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Postby asmrz » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:59 pm

Jim, As soon as I get the SA jacket, I will comment on the things I consider important. For me, they are: 1.waterproof 2. breathable 3. helmet compatible hood 4. pockets mostly out of the way of climbing harness yet big enough to put ice climbing glove into 5. general fit and ease of operation (zippers, fit, sleeves length, feel of the fabric) 6. light weight, not much over a pound and stowable.
I will comment here or via PM to you. Cheers, Alois.

Edit. BTW I don't own any Arcteryx clothes either for the same cost reason. Have had 3 Patagonia parkas over the years, all very good products (I still have all three of them) and one Paclite Montbell which I still carry on trips. That Paclite saw me through a lot, no problem with the fabric, hence the interest in the Arcteryx SL (?).
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Postby jthomas » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:07 pm

asmrz wrote:Jim, As soon as I get the SA jacket, I will comment on the things I consider important. For me, they are: 1.waterproof 2. breathable 3. helmet compatible hood 4. pockets mostly out of the way of climbing harness yet big enough to put ice climbing glove into 5. general fit and ease of operation (zippers, fit, sleeves length, feel of the fabric) 6. light weight, not much over a pound and stowable.
I will comment here or via PM to you. Cheers, Alois.

Edit. BTW I don't own any Arcteryx clothes either for the same cost reason. Have had 3 Patagonia parkas over the years, all very good products (I still have all three of them) and one Paclite Montbell which I still carry on trips. That Paclite saw me through a lot, no problem with the fabric, hence the interest in the Arcteryx SL (?).


Eager to hear. Thanks.
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Stretch Ascent Jacket-1st Impressions

Postby asmrz » Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:42 pm

Jim and all

Just received the Stretch Ascent jacket. Have not had it outside yet. These are my impressions so far.

1. Fabric is supple, feels light.

2. Reinforced over shoulders and elbows, a good thing.

3. The torso is cut narrower than the Rain Shadow, will fit better. A good thing

4. It is long enough for me (6'1", 170 lbs) in Large size. The length can be shortened quicky and tucked under. A good thing

5. The inside laminate seems to be very close (or the same) as the one on the Rain Shadow jacket which does not breathe at all. That does not inspire confidence in a breathability of this jacket.

6. The pit zips are very short, either the jacket brethes so well that nothing longer is needed or...

7. The hood does not seem to roll down all the way, a major bummer, as I don't want to fight with the hood while putting my rack sling over my shoulder. I like the hood to be able to be really stowed away when not on my head, so it does not interfere with the climbing rack.

8. Pockets are fine.

9. Inside pocket seems to be designed for a water bottle to be put into it. It has no velcro or any other closure. Don't know what to say about that, the jacket does not seem like something one would take on a 8,000 m expedition. The pocket's utility seems out of place on a jacket designed for alpine climbing. I would prefer to have the pocket enclosed.

10. Hood is very compatible with my Black Diamond helmet, no problem

11. Central zipper is very easy to zip.

So that's it for now. Except for the hood and the lamination question, no major issues.

Will take it outside in a few days and report further.

Cheers, Alois.
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Postby connollyck » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:20 am

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


torrentshell sucks. i bought one and returned it. the hood BARELY covered the top of my head (and i don't have an unusually large head). ANY wind with your rain and you'll get wet. not to mention it doesn't fit a helmet. it is a snazzy around town jacket, but if you bring it in the mountains i think you'll be sorry. I'm glad i found out it sucked in the rain while walking my dog around the neighborhood. i was pretty surprised because patagonia rarely disappoints.

i usually wear a cap t shirt or long sleeve cap, with an r1 hoody, a Mountain Hardware gore paclite shell (which i LOVE over the torrentshell), and a hooded down sweater for 3 seasons (FF hooded volant in winter/early season)
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Postby MScholes » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:40 am

While this thread's still going, thoughts on the new m10? Looks sweet imo if all functions the way it is supposed to. More protection then houdini, should also breathe better then houdini (while houdini is awesome, I don't find it breathes all that well). Might be worth a look although $399 as opposed to the $300 of the jackets you were mentioning earlier.

