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Heres my hard and soft shell list... what do you think?

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Heres my hard and soft shell list... what do you think?

Postby GrantAustralia » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:17 pm

G'day all

well I'm new to the forum and new to alpine mountaineering. I have been doing alot of research into appropriate clothing for use up to 7000m (my trips will be Mt Cook and Aconcagua) and hoping for Denalli and Elbus at a later stage. I have narrowed down my soft and hard shell items i think will do well on these mountains.

Hardshell:
Arcteryx Alpha SV Jacket
ARCTERYX Beta AR Pants

Softshell
Marmot Pro Tour Softshell Jacket
Patagonia Alpine Guide Softshell Pant

What i am wanting to know if I'm on the right track for a good set of soft and hard shells. Im not to concerned for the price, i want a quality product that will do it's job perfectly.

cheers,
Grant
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Re: Heres my hard and soft shell list... what do you think?

Postby radson » Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:33 pm

Mate. Are you doing Aoraki and Aconcagua back to back? If not maybe hold off wanton gear purchasing till you get a better feel for what you like. Personally I think hard shells are better for NZ stuff (or hard shell top and soft shell bottoms) and with the new Gore-tex Pro as in the Arcteryx Alpha SV , some of the reasons to go to soft shell have been mitigated. I'm referring to the more 'pliable' material of the new hard shells.

For fairly non technical stuff like Aoraki and normal routes on Aconcagua what I have been liking is a non black pant, just to reflect some of the heat that you get tramping across glaciers and that bloody la playa. I recently picked up on sale some Ran Exodus pants in Pumice.

http://rab.uk.com/products/mens-clothing/leg-wear/exodus-pants.html

When hot, i just opened up the thigh vents and when things cooled down, zipped them up again. Even if its mainly psychological, I really like having non black pants and venting options.

If you do want to throw out wads of cash, one great advantage of the Arcteryx Alpha SV pants , is that the full opening zipper, means one can take a dump with a harness on much more easier than many other pants. Something I found quite useful on those occasional cool breeze days on Denali
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Re: Heres my hard and soft shell list... what do you think?

Postby seano » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:02 pm

If money matters to you...

Hard shell: garbage bag. (Plastic doesn't breathe, but it's best at keeping the rain out.)

Soft shell: whatever's on sale.
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Re: Heres my hard and soft shell list... what do you think?

Postby GrantAustralia » Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:46 am

Hi Radson, thanks for the reply, Aoraki/Mt Cook in Nov and Aconcagua in Feb. Not really back to back.

Reason for getting items now items now is there are alot of specials available and where i am i don't pay postage (im overseas at the moment, not in Aust). I have researched the prices and they are a hell off a lot cheaper than Australian prices.

Yes I am not trying them on for size, but if i was i to wait to get back to Aust i'd be doing the same thing (buying without trying)... Townsville has none of this stuff.

So are you thinking Hardshell jacket and pants, and softshell pants. No need for softshell jacket?

To be honest i don't care for the costs, i want a good performer and something i won't regret buying due to be insufficient.

cheers,
Grant.
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Re: Heres my hard and soft shell list... what do you think?

Postby Damien Gildea » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:05 am

radson wrote:... maybe hold off wanton gear purchasing


I hope you didn't even try to type that with a straight face! :D

Grant,

Radson is right about hardshells for NZ, as it can rain on approaches and the snow might be wetter. On Aconcagau and even Denali, a good softshell is fine. You'll find up high you'll be moving slower and may well have a synth or down jacket on top anyway.

Marmot and Arcteryx jackets fit quite differently though. Arcteryx is great, fits me well (6'7", 46" chest, 34" waist), whereas Marmot is too baggy round the middle. Arcteryx generally has an 'athletic' fit, Marmot more 'generous' and Patagonia a bit in between - though there can be significant difference between models from the one manufacturer. Sometimes they indicate this, sometimes not. Rab is good for slim builds, but the shoulders are narrow and the arms long. Rab is also using the new Neoshell fabric on one of its jackets, which is getting good reports. North Face tends to a pretty standard fit, as does Mountain Hardwear. Macpac has chopped and changed over the years, but the current fit is somewhere between Arcteryx and, say, Mountain Hardwear? I'd still take any opportunity to try stuff on if you can.

I would add that rather than buy a hardshell and an expensive (heavy, hot) softshell, it's better to have a good quality windproof jacket or smock with a hood. Patagonia Houdini, Arcteryx Squamish, Rab Alpine are all good. They act as a shell in all but the worst conditions, are nice and light and comfy and with a baselayer and light fleece, are warm enough for most climbing. They're not waterproof, but you don't climb these mountains in the rain. Just make sure the hood fits over a helmet - on all your jackets.

Trawl through the masses of info at Dane's http://coldthistle.blogspot.com.au/ for some clothing tips in amongst the tooling and there's also good stuff at http://www.andy-kirkpatrick.com/article ... _the_world Also waste even more time over at http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/i.php?f=11
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Re: Heres my hard and soft shell list... what do you think?

