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Patagonia Clothing System

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Postby jthomas » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:29 pm

drpw wrote: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.


Great suggestions. Thanks.
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Postby jthomas » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:27 pm

jthomas wrote: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


Anyone used any of the Pata pieces?
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Postby Autoxfil » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:55 pm

My partner has a Stretch Ascent and loves it. It's a full-on shell and if you're looking for something more packable it obviosuly won't do. It's a shell for when you will be wearing it all day every day.


Did you look at the Houdini?
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Postby jthomas » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:23 pm

Autoxfil wrote:My partner has a Stretch Ascent and loves it. It's a full-on shell and if you're looking for something more packable it obviosuly won't do. It's a shell for when you will be wearing it all day every day.


Did you look at the Houdini?


I loved the cut of the Stretch Ascent, but I couldn't see almost triple the price and 6 oz more weight. Actually, I have a Houdini which I intend to use as a wind jacket, but I'm not sure this would work as a hard shell for rain. I may take another look at the SA.
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Postby Autoxfil » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:58 pm

It all depends on your end-use. The Stretch Ascent is comfortable (stretchy, get it?), very warm, very full-coverage, and durable. When things are nasty (snow, ice, sleet, wind), that's what you want. I use a similar jacket (Ascentionist, no membrane) for ice climbing and winter mountaineering in the Northeast.

If you're looking for a shell to put on when it rains, it's way overkill. The Torrentshell or a Paclite jacket would make sense for that.

I have had great luck using softshells and windshirts in the rain, as long as I keep up on the DWR treatment. If it's absolutely pouring, I have a cheap plastic poncho which will cover me and my pack, but for on-and-off rain or snow the Houdini should work fine. It's certainly a fairly hard-core approach, and I don't deny I would be warmer and drier with a nice Paclite shell.
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Postby asmrz » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:22 pm

RE question about the Rain Shadow, I have had the jacket since early 2009 and finally had enough of it. It just does not breathe at all. I get soaked inside. I used it mostly as a rain/snow protection while mountaineering. I generally just wear a mid layer under the shell, when I wear a jacket, it is a light pile and I do not own any Windstopper products, because they do not breathe enough for me and I get too hot in them. I just sent the Rain Shadow back to Patagonia, that product does not work for me. BTW The waterproofing on this Patagonia product was great...
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Postby jthomas » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:58 pm

I have had great luck using softshells and windshirts in the rain, as long as I keep up on the DWR treatment. If it's absolutely pouring, I have a cheap plastic poncho which will cover me and my pack, but for on-and-off rain or snow the Houdini should work fine. It's certainly a fairly hard-core approach, and I don't deny I would be warmer and drier with a nice Paclite shell.[/quote]

I would be apprehensive about having only a Houdini for my rain shell. However, I am obviously a wimp, because Steve House climbed Nanga Parbat in one (!) :shock:
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Postby dskoon » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:14 pm

Jthomas wrote:

I would be apprehensive about having only a Houdini for my rain shell. However, I am obviously a wimp, because Steve House climbed Nanga Parbat in one (!) :shock:[/quote]

Yeah, but the point is,(and the point of the jacket), he didn't climb it in the rain. . . It's not its intended use.
Last edited by dskoon on Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby cp59 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:59 am

jthomas wrote:
jthomas wrote: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


Anyone used any of the Pata pieces?


I think the following is true on the three above pieces...

a) Torrentshell (least breathable) > b) Rain Shadow > c) Stretch Ascent (most breathable, stretchy, and cut longer for climbing)

Patagonia didn't really have a piece to compete with the Precip or NF's $100 shell, hence the Torrentshell. It looks like a nicely engineered piece, and I've found the h2no laminate system in other jackets to be nicely breathable, but honestly I wouldn't expect it to be worlds ahead of the Precip.

As for the zippers, I agree somewhat, except that the RiRi zip on the S.A. is very nicely engineered, with a high degree of water protection sans storm flap and annoying velcro.

As for the weight, you'll see the difference in durability. The lighter it is, the less abuse it'll take. No magic exception to that rule in any brand I think...
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Postby jthomas » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:50 pm

cp59 wrote:
jthomas wrote:
jthomas wrote: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


Anyone used any of the Pata pieces?


I think the following is true on the three above pieces...

a) Torrentshell (least breathable) > b) Rain Shadow > c) Stretch Ascent (most breathable, stretchy, and cut longer for climbing)

Patagonia didn't really have a piece to compete with the Precip or NF's $100 shell, hence the Torrentshell. It looks like a nicely engineered piece, and I've found the h2no laminate system in other jackets to be nicely breathable, but honestly I wouldn't expect it to be worlds ahead of the Precip.

As for the zippers, I agree somewhat, except that the RiRi zip on the S.A. is very nicely engineered, with a high degree of water protection sans storm flap and annoying velcro.

As for the weight, you'll see the difference in durability. The lighter it is, the less abuse it'll take. No magic exception to that rule in any brand I think...


I went back to the Pata store yesterday and tried all three jackets again. The Stretch Ascent was definitely the nicest (no surprise). I totally disliked the Rain Shadow. The zipper was a total PITA; couldn't see any reason to get this over the Torrentshell. The SA was really cool. It had a different type of WP zipper that was much more usable. Also liked the longer, trimmer cut. I was concerned at first about it being too trim, but I have about decided that it is unlikely that I will have many layers under a rain shell.

So, if I can convince myself to spend $300, it comes down to the SA versus an Arcteryx Paclite piece that is also very nice and also $300. Any thoughts on stretch H2No versus Paclite?

Jim Thomas
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Postby asmrz » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:47 pm

Jim
I have come to the same conclusion, either the Stretch Ascent or the SL Paclite jacket by Arcteryx. I have the SA coming to me from Patagonia (in a few days) as an exchange and I will test it pronto. If it does not work (for whatever reason), I will try the Paclite parka just because I think the quality of the Arcteryx products (in general) is so good. This RAB stuff looks good too...Is it as waterproof as one needs it to be in the mountains and on the trail??
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Postby Autoxfil » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:33 am

eVent is plenty waterproof. I've never found the need for extreme waterproofness anyway.

That Momentum looks great, I'll have to look at that if I ever pick up a real hardshell.
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Postby jthomas » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:57 pm

asmrz wrote:Jim
I have come to the same conclusion, either the Stretch Ascent or the SL Paclite jacket by Arcteryx. I have the SA coming to me from Patagonia (in a few days) as an exchange and I will test it pronto. If it does not work (for whatever reason), I will try the Paclite parka just because I think the quality of the Arcteryx products (in general) is so good. This RAB stuff looks good too...Is it as waterproof as one needs it to be in the mountains and on the trail??


I would appreciate your impressions. I don't have to get the jacket for another couple of months, so I have some time. I have typically stayed away from Arcteryx due to the outrageous cost, except for one piece which I got for 30% off, but if their Paclite is the same cost as the SA, it is worth a look.

Jim Thomas
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Postby jthomas » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:00 pm

dps wrote:Just to throw a wrench in the works, you should take a look at the Rab hardshells if you can find them.

Great cut and made with eVent, so much much more breathable than most offerings.

I've been using the Momentum for a bit now and love it. The Latok Alpine has more pockets, etc.. for a bit more weight.


The Momentum looks really interesting, especially at 12 oz. How much is it and where did you find it?

Jim Thomas
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