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Martin RJ Carpenter
(MartinCarpenter) - F
Indeed on 12/16/2010 09:26:24 MST Print View

It is indeed interesting, esp seeing industry people giving what seem like relatively 'honest' opinions.

Oh, its confusing but Power Shield Pro != Powershield. Its a very nearly waterproof thing (about 3000 HH long term) that stuff started appearing using this year. Still got a fair bit of air flow through it.

There did seem to be some danger of the basic tech - air permeable waterproof fabrics - being 'stuck' in non seam taped windstopper style jackets but thankfully it seems to have escaped, although in a somewhat less air permeable/higher hydrostatic head form.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
industry on 12/16/2010 14:48:24 MST Print View

id say that anything the marketing folks say should be discounted ... im still reading the reviews on the NF kistwar jacket where everybody claims that powershield pro is the latest, greatest most breathable thing ... yet by polartec's own admission its less "brethable" than powershield or powershield o2

that sad part is that unless ive tested it, or someone i know to be very unbiased (read bought it with their own money and has tried many other jackets) ... i simply ignore it ... ive been disappointed more than a few times buying stuff on "reviews" by mags and blogs, and by experts

how many poor reviews do you see ... theyd stop getting free stuff to test

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
Power Shield or Power Shield Pro on 12/16/2010 16:58:09 MST Print View

Eric, I've been testing softshells for a review in TGO magazine and I've found that Power Shield Pro isn't as breathable as Power Shield. I prefer the latter and have said so in the piece.

Any competent reviewer should take marketing claims with a pinch of salt and reviews should be based on how the product performs, not what claims are made. I certainly give bad reviews.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
chris on 12/16/2010 17:12:18 MST Print View

i like yr blog alot ... and yr one of the credible sources of information along with mark verber, and a few others

there are however more blogs and mags that seem to be "pimping" gear, and others that are just happy to get any gear ... give someone free gear and theyll be much more predisposed to reviewing it favorably ... one just needs to know if a blogger is credible or not ... the lithus tests are poor reviews, none are a red flag

the other thing to note is that although some experts are well intentioned ... many of them are very fit athletes, so what works for them may not work for you ... also note that they may also be sponsored to "sell" such gear ... i can think of climbers who have swapped sponsors over the years

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/16/2010 17:13:32 MST.

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
Gear Reviews - Eric on 12/16/2010 17:43:45 MST Print View

Good points Eric, especially about no poor reviews being a red flag. Even if experts aren't very fit athletes (I've never considered myself an athlete, though I have been quite fit at times)what works for them may not work for others - I always point out my quirks, sizes and preferences (wide feet, warm sleeper, long back, short legs etc) so readers can judge my comments accordingly.

Thanks for your comments on my blog.

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Reviewer Dane at coldthistle on 12/16/2010 18:51:54 MST Print View

What do you think of Dane at coldthistle.com?
“I switched a few years ago to all Schoeller style clothing. But unbelieving in just how far I really needed to go I bought all the gear in an insulated form.
To be specific Arteryx Gamma MX hoody and pants. I have worn out a set of both over time. And I still love both of them for climbing. But for everything but the very coldest weather (below -20C) I find that material (Polartec Power Shield in the Gamma MX line) to be too much now.

Why too much? Too heavy physically, too warm and not breathable enough.

OK, you ask, "WTF, Dane?" "That is a $400 piece of kit (Gamma MX Hoody) you encouraged me to buy last year and now you are telling me it is rubbish?...too warm?...too heavy?"

I am using a R1 Hoody inner layer. MEC makes R1 tops and bottoms for something like $60 retail. Or you can buy Patagonia's for $150. Same exact material and in several ways the MEC clothing is better designed imo. Now there is an easy decision?!

Yep, just the R1 and nothing between it and my skin.

- Going warm to colder temps are:

Eddie Bauer Front Point jacket…
- a combo hard shell and soft shell.
- Very water resistant (my top was dry in a soaking waterfall that went straight through my pants and filled my boots to the brim)
- and very breathable. I am highly impressed with the details of this garment and the combo of materials used. A surprising and almost immediate favorite for cold technical climbing.

-OR-

Arcteryx Atom Lt Hoody....
- lightly insulated shell
- with stretch vented sides and under the arms.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
Dane on 12/16/2010 19:25:41 MST Print View

Robert

i believe that dane has it nailed in his post .... I have the atom lt and am not as impressed by it as he is ... But like him i found that unless it was below 0f powershield was just too much with a 30 lb pack and going uphill

he climbs a lot and calls it like he sees it

imo he's done a great service to the community exposing the new petzl nomic failures

heres my total unscientific "trust" modifier for blogs and mags
- depends on ad revenue ... -10
- sponsored ... - 5
- generic pics ... -5
- full review being walking the dog and standing in a shower ...- 20
- no negative reviews on other gear ... - 20
- short 1 to 2 paragraph "review" ... - 20
- 3 month or longer review ... +10
- test gear till destruction ... +10
- action pics .... +5
- prev gave bad gear reviews +10
- use extensive amount of gear ... +10
- bought gear himself + 10000000000

etc ....