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Best mountaineering shell?
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S Long

Locale: Wasatch
Best mountaineering shell? on 11/07/2010 12:25:21 MST Print View

I have had my North Face Mountain jacket forever and it is time for an update to new technology and lighter weight. I want a shell for general mountaineering and ice climbing activities. I have kinda narrowed it down to the Montbell Outpace parka, the Rab Momentum parka, or the Loki Levity Alpinist parka. I want something highly breathable but waterproof like eVent or Breeze DryTec. Any thoughts on any of these options? I know there are heavier and more durable options out there but I want something light and effective. I am careful with my gear.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
light n cheap on 11/07/2010 12:28:59 MST Print View

something light and cheap ... chances are if its raining cats and dogs youll be descending ... and itll get shredded if its light anywyas

or something durable and tough that youll wear more in the place of the softshell ... i currently do this

(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
2 questions on 11/07/2010 16:53:55 MST Print View

1. "Light and cheap" (like DriDucks?)
2. "Tough and durable" (I assume you do NOT mean a $400.00 Arc'Teryx squashed bird rain shell. You mean a cheaper Columbia or CampMor rain shell?)

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
jacket on 11/07/2010 17:43:56 MST Print View

1. a sub 100$ rain jacket ... youll find them on sale all over the place soon

2.i use a dead bird

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
rab or montbell on 11/07/2010 17:45:00 MST Print View

I have an Arcteryx Beta AR and RAB drillium. I use the Beta AR when ice climbing as it's bomber and I prefer that for climbing. However, the Rab definitely breathes better and is lighter which matches your preferences. Of your three, the Loki is pretty heavy compared to your other choices (even more than my Beta AR), so I'd drop that one.

Of the remaining two; I really like eVENT so far and I hear good things about DryTec, so they may both give you the weight savings and ventilation you want.

Consider the fit of each (try on if possible) as fitment may make the decision for you. If neither has potential fitment issues or advantage, I'd go with eVENT unless DryTec comes with significant savings.

S Long

Locale: Wasatch
Re: 2 questions on 11/07/2010 17:49:05 MST Print View

I am pretty careful with most of my gear. I used my GoLite Helios wind shirt most of last winter for a shell for technical rock and ice climbing without killing it. I don't need anything SUPER durable. That being said, my North Face Mountain Light has lasted me for the past 12 years and is still serviceable. I would like to get something with that longevity or near it. I am not opposed to paying a premium for a premium piece of gear. Driducks and Walmart ponchos will definitely NOT cut it for technical climbing. I want something waterproof for those warmer, dripping ice climbs and for leaning/laying on the snow while belaying without wetting through. I also want something more breathable than Gore-Tex for those fast summit bids where I get a bit warmer.

Josh Newkirk
(Newkirk) - MLife

Locale: Australia
mountaineering shell on 11/07/2010 18:00:07 MST Print View

In my opinion you cant have a shell that is really waterproof but at the same time really breathable. There is a reason gore tex has done so well, it is about the best compromise between breathability and waterproofness you can get. Yes, event is more breathable but there is a reason gore tex hasnt made anything quite so breathable, event has had to sacrifice some waterproofness to get that extra breathability. In most cases a person would not notice the waterproof difference but i believe that staying dry in the really bad weather that can occur during mountaineering pursuits is more important then that little bit of breathability difference especially if you have a gore tex jacket that has good venting options.

I have a arc teryx theta ar, is isnt the lightest thing ever but it is a bomber shell, also climbing helmet compatible.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
event on 11/07/2010 18:01:59 MST Print View

event then is yr only realistic choice ... if you are willing to spend the money

its the only generally available waterproof fabric that is proven and tested to be more breathable than goretex pro

a lot of the other proprietary fabric, you are never sure what you get ...

id rather take a goretex pro jacket with pitt zips though than one of those event shells with no zips in the mountains ...

Edited by bearbreeder on 11/07/2010 18:03:57 MST.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Best Mountaineering Shell? on 11/07/2010 19:05:39 MST Print View

3 ply eVent is just as waterproof as anything Gortex has - hydrostatic head of 25,000 mm. You certainly don't need anything more waterproof than that. It is also very noticeably more breathable. Dramatically so. I find most people who suggest otherwise haven't actually tried eVent. Heck, I am still waiting to get condensation in my eVent bivvies.

However. I have found 3 ply eVent to be not as abrasian resistant as Gortex Pro, but more so than Gortex Paclite.

Josh Newkirk
(Newkirk) - MLife

Locale: Australia
shells on 11/07/2010 19:49:43 MST Print View


Do you know which event jackets have 25000, the ones i found were 15-20000. The last really deatailed information that i looked at was about a year and a half ago and at that time event wasnt quite as waterproof as gore tex pro shell, or was it xcr. Anyway maybe my info is a little out of date.

Also i thought for this use of a jacket in a heavy duty environment i thought pro shell might last a little longer.

Richard Fischel
wild things flume 3-ply eVent hard shell on 11/11/2010 07:03:18 MST Print View

i am an unabashed fan of most things made by wild things. over time i've been able to amass some of my favorite items at deep discounts when they run sales. i like my gear to be free of frills and designed with a spare esthetique. having worn a number of different shells from most of the major manufacturers the flume hits all the marks i'm looking for.

it has two exterior chest pockets that are high enough not to interfere with my harness, but not so high that they are uncomfortable to keep my hands in. the pockets are cut so that they are deep and small items (chap stick) will not fall out if the zipper is left open. the two outside pockets are paired with two interior mesh pockets that are perfect for a water bottle, gloves or climbing skins.

the hood is a work of art, designed to fit over a large climbing helmet or tighten up to form fit your head. the three different adjustments assure that the opening and short bill are always properly positioned no matter how the hood is adjusted.

for those that think a hard shell (even an eVent one) needs pit zips the flume has them too. they are very deep and easy to adjust with the two way pit zips.

the flume is sized and cut to layer under. i'm 6'2" 195#'s and can comfortably have a base layer, polar stretch hoodie and micro puff pull over under a size large. the sleeves are long enough that you can work with your arms over your head without any problem.

as far as water/wind proof, i've worn this jacket in gale force winds (it makes pretty good foul weather gear) and did not have any penetration thru the fabric, taped seams or waterproof zipper.

unfortunately, i find my self using the flume less often than i thought i would. more often than not i find myself reaching for my wild things hooded windshirt instead, but it's comforting to know that i have a totally bomber hard shell when i need it.

Edited by RICKO on 11/11/2010 07:06:12 MST.