Which hard shell?

Post here for all your gear questions, rants and raves. Ask about gear before you buy it and find out what others are using. NOTE: this forum is NOT for gear sales.

Jan Viljoen
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 1:15 am
Real Name: Jan Viljoen
Location: Ladismith WC
Contact:

Which hard shell?

Postby Jan Viljoen » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:56 pm

Hi guys

After ±12 years of service I'm thinking about replacing my hard shell. It seems that even after several reproofing attempts it's lost it waterproofing ability, and I got soaked to the bone after hiking for several hours in the rain/snow yesterday.

It seems that apart from our two local manufacturers not much else is available regarding proper rain gear? I'm sure a larger choice of Mountain Hardwear, The North Face, Arc'Teryx, etc. would be appreciated!

Any comments or personal experiences with the First Ascent Insulator jacket, as well as the Avalanche (old + new style)? I find it weird that these jackets are advertised as "ski" jackets, I'm sure they're primarily used by hikers/mountaineers?

Cheers!

mokganjetsi
Posts: 1237
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:32 pm
Real Name: Willem Boshoff
Location: Cape Town

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby mokganjetsi » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:58 am

ski-jackets are normally made from waterproof material, but are not seam sealed. using them in rain is not effective since water will simply seep through the seems.

there is a lot of rain (hard) shells on the market. ultra light jackets are good to pack but will probably not remain waterproof for many years as micro tears happen more easily. the imported brands are great but you will pay (unless somebody can buy it overseas for you). i have a MHW shell and its amazing. can't go wrong with cape storm though and their after sales service is great (free lifetime patch & repair).

Chris F
Posts: 623
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby Chris F » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:32 am

Also Ski Jackets are often insulated as well, so probably far too warm for SA use.

I've got a MHW hard shella s well, used it regularly winter climbing and occasionally ski touring on cold days and it's still going strong.

When making your decision it's worth checking the features that are important to you work properl; do you intend wearing it with the hood over a helmet? If so does it fit. Also check pocket sizes if you want to carry guides or maps, pit zips I would have thought are a definite for SA use. Also check fit, some makes are better for long limbed, and others suit the "broader of waist" better :wink:

User avatar
Spike
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:21 pm
Real Name: Spikarillo
Location: /\/¯¯¯¯¯\/\

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby Spike » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:48 am

It's all a balance between weight, breathability, and waterproofness.
If you look at the specs, First Ascent for example, the ski jackets are a bit lower down on breathability and waterproofness but are heavier material for wear n tear. Cool for camping and 4x4ing etc.
For hiking you want lighter, plus top end beathability and waterproofness.

If I was full of money I'd have a "ski" jacket in the 4x4 and save my hardshell for the backpack.

pierre.joubert
Posts: 724
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:59 pm

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby pierre.joubert » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:54 am

MHW typhoon. Goretex Paclite = light + WATERPROOF, breathable, pit zips, hood fits a helmet, blue :thumleft:

Image

Norman
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:28 pm
Real Name: Norman

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby Norman » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:00 am

Have a look at the First Ascent litespeed. Super light, about 350g i think, and a claimed water head of 10 000mm. The breathability is also good. THey retail for just over a Thousand so good value too.

User avatar
Spike
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:21 pm
Real Name: Spikarillo
Location: /\/¯¯¯¯¯\/\

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby Spike » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:05 am

Does anybody have stock of the Typhoon? When I was buying they were advertised everywhere but nobody had stock anywhere in the country and there was a helluva long waiting period till they were going to get more in the country.

Some overseas reviews bitch a bit about the Paclite failing from wear n tear. Does anybody have one? It would be nice to get some feedback on it

leorust
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:11 am
Real Name: Leo Rust

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby leorust » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:18 am

MHW Typhoon Gore Tex Jackets are available from Drifters Sandton (011 783 9200), Venture for Africa Cresta (011 476 1517) and Drifters Cape Quarter (021 418 4511). They will also have stock of the MHW Epic Jacket which is going at a fantastic price.

for Adventure Inc
Distributors of Mountain Hardwear

Nic Le Maitre
Posts: 857
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:40 am
Real Name: Nic Le Maitre
Location: Stellenbosch

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby Nic Le Maitre » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:52 pm

Something else to keep in mind is that all these hardshells are made from fabric designed to be used in conditions where the temperature is close to freezing (or below freezing) with snow and ice. The breathability part only works when there is more moisture inside the jacket than outside. Therefore if it is raining the jacket will not breathe properly at all. They won't let water in but you will sweat yourself wet.

