Outer shell jackets

16 Jan 2015 13:26 #62619 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Outer shell jackets
I did a review of the Hi-Tec Hard Rain Shell Docker jacket recently. I took this jacket on the GT, and for those who actually read my review of conditions on the Yodeler's ridge - I think I can quite safely say that this jacket has been tested in the most testing conditions it was built for :laugh:

Hi-Tec sent me a Hi-Tec Hard Rain Shell Docker to try out. Rain coats are an interesting item when it comes to hiking. They can be a survival item in certain cases, especially when doing a light pack day hike.

The first observation I had on this jacket was that it is very light. As a fan of difficult day hikes – doing over 20km with around 2km of altitude gain in a day – this is vital. Every 100g you can shave off your pack could be the difference between success and failure on these routes.

It also has 2 features that I really like – zips under the arms and a secondary collar. By “secondary collar” I mean that there is a traditional collar in addition to the hood. This means that you can protect your neck from the sun when using the jacket as a windbreaker without having to put the hood on.

Another aspect that I really like is the shape of the hood. Generally jackets designed for use in mountain conditions have some form of a visor and side walls to protect your face. This jacket does not. This may sound odd – but I find that I am forever taking off my hood on a raincoat due to the restricted visibility of the hood. When it’s pouring with rain I still need to see where I’m going to plan the best line when doing off trail hiking. So for me this is a great design.

The jacket does have the standard issue that all its competitors have – breathable raincoats tend to be uncomfortable if worn with a short sleeve shirt. The material doesn’t feel good against your skin – but in most cases where you would need a raincoat, you wouldn’t be wearing a short sleeve shirt anyway. I personally hike in a long sleeve shirt even on hot days – mostly to prevent sunburn on my arms.

I recently took this jacket on a 13 day Grand Traverse of the KZN Drakensberg. The hike included 5 consecutive days of bad weather, including the worst weather I have ever hiked in – a gale force wind with driving rain and thick mist. Practically every item of clothing I had was soaked by the end of the second day of bad weather. The only waterproof item that never let me down was my jacket. I was equipped with various items that have stood up to difficult weather in the past, so I cannot understate how impressed I have been with this raincoat.

I would highly recommend this jacket.

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23 Nov 2015 17:29 #65875 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic Outer shell jackets
Anyone used one of these?
www.trappers.co.za/mac-in-a-sac-waterproof-jacket
The weight appeals to me, if the protection is right.
Thanks

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23 Nov 2015 18:29 #65877 by jeremyeb
Replied by jeremyeb on topic Outer shell jackets
I've used a Mac-in-a-sac for a couple years, and feel it's a good product. Its seen some pretty bad conditions on Skyrun and Mweni Marathon in particular (rain, hail, sleet and snow) and kept me dry. It's compact, light and more affordable than many other hard shells out there.

The jacket doesn't 'breathe' too well however, but for my purposes it has been perfect. For longer hikes or where weight is not such an issue I do still tend to take a heavier and more 'bombproof' shell from 1st Ascent. I would say that the Mac-in-sac is a very useful jacket to throw in for most missions.
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26 Apr 2016 11:32 #67988 by Coeta
Replied by Coeta on topic Outer shell jackets
Hi guys
I'm in the market for a rain shell.
Have been looking at these:
First Ascent
and
Mountain Hardwear

I saw we have a few Plasmic users, anyone have an opinion or experience with FA?

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26 Apr 2016 11:39 #67989 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Outer shell jackets
Without having used either product, I would go with the Mountain Hardwear one. 2 reasons:
1) It is 131g lighter
2) MHW is an amazing brand - every time I have bought their gear, I have been very happy with it
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26 Apr 2016 11:57 - 26 Apr 2016 13:12 #67990 by Viking
Replied by Viking on topic Outer shell jackets

Coeta wrote: Hi guys
I'm in the market for a rain shell.
Have been looking at these:
First Ascent
and
Mountain Hardwear

I saw we have a few Plasmic users, anyone have an opinion or experience with FA?


Based on brand alone, I'd choose Mountain Hardwear. First Ascent technical gear seems to have deteriorated in recent years.
However, make sure you are comparing like for like. Find out more about the plasmic's waterproofing and breathablilty ratings.

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”
Last edit: 26 Apr 2016 13:12 by Viking.
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27 Apr 2016 18:01 #68032 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Outer shell jackets
My friend Riaan has been using the Plasmic for a few years and is very happy with it.

I have another recommendation though.. In 2009 I was in the USA and bought a Marmot Aegis jacket which is outstanding value. It was voted gear of the year by Backpacker magazine and best hiking jacket by Gearlab.

If you can bring in a jacket via Amazon or Moosjaw, Marmot is in my opinion the best value in the US Market. Marmot has a range of lightweight mountain jackets with their Nanopro membrane that rates more breathable than gore-tex and have excellent features. My Aegis weighs 330 grams and their recent products are even lighter. I really like the new Artemis which is made with a stretch fabric and the comfort of a soft shell.

Have a look at www.marmot.com
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02 May 2016 09:45 - 02 May 2016 09:55 #68130 by mayake
Replied by mayake on topic Outer shell jackets
hi Coeta, I am personaly fond of multilayer system more than a softshell, this is very easy to use, very light, and it suits to all situations for me. For exemple I am using Haglof Lim II jacket (which is great and very resistant, now Lim III - I have been told of a problem of Marmot membrane abruption, but maybe their new fabric is better), a light hoody synthetic thermal jacket (Montbell) and a light very perspirant polar fleece (Arc'teryx Delta LT which is great too).
Hoping it will help.
Last edit: 02 May 2016 09:55 by mayake.
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19 May 2016 20:27 #68511 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic Outer shell jackets
Does anyone know the purpose of this flap between the collar and body of a Hi-Tec
rain jacket? It has no pockets or opening or anything..

Ghaz do you perhaps know as I know you test their stuff?




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20 May 2016 08:28 #68512 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Outer shell jackets
Which of their raincoats is that one? I can't see from the photo.

Lots of their raincoat hoods fold into the collar (a rather gimmicky feature as it makes the collar massive), but this looks like it might be something to do with a "jacket folds up into its own pocket" kind of feature (something I have never figured out the point of, or how to do).

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