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Patagonia Clothing System

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Postby dskoon » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:16 pm

welle wrote:Dskoon, I only hike in my baselayer even in sub-freezing temps. Hiking is very high-output activity. Just make sure to have your extremities covered - wear a hat and gloves. And don't be lazy to put on layers the minute you stop for a break or before reaching an exposed ridge. The baselayer usually dries fast if you are quick enough to trap all your body heat from hiking. You can use a trick ice climbers use - put your pile jacket in a stuff sack on a biner and carry it easily accessible if you don't feel like getting into your pack each time.


Yeah, I hear what you're saying. Problem for me is I tend to run in-between, and more toward the colder side. So, I tend to dress warmer. I could not hike in just a baselayer in sub-freezing temps. I'd die. Think I may have a bit of Renauds syndrome, or, just getting older. Didn't used to affect me, but now, a slight chill, even w/out feeling cold, will leave my index fingers numb. Suffice to say, it can be tough to dress, for if I feel a bit of a chill, I tend to dress warmer, which can then lead to overheating.
I'll continue to experiment. Thanks for the ideas and suggestions.
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Postby Snowball » Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:04 am

welle wrote:On most winter climbs here in Northeast, which I assume is way colder than PNW



...and we wonder why people die visiting the PNW... sorry but i had to say this.... i have had a partner from NYC die on Hood not too long ago without proper knowledge/experience of PNW weather.
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Patagonia Clothing System

Postby jthomas » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:54 pm

Not to beat this to death, but I'm getting closer. For the top: capilene or wool T, R1 Hoody, Houdini, Nanopuff or Gamma MX with a rainshell in the pack. About to conclude the Gamma MX was a mistake.

Now for the bottom. In the past I have just done hiking and glacier climbs in powerstretch tights, with precip or goretex pants in the pack in case it gets really windy. I picked up a pair of Mammut softshell pants in a great sale, but now I am wondering about them, as I am about the Gamma MX top. If I am not rock climbing, what are the SS pants accomplishing instead of the tights? Another mistake perhaps?

Thanks for all the input, hope not to get too OCD about this stuff. :D
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Re: Patagonia Clothing System

Postby Pallando » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:31 am

jthomas wrote:Not to beat this to death, but I'm getting closer. For the top: capilene or wool T, R1 Hoody, Houdini, Nanopuff or Gamma MX with a rainshell in the pack. About to conclude the Gamma MX was a mistake.

Now for the bottom. In the past I have just done hiking and glacier climbs in powerstretch tights, with precip or goretex pants in the pack in case it gets really windy. I picked up a pair of Mammut softshell pants in a great sale, but now I am wondering about them, as I am about the Gamma MX top. If I am not rock climbing, what are the SS pants accomplishing instead of the tights? Another mistake perhaps?

Thanks for all the input, hope not to get too OCD about this stuff. :D


Umm... just powerstretch pants? Seems a little... exposed to me. The mammut softshells over your powerstretch should be nice for most conditions. Remember that unlike your top half, pants are much trickier to layer because they are much more difficult to put on/remove when you have things like harnesses and crampons. While you want the best item on top, you might just want the most versatile option for your legs.

Just my opinion: Softshell is much more of an option for your legs than your top.
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Re: Patagonia Clothing System

Postby dskoon » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:52 am

Pallando wrote:
jthomas wrote:Not to beat this to death, but I'm getting closer. For the top: capilene or wool T, R1 Hoody, Houdini, Nanopuff or Gamma MX with a rainshell in the pack. About to conclude the Gamma MX was a mistake.

Now for the bottom. In the past I have just done hiking and glacier climbs in powerstretch tights, with precip or goretex pants in the pack in case it gets really windy. I picked up a pair of Mammut softshell pants in a great sale, but now I am wondering about them, as I am about the Gamma MX top. If I am not rock climbing, what are the SS pants accomplishing instead of the tights? Another mistake perhaps?

Thanks for all the input, hope not to get too OCD about this stuff. :D


Umm... just powerstretch pants? Seems a little... exposed to me. The mammut softshells over your powerstretch should be nice for most conditions. Remember that unlike your top half, pants are much trickier to layer because they are much more difficult to put on/remove when you have things like harnesses and crampons. While you want the best item on top, you might just want the most versatile option for your legs.

Just my opinion: Softshell is much more of an option for your legs than your top.


Yeah, I agree. I have some powerstretch pants as well, and about the only place I'd wear 'em is here in my apt. Tight! Or, as a baselayer when very cold out, which I haven't experienced yet.
Softshell pants on the other hand, are great, and very versatile. Wear 'em biking, hiking, and climbing, not to mention to the store. Tougher than powerstretch, though probably not as warm, but warm enough when you're moving, and you can always put a thin layer underneath. Also, more waterresistant than just powerstretch. Good, all-around outdoor pants; really doesn't matter too much on what brand, imo.
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Re: Patagonia Clothing System

Postby jthomas » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:30 pm

dskoon wrote:
Pallando wrote:
jthomas wrote:Not to beat this to death, but I'm getting closer. For the top: capilene or wool T, R1 Hoody, Houdini, Nanopuff or Gamma MX with a rainshell in the pack. About to conclude the Gamma MX was a mistake.

