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theriel


Nov 19, 2011, 5:17 PM
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Building your wardrobe - in search for versatile essentials
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Hello all,
First of all - it is my pleasure to be able to join this great community! Hopefully I will stay here for a while.

Having done fun-mountain-hiking for years, I decided that it's time to progress and get more serious about this hobby. My plan for the coming year includes: Kilimanjaro, Alps in summer and Alps in winter.

So, I need to slightly "refurbish my wardrobe" (I would be embarrassed to say what I have been using so far). I am looking to buy a set of garments which would be as versatile as possible and which could serve me for long time (and accompany me as I progress). I already have various Merino base layers.

I have thought about getting:
1)sweater (midlayer, e.g. 200-300 fleece)
2)fleece/softshell jacket (think: wind)
3)Goretex shell (trousers + jacket)

This way I would be able to wear just base layers + jacket in warm and windy conditions (10-15C), adding sweater in winter and shell in snow/rain (think -10C). I am not convinced, however, whether getting the sweater is a good choice (instead of e.g. parka, and to treat my fleece jacket as the mid-layer).

Having reviewed this and other fora, I thought about:
1)Arc'teryx Strato or Delta or Patagonia R1 Hoody
2)Arc'teryx Atom LT jacket (or maybe Arc'teryx SV hoody? or Arc'teryx Hyllus?)
3)Marmot Precip (or Arc'teryx Alpha SL or SV, if it's worth)

I would be grateful for your opinions about my plan and recommendations of particular products!

I know that ultimately I will probably end up with the whole selection of clothes, but I would like to have something for a good start without buying 10 different fleeces of different grades...

Thank you so much for your help!
Best regards,
Theriel


(This post was edited by theriel on Nov 19, 2011, 5:18 PM)


mikebee


Nov 19, 2011, 7:27 PM
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Posts: 190

Re: [theriel] Building your wardrobe - in search for versatile essentials [In reply to]
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My 4 piece clothing system has kept me dry and warm in everything from hot weather bushwalking in Australia, ski touring, rock climbing at Arapiles and ice climbing in Canada.

- Merino Base layer (having a range of weights is ideal, zip neck and long sleeves add versatility for both cold and sun)
- Windshirt (I have both an Arc'Teryx Celeris and an MEC RD, both good, the MEC is better value, the Arcy is just better)
- waterproof jacket, go for a lightweight 3 layer, eg Goretex proshell or one of the lightweight eVent products
- Synthetic fill insulating jacket. I have a MHW compressor which I use for moderate climates, and a Rab Photon Belay Parka for alpine stuff. Buy a thick one with an oversized hood, dual zipper and ideally some decent water resistance.

This system is pretty much straight out of Mark Twight's Extreme Alpinism book (though he recommends synthetic base layers, I really prefer the merino). I'd recommend reading that book too, there's awesome info in there.

I own two heavier softshell jackets which I used to live in, but they're too heavy for hiking or alpine, too hot for hiking or rock climbing and while they're a great single piece solution, it's not specialised enough to justify it's place instead of a windshirt/synthetic fill combo, IMO. Since I bought my MHW compressor and my Celeris Jkt, my softshells have been relegated to casual wear for heading to the pub!


Kartessa


Nov 19, 2011, 7:55 PM
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Re: [theriel] Building your wardrobe - in search for versatile essentials [In reply to]
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Wow... Someone's got money to burn.

I like to keep it simple and cheap:

Baselayer - wool or synthetic (just not cotton) - something off a sale rack or consignment store.
Mid layer - sweater of some sort - I have a heavy fleece and a softshell from the cheap rack, a hoody from the lost and found at the gym (was in there for 8 Months before you start calling me a thief)
Insulated jacket - 2nd hand synthetic jacket I got at a gear swap last spring. Bonus: it's windproof!
Rain layer - OR helium jacket I won in a draw.

I also got 2nd hand merino long underwear from an auction for $2 each, a softshell pant from the clearance section ($30 instead of $145!), and some rain pants that just needed a patch. Oh... And zip-leg pants are awesome, coverage when you need it, cool when you don't.

This stuffs covers me through pretty much anything ranging from 30c in the summer to -15 in the winter. Maybe I'm less sensitive to cold - my "winter boots" are a $5 pair of rain boots with 1pr fleece socks over a pair of wool socks - but I think I'm just cheap.


