Outer shell jackets

15 Dec 2020 11:16 #76375 by bergbees
Replied by bergbees on topic Outer shell jackets
Layered Setup I use.

I managed to get a Black Dimond FrontPoint GoreTex Jacket at a 50% sale.

Wore it 100% of the time in Sep/Oct 2020 5-6 days Sentinel CP - Monks CP, when that cold front hit.

I layer Capestorm 3/4 zip long sleeve wicking top with a kway softshell body warmer...I overheat with long sleeve stuff.

If I need more warmth I have a North Face Thermoball that fits under the Frontpoint shell, thermoball is synthetic so hold up well in wet.

FP shell held up perfectly in driving wind and sleet.

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15 Dec 2020 11:36 #76377 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Outer shell jackets
Bergbees,

I also tend to run on the warmer side, and hence also stay away from long sleeve tops as a base layer setup. What works quite well for me is to use a typical synthetic T-shirt with arm protectors. The small gap between the T-shirt's sleeve and where the arm Protector meets it near the top of my biceps, allows for quite a bit of ventilation. I use it both in summer and winter. In summer, if it really gets too hot I simply drop the sleeves till I've cooled down sufficiently. It also assists in sun protection - I prefer to use this than applying sunscreen for various reasons.

I find that if we walk into the night, I can actually go quite far before I have to stop to put on a middle layer. The beauty of this setup is that it gives me a large degree of flexibility, especially in constantly changing weather conditions. Once it becomes too cold, I'll put a light fleece on, and if this is insufficient (mainly due to wind) I'll put on my shell jacket. This setup works for me, and I very rarely have to put on anything warmer. I usually wear my down jacket at camp, I can count on my two hands the number of times I had to wear the down jacket under the outer shell while walking as I simply then run too hot.

Anyway, each to their own.

Whatever you wear, enjoy the mountains!!!

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15 Dec 2020 11:54 #76378 by bergbees
Replied by bergbees on topic Outer shell jackets
Hey Riaang,

I need to have a look at those sleeves! I usually hike in long sleeves mostly as sun protection, so I just pull them up if I get hot in summer, but I find I tend to keep them down most times on the high berg. In the foothills its different. I use the thin sleeveless bodywarmer softshell to stop my chest from getting to cold as I sweat a lot and the wind chill has has made me sick in the past. So the setup is tailored for my physical demands. I too run hot and never had to use the down/thermoball while hiking, I work up enough heat :) I only use it around camp or once we stop for lunch I get out of wet stuff if possible and keep warm with it.

I also sometimes use an old FA Free Thinker fleece its super light you cant find them anymore but man it just gets that chill out and you dont overheat.

It's always fun to see what works for people and how they tailor it.

Have Fun!

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18 Dec 2020 10:52 #76386 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Outer shell jackets
So in my experience mountain activities create a specific scenario that changes our clothing needs reprioritise the relationship with each item of clothing we take with.

It also depends on our physiology as some people run hot like me and can't really wear a 'warm' mid layer while carrying a pack but still need protection for harsh cold, particularly when not moving. To deal with this I've resorted having thinner mid layers with as 'wide a range of temperature versatility as possible to protect but not overheat. I also extend this thinking to my base layers so that they are lighter weight and accomodate my warmest scenario without causing me to sweat too much. This is more important than most realise because in cold conditions too much sweating can lead to hypothermia (our skin loses heat up to 30 x faster if it's wet).

Overall Berg conditions are a big factor and not as cold as the Northern Hemisphere mountains so I find a very warm base layer simply doesn't work there. It is also wetter in character with African mountain ranges so a hardshell is essential for outer layer protection. I have some top quality softshell options and they don't last more than 20min in hard rain. It definitely gets cold at high altitude though and can drop to - 15 or worse with some icy winds so a properly warm mid layer is still important (unless you plan to hide in your sleeping bag at this point..).

Another primary factor that figures into this scenario is the weight of everything you need to carry. In a pure sense least is best so I've simplied it like this. Lighter base layers are well, lighter so that's easy enough but mid layers get trick because there so many options. Here are they key choices I make - a thin and light mid layer for varied conditions where breathability is key because you want to use it when moving. If you need wind protection you can use your outer shell or a combination of the thin mid layer and outer shell which increase the versatility of your clother 'system' (yes it's a system). Then your 2nd mid layer is a warm one that is mostly for use when you stop moving with a pack and will get cold. Down jackets offer best warmth for weight but in wet conditions a synthetic fill jacket is more resilient and if we can still protect you well. In the worst conditions you can wear all layers and should be good for any Berg conditions. Remember to include some good wool or synthetic fabric long underwear for sleeping in or to wear on apocalyptic days.

In summary a basic system for Berg conditions might be: Hardshell outer at less than 400gm with 20k or better breathability and at least 10k water resistance / Puffy jacket at under 400gm with down or good quality synthetic stuffing such as Primaloft / Fleece (I like a hoody to sleep in) at 100 weight or even lighter weight (winter running tops are good) / long sleeve wicking t-shirt or hoody / Thermal underwear in the lightest weight (silkweight)

Hope this thinking helps you. It works well for me but we all differ to some degree so tweaking your system takes years of trips in varied conditions.
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19 Dec 2020 16:56 - 19 Dec 2020 16:56 #76393 by Carl Gebhard
Replied by Carl Gebhard on topic Outer shell jackets

ASL wrote: I have some top quality softshell options and they don't last more than 20min in hard rain.


@ASL
Interesting write up, I just want to zoom in on this quote above and ask to what extent you use them and how you found to be the experience, other than what's mentioned?

And which soft shells you own?

Soft shells do intrigue me as they're touted as being versatile, I've just wondered whether this isn't just more clever marketing and more often than not those who rave about them are doing winter sports, skiing, ice climbing etc in the Nothern Hemisphere. I know warding off precipitation is not their strong point but as I overheat like some wire-haired dog oh so quickly I was eyeing out this niche, and windbreakers, as something to keep the chilly wind out whilst working up a sweat. Thought the ss might double as a decent mid-layer too.

Of course, the fact that their DWRs wear down seems a weak point too. To that end I wonder whether that Black Diamond Alpine Start item has it figured...but now I'm at the rabbit's front door...

Thanks.
Last edit: 19 Dec 2020 16:56 by Carl Gebhard. Reason: Spelling error

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21 Dec 2020 13:34 #76403 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Outer shell jackets
Hi Carl,

Yes I've been through that door already.. a few times now! I own a BD Alpine Start and it's the best of my softshells with not a bad DWR but turns into rashvest in a downpour.

I also have the 'original' Arcteryx SV which is relatively bullet proof protection for skiing I find but I wouldn't take it out in the rain. There is a basic truth to softshells that is consistent for all but a few (I think some MHW jackets) in that they are not seam sealed. So any waterproofing will fail if this is the case.

There are some new DWR treatments that are better than other but ultimately you want a hardshell because it's lighter and is seam sealed. Any reviews that I've seen for softshells that replace hardshell duty are for Northern Hemisphere or high altitude conditions which are dryer and basically avoid the problem of heavy rain.

All that said I do love my Alpine start but it only has a place in my back in winter as a wind shirt to add versatility to my protective clothing. I also use it as as super light shell if I take a poncho insteady of a rain jacket but in high wind and rain that system isn't super protective.. If I was getting a softshell now I would make sure it's light enough like the Alpine start to be an
'extra' and it's essential that the hood is technical and can be synched down in wind as that's it's key value, to protect you from wind. Otherwise invest a lot of money into the most breathabley hardshell you can find that has big pit zips and some stretch!

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22 Dec 2020 10:16 #76406 by Carl Gebhard
Replied by Carl Gebhard on topic Outer shell jackets
@ASL
Thanks for input. Kinda what I suspected of soft-shells and their use.
:laugh: it really does seem like you're good mates with Mr. Rabbit.

As an aside K-Way has a softy "Expedition Series Men's '19 Kili Softshell Hoody" with seam taping, heavy sucker though at 730gm.

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22 Dec 2020 16:49 #76407 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Outer shell jackets
if I was in the market for something light.. check this out!

goneoutdoor.com/products/msairshedpropo

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23 Dec 2020 10:23 #76413 by Carl Gebhard
Replied by Carl Gebhard on topic Outer shell jackets
oooh.
I was also comparing the Patagucci Houdini to the BD Alpine Start.

Felt the BD trumped due to:
(a) being stretchy and
(b) having underarm gussets
I like to have mobility, hate that trapped feeling in kit, in my daily wear I prefer collared shirts over Tees and almost always linen, for that flowing feel

and (on climbing forums)
(c) BD's considered the most durable of the few I've mentioned.
(d) DWR will not have to be redone, some commentators suggest 3-yr almost daily use and regular washes with sustained performance.

Ultimately, as you and others have said, I guess a really good Outer Shell will be the one, as I understand the crux is to avoid hypothermia, and what leads to it. My experience with shells has been less than endearing...North Face Hyvent, pfoo, Columbia Omnitech, ok...

@ASL, can I ask which apple green BD jacket you're wearing in yr profile pic?
I'm seriously looking at their Stormline Stretch.

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28 Dec 2020 12:50 #76422 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Outer shell jackets
So it's my BD Alpine Start that I'm wearing there.. I don't recommend the Stormline Stretch as it's not breathable enough for our climate really. You will find yourself 'wetting out' from the inside with sweat no doubt. 20k is absolute minimum level of breathability and that starts at a high price in SA shop. Their topline product which is 20k breathable sells for 5k so is reasonable value.

If you could get your hands on a laminate from Marmot they offer by far the best value in the market with their laminates actually being bother breathable and waterproof. I have an old Aegis jacket I got in 2009 that is still excellent although the seams have started to delaminate in some areas. I would say buy online and get someone to bring it in for you. Riaan did this and got a great deal
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