using a silnylon rain shell (with pit zips) from Luke's Ultralite.  I like it so far...

However, just a couple of days ago, I got my GoLite Chrome Dome umbrella in the mail that I plan to use also... I haven't had it out yet, but I am pretty excited about it...


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 15 2013, 9:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GottaGamble @ Feb. 14 2013, 5:03 pm)
QUOTE
Just curious what is your favorite go to hard shell and why do u love it?

If there is any particular shell you could have, price of no concern, which do you think you would choose and why?

Westcomb Apoc Neoshell.

I love it because it is soft and very breathable, yet waterproof. Craftsmanship is impeccable. Much more comfortable than eVent, IMO.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 16 2013, 2:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Feb. 14 2013, 10:42 pm)
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Military shell because it's got pit zips, zips up or down, Gore-Tex, heavy duty (although heavy) and is tough enough to handle years of off-trail abuse in heavy brush.

Do you know which generation yours is? The ones I'm seeing now are different in appearance(shell material-plus they say 100% nylon on the label, though they are lined) from the 1st Gen ECWCS gear that I'm familiar with. I've been wanting another set for work. edit: guess what I'm really asking is if you're familiar with the newer generations.

btw, I use the Marmot Precip when I know I'll be wearing, or am likely to need, a shell. Ultralight frogs toggs when it's unlikely. Thinking of the Super Mica, which would split the difference on weight while retaining the features I want.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 16 2013, 8:22 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

should add - you said 'hard shell.'  Vigilguy is correct that polartec's neoshell is a pretty great product.  i have a soft shell, marmot zion, with neoshell, and i often use it where i would otherwise have used an eVent or gtx hard shell.  it's worth checking out in hard shells.  one note - it's a relatively air-permeable membrane, particularly backing a soft outer shell.  still mostly windproof, but if you climb in extremely high winds (we see those in the mountains in the northeast), neoshell might not be the choice.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 16 2013, 11:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Owen571 @ Feb. 15 2013, 11:05 pm)
QUOTE

(Tigger @ Feb. 14 2013, 10:42 pm)
QUOTE
Military shell because it's got pit zips, zips up or down, Gore-Tex, heavy duty (although heavy) and is tough enough to handle years of off-trail abuse in heavy brush.

Do you know which generation yours is? The ones I'm seeing now are different in appearance(shell material-plus they say 100% nylon on the label, though they are lined) from the 1st Gen ECWCS gear that I'm familiar with. I've been wanting another set for work. edit: guess what I'm really asking is if you're familiar with the newer generations.

btw, I use the Marmot Precip when I know I'll be wearing, or am likely to need, a shell. Ultralight frogs toggs when it's unlikely. Thinking of the Super Mica, which would split the difference on weight while retaining the features I want.

The newer generation uses Gore-Tex XCR. I have three different sets. All of mine are the first generation. There are many knock-offs (even at the surplus stores). If it doesn't have an official military tag inside, I would beware.

Previously, I forgot to add a big factor for me. Price. I just picked up my third jacket (like new) for $20 last week. The most I've paid was $60.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 16 2013, 4:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

$20..wow. The ones I've looked at had NSN labels. Maybe I just forgot what it looks like new. Different patterns from the original Woodland, too.
If it weren't for getting chemicals on the jacket, and ripping a pants leg up on sharp metal, I'd still be using my last set at work.
Lasts a long time, just gave it some Revivex when the shell started wetting out.
We definitely thought it was the bomb when field testing the ECWCS about 22 years ago. I'll have to reread on what's different about XCR. The new midweight Powerdry baselayers are bizarrely shaped and sized, but the material is a big upgrade from the old polypros(which we also thought was fantastic back then!). Nice to see them keeping up with the times for a change!
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2013, 1:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The newest ECWCS generation is multicam, and I gotta say, the stuff just works.  While it doesn't get as cold out here in Helmand as most other areas of Afghanistan, we do get a lot more rain than those spots (they all get snow), and the Gen III ECWCS is dang nice kit to have if you get caught up in it.

That said, I honestly haven't paid for outdoor clothing in.....well, years, really...but given the option, I'd probably just stick to milsurp stuff.  Used it forever when I was on high adventure/camping trips with boy scouts, and the newer stuff is even better.

as for the base layers, the silkweight stuff is a bit...odd, really, hard to explain without trying it on yourself.  but when I got out here, we learned the "spare clothing" connex on our camp was about half filled (literally) with Patagonia base layer sets.  Those are *MUCH* nicer.  :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 11:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For me a hard shell should be waterproof, breathable, durable for any off trail abuse you can throw at it, pit-zips, hand pockets, storm hood, taped seams, athletic fit, drawstring hem.

My jacket of choice is the KUIU Chugach Rain Jacket.

It has a 20,000 mm / 20,000 MPV waterproof and breathability. Water beads off it, it keeps me dry, but it breathes like a soft shell.

