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Polarshield lightweight or Dryskin extreme?
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Locale: South West US
Polarshield lightweight or Dryskin extreme? on 02/26/2005 20:30:20 MST Print View

Was wondering if anyone has any info, experience or recommendations with these fabrics. which one is better?

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
PowerShield vs. Dryskin.. it depends on 02/26/2005 23:15:19 MST Print View

Neither material is "better", they are different. If you are engaged in high output sports in cool to moderately cold conditions, it is really hard to beat Dryskin. Dryskin is more breathable that any shell material I have ever used, moderately wind resistant (significantly less than PowerShield), and surprisingly water resistant (slightly less than PowerShield).

In cold conditions (especially with strong winds) PowerShield is a more appropriate material. PowerShield is a bit more insulating, a lot more wind resistant. In cold (<10F) conditions with strong winds I get cold wearing my Dryskin softshell even when I am very active.


Locale: South West US
Buying the right soft shell on 02/27/2005 23:36:46 MST Print View

Hey thanks for the reply. The reason I ask is because I am looking for a soft shell to use for summer time backpacking in the Sierra's. I would perfer that it keep in line with UL mantra if possible. Ive been looking at the MEC pamir or the feretta. Ive also been looking at the Ibex Icefall because it is on sale. Any recommendations?

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
What about Windstopper? on 02/28/2005 13:57:44 MST Print View

I never see much about windstopper online, but yet it is found just about everywhere in stores. Does it breath well?

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
Any Dryskin (not extreme) garments out there? on 02/28/2005 14:01:30 MST Print View

Does anyone make a Dryskin (non-extreme) garment? I was only able to find Dryskin Extreme (basically micro-fleece lined Dryskin) or Dynamic when searching for softshells. Yet Dryskin (non-extreme) seems like a good option to me. All of the weather protection of Extreme, but the flexibility of being able to provide your own, trip dependent, additional insulation.

Marcus Needham
( - F
Extreme=Cordura not lining on 02/28/2005 15:50:43 MST Print View

Tony, Dryskin Extreme is not, I believe, a lined version of Dryskin. Schoeller use "Extreme" to indicate fabric variants that use Cordura instead of plain nylon in the fabric weave. So they are supposed to be more durable but otherwise no different. My Dryskin Extreme pants (MEC Ferrata) and hat (Cloudveil Four Shadows) have no lining.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Softshell for Sierra Summer Use? Not. on 02/28/2005 21:00:54 MST Print View

My recommendation would be not to bother with a softshell for the typical summertime Sierra conditions. The huge win of a softshell is that it provides enough protection to keep the weather at bay while at the same breathing well enough that you stay comfortable while you are active. Most softshells (with the possible exception of Cloudveil's Inertia) will be way too warm for typical summers in the Sierras while you are active. When you aren't active, there are lighter options to stay warm/dry.

Edited by verber on 02/28/2005 21:01:45 MST.

canyon steinzig
(canyon) - F

Locale: Nor Cal
softshell on 03/01/2005 22:07:46 MST Print View

agree with Marc re summertime. superlight windshirt over a tee (smartwool or capileine) and a synthetic for lunch, camp safty etc.


Locale: South West US
more questions on 03/02/2005 04:37:48 MST Print View

Alright, so no soft shell. What about a rain shell? Should i even bother with one?

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Rainshell in the Sierras during the Summer?. on 03/02/2005 22:33:39 MST Print View

My answer is that it depends on the weather conditions (mostly the temp) and whether you will stop and find shelter if conditions turn against you. During the summer it is rare for multi-day rain storms in the Sierras... so if you don't mind stopping, you can find shelter and wait out the storm. Likewise if it stays above 60F (or a bit colder if you are one of those people who runs warm) you can keep warm by moving even if you are soaked. When you get to camp you can get into your quilt/bag and warm up / dry your clothing with body heat.

But I would NOT recommend this to most people. I have taken a number of trips where I had my rain shell but choose not to take it out to see how I would do without it. When facing light sprinkles I was happy with a light shirt and an unlined windshirt. But when it really rained hard and my windshirt completely wet out, I really wanted a rainshell. So unless I know it's going to be consistantly above 70F (unlikely at higher eliv. in the Sierras) I bring a 5oz Rainshield O2 cycling jacket.


Locale: South West US
hiking the sierras on 03/04/2005 05:43:19 MST Print View

Thanks for the advice Mark ill give it a try. A friend and I are planning to hike the length of the john muir trail around june or august depending on when we can get time off. I will probably carry a light weight umbrella and shun the rain shell.

David Neumann
(idahomtman) - M

Locale: Northern Idaho
summer rain protection in the Sierras on 03/04/2005 09:07:27 MST Print View

"It never rains in the Sierras" is certainly an old myth, but I'll take my GoLite Wisp windshirt plus my Integral designs Sil Poncho for rain protection and shelter if my primary activity is hiking on trails.