Though, note that you can get the amazing stretch element direct from patagonia atm for $270 although sizes limited as they had their big feb sale which I'm sure took much away from their stock. It's worth a call as imo the element > ascent.
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Postby jthomas » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:51 pm

MScholes wrote:While this thread's still going, thoughts on the new m10? Looks sweet imo if all functions the way it is supposed to. More protection then houdini, should also breathe better then houdini (while houdini is awesome, I don't find it breathes all that well). Might be worth a look although $399 as opposed to the $300 of the jackets you were mentioning earlier.

Though, note that you can get the amazing stretch element direct from patagonia atm for $270 although sizes limited as they had their big feb sale which I'm sure took much away from their stock. It's worth a call as imo the element > ascent.


Sorry, what is Patagonia ATM?
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Postby MScholes » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:02 pm

jthomas wrote:
MScholes wrote:While this thread's still going, thoughts on the new m10? Looks sweet imo if all functions the way it is supposed to. More protection then houdini, should also breathe better then houdini (while houdini is awesome, I don't find it breathes all that well). Might be worth a look although $399 as opposed to the $300 of the jackets you were mentioning earlier.

Though, note that you can get the amazing stretch element direct from patagonia atm for $270 although sizes limited as they had their big feb sale which I'm sure took much away from their stock. It's worth a call as imo the element > ascent.


Sorry, what is Patagonia ATM?


atm = at the moment.

At the moment, you can purchase the strech element from Patagonia for $270. Look for it on their website: www.patagonia.com
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Postby jthomas » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:22 pm

MScholes wrote:
jthomas wrote:
MScholes wrote:While this thread's still going, thoughts on the new m10? Looks sweet imo if all functions the way it is supposed to. More protection then houdini, should also breathe better then houdini (while houdini is awesome, I don't find it breathes all that well). Might be worth a look although $399 as opposed to the $300 of the jackets you were mentioning earlier.

Though, note that you can get the amazing stretch element direct from patagonia atm for $270 although sizes limited as they had their big feb sale which I'm sure took much away from their stock. It's worth a call as imo the element > ascent.


Sorry, what is Patagonia ATM?


atm = at the moment.

At the moment, you can purchase the strech element from Patagonia for $270. Look for it on their website: www.patagonia.com


Appear to be sold out. Pata says will be back in the Fall. Not clear why they would have this at 450 and the M10 at 400 both in the catalog.
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Any Experience Outside Yet?

Postby jthomas » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:03 pm

asmrz wrote:Jim and all

Just received the Stretch Ascent jacket. Have not had it outside yet. These are my impressions so far.

1. Fabric is supple, feels light.

2. Reinforced over shoulders and elbows, a good thing.

3. The torso is cut narrower than the Rain Shadow, will fit better. A good thing

4. It is long enough for me (6'1", 170 lbs) in Large size. The length can be shortened quicky and tucked under. A good thing

5. The inside laminate seems to be very close (or the same) as the one on the Rain Shadow jacket which does not breathe at all. That does not inspire confidence in a breathability of this jacket.

6. The pit zips are very short, either the jacket brethes so well that nothing longer is needed or...

7. The hood does not seem to roll down all the way, a major bummer, as I don't want to fight with the hood while putting my rack sling over my shoulder. I like the hood to be able to be really stowed away when not on my head, so it does not interfere with the climbing rack.

8. Pockets are fine.

9. Inside pocket seems to be designed for a water bottle to be put into it. It has no velcro or any other closure. Don't know what to say about that, the jacket does not seem like something one would take on a 8,000 m expedition. The pocket's utility seems out of place on a jacket designed for alpine climbing. I would prefer to have the pocket enclosed.

10. Hood is very compatible with my Black Diamond helmet, no problem

11. Central zipper is very easy to zip.

So that's it for now. Except for the hood and the lamination question, no major issues.

Will take it outside in a few days and report further.

Cheers, Alois.


Have you had a chance to use it outside yet?