Guess I just think money is better spent on a plane ticket than a dead bird logo.


mikebee


Nov 19, 2011, 8:40 PM
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Re: [Kartessa] Building your wardrobe - in search for versatile essentials [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Guess I just think money is better spent on a plane ticket than a dead bird logo.

Depends on how much money you have, I suppose. If you can afford both the dead bird and the plane ticket, why not do it!?

I own a a few pieces of Arc'Teryx gear, and most of it I believe fits and performs better than equivalent garments from other brands.
That said, the point of diminishing returns will vary from person to person, so for some people Arcy will never feature in their wardrobe, for others, they'll have a whole uniform covered with the dead bird logo.


Kartessa


Nov 19, 2011, 9:54 PM
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Re: [mikebee] Building your wardrobe - in search for versatile essentials [In reply to]
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mikebee wrote:
In reply to:
Guess I just think money is better spent on a plane ticket than a dead bird logo.

Depends on how much money you have, I suppose. If you can afford both the dead bird and the plane ticket, why not do it!?

I don't have much cash, but my math is good enough to know that 1 jacket = 2 trips to red rocks or 1 to Ceuse. Tongue

For now you can keep finding me buying my clothes at the Sally Ann


bearbreeder


Nov 19, 2011, 10:22 PM
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Re: [Kartessa] Building your wardrobe - in search for versatile essentials [In reply to]
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Kartessa wrote:
Wow... Someone's got money to burn.

I like to keep it simple and cheap:

Baselayer - wool or synthetic (just not cotton) - something off a sale rack or consignment store.
Mid layer - sweater of some sort - I have a heavy fleece and a softshell from the cheap rack, a hoody from the lost and found at the gym (was in there for 8 Months before you start calling me a thief)
Insulated jacket - 2nd hand synthetic jacket I got at a gear swap last spring. Bonus: it's windproof!
Rain layer - OR helium jacket I won in a draw.

I also got 2nd hand merino long underwear from an auction for $2 each, a softshell pant from the clearance section ($30 instead of $145!), and some rain pants that just needed a patch. Oh... And zip-leg pants are awesome, coverage when you need it, cool when you don't.

This stuffs covers me through pretty much anything ranging from 30c in the summer to -15 in the winter. Maybe I'm less sensitive to cold - my "winter boots" are a $5 pair of rain boots with 1pr fleece socks over a pair of wool socks - but I think I'm just cheap.


Guess I just think money is better spent on a plane ticket than a dead bird logo.

smart gurl ...

i used to have tons of dead birds ... i can honestly say they dont perform any better for me or last any longer than any other decent gear

picking up "outdoorsy" chicks in the bar excepted Tongue


qwert


Nov 20, 2011, 1:22 AM
Post #7 of 11 (3858 views)
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Re: [theriel] Building your wardrobe - in search for versatile essentials [In reply to]
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theriel wrote:
Having done fun-mountain-hiking for years, I decided that it's time to progress and get more serious about this hobby. My plan for the coming year includes: Kilimanjaro, Alps in summer and Alps in winter.
I am not really sure what "fun-mountain-hiking" is, or how it would relate to the topic of this site (Rock climbing), but i am going to assume that your plan is not that well thought out.

dont know too much about the kilimanjaro, but "alps in summer" could meant everything from the classic "I am going to spend 60€ to take an aerial cableway onto a nice peak, and then walk around in my flipflops, pretending to be a mountaineer" to "I want to climb the north face of the Eiger". Same with winter, only that the cable option probably will include skiing gear, and the Eiger option will be even more serious.

Nevertheless, all of that requires different gear (and different training and skills, should you want to survive the trips).

In reply to:
(I would be embarrassed to say what I have been using so far).
Why? Cant be worse than what Kartessa listed… Cool

In reply to:
I already have various Merino base layers.
Good! Love Merino too.

In reply to:
I have thought about getting:
1)sweater (midlayer, e.g. 200-300 fleece)
2)fleece/softshell jacket (think: wind)
3)Goretex shell (trousers + jacket)
Depending on what you get, that list sounds like something that could serve you well in about any condition, apart from desert and arctic. Personally i prefer a softshell as a second layer instead of a thicker fleece.

