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petsfed


Feb 5, 2010, 3:23 PM
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Softshells of 2010
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I had to send in a Patagonia Ascensionist Jacket because of some seam issues that they've told me they can't fix. Unfortunately, they don't sell that jacket anymore, except in XL, which is too big for me.

That discontinuation is the reason why I'm asking. The old searches don't reflect what's actually on the market.

I need a hooded, uninsulated, stretchy softshell. No frills, no laminates so that its soft-shell-like (looking at you Mountain Hardware), just breathes well, climbs well, and deals with the wind. If the jacket is not up to climbing offwidths or dealing with a heavy pack, I don't want it.

It looks like the Arc'terxy Gamma MX, the Sierra Designs Vapor Hoody, the Marmot Genesis, or the OR Alibi (although it looks like it has a laminate. C'mon guys, if I wanted water-proof/breathable jacket, don't you think I'd look for that instead?).

Did I miss any? Any that are really awesome? Any that really suck? Weird sizing?

I prefer drier climates, so I really want something that'll keep the spindrift and wind out, goes over a helmet, but stays light and breathes well.


whipper


Feb 5, 2010, 3:45 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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http://www.milletusa.com/catalogue/super-touring-p-189.html?typo_prod=1:us&temp=1&cPath=1_4_10_13

sorry, no clicky...cut and past


(This post was edited by whipper on Feb 5, 2010, 3:46 PM)


ncrockclimber


Feb 5, 2010, 3:51 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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I have been itching to try these guys out but have not yet. I heard that they make good stuff...

http://www.beyondclothing.com/


zxcv


Feb 5, 2010, 3:57 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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Did Patagonia state that they were stopping production on the Ascentionist permanently, or only for the spring/summer season? They tend to do the later as a matter of course.

Of your stated choices, i have found the Gamma Mx (mine is the hoody) to be insufficiently breathable (it is a laminate), not terribly durable, and lacking features that I prefer. It also is lightly insulated, unlike the Ascentionist.

The elastic cuffs on mine lasted 1.5 seasons before being uselessly stretched out. The handwarmer pockets are not accessible when wearing a harness or hipbelt, and I find the cordlocks for the hood to be entirely too small to manipulate with gloved hands. After 3 years, the sleeves have delaminated and the shoulders are pilled...

Other people love this jacket, so YMMV

The Ascentionist is still for sale on numerous vendor sites... if you want a more breathable, but less windresistant softshell than the Ascentionist, look at the MEC Ferrata 2. About as simple as they come.


k.l.k


Feb 5, 2010, 4:42 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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You want the Cloudveil Serendipity, but with a hood. Schoeller Dryskin, unlined, good zippers and cuffs. But it doesn't have a hood, and their hooded softshells are either fleece insulated or else Windstopper crap.

The Gamma is a laminate. Good for skiing, or sitting in a belay, not good for anything that involves aerobic movement.

Beyondclothing will have the fabric you want-- ifyr going to spend retail anyway, I'd just pull the trigger.

Or you could try Tadgear-- it's DWR rather than a laminate. I've not seen or handled the fabric.

http://www.tadgear.com/shop.php?id=649


zxcv


Feb 5, 2010, 6:17 PM
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Re: [k.l.k] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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k.l.k., years ago Cloudveil made an all Schoeller-Dryskin jacket called the Black Ice that had a lined, helmet compatible hood. It's brilliant- I have two.

If you go for Schoeller Dryskin, it will drape better than the Ascentionist, dry a bit slower, have better stretch, breath better, but be less wind-resitant. Durability (of the fabric) I can't comment on as I have not used the Ascentionist enough to tell.

I do not find Dryskin to be suitable for above-treeline in the Northeast winter unless it is a calm day as it is not wind-resistant enough for my tastes.


petsfed


Feb 5, 2010, 6:36 PM
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Re: [ncrockclimber] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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ncrockclimber wrote:
I have been itching to try these guys out but have not yet. I heard that they make good stuff...

http://www.beyondclothing.com/

I own and operate a Beyond Fleece Cold Fusion jacket. I love it, but it is insulated and I don't really want to go through them again.

I'm hoping that when the Patagonia people call me to see what direction I want to go for replacing the old Ascensionist, they'll just tell me that a new one is on the way for summer, in which case I'll get it cheap. I'm not betting on it though. I might just go through mgear.com, since they have my size still.


tmplcrg


Feb 5, 2010, 7:09 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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I'm curious about something: I tried out one of the early Ascensionist Jackets, and I ended up returning it because the pockets weren't high enough above my harness to be usable (despite claims on the website) and the fabric reinforcement for the zipper, near your face, was so stiff that even when the jacket was unzipped one side didn't 'drape' and stayed upright like you had it fully zipped up. Did your jacket have these issues, or was it an updated design?

