Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Hard Shell or Soft Shell Jacket?-Can Only Buy One!

Post climbing gear-related questions, offer advice. For classifieds, please use that forum.
 

Hard Shell or Soft Shell Jacket?-Can Only Buy One!

Postby showlett » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:12 pm

I'm just getting geared up for my first climb to Mt. Shasta in June. I can't afford to buy all the gear at once. If I could only buy one new jacket, should I invest in a hardshell or softshell? One climber told me that most people only wear a hardshell about 5% of the time, but what about night time? I have an old snowboarding jacket I can wear at night and for glissading if I have to, so maybe I should just get a good softshell for now. What do you think?
User Avatar
showlett

 
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:28 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Postby adventurer » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:53 am

A hardshell will provide you with better protection from wind and any kind of precipitation. Folks who say they only use a hardshell "5%" of the time probably restrict their activities to sunny summer days. Fine, if that's your intention but a hardshell will be more useful in a greater variety of conditions. For warmth, you just wear a fleece under the shell as I'm sure you know.

Welcome to mountaineering and have fun on Shasta!
User Avatar
adventurer

 
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:24 am
Location: Virginia
Thanked: 110 times in 66 posts

Postby Pallando » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:56 am

Hardshell. I never bring my softshell jacket to the mountains, because it's heavy and can be replaced with several lighter pieces.
User Avatar
Pallando

 
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:25 pm
Location: Sisters, Oregon, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby tmaxwell » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:58 am

When are you climbing? Part of the organized climb in June? Your guides can provide the best recommendation. Use their expertise.

IMHO, it should not be a one or the other. You dont have to buy expensive stuff to get good. First Ascent has affordable gear that will be more than appropriate. Make sure you have the 3 basic layers; base, insulation and outerwear.
User Avatar
tmaxwell

 
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 1:10 am
Location: United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Hard Shell or Soft Shell Jacket?-Can Only Buy One!

Postby AlexeyD » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:13 am

showlett wrote:I'm just getting geared up for my first climb to Mt. Shasta in June. I can't afford to buy all the gear at once. If I could only buy one new jacket, should I invest in a hardshell or softshell? One climber told me that most people only wear a hardshell about 5% of the time, but what about night time? I have an old snowboarding jacket I can wear at night and for glissading if I have to, so maybe I should just get a good softshell for now. What do you think?


Since most hard shells are uninsulated, it won't do you much good at night. What else do you have for insulation, any fleece jackets or anything like that? Those can replace the soft shell as far as insulation goes. As far as the hard shell, as others have said it is mostly for rain, snow and wind, so if there is none of that then you don't really need one.

If you are planning to continue mountaineering, soon enough you will want to get both.
User Avatar
AlexeyD

 
Posts: 2060
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2002 11:13 am
Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 56 times in 44 posts

Postby showlett » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:19 am

Thanks for your responses. I do have several fleece layers, so I think at this point I will buy the hardshell. But I really want a Patagonia down sweater jacket too! Decisions, decisions. By the way, what climb should I do after Shasta? Any suggestions for other beginner climbs?
User Avatar
showlett

 
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:28 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Postby Drunkcaballo » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:31 am

showlett wrote:By the way, what climb should I do after Shasta? Any suggestions for other beginner climbs?


This is a good second climb. One of my favorites.

http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock ... -mons.html
User Avatar
Drunkcaballo

 
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:41 pm
Location: Boise, Idaho, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby hamik » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:43 am

FWIW I have used my softshells (tops and bottoms) for winter ascents of Sierra 14ers (including East Buttress of Whitney), ice climbing locally and in the Alps, ski touring around Shepherd Pass and Whitney, etc... they really are better for aerobic activity than clammy, sweaty hardshells. Of course, without a hardshell one will get frozen in high winds (> 40 mph) and will get soaked under snow or spindrift; we just don't have conditions like that often in California! I do agree that a hard shell should be purchased first, then a softshell.
User Avatar
hamik

 
Posts: 199
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:52 am
Location: Pasadena, California, United States
Thanked: 16 times in 10 posts

Postby showlett » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:08 am

Drunkcaballo wrote:
showlett wrote:By the way, what climb should I do after Shasta? Any suggestions for other beginner climbs?