In reply to:
I would be grateful for your opinions about my plan and recommendations of particular products!
Your plan:
I dont really see your plan, apart from the fact that you want to progress from "fun-mountain-hiking" to Kilimanjaro and "alps", a plant which i would say aint that great.
Particular products:
depends quite a bit on what you need it for. I would like to recommend the arcteryx gamma sv jacket (if i remember the name correctly), since it serves me well now since over 6 years, which is about the longest i ever head a jacket. But there lies the problem: Theres no guarantee that the current version is still that good…

qwert


theriel


Nov 20, 2011, 7:37 AM
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Thank you all for your replies!

I am not keen on any dead birds - I know little about hiking brands and Arc'teryx seems to be something many people recommend (it means completely nothing to me personally).
@bearbreeder - my whole question is about what "any other decent gear" is! If there is anything else worth considering - I would appreciate info!

Having been sailing for quite a bit of time, I have quickly learnt that the cheap solutions are neither waterproof, nor warm, nor durable and quite useless after one adventure. I somehow assumed that it would be similar here - but I know nothing to argue, so I don't.

@qwert - small clarification, as requested. "Fun-mountain-hiking" refers to hiking any mountains which happened to be where I lived (e.g. Sierra Nevada, Carpathians, Alps). "Fun" refers to not having done any trip longer than 2 days in the mountains and it was never limited to good-weather-only. Rest assured, I know my limits. The plan refers to basic course in climbing in Alps in the summer and later a lot of hiking in winter (not my level for climbing). By hiking I do mean 6-8h on the trail. Later, I want to continue with my climbing adventure. Regardless, "versatility" refers to the type of gear used as middle and outer layers which you consider the most useful in *various* situations. "My Plan" refers to plan of getting sweater + jacket + shell, as opposed to something else (e.g. insulated shell)

@mikebee - thank you so much for your informative post! I think the idea of windshirt is superb, although I am not sure whether it would be enough, e.g. together with heavier base layer, in e.g. windy 15C?

Coming back to the original question - what fleece jackets and shells would you recommend? (yes, I got the point, not dead bird)

What other things like Atom LT do you know? (i.e. windproof, light, compressed jacket)


(This post was edited by theriel on Nov 20, 2011, 9:16 AM)


lena_chita
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Nov 21, 2011, 9:08 AM
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Re: [theriel] Building your wardrobe - in search for versatile essentials [In reply to]
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I think your best bet would be to plan for a specific upcoming trip, based on the actual timing/weather of the trip and things you need for it, instead of trying to build up an all-around wardrobe for all possible trips in the future. After taking several trips you will end up with an all-around versatile wardrobe... bingo!

For example, I agree that merino baselayer is a must. And you will very likely have some fleece as your next layer, and some sort of water/wind resistant shell on top of all layers.

But there is quite a bit of difference in terms of warmth level between microweight smartwool base layer, and midweight merino baselayer, or between R1 Patagonia fleece and R4 fleece, and I don't think you can get away with just one of each, if you are planning both summer and winter trips.

As far as dead birds go, I only have one piece of clothing with Ark'teryx logo -- a pair of skiing bibs. The skiing bibs I had before them was some off brand that I picked up on sale at Dick's. The difference between the two is night and day. I love my Ark'teryx pants. They actually stay dry and keep me warm, unlike the cheap-o pants. And since i got them on clearance online, and combined with a personal coupon, I actually paid slightly less for them than I paid for the stupid sale-rack bibs at Dicks.

Since my experience so far is with two extremes-- bottom-of-the-pack-cheap vs. pretty-darn-expensive, I can't very well say that any midrange skiing bibs wouldn't have been just as adequate as Ark'teryx for my decidedly-not-extreme skiing needs. But with the Ark'teryx pants that I do currently have (used for 3 years so far, and not showing any significant wear) I am not likely to be looking for a replacement for quite some time, so I wouldn't be able to compare.


rock_fencer


Nov 21, 2011, 10:52 AM
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look at offerings from RAB, Marmot, Mammut, OR, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, Arcteryx.

You can scope your local gear shop or in light of a local gear shop look online. Spadout.com, GearX, or any of the sale sites.

Also take a look at backpacking light, trailspace, outdoor gear lab, and such for reviews of gear.

do your homework and you should get a feel for what you need and what works.


redlude97


Nov 21, 2011, 12:48 PM
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R1 hoody is a must, and IMO as a versatile synthetic insulation layer you can't beat a nanopuff. Softshells are somewhat personal preference based on fit but I like the MH Dragon.


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