Thanks


petsfed


Feb 5, 2010, 9:29 PM
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Re: [tmplcrg] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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Well, I have a very short torso, so I'm used to the harness interfering with the pockets, so I didn't really notice.

As for the collar, yeah I guess it did do that, but only when I was wearing a pack, so I just used the sternum strap to keep it out of the way.

The premise behind the jacket is why I liked it so much, and it bums me out that everybody insists on either a laminate or insulation for their softshells. I don't always wear insulation with my hardshells, and there are always dry days where I don't need the insulation alongside the windproofing, so there's a clear need. I guess most companies believe that climbing on abrasive stone is done either in full conditions, or on bluebird days, but not somewhere in between.


hafilax


Feb 5, 2010, 10:47 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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I'm looking for the same jacket. I have Patagonia alpine guide pants. I'd like to find the jacket equivalent I think.

I tried on an ice climbing jacket at REI last weekend but it was too tricked out. Hardshell hood and shoulders with the rest softshell. Full side zips. It also had a mini polartech hood for under the helmet. It fit well but I had the feeling that the features would piss me off more than come in handy.


reno


Feb 5, 2010, 10:50 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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Mammut Laser fits that list, I think. Might be wrong... had a couple drams of scotch.

Edit: Forgot to include a link....

http://www.mammut.ch/...aser+Jacket+Men.html


(This post was edited by reno on Feb 5, 2010, 10:51 PM)


qwert


Feb 6, 2010, 2:35 AM
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Re: [reno] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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So i am going to recommend something that does not fit a few of your needs, but i would say it will be worth the tradeoffs (if it is still as good as it was in 2005 or so, when i bough it):
Arcteryx gamma SV

simply because i have not yet managed to destroy it, although i wear it daily (if the weather matches, wich is roughly 2/3 of the year) and have yet to see any significant wear, apart from the little abraded spot on the cuffs, and the hole on the chest where i fell into some thorns, while jumping of my bike at full speed.
Also it is not laminated!

qwert


petsfed


Feb 6, 2010, 10:08 AM
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Re: [qwert] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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qwert wrote:
So i am going to recommend something that does not fit a few of your needs, but i would say it will be worth the tradeoffs (if it is still as good as it was in 2005 or so, when i bough it):
Arcteryx gamma SV

simply because i have not yet managed to destroy it, although i wear it daily (if the weather matches, wich is roughly 2/3 of the year) and have yet to see any significant wear, apart from the little abraded spot on the cuffs, and the hole on the chest where i fell into some thorns, while jumping of my bike at full speed.
Also it is not laminated!

qwert

But it is insulated. And that's really problem, since I've got two really high quality insulated softshells (one based on a Patagonia pattern).

That seems to be the biggest problem: the hooded ones have insulation, or laminates. Like spindrift or wind isn't concern when you're moving too fast to want insulation.

That mammut one looks good though.


granite_grrl


Feb 6, 2010, 12:20 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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The Gamma doesn't have much insulation, just a bit of fuzz on the inside. I like to have this little bit, but odn't find it's too much on warmer days (though I am a women and we tend to run a bit colder). I have found it durable, but it doesn't fit me great (thought pockets are accessible when wearing a harness for me) and would not buy it again.

A jacket my friend showed me and looks impressive is the OR Alibi jacket. http://www.ontarioclimbing.com/...topgear/bgotyp4.html

It's features really impressed me, but unfortunately I can't talk about how well it actually performs in the field.

Good luck in your search!


sspssp


Feb 6, 2010, 1:46 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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Yea, lightweight but durable clothing is hard to find. I also like the patagonia alpine pants and would like a jacket equivalent.

Another option I would like for my jackets (although I expect most would find it an annoying option): I would like my softshell jackets to have a thin, nylon hard shell hood (sized to fit over a helmet) that you could roll up and zip out of the way in the back of the collar. Most of the time, it would be zipped out of the way. Being just nylon, it wouldn't be very bulky. It could be worn over the helmet to keep wind, spindrift, or light rain from going inside the jacket. For warmth, I already have hats that I wear inside the helmet.

I wish it was an option that beyondclothing offered.


(This post was edited by sspssp on Feb 6, 2010, 1:47 PM)


northfacejmb


Feb 6, 2010, 3:00 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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A few months ago I was trying to decide between the Alibi and the Gamma MX.
I got the OR Alibi for Christmas and have been wearing it since. So far it has handled everything perfectly. The laminate is only on the hood, shoulders, and top of the arms. The back and sides is a very thin un-insulated soft shell material that is very breathable. The front and undersides of the arms is a medium weight softshell fabric with a fleece lining.
I could not be happier with this jacket.
The hood adjusts well, pit zips up the breathability to excellent, and the wrist gaiter things keep cold air from creeping in.