Postby radson » Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:56 pm

C'mon Damo, I was being philanthropic and trying to steer Grant clear of my 'all the gear and no idea' philospohy, so was a case of do as i say and not as I do.

Of course what I wanted to say was...since Rev. Bill and Freda climbed it a couple years back with rather questionable gear, now all that's really important with clothing is that you look shit hot on the summit. I strongly recommend red or orange jacket as it provides a better contrast in the pics. Dont wear black, looks terrible in pics and people will think you are German.

Now for the first-timer ,to avoid the derision of other perhaps more experienced 'climbers' , I'm afraid that Arcteryx or Patagonia is not for you. Proper humility on your first attempt unfortunately means that you should wear something from Kathmandu as you explain to your fellow climbers that ' you're just getting started'

Once summit shot it taken with guide conspicuously absent, coupled with the ability to put on crampons on the right way up first time, only then you can start to wear the high end gear. (Chuck the Kathmadu jacket in the Good sammies bin) If questioned on experience, you can mumble something about climbing at AD/D levels (nothing wrong with grade creep).

Of course once you have climbed Cook you can really start to rationalise all gear purchases about performance and lightness, knowing full well you just want to look shit hot.
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Re: Heres my hard and soft shell list... what do you think?

Postby Fletch » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:14 pm

This is good stuff... I'm laughing... don't wear black of they will think you are German - that's funny. Reminds me of the Big Lebowski - "No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of."

For what its worth, the ArcTeryx Alpha SV is absolutely bomber. It's like wearing a Trango 3 tent over your head. Super expensive, but worth it. All my other stuff is "clearance" items, so I'm afraid I'm not much help.

But I think Damien and Radson are right (they usually are) - good stuff.
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Re: Heres my hard and soft shell list... what do you think?

Postby GrantAustralia » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:58 am

wow, kinda sensing the 'he's a newbie' type atmosphere here.. but it's ok, i know i am a newbie for Alpine climates, thats why i joined this site, to learn and become more knowledgeable. I can assure you i have spent many years living out of a pack in some harsh hot, wet and cold climates. Im not one for 'hiking and staying in hotels' kinda deal.... i'd prefer a nice hoochie to sleep under.

'Looks' I don't care for, I believe you should buy the best equipment that is in your budget, if than means buying all kathmandu gear and a thick K Mart Fleece jacket, well good for you, whatever helps get you out there and doing it, I don't have a budget as such, so my choices are open to some top end gear. Why would I buy less quality for the sake of it... maybe i have missed the point?


Anyways, I appreciate the help and suggestions, and will take them on board, no doubt i will seek advice from the experienced members here soon.

Cheers,
Grant.
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Re: Heres my hard and soft shell list... what do you think?

Postby Damien Gildea » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:07 am

GrantAustralia wrote: Why would I buy less quality for the sake of it... maybe i have missed the point?


Because 'quality' is a variable term, depending on just what you're doing, when, how and what with.

An Alpha SV is a top 'quality' jacket, but if it's not raining it's overkill and you'll sweat to death working hard up a hill. So it's good quality, but not necessarily the most suitable. A cheaper, lighter more breathable, lower 'quality', windshell may be more suitable.

A lot of climbing gear - boots, jackets, axes - tend to overkill, because it's sexy and it sells, the more Maxtreme™ the better, and there's more margin in it for manufacturers and retailers. Elbrus has been climbed in jeans and sneakers with a trekking pole. Cook has been climbed in a skirt and no crampons. They're inadvisable extremes, but useful for perspective ...
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Re: Heres my hard and soft shell list... what do you think?

Postby GrantAustralia » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:27 am

thanks Damien, I see the reasoning in 'less expensive' items . Can any recommendations be made in which suitable Hardshell would be worth looking into?

I like the Marot Driclime jacket and pants as a soft shell.

I would like to carry hardshell set just in case of bad weather.

cheers,
Grant
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Re: Heres my hard and soft shell list... what do you think?

Postby radson » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:04 pm

Fletch wrote:This is good stuff... I'm laughing... don't wear black of they will think you are German - that's funny. Reminds me of the Big Lebowski - "No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of."

For what its worth, the ArcTeryx Alpha SV is absolutely bomber. It's like wearing a Trango 3 tent over your head. Super expensive, but worth it. All my other stuff is "clearance" items, so I'm afraid I'm not much help.

But I think Damien and Radson are right (they usually are) - good stuff.


Fletch, I agree. I recently bought a new hard shell (Helly Hansen Odin - and why of why did I trust an outside magazine review!) and I really regret buying it. In hindsight I should have just bought an Alpha SV. The HH jacket's hood doesnt fit over my helmet and the pockets small and the zips fiddly. Plus in cold temps. i like to wear a neck gaiter and this didnt work with the Odin. Did seem nice in the shop though.
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Re: Heres my hard and soft shell list... what do you think?

Postby tadman » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:22 am

Cloudveil,
Jackets?
Koven hardshell
Serendipity softshell

Take a look at Wild Things. X L ENT!

GREAT STUFF!
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