It has 4 way stretch material and an athletic fit which means it doesn't restrict any movement. I can fit all of my layering underneath it.

It stops wind like a brick wall.

It covers all of the bases I mentioned above, and it is a very reasonable price.

I have had some Arc Teryx jackets in the past, and I prefer this hard shell.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 21 2013, 3:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GottaGamble @ Feb. 14 2013, 1:03 pm)
QUOTE
Just curious what is your favorite go to hard shell and why do u love it?

If there is any particular shell you could have, price of no concern, which do you think you would choose and why?

Favorite  hard shell for ....... ?

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 21 2013, 8:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Kind of fond of my Precip.

Has all the bells and whistles required.  The hood is well designed for wearing a helmet or just a ball cap (I always wear one to give myself a bit more room under the hood in the rain when hiking).

I find them pretty cheap and they have lasted a long time...I have three of varying age and I can't seem to throw the older ones out.

I have an older Oracle too but that is pretty burly..I only use it for winter activities


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 21 2013, 10:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Walkinman @ Feb. 21 2013, 3:53 am)
QUOTE

(GottaGamble @ Feb. 14 2013, 1:03 pm)
QUOTE
Just curious what is your favorite go to hard shell and why do u love it?

If there is any particular shell you could have, price of no concern, which do you think you would choose and why?

Favorite  hard shell for ....... ?

heavy rains, snow, wind while hiking in Northeast..

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2013, 12:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

REI Shuksan.

Most breathable, weatherproof and durable jacket I've worn. I also like Mtn Hdwr's Spinoza (or maybe it's the Jovian, I can't recall), but it's not as burly as the Shuksan. Next is my old Arc'teryx - either the Theta or something like that, I forget which. But it's nowhere near the jacket the Shuksan has been, IMO.

Cheers

Carl


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 25 2013, 12:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

ok, so I went with Outdoor research Mentor Jacket. I got it for about 50% off. I love the "pit" zips on this jacket...they go all the way up or down the sides, kind of creating a poncho if needed. All the reviews I read were positive. It fits perfect..with layers under it or not.  Feels rugged and like it will last me many many years.

I do have one question though...I carry a daypack on me for my commute to work every day. I walk about 35-40 minutes each way every day..rain, snow, wind or shine. I know it is overkill for my daily use, but if I kept this jacket in my pack for when it rains or such, would it ruin the gore-tex or break anything down? If I rolled it up and kept it in there with my pants for those stormy cold days when it would be needed? I wouldnt want to destroy the jacket for when its really needed...


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 25 2013, 1:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's more likely to impact the DWR than the goretex. Any time the surface rubs it will affect it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 25 2013, 1:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

use your current"old" one

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 25 2013, 2:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes...that's what I'm thinking..

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 25 2013, 3:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

GG...my stove came in today :D

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 25 2013, 4:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

SWEET. What do you think? I experiment with SLX denaturated alcohol and also tried heet...and honestly I did not notice a difference...

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 25 2013, 6:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The only difference I notice is a little more soot using Heet. Strangely, others have had a completely different experience.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 25 2013, 6:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The only thing I don't like about Heet is that you if you use the original bottle you have to watch the pressure in it. It has a snap-on lid instead of a screw top.  If you gain too much elevation without burping it, it can burp itself, which  sprays nearby items.

EDIT: wait a minute, how did this sneak into the hard shell topic?
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 25 2013, 7:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Millet Mountaineering GTX Paclite jacket.

Light (12 oz), 2-way pit zips, breathes pretty well, and fits me.  It's lasted a couple years longer so far than any jacket I've had before it, bushwhacking through thick woods.



It's coming close to needing a replacement.  I wanna try an eVent shell if they're durable and the price has come down since I last checked.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 26 2013, 12:25 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Stop thinking about the best individual gear pieces, and start thinking about the whole gestalt of your gear. The result really can far exceed the sum of its parts.

It's called synergy...and your objective is to think of you and all your gear as a single living organism. First, decide on your goals.

For example, my goal for the last 10 years has been to comfortably hike, mountain climb and sleep in the extreme weather of the high Rockies with a total pack weight of seven pounds, not counting food or water.

The first thing I eliminated was the hard shell jacket. The only jacket I wear, three season, is the $20, 5 oz.DriDucks...It's totally waterproof, breathable and comfortable, but fragile...so when it rains or snows, or when the wind is wild, I don my Equinox 5 x 8.5 Poncho over my pack and the DriDuck jacket, cinched at the waist with a long belt of  1" wide nylon strap cut from an old tent.

Now, here's where the synergy comes in...the Equinox 5 x 8.5 Poncho, pitched in a half pyramid, is also my SHELTER, which, with a 2 oz. silvered-Mylar groundcloth and cozy cooking fire from my 3 oz. PocketRocket camp stove at the entrance makes a cozy, cave-like shelter from the violence of the weather outside.
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