Jim
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Postby asmrz » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:39 am

Jim, this will be a bit problematic untill we do some Sierra skiing later this month. It is very sunny in Idyllwild now, CA. temps in the high 50s, we hike every other day but there is absolutely no need for a shell. We were out of town last week when it snowed here. I will comment as soon as I can get it into some "conditions". Any storms coming our way?
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Postby jthomas » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:47 pm

Went ahead and got the Stretch Ascent yesterday. I would love the M10, but can't justify the extra $100 for no more than I will use it. The only thing I can find to criticize is the short length of the pit zips, which is puzzling. Love the fit and feel. I may encounter some rain this weekend, so we'll see how it does.

Jim Thomas
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Postby asmrz » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:48 am

Jim and all,

I just got back from hiking the Southridge trail to Tahquitz Peak here in Idyllwild. I took the Stretch Ascent with me and wore it once we got high enough.

1. The jacket does NOT breathe at all. The rubber like interior of the jacket not only feels cold, it spreads your sweat around, but passes through very little, if anything. I was wet after hiking just a couple of miles. The other (cheaper jackets, like the Rain Shadow) have the same lining and, most importantly, the same sweat spreading (not passing through) effect.

2. The zippers are so short, one would think that Patagonia had some special secret fabric, so that they can afford to do that. But it is just a design flaw, the zips should be twice as long.

3. I stand by my dislike of the unfoldable, "roll-down hood", something got missed there too.

All in all, for 300 bucks this is a dissapointment. I'm sending it back, because my 15 year old Montbell Gore-tex parka still does better job than this jacket. I hope this short review helps someone in selecting something better. Cheers, Alois.
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Postby jthomas » Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:41 pm

asmrz wrote:Jim and all,

I just got back from hiking the Southridge trail to Tahquitz Peak here in Idyllwild. I took the Stretch Ascent with me and wore it once we got high enough.

1. The jacket does NOT breathe at all. The rubber like interior of the jacket not only feels cold, it spreads your sweat around, but passes through very little, if anything. I was wet after hiking just a couple of miles. The other (cheaper jackets, like the Rain Shadow) have the same lining and, most importantly, the same sweat spreading (not passing through) effect.

2. The zippers are so short, one would think that Patagonia had some special secret fabric, so that they can afford to do that. But it is just a design flaw, the zips should be twice as long.

3. I stand by my dislike of the unfoldable, "roll-down hood", something got missed there too.

All in all, for 300 bucks this is a dissapointment. I'm sending it back, because my 15 year old Montbell Gore-tex parka still does better job than this jacket. I hope this short review helps someone in selecting something better. Cheers, Alois.


Not clear if it was raining, or if you just wore it while hiking as a windshell. It is pretty easy to overheat and get wet in most any shell if you are working hard enough. The lining seems very similar to numerous other jackets I have looked at from all the major companies, so not sure what would make this worse than the others. I agree with you on the short pit zips, but the hood is a non-issue for me.

I consider Patagonia among the best, if not the best, gear companies. They have staked their reputation on the H2No fabric, so I would be very surprised if it is dramatically worse than the competition. They could have just as easily have used Goretex, etc.

At any rate, you have me wondering whether to keep it now. The only thing I have seen that I liked as well was the Arcteryx Paclite for the same price. Thanks for your input.

Jim Thomas
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Postby asmrz » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:43 pm

Jim, just to clarify: We were casualy hiking in about a foot of crusty snow at the top of a pretty flat ridge (at about 8,500 feet) when a strong wind came up. I put the jacket on over a long sleeve Capilene shirt (from Patagonia). There was no rain.

I have been using Patagonia stuff for 30 years. In the mid 80s, I even had some of their alpine clothing given to me. If you saw my storage room, you would understand.

Regarding waterprooffness, I'm totally sure the SA jacket is a bomber. I had the returned Rain Shadow in some pretty bad rain and snow and I was soaked from within, not from the rain.

It may be, that I generate more heat then the average climber/hiker and who knows, the market might be concentrating on waterproofness issues, not breathability.

But, alpine climbing is a pretty strenuous game and the gear must reflect it. I don't need this (or any other similar jacket) to walk to the store.

If nothing on the market works as stated, my old gear will have to do, until something better comes up. The money is an issue, but my ability to rely on the gear, is what matters most. I cannot afford major compromises when it comes to outer gear.
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