I Need a New Ski Jacket
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11 users
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tgd
February 21, 2006
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
I'm in the market to replace my well-worn North Face Mountain Lite parka. My new shell must also pull double duty for hiking, dog walking, and just plain enjoying lousy weather in the great outdoors. Durable water- and wind- proofing is my highest priority - I tend to keep gear a long time - long past their aesthetic peaks. Gore Tex is my gold standard, so I have been looking at mostly costs made with Gore-Tex GSX. I've been checking out season end sales on Mountain Hardware, Arc Ter-X, Marmot and North Face stuff. Don't quite understand what's up with Spyder gear - excessively expensive yet no lab-certifiable waterproofing statistics - is it all about style or is there some highly superior functionalty I'm missing?

Any recommendations?
snowcone
February 21, 2006
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
My 2 cents worth ...

We have been wearing Sypder for years, and yes, they are expensive. But ... they wear exceeding well, the wind and waterproofing are excellent. I bought one of their really high end jackets [been promising myself for the last 3 years] this year and its wonderful ... no matter what the weather its warm but not hot, its breathes amazingingly well and has enuf pockets for even me with my severe packrat tendencies.
I dont know how the Spyder compares the Gortex but I have never been wet nor damp even skiing in the rain. When ever I buy a new ski jacket, the old jacket gets put to use as my off hill winter jacket and looks like new even years later.

The only other ski jacket I have owened was a Columbia Titanium. It was a good jacket but just didn't have the weatherproofing of the Spyder.
TLaHaye
February 21, 2006
Member since 02/9/2005 🔗
136 posts
I wore a high-end Marker shell in hours of steady rain a few weeks back. I was perfectly dry on the inside. FWIW, I was also wearing some Grandoe Gore-tex gloves that I was able to wring about 4 ounces of water out of, and my hands were perfectly dry too. Modern waterproofing is amazing.

You might check Overstock.com for outerwear. They occassionally have some really nice stuff really cheap.

Finally, I agree that Spyder makes some great technical outerwear, but some of it is only so-so. Also, it tends to be classic skiwear, and can look somewhat out of place elsewhere.
skier219
February 21, 2006
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
I got a North Face Mtn Light jacket this winter, with GoreTex XCR. Great jacket, highly recommended. Not sure how it compares to your older one. Retail is $299, I got it on sale for 20% off from Blue Ridge Mtn Sports (brms.com) during their December sale.
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TerpSKI
February 22, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
OK. I have unfortunately had a lot of experience with this in the last few years. I can only say that Arc'teryx is the absolutely best-constructed and designed jacket that I have ever owned or seen. I am on my 3rd season in the Theta AR hard shell. It is a 3-layer Goretex XCR parka fully seam-taped and very well reinforced in all high wear areas. It has a lifetime warranty and is made in Canada.

The hood is not stowable and I almost did not buy it for this reason. However it is not the least bit noticeable while skiing and when you need it it is easy to put on.

I also have some experience with The North Face products of late. And I cannot recommend them. This year I had to replace a pair of 2 year old TNF Goretex pants due to a failed taped seam which failed in the rain/wet snow at T-line. This was the 2nd problem with the pants (an outer seam came apart the first year I owned them. I sent them back to be repaired which took them out of action for 2 1/2 months). I replaced them with Arc'teryx Beta AR pants. TNF no longer makes serious gear.

As far as Spyder goes, (I have owned Spyder over the years) their gear is very well made and stylish. I think more stylish than functional (heavy & not totally waterproof). Spyder & Bognar seem to dominate at Vail & Beaver Creek.

My $.03
BushwackerinPA
February 22, 2006
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
After owning my Helly Hanson Typoon Jacket wont ever get another brand of jacket....not really but for the cost savings over marmot, Arc'teryx, and High End TNF gear. Helly Hanson has the form, fit, durabilty, and weather proofing to keep this Mid alantic rain skier happy. I almost never come in on rainy days, and when I do it do to my gloves getting soaked, not me.

Also are you looking at 'shell" or an "insulated shell". My only complaint about my jackets is it is insulated, at the time was perfect for me, now just a shell would be great.

great shells http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductD...ENS_CLOTHING_SA
tgd
February 22, 2006
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
I'm going with a shell - need the versatility - plus already heavily invested in various layering options.