Durin


Feb 7, 2010, 12:09 PM
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Re: [northfacejmb] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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http://bergans.no/.../start_produkter.asp

It won't let me link the actual jacket. Go into men's clothing, softshells, and look for the microlight jacket.

Stumbled across it at Neptune, I think it was $150. It's windproof, feels durable, and has no insulation.

I'm looking for a softshell too -- something on the order of a marmot DW but with a hood. Any ideas?


(This post was edited by Durin on Feb 7, 2010, 12:11 PM)


Durin


Feb 7, 2010, 12:18 PM
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Re: [Durin] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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Also, Patagonia just brought the Houdini back out... I was thinking of getting one.

I think it fits your criteria except for durability.


petsfed


Feb 7, 2010, 1:04 PM
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Re: [Durin] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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Durin wrote:
Also, Patagonia just brought the Houdini back out... I was thinking of getting one.

I think it fits your criteria except for durability.

I looked at that. But it would get destroyed shortly after I purchased it. It'd be a waste of money for me.

By the way, did that Microlight's hood fit over a helmet?


(This post was edited by petsfed on Feb 7, 2010, 1:04 PM)


Durin


Feb 7, 2010, 1:27 PM
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I forget if the hood fits over or under the helmet. But I do remember trying it on with a helmet in the store and thinking it'd work just fine.

Also, I had a Marmot DW for about 6 months before losing it. I expected to shred it to pieces, but oddly it held together, even going through granite chimneys and crap.


shoo


Feb 7, 2010, 1:33 PM
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Re: [zxcv] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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zxcv wrote:
Of your stated choices, i have found the Gamma Mx (mine is the hoody) to be insufficiently breathable (it is a laminate), not terribly durable, and lacking features that I prefer. It also is lightly insulated, unlike the Ascentionist.

Ummmm, no. . . Perhaps you have something other than the Gamma MX? The Gamma MX does not have a laminate. It is Polartec Powershield and Schoeller Dynamic GNS. It is absurdly breathable.

As for durability, I've had mixed experience with this jacket. While on the one hand, it has held up to abuse from rubbing pretty well. The seams have all been very well put-together, no problems there. However, the material does catch on small, sharp things and tears pretty easily. I've put a few small tears in my pants from an errant crampon, but I'm pretty sure that would have cut through almost anything I would have been wearing anyway.

The Gamma MX is seriously, seriously stretchy, and super comfortable. For waterproofness, I wouldn't use it as a rain jacket, but it'll hold up almost anything I have experienced in the winter for sure. Similar for wind protection. It isn't particularly warm by itself, but it's a shell; it's not really supposed to.

Essentially, you are sacrificing a negligable amount of wind and water proofness for absurd breathability and freedom of movement.


petsfed


Feb 7, 2010, 5:59 PM
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shoo wrote:
Ummmm, no. . . Perhaps you have something other than the Gamma MX? The Gamma MX does not have a laminate. It is Polartec Powershield and Schoeller Dynamic GNS. It is absurdly breathable.

According to Malden Mills, its actually a membrane.

About Power Shield

From my experience, that means it won't breath enough. That means you can't move too fast, even if the windchill is below zero, for fear of wetting out the garment from sweat. That's a real problem for me.


shoo


Feb 7, 2010, 7:44 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Softshells of 2010 [In reply to]
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petsfed wrote:
shoo wrote:
Ummmm, no. . . Perhaps you have something other than the Gamma MX? The Gamma MX does not have a laminate. It is Polartec Powershield and Schoeller Dynamic GNS. It is absurdly breathable.

According to Malden Mills, its actually a membrane.

About Power Shield

From my experience, that means it won't breath enough. That means you can't move too fast, even if the windchill is below zero, for fear of wetting out the garment from sweat. That's a real problem for me.

Interesting. I don't think this "membrane" is what is normally considered a membrane for soft-shell garments (i.e. waterproof, windproof fabric layer), though I may be wrong. I generally think of soft-shells as being from the weather-proof and weather-resistant category, with the former being heavier, stiffer, and less breathable. This particular jacket clearly belongs in the latter category.

In any case, I really can't imagine a shell layer being significantly more breathable than what I'm using right now, but I have not tried anything else in its pricing range, so YMMV.


Durin


Feb 7, 2010, 8:09 PM
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shoo wrote:
but I have not tried anything else in its pricing range, so YMMV.

I know! I don't know of any jackets for under $400.


Crimsonghost


Feb 8, 2010, 2:35 AM
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You might have trouble tracking one down as I don't think it's produced anymore, but the Arcteryx Alpha Comp Hoody might be what you're after. It's got a hardshell hood, shoulders and elbows and super breathable woven softshell everywhere else. I bought one after my Patagonia Dimension jacket finally died and it's pretty much perfect for ice climbing, mountaineering and ski touring.

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