The only true 100% breathable in all conditions, totally waterproof solution is an umbrella. That being said there is a noticeable difference in performance with expensive fabrics (Gore-Tex/eVent) than the cheaper proprietary fabrics used in lower end jackets.

Zips are really important too. Those "weatherproof" zips are ok in light rain but after several hours or with a strong wind the rain will get in. "Weatherproof" zips combined with a flap (bi-directional flaps are better than single flaps) to cover it are the best solution and are more wind resistant too.

There is an excellent article here which covers most of this stuff.
Happy climbing
Nic

DeanVDM
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:23 pm
Location: Gauteng

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby DeanVDM » Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:39 pm

@leorust: you forgot to mention your (flagship?) outlet in Bergville. It had some 100% waterproof, 0% breathable PVC 'shells' in very fashionable 'road worker' yellow for sale at a very good price :wink:
Attachments
P1050105 - Copy.JPG
P1050105 - Copy.JPG (83.84 KiB) Viewed 3516 times

Oakley
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:05 pm
Real Name: Theunis de Bruin
Location: Pretoria

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby Oakley » Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:49 pm

There is an article in the June-August SA mountain sport about choosing a jacket [ havent got to reading it yet]

I have a FA Insulator jacket and its defiantly a brilliant jacket, although a bit heavy for a jacket.

Jan Viljoen
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 1:15 am
Real Name: Jan Viljoen
Location: Ladismith WC
Contact:

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby Jan Viljoen » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:33 pm

Thanks for all the advice guys, it looks like it's hard to find a jacket that has all the features at the right price! Since I already have a good down jacket and numerous fleeces I guess there's no point in getting an insulated jacket as well. One that's a shell only will do the trick.

For around R900 the FA Flash Flood jacket looks like a good deal, and with a name like that I guess it should be able to withstand the elements, but it seems that it doesn't have pit zips, which to me is important in our various climate conditions.

The MHW Epic jacket (±R1650) looks like my other choice at the moment, although that's about as much as I'm willing to spend right now. I guess that import tax and things come into action again - it sells for half of that abroad... :?

Cheers!

User avatar
Spike
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:21 pm
Real Name: Spikarillo
Location: /\/¯¯¯¯¯\/\

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby Spike » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:43 am

I reckon the best bang-for-buck-not-quite-top-of-the-range shell jacket is the First Ascent Dry-Lite.

mokganjetsi
Posts: 1237
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:32 pm
Real Name: Willem Boshoff
Location: Cape Town

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby mokganjetsi » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:12 am

i'm not a big fan of FA's vapour-tex material; but maybe its been upgraded since i bought my 1st FA shell years ago? anyways, if you're looking to buy a jacket that's going to remain waterproof for years stay away from the ultra lightweight stuff - look for a triple layer gore-tex / other material with a abrasion resistance finish. you will fork out a few extra bucks but it will pay itself back. i have a triple layer MHW jacket; extremely well constructed and not to heavy (< 600grms) and it is still waterproof after 7-years of punishment from the drakensberg to the himalayas.

ps: the MHW epic jacket cost a US$100 in obama country - that's less than R700. puts the local pricing in perspective (both on imported and locally manufactured goods) :evil:

User avatar
dirktalma
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:04 am
Real Name: Dirk Talma
Location: Pretoria
Contact:

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby dirktalma » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:25 pm

What is your opinion of the First Ascent Discovery 3-in-1. The written description on FA's website doesn't describe it as a truly waterproof jacket, but the specs say it has "Fully tape sealed waterproof breathable Vapour-Tex outer fabric". I would love to know the pressure head it can handle?

Does anyone have some first hand experience with this jacket? Preferably, no sales pitches please

Jan Viljoen
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 1:15 am
Real Name: Jan Viljoen
Location: Ladismith WC
Contact:

Re: Which hard shell?

Postby Jan Viljoen » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:10 am

I'm a big fan and user of FA products, but what confuses me is the fact that my FA Extreme Glacier down jacket has a Vapour-Tex outer as well, but it's by no means even water repellent, let alone waterproof, yet the same material is advertised as "fully waterproof" on other garments?

After my earlier posts on this forum I got myself the MHW Epic jacket. Haven't had the opportunity to test it in extreme wet weather yet, but from the looks of it I don't think I'll be disappointed. It has amazing waterproof and water repellent abilities with water just running down on it like little balls of quicksilver. I must note that it is slightly large for its size when just worn over a thin base layer, but it will be perfect when a bulky down jacket is worn underneath.

Hope you find your dream jacket soon!
Cheers


Return to “Gear Questions & Reviews”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests