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The cold world of alpine climbing.

The cold world of alpine climbing.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Shell Shoot off? Active Shell, NeoShell, Dry.Q™ Elite and MemBrain Strata!

This is a review/comparison I have wanted to make for some time. I'm finally collected four (and may be more) different garments that I think will make a good write up. And thanks to the member's encouragement  Arc'teryx, Mountain Hardware, Outdoor Reasearch and Westcomb and several other manufactures have promised to join us.  Big plans for the field tests and comparisons .  Written review to come in late September or early October.

I am only interested in the stretch versions of a water proof  shell.  If there are others you think should be in this comparison please let me know.

Here are what I have so far thanks to the reader's suggestion.  Hopefully the reviews and comparisons will answer all your questions.  We'll have a couple of very experienced climbers joining me for this one.  This will be the first review of its kind on Cold Thistle.

Gore-Tex’s new stretch version of its highly breathable Active Shell fabric.  This one from OR.

Polartec has developed its own waterproof, breathable fabric NeoShell.  This one from Westcomb 

Marmot  lightweight waterproof / breathable technology, MemBrain® Strata™ 100% Nylon Stretch.  This one from Marmot obviously.

The new Dry.Q™ Elite from Monuntain Hardware

I'll add to the list once I know what we are really testing.

16 comments:

Brian A said...

MHW Dry Q Elite?

John G said...

Mammut Dry Tech Premium?

Matt said...

MHW Dry Q Elite -- isn't that now just MHW's house brand eVent?

think the pieces that Dane is testing are a step beyond eVent.

looking forward to the feedback, but, going to sit on my RAB eVent shell until it is shredded--i'm too fed up with the waterproof/breathable/stretch game.. with all the worlds proper layering and other variables accounted for, i sweat buckets when I'm working hard and no shell can get rid of that sweat nor keep a jungle micro-climate from developing.

Daniel Harro said...

I think Rab is using Neoshell, word on the street is they they are having delamination issues though... Dont know how true this is.

Joseillo said...

I like the eVent. It is more bretheable than goretex?

Julian said...

Sherpa Adventure Gear Lungta Hybrid jacket? I have no idea if they have a name for their fabric but it's waterproof (or mostly waterproof at least) and stretchy.

Steffen said...

Mammut Dry Tech Premium is the "old" Toray Dermizax stretch, same as in the Patagonia Stretch Ascent or any of the Bergans Stretch Jackets - would be interesting how it works compared to the new materials from Polartec and Marmot.
Not sure if Active Shell is up to the job for climbing jackets...
sounds more like a great garment for cycling or running jackets.

Dane said...

"Not sure if Active Shell is up to the job for climbing jackets..."

I have one here in Active shell and think it will give a good showing. It is designed for "fast and light" after all. The Marmot stretch version is an even lighter material.

Ian said...

I'm not buying any more jackets this year. I don't care how good they are.


Just kidding, I have my eye on the Marmot and Rab Pro account for the Stretch to come back in stock.

Steve Schultz said...

MHW Dry Q Elite is VERY different from eVent, FYI. Have used one for a few months now and it's a step beyond what I've seen elsewhere. Out of the new materials I think Neoshell and Dry Q Elite are the most compelling. They're the only ones doing something truly different.

Jeff said...

Mountain Hardwear Dry.Q Elite isn't eVent at all, though it utilizes a similar air-permeable film from GE (eVent's parent company). It should be more durable and waterproof than eVent in the long-term for a number of reasons.

There is a lot of information about Dry.Q Elite here, from an interview with a higher-up at MHW: http://www.rockcreek.com/mountain-hardwear-dry-q.rco

Rev said...

Not quite- DryQ Elite *is* MHW's house brand eVent. Same laminate, same technology- only difference is the face fabrics. That might be a notable difference for those wanting a 15D or 40D+ eVent equivalent, I guess. No need to be suckered by the marketing hype from a rep promising something beyond eVent.

Anonymous said...

Dry Q elite was developed in conjuction with the eVent folks. It's not eVent, but rather a step beyond.

I'd like to see Columbia Omni-Dry added to the list. It's an air permeable polyethylene membrane from what I've heard. Been getting pretty big kudos so far from the backcountry crowd.

Anonymous said...

Texapore Air 03+ from Jack Wolfskin should get a showing. I have the Dissenter jacket and it blows away everything I've had before. I thought the "air permeable" thing was hype until I tried it...

Alison McMillan said...

Did you ever do this test to compare these jackets?

Dane said...

It is all here..try a search for shells