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Hard Shell - North Face Mammatus/Mountain Guide or Arcteryx?

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Postby Brad Marshall » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:24 pm

Have you considered any of the Mammut products? I have several and have found them to be well worth the money.
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Postby Autoxfil » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:33 pm

Patagonia Stretch Element?
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Postby DudeThatMustHurt » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:45 pm

I have the Alpha SV and would not trade it for anything. I use Eider hard shell pants which are also Gore Pro and once again would not trade them out both are bomber
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Postby MScholes » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:35 pm

I'm a self admitted jacket junkie.

In my extensive jacket collection I own the following shells:

Arcteryx Alpha SV

Mountain Hardwear Berrylium

Patagonia Stretch Element

North Face Modulous


Out of all of these, the Modulous (yes I know it's not the Mammatus, but it's the previous model) is by far the weakest. It's too overbuilt, too much bulk and the one I don't even take off the rack anymore. It's not horrible quality or anything, it's just when comparing the high end models of these 4 companies, it comes up lacking quite a bit in comparison.

The Stretch Element is a beast, as is the Alpha SV. Sometimes its hard to pick between them, although in the location where I live, in the realy nasty weather, I go for the SV, it's longer, got a better hood in my opinion, as well as a waist and hem cinch as opposed to only the hem on the Stretch.

The Berrilyum has been a suitible workhorse as well, quite a nice changeup and I have no negatives to say of this one overall, except the hood is harder to adjust and is more of a pain.

If I had to choose only one, the Patagonia or the Arcteryx would be my choices, although I have been curious about the mammutus, but the modulous has left a sour taste in my mouth.
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Postby MScholes » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:38 pm

My shell pants on the other hand are much simpler:

MH Argon Ice pants - Solid pants overall, not full side zips though, this might bother some with just a bucket seat.

Acteryx Alpha LT pants - amazing pants if you can get them for cheaper then retail.
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Postby MScholes » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:04 pm

full side zips on the pants are great for putting the pants on when needed or taking the pants off when needed without ever having to remove your boots. Easy releif for the calls of nature as well but but rainbow / bucket seats work well as well with no issues for that.

A lot of Arcteryx is the name. But it's a good quality name. If you do spring for the expensive, realise that it's meant to be abused. Too many people try to baby their clothing and end up not using it for what it was intended. The SV can handle all the abuse, but then again, a Patagonia Houdini can handle abuse too. If you buy it... use it.

My blue alpha sv is all scratched up, has brownish stains on it from the rock (I'm climbing around in abandoned open pit iron ore mines and quaries lately) but meh, at least it's getting used. I wore the berrylium a few times when I was putting a new roof on a cabin out in the bush in high winds and snow - kept me nice and dry but the red jacket's covered in tar and white paint now... Get your money's worth, don't try to pamper them too much.
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Postby climbxclimb » Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:08 pm

For the jacket I would suggest Wild Things Super light Alpinist Jacket.
better fit for technical climbing than other product I owned or tested, including the Arcteryx Alpha SV.
E-vent material is more breathable than Gote-tex and only 1lb of weight, is lighter than any other 2.5 or 3 layers hard shell.
Lastly $275 is way better than $400 or $500...
Mammuth is pretty good as well but their hard shells are much heavier and more expensive
That said I own the Laser jacket soft shell from Mammuth and I love it the fit is amazing and the overall quality is excellent.
I would not consider North face product because their not built anymore with climbers in mind..
For the pants I like bibs if I staying on the mountains for more than one day and it is cold.
I own the Arcteryx SV bibs which I like a lot, but sooner or later I will switch to a lighter product the Alpinist bibs from Wild Things.
Again the Mammuth product would be my second choice.
These days for me the weight and breath ability are paramount, when I climb on a mountain I found out that I never get wet because of snow and not rain.
Last edited by climbxclimb on Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MScholes » Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:16 pm

Aye, breathability is key.
With pit zips open on the Alpha SV, i'm fine. For full venting options, stretch element has by far the best venting and breathability imo - out of the ones I've used.

I find HyVent to not breathe that well... my stretch diad jacket from TNF while great at shedding wind and rain breathes sooo poorly... When I hit up some 14ers this past summer in it (it was half price at the TNF outlet in Boulder so I bought it) I was so sweaty at the ends of the days in it - not impressed.
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Postby DanielWade » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:56 am

I will agree that HyVent is not very breathable but it's a coating and none of the others on the market (Precip, H2No, Conduit) are any better. Gore-Tex is a better option if you must have a waterproof coat. Event is the same PTFE technology as Gore-Tex but without the oliophobic coating. This means that it is more breathable at the outset but breaks down faster and requires more care and washing. This is basically what Gore used to make back before ProShell and XCR. Semantics aside. I prefer softshells for wind and snow. As an employee of TNF I will take issue with "things not being built with climbers in mind anymore." The Mammatus and Heathen Pro Shells are were designed and are now used by Conrad Anker, Renan Ozturk and many other top-level alpine climbers. They are light, simple, durable and have your usual climber-friendly features such as helmet hoods, tapered wasitlines, alpine pockets and longer arms. When I worked for other brands in the past I had a similar, more critical view of the brand but having been exposed to more of the product, particularly the high end Summit Series garments, I am less of a skeptic. I do wear Patagonia and OR gear as well (from when I used to get a discount on those brands) so I think most outdoor brands make quality gear. I'm not saying you should or shouldn't buy a TNF product but I would caution against generalizations that aren't necessarily true. Happy hunting.
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Postby 96avs01 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:56 pm

MScholes wrote:Stretch element has by far the best venting and breathability imo - out of the ones I've used.


I completely agree, and have used an Alpha SV and an OR Quasar previously.
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Postby Captain Beefheart » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:18 pm

Check out the Rab stuff. WildThings is legit also. Don't waste your money on Gore products. Event is the way to go.
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Postby Hotoven » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:39 pm

Brad Marshall wrote:Have you considered any of the Mammut products? I have several and have found them to be well worth the money.


+1
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