This is a good second climb. One of my favorites.

http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock ... -mons.html


Sounds Good! I'll just hook a ride with Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic!
User Avatar
showlett

 
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:28 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Postby welle » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:53 pm

showlett wrote:Thanks for your responses. I do have several fleece layers, so I think at this point I will buy the hardshell. But I really want a Patagonia down sweater jacket too! Decisions, decisions. By the way, what climb should I do after Shasta? Any suggestions for other beginner climbs?


Actually you need at least 2 jackets - a windshirt slash hardshell and a puffy (down or synthetic) jacket. My vote is for Marmot Precip for affordability and performance (could be be used as a wind layer on the ridges and the summit) plus some sort of down or synthetic jacket for stops, summit and wearing around the camp. Patagonia Down sweater is ok if you plan on layering it up with another fleece or so, but I would get something more substantial - something like this http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=52181 BTW, it's a great deal, you should grab it. In between, you'll most likely will be hiking/climbing in your baselayer and maybe a fleece on...

Don't take your snowboarding jacket - those jackets are heavy and too warm.
User Avatar
welle

 
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 9:08 pm
Location: NY, New York, United States
Thanked: 21 times in 17 posts

Postby Dane1 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:49 pm

I have and use both hard/soft but this winter I started looking at things differently wanting to really redefine my clothing system.

What I ended up with and have been very happy with is a combination hard and soft shell.

The one I am using is made by (don't choke) Eddie Bauer in their First Ascent line.

It is called the Front Point and it really does ROCK! I ended up buying two because they were on sale. But after a winter season with one I would now even buy at retail if forced. They are that good :)

I own and use a bunch of Arteryx soft shells and have owned similar stuff from Mountain Hardweare and REI. This is, no bs, the best shell I have ever owned. It is water and wind proof where required. Super stretchy and super breathable where needed. Hard combo not to like. Hood collar is a little funky at first but even it turns out to be better than expected and easily usable with a helmet.

Image

Yes sir, a red one here being used on a alpine solo this winter.

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/
User Avatar
Dane1

 
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:35 am
Thanked: 40 times in 31 posts

Postby dskoon » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:56 pm

Dane, I've seen you talk about this jacket over at CC. Do you have a review, etc. of it on your blogspot? Can't seem to find one. .
Thanks.
User Avatar
dskoon

 
Posts: 3116
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:06 am
Location: portland, Oregon
Thanked: 136 times in 104 posts

Postby Dane1 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:27 pm

Haven't written a specific one yet. Weight is listed in the blog. But you are right it really deserves a review of its own.

Image

This is as close as I got on a review.

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/02 ... ayers.html
User Avatar
Dane1

 
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:35 am
Thanked: 40 times in 31 posts

Postby showlett » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:30 pm

What about this setup:

A Marmot Sun Bowl Gore-Tex hardshell for $119
A Mammut Hooded Winstopper softshell $50 (incl shipping from China)
User Avatar
showlett

 
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:28 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Postby wildoats » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:47 pm

I'd second the other opinions on only having a hardshell and make-up for the softshell with several other layers. However, I think my answer depends on whether or not you are bringing a belay/down/etc jacket with you. If you have a down jacket that's going, leave the softshell at home as it'll be too bulky. If you don't have a down jacket, then you'll definitely want the softshell for some added insulation for times when you stop. If that's your snowboarding jacket...it will probably work, may just be a little bulky.

I've had pretty good success with:
Icebreaker Bodyfit 200 + Patagonia R1 Hoody (if you don't have this...get it) + Hardshell

In the pack I also have the MH Subzero and maybe the Patagonia Down Vest (only if it's really cold). If it's not windy, odds are I'm not wearing the Hardshell. When I stop for a food/water break I'll bust out the Subzero to stay warm.

Basically whatever will keep you warm while you're stopped/resting is what you need. On my first trip up Shasta (didn't summit...hoping to get some revenge soon) I brought my down, hardshell, and softshell with me. Swore that I would never bring the softshell with me again. Nowadays I only use the softshell when I'm rock climbing and there's no chance of rain (because it breathes better).
User Avatar
wildoats

 
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:52 pm
Location: Centennial, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Next

Return to Gear

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.