Marcus Needham
( - F
Thunderstorms? on 03/04/2005 10:53:25 MST Print View

Do the Sierras get the same sort of afternoon thunderstorms that the Colorado Rockies do in the summer? I know I wish I'd had more substantial rain protection when I got caught in a rain/snow/lightning storm above the treeline in Colorado last year. I made some errors in technique that day that exacerbated the issue (and which I will HOPEFULLY learn from!) but I'm changing my "summer mountain" wardrobe from windshirt+poncho to rain jacket+rain pants going forward. Spectre pullover and Reed pants should come in at around 11oz, a little higher than windshirt+poncho but not by much.

Edited by on 03/04/2005 10:55:10 MST.

Kenneth Gurney
(Drunkenblade) - F
Sierras in General:) on 03/04/2005 11:43:48 MST Print View

I lived the majority of my life in the Tahoe/Carson city area... Although I have not lived in Nevada for 15+ years, the East side of the Sierras is prone to Thunderstorms in the Late summer:) The old saying was, " If you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes." Late summer was like clockwork when I lived there... between 3-4pm thunderstorms rolled in. Now this was the Eastern side of the Sierras, not the Western side and I really can't give good info on the West side...
IMHO, good rain gear should always be carried in the sierra:) and I realize that when I ThruHike the TRT this season that I will indeed need it at some point... As for the JMT, I have never hiked it, but my recomendation would be to still carry something:)
please remember this is my opinion and others may vary:)
Sorry if we drifted of topic,

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Sierra storms on 03/04/2005 14:48:26 MST Print View

Ken's description seems spot-on with my experience. It's relatively rare to get summer/early-fall storms on the west side, and when they do happen it's almost always because weather has pushed over the crest from the interior. I believe these are the weather patterns that give the desert southwest (e.g., Phoenix) its summertime wet season.

It's rare, but not unheard of, for a summer storm to make it inland from the Pacific side, as occurs the rest of the year. Pacific weather systems are usually pushed far north that time of year. When it does happen, you can get two feet of snow, pronto, or at least a vigorous soaking.

When I think back, my raingear stays stowed on 90% of my Sierra summer/fall trips (but I always carry it).

Randy Brissey
(rbrissey) - M

Locale: Redondo Beach, CA
Sierra Storms on 03/04/2005 18:23:43 MST Print View

The weather in the Sierras can vary from one extreme to another. One year on a month long trip down the PCT through the JMT it NEVER rained one minute but we had a very nasty windstorm one night.
On the other hand I remember a three week trip that rained 19 of 21 days. Then again I have had snow fall twice during the month of august on the JMT, once was 4 inches overnight and the other forced us off the trail at Lake Thomas Edison.
Our old mantra was that if there were no clouds at 9:00am the most we could look forward was thundershowers in the afternoon or was it about a ring around the moon at night?

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Sierra Storms on 03/04/2005 19:22:04 MST Print View

My experience is the same as Ken and Rick. Less than 10% of my summer time trips (maybe 3% of the days) on the west side have had any rain, and it was typically light. Nearly all my eastern side trips (more than 50% of the days?) have had the typical afternoon showers a la what we used to get in Boulder. This is why I suggested that it is POSSIBLE to do without a full on rain gear IF you are prepared to adjust your plans.

Periodically there have been some pretty nasty thunderstorm or hail in the late afternoon which continued into the evening, but in almost all cases the condition clear up (to at least partially cloudy) by the next morning.

There are times there are multi-day storms, but it seems to me that this is a once every few years event, and it is pretty clear from weather trends that this is likely occurance.


Edited by verber on 03/04/2005 19:51:03 MST.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
storms on 03/05/2005 07:52:52 MST Print View

What everyone has said is true about the Sierras. The most you will ever get is a thuderstorm in the late afternoon and maybe the odd rain for a few hours. The Sierras are inclined to have their own micro climate so anything can and will happen. The worse that could happen is that you hike in the rain or stay put at your camp. I like to do trips in Sept and Oct and last year I got caught in a freak winter storm in Oct. It caught a lot of hikers off guard and stranded a few groups. THis just shows that anything is possible there.

John Davis
(JNDavis) - F

Locale: Isle of Man
Windstopper on 03/05/2005 13:03:30 MST Print View

My Windstopper items are a pair of gloves and cycle leggings with a bib top. The gloves are excellent and always seem dry inside. Dampness accumulates on my abdomen when cycling in the leggings, but they are still a first choice for winter as the windproofing is excellent. Rain gets through Windstopper more easily than it gets through Roubaix. However, a cold wind stops my legs from working properly in Roubaix tights, hence my preference for the Windstopper.

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
Extreme == lined? on 03/11/2005 14:37:15 MST Print View

This is in response to Marcus' comments way above....

I finally found the article in which I based my original comments about Dynamic, Dryskin and Dryskin Extreme.

Check out

Here's the quote...

"First, Dynamic is simply a woven mixture of Nylon and Lycra, while Dryskin adds Cordura for added durability. Dryskin Extreme further adds a Coolmax interior nap to promote wicking."

I must have remembered interior nap as "lined".

Edited by tlbj6142 on 03/11/2005 14:38:33 MST.