GoreTex XCR or Membrane??
I know this is OT and that there is a ski board, but this board is some much more knowledgeable.
I've been disappointed with my shell parka, steaming up inside when working the woods and bumps yet leaking when heavy wet snow accumulates on my back during the chairlift up. Now is the time to buy and I am looking for a source to learn more about the materials used in construction of "waterproof/breathable"
Goretex vs Goretex XCR, Membrane2 vs precip, 2 or 3 layer, spyder has XTsomething. What's a good pedigree maker for this stuff?
Any suggestions, explanations, exxperiences or reference to informative material are appreciated.
Thanks a million
In my opinion, the maker is more important than the membrane. ArcTeryx, Mountain Hardware, and Patagonia make first rate stuff (as do many others) that should last a long time, and if they don't, they all have top notch warrantees.
Originally Posted by Mr Magoo
Right now, I'm using an ArcTeryx Sidewinder (XCR) jacket for my winter activities. It has a few nice features that may be important to you, such as a snow skirt, a Recco reflector and the cuffs and hood fit great. It's a boxier cut than their other "all purpose" jackets, but it's been great in the three years I've owned it.
If you're hard on your stuff, just about any jacket will have problems down the road. Previous to the Sidewinder, I had a Theta AR which I used for everything. I had it for five years before the seams in the shoulders started to delaminate and leak. It just happens when you do a lot of backpacking or wear a pack while boarding.
I had a Patagonia jacket for about two years (can't remember the model), and it delaminated in the shoulders too.
Right now, ArcTeryx probably tops my favorites list in terms of quality and innovation. The down side is that they're probably one of the most expensive brands out there. I've had great experience with their customer service though, and they warranteed my Theta without issue. I have no problem buying their products despite the lofty price.
You may consider a softshell jacket for the dry days and a lightweight waterproof shell to go over it on heavy precip days. My wife is using an Arc'teryx Sigma softshell and it works great for skiing, hiking, and running in every type of weather (barring heavy precip) no matter what temperature or wind conditions may be. In my experience as one who sweats heavily, both my lightweight and heavier weight GoreTex shells leave me wet from condensation if I'm active enough or if it's humid enough that my body heat doesn't push vapor to the outside. Although outside moisture usually doesn't get in, I still feel clammy from my own sweat.
At any rate, I'd look for info on Couloir Magazine's website. Of the few boards I frequent it's easily one of the best as far as getting intelligent advise from people with loads of experience. Lots of techie types over there.
I second the soft shell concept. In addition there's a new fabric out EPIC by Nextec that you might want to look into in the soft shell dept.
If you are sweating up a storm, which fabric you choose is most likely irrelevant as you are either overdressing and/or under ventilating. Most Gore-type fabrics are not designed to move moisture during highly aerobic acitivity. ( like thrashing in the bumps etc) They were designed to be use at moderate activity level in cold temps.
If you decide to go wpb anyway... buy a good brand ( Mtn Hardware, Marmot, Arctreryx, etc) and be done with it. There isn't THAT much variablity unless you like to count microporosity down to the billionth of a micron. Personally I'd recommend technical wear over ski wear: it's lighter and better built for the most part. You can make yourself nuts determining which fabrics are laminates, microporous coatings or monolithic coatings.
I have some adobe files of various test results,and at higher humidity levels they all perform about the same.
for smudge: Patagonia, Marmot, and Arcteryx still have the best warranties in the business. Next time you have delam, you should talk to them no matter how old the item is. I just had patagonia replace a delaminated coat for a client that must have been 15+ years old.
Last edited by formica; 02-15-2005 at 02:43 PM.
also, you mentioned leaking. All wpb shell fabrics need to have the durable water repellecy redone at least once a season if you use it a lot. Plus body oil and sweart clog up the membranes or coatings. You need to keep your shells clean and retreat them. Nikwax makde products to do this (techwash and tx-direct) , as does Gore. (Revive-x) A quick fix is to toss the shell in the dryer, that will reactivate the dwr if there's any left.
Thanks to all posters
This is great info. My last time out (temps around 32) I ditched the shell in favor of a thin soft shell that was good at keeping wind out yet good at letting steam vent. I have always kept my stuff out of the dryer and conserved on washings. Maybe I'll try the leaky shell in the dryer again.
Enjoy the finest part of the season
There are spray on fabric coatings out there
Any outfitter should be able to provide you with some good spray on or wash in rejuvinators for your G-tex. I can't remember the brand I use, but it works like a champ. I'll try to post the name when I get home from work tonight. They're not hard to find though, and worth the money.
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