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The cold world of alpine climbing.

The cold world of alpine climbing.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The "word" is getting around..."Neoshell" soft shell

4 comments:

Damien Gildea said...

You read this Dane?
http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-gear/Insane-in-the-Membrane.html?page=all

Gear:30 said...

I'm curious about the Neoshell material on your jacket and salopettes. Is that material like the material on the Marmot Zion jacket which has a very light brushed fleece liner or is it like the Neoshell fabric on some of the others (Rab Stretch Neo, for example) that has a tricot mesh layer next-to-skin? I use these jackets as examples because they're the only two Neoshell jackets I have had my hands on.

I assumed that your Neoshell layers are like the Zion because you called it a softshell (which is what Marmot calls theirs), but both materials could easily be considered softshell. It looks like the Snaefell is like the Rab with the tricot-like lining material, but I can't find much information on it to tell for sure. I'm just guessing from the picture.

Anyway, I'm curious because I have experience with the Zion jacket but not with the tricot-lined neoshell jackets. The Rab Stretch Neo jacket is significantly lighter than the Zion, but I'm wondering if the performance of the fleece-lined neoshell is worth the extra weight. Just curious if you had any input on the matter.

Dane said...

I have the Marmot Zion and the Mammut jacket here that I have been using/testing. The NWAlpine gear is the same material as Marmot's. There is a lot of over lap on the newest fabrics. But I wouldn't call the StretchNeo a "soft shell" or the Apoc.

More info and details in the up coming "soft shell" test when I get it all written.

Bottom line is yes I think the heavier, 4 way stretch, true soft shell material is worth the extra weight for my own use. That is where the Neoshell soft shell shines imo. Neither Gortex or Event have offerd a similar technology that I have seen. And I have several samples from each here as well. Close maybe, but nothing I have seen as of yet from either in that particular game. That I think will be the big shift in fabrics, tough, some insulation, water proof, fully stretchable and very breathable.

More to come in the soft shell review on most of teh new fabrics and how they compare.

This still applies:

“Garment design is as important as the material itself.” “There is no single, magical membrane."

But there are magical fabrics that the application of the right membrane just enhances.

Dane said...

Damien, great read, thank you. I had heard much of that over the past couple of years from industry insiders. Not like I can test any of this stuff past just using it outdoors.

The material that gets the application of the laminate and the ultimate garment design I think has much more to do with this stuff than the differences in current technology imo.

Neoshell is the first true "soft shell" I have seen that is water proof and still breathable. There is where I think the big difference is and will continue to impress me.

Fully stretchable, water proof material, that feels great next to your skin and wears like iron is one of the holy grail for my own climbing garments. Nothing is ever perfect but we are seemingly getting very close imo.

It is very fun to be involved and have access to the newest fabrics right now.