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2009 Goretex Pro Shells

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Re: 2009 Goretex Pro Shells

Postby George James » Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:22 am

I guess these last three guys are right (and I really appreciate that they care enough to add their two cents)...for the vast majority of outdoor adventure in Colorado, especially in winter, a new high tech soft shell will be your best friend.

I personally still like having a hard shell with me for the chance of the pouring down rain, as small as the chances might be around here. I also figure that every now & then when I head off to hike or climb where it rains more, I'll already have the right jacket.

It sounded to me like ortho just moved here and needs to get his first good jacket, not just for winter but for everything. My next big jacket purchase will likely be a winter weight soft shell as my gear continues to get more specialized, but I wanted the hard shell first, I feel like I can go to it in all seasons and conditions. And one more time, the breathability is an afterthought when you can unzip the whole side of the jacket.
Last edited by George James on Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
- A mountain is not a checkbox to be ticked
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Re: 2009 Goretex Pro Shells

Postby jverrant1 » Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:59 pm

I use a Marmot Exum Gore Tex Pro Shell. I have used it in everything from full on blizzard conditions around 12,500-13,000 ft, to walking around town in the rain, and everything in between. It is one piece of gear i would never go without. I would highly recommend it or any of marmots gore tex pro clothing...you cant go wrong with anything marmot!

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Re: 2009 Goretex Pro Shells

Postby pvnisher » Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:47 pm

It's true, in cold or snow often softshell is a better choice than hardshell.
However, if I couldn't buy multiple jackets, and could pick just one for year-round, multi-purpose (backpack, dayhike, winter climb, etc) use, I would get a hooded, pit-zipped Pro Shell.
Is it the perfect jacket for every condition? No. But with the right layers underneath, it's right, or close enough, for most situations where you need a jacket.

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Re: 2009 Goretex Pro Shells

Postby Prairie Native » Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:48 pm

Here is why I use a hard shell: For even the coldest approaches to treeline I have found that a baselayer, and a decent fleece jacket + hard shell to keep the snow off the fleece = super warm with VERY little wieght. Above treeline you can put a light down jacket on top of the fleece and put the shell back on to protect the down and be ready for any temps colorado can throw at you. The wieght of fleece and down is incredibly light for the warmth and compression of the down jacket jacket takes up almost no room or wieght in your pack. I use a hardshell for protection for the other materials I like to use, it keeps me light and versitle. This setup has been good for me from -15 with lots of wind up to 40 degrees. Just my two cents. I also think that as with everything, this is a personal subject. Some people still climb in Jeans...
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Re: 2009 Goretex Pro Shells

Postby BaronVonBergschrund » Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:11 pm

Fleece material is an efficient layering system for going to the mall or out to dinner.

For the mountains, a baselayer, synthetic or down sweater and then a softshell is lighter and more versatile. Throw a belay jacket over the whole thing and you have a complete system. In high-output or warm conditions different weights of baselayers under a softshell are appropriate. I don't even own a fleece jacket anymore.

warm: short sleeve baselayer, softshell jacket
colder: silkweight short sleeve baselayer, midweight long sleeve baselayer, softshell jacket, belay parka
colder: silkweight short sleeve baselayer, heavyweight long sleeve baselayer, softshell jacket, belay parka
colder: midweight short sleeve baselayer, synthetic down sweater, softshell jacket, belay parka
colder: midweight long sleeve baselayer, synthetic down sweater, softshell jacket, belay parka
colder: silkweight short sleeve baselayer, heavyweight long sleeve baselayer, synthetic down sweater, softshell jacket, belay parka

silkweight short sleeve baselayer = Capilene 1 or equivalent
midweight long sleeve baselayer = Capilene 3 or equivalent
heavyweight long sleeve baselayer = R1 hoody or equivalent
synthetic down sweater = MontBell UL Thermawrap or equivalent
softshell jacket = Patagonia Ascentionist Jacket, Arc'Teryx Gamma MX hoody
belay parka = MHW Sub Zero SL or DAS Parka

For pants just go with a nice softshell pant and if it is cold layer on a lightweight baselayer. The REI Acme pants are surprisingly good, Patagonia Guide or Winter Guide or Arc'teryx Gamma MX pants (my pick). I do still have a Gore-Tex XCR jacket (for if it rains) but I don't have any waterproof pants. Not really needed anymore after the softshell came along.
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Re: 2009 Goretex Pro Shells

Postby BaronVonBergschrund » Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:21 pm

cvrti5 wrote:So I'm not trying to say "Dude, I'm so lost with all these jackets", I'm trying to understand the fundamental scientific parameters of each fabric. I realize that jacket implementation features, such as pit zips, are also important. But right now I am just wanting to know unambiguous information on the fabrics, and not just "R stuff breathes real good, so buy it".

You are overthinking it. Gore-Tex Pro Shell and eVent are the two leading fabrics for hardshell jackets right now. If you made the same style jacket out of each of those fabrics, I doubt the vast majority of hikers/climbers could tell the difference. This is like arguing over the dampening characteristics of suspension forks for mountain biking, grams per carabiner in climbing or how "present" the sound is from your home stereo after you installed that new wooden knob. It doesn't matter for 99.999% of the people out there.
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Re: 2009 Goretex Pro Shells

Postby pvnisher » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:18 pm

BaronVonBergschrund wrote:Fleece material is an efficient layering system for going to the mall or out to dinner.

For the mountains, a baselayer, synthetic or down sweater and then a softshell is lighter and more versatile.


I totally disagree. A synth or down sweater doesn't have very good moisture breathing properties at all. I much prefer fleece because it breathes like a champ, and it's also not windproof, which I happen to like quite a bit.

Base layer, fleece jacket w/ pit zips, and a Pro Shell w/ pit zips is the way to go. For me.
I find that my softshells weigh more and have too much insulation. I prefer hardshell and fleece.

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Re: 2009 Goretex Pro Shells

Postby BaronVonBergschrund » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:13 pm

pvnisher wrote:I totally disagree. A synth or down sweater doesn't have very good moisture breathing properties at all. I much prefer fleece because it breathes like a champ, and it's also not windproof, which I happen to like quite a bit.

If you are sweating with a down sweater on, you should not have put it on in the first place. It doesn't HAVE to breathe. When you stop, you should be getting cold right away - this is when you put on your belay jacket. Layer correctly and you don't have to use pit zips which add to the weight of a garment and only vent one part of the body.

pvnisher wrote:Base layer, fleece jacket w/ pit zips, and a Pro Shell w/ pit zips is the way to go. For me.
I find that my softshells weigh more and have too much insulation. I prefer hardshell and fleece.

You have the wrong softshells, then. My softshell (Patagonia Ascentionist) weighs no more than a ProShell.

EDIT: My last words on this subject: I used the baselayer/fleece/hardshell combo for many, many years and after switching recognized that baselayer(s)/softshell/belay jacket or baselayer(s)/down sweater/softshell/belay jacket was better. Have you tried this alternative system?
Baron Von Bergschrund
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Re: 2009 Goretex Pro Shells

Postby Prairie Native » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:45 pm

My LAST post on this topic: As mentioned before, this is what works for me and while I have not tried a softshell outside of a gear shop, what I have works GREAT. I cant justify spending another 600 bucks to replace a system that already works. As you have stated as long as it works then 99.9999% of the time, specifics do not matter. I do not use Proshell, I use Paclight and the material is incredibly light and has WORKED for what I have needed it for. Also regarding fleece: I'm not sure it is fleece but I use the Mountainhardwear monkey-man jacket. Kinda a novelty, but it works wonderously. I agree with the previous poster about liking the breathability of fleece. But as soon as I throw the shell on top of it, it insulates much more than even I expected.

Once more I reiterate: It is a personal preference to what people like and use. This is my system and I'm sticking to it.
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Re: 2009 Goretex Pro Shells

Postby CorduroyCalves » Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:30 am

pvnisher wrote:
BaronVonBergschrund wrote:Fleece material is an efficient layering system for going to the mall or out to dinner.

For the mountains, a baselayer, synthetic or down sweater and then a softshell is lighter and more versatile.


I totally disagree. A synth or down sweater doesn't have very good moisture breathing properties at all. I much prefer fleece because it breathes like a champ, and it's also not windproof, which I happen to like quite a bit.

Base layer, fleece jacket w/ pit zips, and a Pro Shell w/ pit zips is the way to go. For me.
I find that my softshells weigh more and have too much insulation. I prefer hardshell and fleece.


That, and there's no way I'd wear a down sweater under a softshell. I'd get waaay too hot to quickly to make it work, plus I don't think there's enough room under my softshell to be very comfortable.
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Re: 2009 Goretex Pro Shells

Postby atalarico » Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:12 pm

I have two jackets that I love.

One is an Arc Teryx Beta AR which is a few years old. It features PacLite and XCR. I've used it for backpacking in Michigan, which tends to be very hot and wet (hah!). I also took it up Bierstadt for my one summit. It worked well.

My favorite terrible weather piece though was the Marmot Exum that I acquired a few years after I got my Beata AR. This is an amazing shell. I use it for everything from snowboarding, winter backcountry backpacking, and all around light-weight water/wind barrier. It's incredibly light, the pockets are well placed and extremely spacious, the pit zips are long, the hood is accommodating with a brim that holds up very well in adverse weather conditions. The cut of it is perfect, and the waist cinches hold up well. They have these rubber pieces on them that you can actually craftily tie to snowpants or shell pants.

That said, both of those are quite pricey and I'll admit I didn't pay MSRP for them. However, if I am getting any indication of how long these shells are going to last me, I'd probably get the Exum MSRP or on sale.

As for the eVent vs GoreTex debate...ugh. WTF knows. It's so subjective and quite honestly I don't think anyone will ever notice a gigantic difference. We're talking microns here. I don't have any allegiances to one or the other, I just happen to have two Gore jackets and they've performed quite well.

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Re: 2009 Goretex Pro Shells

Postby timd » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:56 am

I have recently discovered Sherpa Adventure Gear. This gear was designed by Sherpas to withstand the conditions on Everest. I recently bought a light Softshell from these people and wore it last week on Quandary. i t blocked the heavy winds up there and kept me totally warm the whole time.

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