Now for the bottom. In the past I have just done hiking and glacier climbs in powerstretch tights, with precip or goretex pants in the pack in case it gets really windy. I picked up a pair of Mammut softshell pants in a great sale, but now I am wondering about them, as I am about the Gamma MX top. If I am not rock climbing, what are the SS pants accomplishing instead of the tights? Another mistake perhaps?

Thanks for all the input, hope not to get too OCD about this stuff. :D


Umm... just powerstretch pants? Seems a little... exposed to me. The mammut softshells over your powerstretch should be nice for most conditions. Remember that unlike your top half, pants are much trickier to layer because they are much more difficult to put on/remove when you have things like harnesses and crampons. While you want the best item on top, you might just want the most versatile option for your legs.

Just my opinion: Softshell is much more of an option for your legs than your top.


Yeah, I agree. I have some powerstretch pants as well, and about the only place I'd wear 'em is here in my apt. Tight! Or, as a baselayer when very cold out, which I haven't experienced yet.
Softshell pants on the other hand, are great, and very versatile. Wear 'em biking, hiking, and climbing, not to mention to the store. Tougher than powerstretch, though probably not as warm, but warm enough when you're moving, and you can always put a thin layer underneath. Also, more waterresistant than just powerstretch. Good, all-around outdoor pants; really doesn't matter too much on what brand, imo.


This makes a lot of sense. The Mammut pants are really nice. Some kind of Schoeller (sp?), very stretchy and rugged. I will probably go with the softshell pants with capelene underneath. I think the powerstretch would be too warm/constricting. Now, got to figure out what to do with the Gamma MX top.
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Postby drpw » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:07 pm

Always rock the the tights! When I'm on the move in winter, it's usually tights on the legs, heavyweight underwear on the top, and a wind blocking vest over that when it's windy to keep just the right amount body heat in. Even when it's 10 degrees out, a good base layer will keep you warm enough when you're moving. Sometimes I throw on a shell when the sun isn't out yet.

Geez, you have to give it to the Patagonia marketing folks. They're very very good at what they do. Softshell pants are nice, but if you're packing standard shell pants, softshell pants are just another pound in your pack. Not only do Steve and Gary from marketing have you spending an extra $100 on softshell pants, but also packing an extra pound that you don't really need. They would have me doing the same thing if I weren't broke and happy with my current clothing.

Usually for winter trips I bring this stuff, the total weighing in at under 5lbs: Expedition underwear top and bottom (that I wear the whole trip, usually just don't change out of it, good underwear will wick moisture from you and not leave you feeling too nasty after a week trip.), fleece pants and fleece wind bock vest for when I'm stopped, down jacket for around camp, shell top and bottom, light hiker wool socks for on the go, heavy expedition wools and down booties for around camp (always keep these socks dry and you'll be in heaven every time you get to camp. I'm usually warmer, more comfortable, and happier then my friends who bring twice as much stuff. Also, shaving 5lbs off your weight by not bringing extra gear is a great way to justify bringing a sixer to throw in the snow for each night at camp.
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Postby Autoxfil » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:18 pm

Whenever I'm not wearing a hardshell on my legs, I use Windstopper softshell tights (MH transition). They are light (8oz), very good at regulating my temp, and stay out of the way. Yeah, Patagonia Guide pants look way cooler, but they offer no performance benefit and weigh 2x as much.

Summary: tights in the mountains, pants for around town. Are you buying clothes for performance or not?
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Postby jthomas » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:51 pm

Autoxfil wrote:Whenever I'm not wearing a hardshell on my legs, I use Windstopper softshell tights (MH transition). They are light (8oz), very good at regulating my temp, and stay out of the way. Yeah, Patagonia Guide pants look way cooler, but they offer no performance benefit and weigh 2x as much.

Summary: tights in the mountains, pants for around town. Are you buying clothes for performance or not?


So if I go with the powerstretch tights, I will carry some hardshell pants in the pack in case of wind/precipitation. I have some nice Marmot 3L goretex bibs that I got several years ago. Would these be overkill versus my Precip pants?
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Postby dskoon » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:58 pm

jthomas wrote:
Autoxfil wrote:Whenever I'm not wearing a hardshell on my legs, I use Windstopper softshell tights (MH transition). They are light (8oz), very good at regulating my temp, and stay out of the way. Yeah, Patagonia Guide pants look way cooler, but they offer no performance benefit and weigh 2x as much.

