A couple of weeks ago I had asked for your favorite shells and why. Here is some of what Igot. Please bare with the email cut and pastes. No clue how to fix that. But the feedback is great. Thanks to all who took the time and contributed. Enjoy!
For ice climbing in Colorado, I am pretty happy with this: 1 - Eddy Bauer Accelerant jacket layered over a thin base layer. It is surprisingly warm, very lightweight, and has an excellent athletic fit with long arms. I sometimes use the thumbholes on the sleeves. This jacket solves the annoying problem of hood wars. I like one hood under the helmet (this jacket provides that) and one hood over the helmet (the next jacket provides that). For fast moving in coldish conditions it breathes adequately and seems reasonably durable. The Arcteryx equivalent of the Accelerant is probably just as good, but more expensive and I do tend to trash these little lightweight jackets. Also I really like the thumbholes and lightweight hood of the Accelerant. 2 - When it gets colder, or for belays, I add a Wild Things lightly insulated jacket. That one is compact enough I am happy wearing it while climbing. It breathes ok, is windproof and very water resistant and durable. It has a good over the helmet hood. It could be warmer for belays, but I don't like carrying a garment just for belays. When I am instructing and standing around a lot I take an old OR synthetic puffy instead which is heavier, but toasty. 3 - Whenever I can get my hands on one of the waterproof/breathable non-woven Dyneema jackets I'll throw one in the pack for hideous conditions. Bob Culp
I'm Matti from Finland and I'm pretty active all round climber, skier and hiker. And with ski I mean telemark, cross country and Nordic touring. The weather is normally pretty severe here in northern Finland, Sweden and Norway where I do most of my winter activities. -20C is pretty standard day during the Jan - Mar. My coldest ice climbing week had average of -32C. I'm not very good at ice stuff, but I can lead WI 4-5 so it serves as "feelgood" activity during winter where I mostly climb multipitch WI3 in Norway and Sweden. My main focus is in summer stuff (7c+ in both sport and boulder and (well protected) trad up to ~7a). Anyho I get around 200 outdoor days (I also include after work stuff) per year. My absolutely favourite is old 'Ryx Gamma MX hoody(polartec version). It works in everything (as long as the weather is below zero degrees) and awesomely. Put thick merino underwear under it and perhaps light down west (like Patagucci down west) if it's real cold. You stay warm and dry even if you get totally soaked during climb and it's -20C. First the stuff might freeze, but in few moments of high wattage action and you are dry again. And unlike real hardshell the shit really breaths. You can see the difference as huge cloud of steam :). This is very important fe in Nordic touring, cross country skiing or when I'm skinning as you sweat up to 12 hours a day. I must say that I sweat like a pig, but So Far (tm) I haven't tried a HS material that would actually keep me dry even in dry if I'm active. And in really cold the water just stays inside the HS jacket. Also they tend to rip. Also the stretch cuffs are pretty much second best feature in the jacket. Combine them with gloves (like those stupendously expensive 'Ryx leather gloves) you can tuck in and you've got seal that's totally water and snow proof. No matter what you do it doesn't open up. Also it' really robust. Velcros just break down. I know it's probably not so much of an problem with you as you guys change to new apparel more often than I change my underwear, but with us regular joe's we really appreciate garment that lasts. I've gotten 7 years of active use out of my Gamma and now it's totally destroyed. Also the cut is fantastic. I love just how the garment fits just so and doesn't leave any extra material to block my view to harness. Also at the same time it allows good range of motion. Regarding most of the stuff above I'm in a bit of a dilemma. New Gamma MX doesn't just float my boat way old one did. Cut is more average consumer orientated, material isn't as wind resistant (old one was spot on for my tastes) and seems somehow less sturdy. This brings the problem that there really isn't any other jackets with: 1. Good cut and quality 2. same cuffs 3. Powershield 4. Good hood 5. Wouldn't mind if it also looked good. Ideas? We've got custom shop here in my hometown (Oulu) that makes tailored outdoot gear (www.shelby.fi<http://www.shelby.fi>), but polartec powershield isn't available unless one gets few hundreds of meters of it -> they do not stock it. -Matti Sillanpää-
Arcteryx Gamma SL hybrid is a nice jacket as well as being truly light weight at 13 oz.
I personally think "uninsulated shells" should clock in well under 14 ounces, anything heavier is too much. My Alpha LT hardshell is 13.5 oz.