I had heard TNF quality had started to slip - once they were discovered by pop culture and started selling to Big-Box retailers. My impression is that Mountain Hardware and Arc'terx had overtaken TNF with the mountaineering crowd, while Marmot is still making high quality technical gear. My TNF Mountain Lite Jacket is 8 years old, has seen a lot of use in all kinds of activites. It's still pretty waterproof - except one-sleeve! I recently used Revive-X on it, seemed to help for a while. Actually, thought I would get more life out of it.
warren
February 22, 2006
Member since 07/31/2003 🔗
485 posts
Last summer I bought an LL-Bean 3-Layer Goretex XCR shell (on sale for $199 ). It's been great! I've had it in the warm weather 40-50, the rain (completely dry) and I've had it in the cold and wind. The wind hits the shell but I don't feel the cold coming through. This has worked so much better than my Bonfire Gold-Series shell I used before.

-Warren-
skier219
February 22, 2006
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
You have to watch what you're buying with TNF nowadays. The lowerpriced "HyVent" line is definitely on the cheap side, but of course they cost less too (TNF for the masses). Once you cross over into the higher end-stuff (where you get XCR) the quality still seems to be OK. That's my impression at least. I was comparing high-end jackets between TNF, Patagonia, and MtnHW, and the quality was very good in all three. Can't speak to long term durability of any of these brands, but my last jacket was a $80 Columbia pullover shell that gave me 8+ years and is still in good shape. It was not waterproof, nor very breathable, which is the reason I went for XCR this year.

I also recently got a MtnHW Windstopper Tech Jacket that I use on mild/dry days. It's a wind-proof fleece jacket that works out real well for skiing.
TerpSKI
February 22, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
FWIW my TNF pants that failed twice were the high end Goretex XCR (Summit Series).

Buyer Beware!
warren
February 22, 2006
Member since 07/31/2003 🔗
485 posts
TerpSki,
I have Patagonia Goretex XCR pants. I've had them for several (already lost track of exactly how many) years now and have had no problems. Perhaps Patagonia builds em more durable than TNF.

-Warren-
BushwackerinPA
February 22, 2006
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
Yeah TNF stuff does have questionable quailty, my APEX Soft shell is starting to have the seam come apart on the sleeve, I have only had it since Ooctober. Lucky its was bought at dicks for 80 bucks new and has preformed great other wise. Actually my most worn piece of clothing right now. Comfort, breathability and wind proof yes very, water proof is just ok, hold up pretty well to light rain or snow, but not as well as my Helly Hanson or old spyder jackets. It sucks there stuff isnt all that great anymore.
jimmy
February 22, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Quote:

... Lucky its was bought at dicks for 80 bucks new and has preformed great other wise.




Happened to be in Dick's at Robinson on Valentines Day. I told mrs jimmy that if you're buying ski clothing you'd be crazy to shop anywhere but there. The prices were incredible, MHW, marmot, spyder.....not always the latest greatest but you cannot beat the price.
Eug
February 22, 2006
Member since 03/3/2005 🔗
142 posts
To add another to your list.

LL Bean Mountain Guide XCR is one of the best values and better made coat that I have ever seen and used. The link below is for the women's version.

http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/stores/...rch&feat=sr

It looks like the website does not have any of the men's versions. The store in Tyson might have some.

I have this jacket and I am truly impressed. Taped and sealed seams, nice features, excellent construction, neat design features (too many to list), etc, etc.

Check it out if you get a chance. Price is about $180
TerpSKI
February 22, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
Quote:

TerpSki,
I have Patagonia Goretex XCR pants. I've had them for several (already lost track of exactly how many) years now and have had no problems. Perhaps Patagonia builds em more durable than TNF.

-Warren-




I have never heard anything bad about Patagucci gear
fishnski
February 22, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Lets see...you were shopping at DICKS on valentines with Mrs Jimmi...Interesting.....I could go 1 step further but I shall remain in control!
jimmy
February 23, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
fishnskiU two funni, i love U long time
SCWVA
February 23, 2006
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
Here's some more info from another thread.

Jacket Thread

Ski and Tell

Speak truth to powder.

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