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.
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...