Summary: tights in the mountains, pants for around town. Are you buying clothes for performance or not?


So if I go with the powerstretch tights, I will carry some hardshell pants in the pack in case of wind/precipitation. I have some nice Marmot 3L goretex bibs that I got several years ago. Would these be overkill versus my Precip pants?


Depends a bit on what you're doing. Plenty of people do Rainier and many other mountains in the Precips, from what I've read. But, I could imagine there'd be times you'd want something heavier. . .
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Postby Pallando » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:40 pm

Just to add, I would have for my legs:
Baselayer (Capilene, Powerstretch)
Softshell pants (your mammuts)

And nothing else. You could hike in with the tights and once you hit snow, throw on the softshells for the rest of the day. I have not needed totally waterproof (hardshell) pants for my legs. When it gets cold enough, you'll just be encountering snow. Snow soaks your baselayer if you have to sit or kneel or even if it's just snowing, but your softshell will do just fine. The only purpose I can see for hardshell pants would be prolonged sitting in snow or a sideways rainstorm.

Other people will disagree, but I think hardshell pants are mostly a waste of time, weight and space in your pack.
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Postby Autoxfil » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:47 pm

Yep, it all depends. I'll be taking fairly thin pants (MH Argon Ice) to Rainier, but I often wear my 2lb MH Exposure II bibs for colder endeavours, or wear just my tights if I won't be sitting on snow.

Once you get past the basic concept - traditional layering modified with a lighter windshirt and heavy parka - the new-school system needs to be tweaked to your outings and physiology. Plus your tolerance for discomfort vs. packing more weight.

The biggest thing is to get out there and try the system, tweaking it over time as you learn what works for you. Some people love softshells, I don't find the weight worth it over a windshirt+fleece. They are comfy, though.
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Postby dskoon » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:17 pm

Pallando wrote:Just to add, I would have for my legs:
Baselayer (Capilene, Powerstretch)
Softshell pants (your mammuts)

And nothing else. You could hike in with the tights and once you hit snow, throw on the softshells for the rest of the day. I have not needed totally waterproof (hardshell) pants for my legs. When it gets cold enough, you'll just be encountering snow. Snow soaks your baselayer if you have to sit or kneel or even if it's just snowing, but your softshell will do just fine. The only purpose I can see for hardshell pants would be prolonged sitting in snow or a sideways rainstorm.

Other people will disagree, but I think hardshell pants are mostly a waste of time, weight and space in your pack.


Yep, that's pretty good. I agree that the softshell should get one through just about most alpine situations. One could take the baselayer and hardshell and it would pretty much do the same thing, just heavier.
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Postby jthomas » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:38 pm

Still on the hard shell issue: Last night I got out my old Marmot Alpinist 3L shell and bibs. I hadn't even looked at them in 4 or 5 years. Beautiful pieces & workmanship, incredible detailing, huge velcro tabs, many pockets, zippers stronger than most expedition tents, but HEAVY. I weighed them and couldn't believe it:

jacket 32 oz + bibs 26 oz = 58 oz or 3lb, 10oz total !

Need I add that the new stuff is lighter? Here are jackets I have looked at at Patagonia:

Torrentshell 11.5 oz $119
Rain Shadow 11.5 oz $179
Stretch Ascent 17 oz $299

I went in expecting to like the Stretch Ascent the best, but surprisingly, I actually perferred the cheapest. The Torrentshell is only slight more expensive than my old Precip and seems much nicer. I have never been very impressed with the Precip, so I think the Torrentshell should work better. I hated the waterproof zippers on the Rain Shadow; total PITA; I could barely get them undone. I could see nothing to justify the SA, plus it was ~50% heavier and nearly triple the cost. I found the WP zippers on the pit zips difficult to work as well. The Torrentshell, with old fashioned zipper flaps, was 10 times easier to use. So, why is everyone moving to these stupid WP zippers?

I would value anyone's experience with these jackets, as well as Patagonia's H2No technology, in comparison to say Paclite. There is an Arcteryx Paclite that I reallly like, but it is $300, so probably out of the running. Thanks.

Jim Thomas
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Postby drpw » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:10 pm

First of all, as I type this there is a Stoic eVent shell on Steep and Cheap for $160. It's under a pound and I love the Stoic gear I have. If you're not in a hurry, you can keep looking on Steep and Cheap and you will get a far better deal. I just got a nice Stoic welded seam shell for $100 (w/ shipping, msrp $260) off there, and it weighs in at just over a pound and I like it much more than most Patty stuff. GearTrade.com is also great, backcountry.com sends stuff there that is new but without tags and such. I've regularly buy gear for 50-70% off that is either last years models, factory seconds, or used once. You've spent all this time thinking about what to get, if you take a little time and do some looking you can save big bucks, which means more money to pay for gas or a few more days off at work to get out.
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