Outer shell jackets

25 Mar 2011 12:51 #2611 by Aux
Outer shell jackets was created by Aux
Hi all.

I need to get a new outer shell, mine(helly hanson packlite) is very long in the tooth and the seam seeling is starting to come lose. It served me very well. What is the opinion on the Capestorm Monsoon outer. I have a lot of Capestorm climbing wear and it last. The monsoon is very well priced if you look at some of the other shells out there. Than how good is the K-way range of shells.


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28 Mar 2011 00:01 - 28 Mar 2011 00:11 #2615 by Serious tribe
Hi Aux

I also had HH for many years, but eventually it started to delaminate, that could be because i washed it with normal detergents, but i did use it for at least 7 or 8 years. I still think that it is a good brand. I replaced that with a Kway Expedition which weighs 700g. The main issue with this jckt is that it does not have hip pockets which is fine when wearing a pack as the strap covers them anyway, however when walking around in the cold wind waiting for an image to happen it is nice to put your hands and other camera gear into a pocket rather than risk freezing fingers or loosing gear.

My wife has a Kway Kilimanjaro which weighs 700g and looks very durable, although it has not been put through its paces. Right now I have a Columbia Titanium which weighs 420g but would not be as durable as the Kway Kili, however it is lighter. As long as you don't go belting through brambles though, the lighter fabric should be ok. For me i want it as light and breathable as posable as i heat up v quickly, the longer the pit zips the better, some go from waist to mid forearm which would be nice and breezy. Also, my HH had outer baffles on the pit and hood area onto which the zips would often snag and would require taking off the jckt and zipping unsnagging and carefully re-zipping, not an option when it is cold.

I have a few bit of Cape Storm gear, and i have always been very happy with it, although not an outer shell. With regards the Monsoon Jckt, not having waist pockets and pit zips would immediately rule this jckt out for me. The Kway Nimbus and Isobar shells looks quite good for the money, especially the former, good features.

Features I like in a shell:
Light weight.
Long enough pit zips.
Reinforced shoulder areas.
Waist pockets.
Storable hood into collar section, not with zips though, just min velcro attachment points.
Hood big enough to place leading edge over a small peaked cap - to keep rain off glasses as much as posable.
Bottom section scalloped low enough to keep your but warm, but not to low in front.
Main zip baffle with min velcro attachment points, or new plasticized zippers with no baffle.

Yes I have thought about this a lot over the years as you can tell.

Hope this helps.
Last edit: 28 Mar 2011 00:11 by Serious tribe.

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28 Mar 2011 05:32 #2617 by Aux
Replied by Aux on topic Re: Outer shell jackets.
Hi St.

Thanx for the info. Had a look at a lot of Shells over the weekend. The k-way jackets looks gr8 and the construction of the jacket is top. Use to work in n store that sells hiking stuff so i am very fussy about a lot of things. I think the K-way is by far the best bang for your buck. Hade a look at Capestorm aswell. The product is fine but i dont like it if i walk into a store and the guy working there dont know there own product, and dont know the differance between a soft and hard shell let alone the tech construction of the differant shells. I did however found a shell that i like. It is onsale as there is a new modle one the way. First Accent Discovery (i think)it looks good and have most of what i like in a shell and it is very cheap. Do any of you have one of them and are you happy with it.


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29 Mar 2011 20:17 #2626 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Re: Outer shell jackets.
I think I have the Capestorm Monsoon. Its the fairly thin and light one, with a white, plastic-like inside with grey patterns on it? I can't remember what my model is and its not written on the jacket either. I find it doesn't take much to get it soaked through, and I've heard the same complaint from others. I have used it in the Berg before and certainly enjoy the weight (under 400g), but I when I see bad weather moving in, I don't want to be worried that my jacket won't hold. For me a solid jacket is a core piece of equipment, and knowing I have a good jacket in my pack gives me confidence. I now generally use it for day climbing trips in the Magaliesberg and when I fertilise my lawn in the rain, which I did recently, and afterward it felt damp on the inside already.

I use a Kway jacket, again, can't remember what the model is, but its blue and grey and is a much thicker shell. It has a waterproof and breathable membrane. Its heavier and thicker and provides a much better barrier and insulation against the weather. Have used it in the Himalayas too, though its easier to stay dry in snow and ice sometimes than it is in a gusting Berg thunderstorm! I used to own its predecessor, and when the zip starting giving me occasional problems some of the taping came loose, Cape Union upgraded me for free!

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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30 Mar 2011 12:22 - 30 Mar 2011 12:32 #2629 by mike
Replied by mike on topic Re: Outer shell jackets.
Hi Aux

I have been using a Fa Discovery for the last 5 years and its stood up pretty well! The model I have is slightly dif to the one out now, they have improved it slightly. The advantage on the new shells from FA is the soft lining on the inside of the colar, in cold conditions it is a lot more comfi! Im not sure if the new discovery has that but I have seen it on the Insulator jacket .
The fabric is tough and durable and so far has remained completely water tight. :thumbsup:
Last edit: 30 Mar 2011 12:32 by mike.

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30 Mar 2011 15:29 - 30 Mar 2011 15:42 #2631 by zen101
Replied by zen101 on topic Re: Outer shell jackets.
I have the new model First Accent:

This one

I'm surprised at the weight they specify because it feels MUCH heavier than that!! However its very warm and rugged.

I'm glad to see some people have had long use from it.
Last edit: 30 Mar 2011 15:42 by zen101.

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04 Sep 2012 21:08 #55152 by newton
Replied by newton on topic Re: Outer shell jackets.
Does anybody have any experience with First ascend's summit, insulator or dry-lite jackets? (or any other good waterproof jacket)I replaced my Karrimor a year ago with a dry-lite(I think),but it differs from the current dry-lite product. I'm also not too happy with it's performance

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06 Sep 2012 16:08 #55165 by Hermann
Replied by Hermann on topic Re: Outer shell jackets.
I have a First Ascent Insulator,been using it for about two and a half years now. Fantastic jacket,I would recommend it any day. Check it out at www.firstascent.co.za/shop/mens-insulator-jacket/

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11 Sep 2012 13:33 #55202 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Outer shell jackets

The one thing not being mentioned is breathability or MVT(moistur vapour transfer) ratings. Presuming a certain quality level from the manufacturer and sealed seams your jacket should repel water. What differentiates one jacket from the next is how well it breathes.

MVT's on FA jackets are around 10k compared to goretex products starting at 25k. FA has a range of eVent jackets which are very breathable, even compared with goretex but the price goes up. The big US brands like Marmot, Mountain Hardwear and The North Face all make jackets with own brand membranes that breath nearly as well as Goretex or eVent and only cost between R 1200 and R 1500. These are the best value in my opinion, as you get the performance you ultimately need. My Marmot Aegis jacket cost 140$ and breaths well at 20k MVT (and has pit zips).

My experience in the mountains is that I sweat pretty quickly under load with a jacket on and this makes it worth saving up for a good breathable option. If the product doesn't have an MVT spec., there's a good reason for it so check with the salesperson first.

PS. With regards to rain pants this issue is just as important.

Good luck

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20 Sep 2013 20:36 #58551 by john mark 1
Replied by john mark 1 on topic Outer shell jackets
Hey ASL/ others

The FA flash flood jacket has the following specs:
Fabric: Vapour-Tex
5000 g/m2/24hrs Breathability

What MTV rating is that comparable to, or is MTV and g/m2/24hours the same thing?

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