A look into the cold world of alpine climbing.
Mtn H is making some pretty cool stuff. (as is everyone) Makes everyone up their game I think.No question I admire what Steck is bringing to the table and that the companies/designers are using his ideas.
Dane,If I remember correctly you wrote that internal pockets are not needed in a down jacket since you won't be drying anything inside , what do you think made Steck to ask for them ? Also, is Dry Q breathable enough to be used as a shell for someone who climbs as fast as he does ?
Alex,I have only used the DryQ Elite and OutDry® technology a bit. But it sure seems like the DryQ is pretty good from my limited experience. But the key word there is "limited". Steck wants pockets on his down? He obviously has a reason. It may or may not be to dry gloves.I think it is much more important to get Steck's design ideas incorporated into the clothing, gear, boots than it is to use specific materials although they are important as well. One thing our shell test earlier proved to me is the cutting edge stuff is pretty close these days.The gear I do have/use that Steck has been involved with the design work (Scarpa boots/Mtn H Gloves) are some of my favorites. I'll not likely ever have a need for down pants. But I do like the idea of "ltw sytems". So maybe his down jacket with a pair of winter weight soft shells of some sort will come along as well.
Seems like the year anorak's return in force. First Patagonia's Knifeblade and now this new anorak from Mtn H.
hey dane, great vid to post. cheers.regarding the glove pockets:its gotta be rememberd that this is big peak climbing stuff, not your usual sub 4000m.of course theres heaps of overlap, but theres also significant differences that might help explain the down jackets inner pockets - in the environment and style this stuffs designed for, hes maybe not switching out chunky, soaked gloves. more warming than drying.personally im a huge fan of that system, but its gotta be cold enough to not get your gloves wet in the first place, and needs to be with a primaloft midlayer to deal with whatever moisture still gets into the system (even from off your body). again, its more warming, rather than drying.takes a bit to rethink the whole glove/hand thing, but works well in certain conditions.
Good stuff I.S. Agreed on the synthetic midlayer. One of the reasons I really liked the mid weight Norrona down/primaloft jacket.
Dane,I wasn't clear enough with my question, didn't mean how Dry Q compares to other waterproof fabrics but to windshirts. Since he is climbing at such altitudes where breathability is more important than waterproofness do you think that MH are just making him advertise their new fabric ?
I would suggest that the internal pocket designs on this jacket are the best that I have seen. If I have to sit at a belay and I want to stop my slightly damp climbing gloves from freezing they need to go in there or better yet right inside my layering system. I also use a Jetboil when climbing and they suffer from cold gas cans something cronic, so having plenty of space to put the spare ones to warm up is useful too. Its also a great place to keep big mitts when its shoved in the bag.
Alex? "In for a penny in for a pound." It has to be a nice pay check right? Pockets? No where near what Mtn H has come up for gear and designs with but back in the '80s my buds that did Everest and other 8K meter peaks all wanted those pockets for water bottles. I have zero experience above 20K / 22K and my water bottles have always stayed in my pack.Obviously Steck is using them for something. Or may be we are just over thinking it. Mesh pockets don't weigh much.I was more impressed with the cuffs on the jacket.
The cuffs were nice. The complete system looked nice as well but probably not what you need if your in the rockies or the cascades. It was built for big peaks. That is not to say that there are some good or great individual pieces we can use from this. I'm looking forward to the reviews you can do on some of the pieces in the future. Or maybe a little q&a with Steck about his ideas behind the design and fabric choices.
I think the important thing here is it is easy to miss that there isn't any real "systems" out there yet. There is no reason glove cuffs can't mate up perfectly to the shells and jackets or like the down pant here, mate up perfectly with the boot cuff/gaiter. Or that the pants can't be sewn to the upper to eliminate that gap or extra layer. "Systems" have been a long time coming but should have been here years ago.8K meter clothing systems are going to require different levels of warmth. But there is no reason you can't build a system that will work in the Cascades or the Rockies or the Alps in winter and another system for summer. As the materials and designs get better the possibilities become endless that we'll see this kind of stuff showing up sooner than later. If the designers will pay attention to someone like Steck and we as climbers find Steck's gear useful and buy it, the trend will continue hopefully.
it is for bottles as you say DaneJon G
I didn't want to email you or anything, so I'm asking here. What's your opinion on Montane's products?
I've only used the Montane Prism jacket. Other than that I have no experience with their products. Lots of great gear out there I haven't used. The stuff i have used and don't like I just don't bother to write up. Someone else may have a completely different opinion than mine.But just because it isn't listed on the blog doesn't mean it isn't good gear. I an still trying to get some Mammut and Marmot gear that really impresses me but can't write it up till I get it in hand.
So I guess since I can't find a review of the Prism in your site you didn't like it that much, right?I'm looking for a synthetic insulated jacket and the price of Montane's products is looking really attractive.
Prism's price was right as was the design and materials. I really liked how they layered that jacket. But sadly the fit was really bad for me. If I were to make a comparison between the Atom LT for example which the Prism is so similar to the Prism wouldn't have faired well. The Patagonia Nano is not the best fit in the world...pretty bad I think (but I still use one a lot) ...and the Prism was in that catagory for me. With the Prism hood, that would only work under a helmet it became a deal breaker for my system. When the Prism if done just a little differently on the pattern cutting could have easily replaced the amazing Atom Lt.And it might for someone else looking for price if it fit you well enough.
Dane,I thought you would never buy a jacket with Primaloft Eco, what changed ?
Hey Alex, I buy all sorts of things and return them.
Not for me, I like a little luxury.
Dane, dead right on the tech...fit is way more important for an activity involving harnesses, packs, vertical movement, wind and always lifting your arms up above your head. That said, good to see waterproof smocks making a comeback. Though personally a chest and arm pocket are handy.RE the Montane, I find there is a bit too much gut room which I do not fill out. Same with the Atom, it hangs a bit funny around the waist and would let wind in for me, so unfortunately not the piece for me. To date, NW Alpine is the only company I've found that makes tailored fit climbing clothing.X
Any idea when some of this stuff might hit the shelves? The anorak jacket looks perfect! I have hated velcro cuffs on my jackets for years and this looks to be a great solution.
Regarding Montane Prism jacket, I have just received an redesigned jacket for 2011/12 winter and hood fits over the helmet now.Matej
a bit offtopic: how's the soft shell test coming along?
Do yo remember this videos...gear for nanga parbat..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoACZH2N9gEhttp://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6682751795170095622
I like Steve's system, except one point - i doubt softshell pants are good for swimming all day in waist-deep snow. And here in Carpatians we sometimes do :-)-- Mykhaylo
any idea what pants he wears? I would assume he is wearing a soft shell than i hardshell when the weather comes.
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