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Thread: All Season Outer Wear, comments...

  1. #1
    Member Montana Native's Avatar
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    Jan 2007

    Default All Season Outer Wear, comments...

    I have been racking my brain over the past few years trying to do the impossible, select one set of outer wear for all seasons. It has to stand up to the riggors of sheep hunting the high country, all terrain for moose & bou and everywhere in between. There's always that inherent problem, the need for rain gear, the need for something lightweight, the material to be soft & supple but tough as nails... It just seems there is nothing out there that fits the bill. There are many fabrics now that excell in one or two seasons/conditions, but they all don't fit the bill for an all season application. Take HH Impertech, they're designed as somewhat breatheable rain gear. Not an all season coat. Sitka has three models to choose from, great if you want to spend some serious coin, but can't offer "one" to meet all seasons/conditions. River's West; ah no comment...

    What I have seen though are a few trying to step up and offer the "one."
    Cabelas tried with their Mountain Extreme Softshell, but the review have not been pleasant.

    There are some fabrics that use teflon & DWR as a water repellancy, but you can still get wet. Gore-Tex is a saturation suit, 3-layer laminants tend to not breathe too well and lock in external moisture (results in wet gear both inside & out). Dry Plus, never owned a garment with it.

    Many deciding factors/variables, but no real "winner" in the only one concept.

    Last year, my brand spankin HH Impertechs leaked. I then went to my Marmot Precip (it became saturated). Little upset & wet I was! Layering is another seperate subject, so please take that out of the equation.

    What are you currently using, what would you like to see from the industry? I am fed up with having to bring too much gear when "one" should do the trick. Opinions/comments welcomed!
    Respect what you do not own but are privleged to enjoy, Mother Earth thanks you...

  2. #2
    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Kodiak, Ak


    Wow, your marmot precip's became saturated? They are my favorite piece of clothing. I have them in two different sizes and wear them all year with different layers underneath without any problems.

  3. #3

    Default Impossible?

    You may be asking for the impossible but with all the new fabrics that have been coming out we likely are getting closer? Just think how it was 50 years ago! You would have to agree that we've come a long ways?

    Here is Colo it is a lot easier because we don't get all the Alaska rainfall. I can usually get by with a couple layers down here and I'm pretty well set. Obviously in AK you can't leave home without something waterproof so that alone adds to the frustration of finding 1 all purpose piece. We get extremes in temperature and precip but not like you guys!

  4. #4
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Eagle River

    Default Biggest tradeoff...

    is between breathability and waterproof. And price too- the holy grail.
    I decided to figure out some basics about materials, then look for end of season sales when I need any further outerwear gear.

    Since a thread by BrwnBr on mountaineering pants, I've read more about materials used in outdoor wear. Fabrics made of Schoeller Dryskin Extreme, EVENT laminate, or expanded PTFE seem to offer the best breathability and waterproofness, but are expensive to buy full-price.
    Most of the high-performance outdoor gear market seems segregated by price with mostly good performers at top dollar, but many adequate-performers in the middle range. Both groups are offered at discounts during end of season sales, beginning each Fall, with prices getting lower and size selection getting worse toward Spring-a reverse auction of sorts.

    Best breathable, yet still waterproof materials are expensive.
    Most made for mountaineering applications - are tough and stretch too.
    $500-$900 for jacket and pants though; Integral Designs, Westcomb, Mtn Hardwear are good examples.

    Very good breathable, water-resistant materials, less expensive. REI, SportHill.

    If you want waterproof AND breathability, it seems much more than just gore tex vs some other proprietary micropore laminate vs polyurethane Excellent technical info in this thread: This link posted by Lujon eVent vs Goretex was the most helpful single technical reference.

    If you can figure out what you want (easier if you don't need camo), then watch for end of season sales. Start looking early in the Fall if you're size med or large. Take your time if you're small, XL, 2XL- that's all that's usually left by January. Good luck.

  5. #5

    Default Wade Nelson-Hardcore Outdoor

  6. #6
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Eagle River

    Default Wade Nelson-Hardcore Outdoor...

    seems to be answering Montana Native's questions directly. Good information. Interesting biography too - easy to understand Nelson's gear interest.

    Another post on his site offered more info on best shell gear:

    Nelson's similarly impressed with the EVENT laminate material. I think the material is the key - and several (Schoeller Dryskin Extreme, EVENT laminate, or expanded PTFE) performed equally well in those graphs linked by Lujon (eVent vs Goretex).

    Otte was another brand whose gear looked well-made (at Barney's). Spendy like Westcomb.

    One problem comparing gear is the language companies use - doesn't always help. Otte (website) says their hard shell is "3-layer" waterproof fabric, but doesn't specify which 3-layer. Multilayer micropore (breathable) laminates don't all perform the same.

    In comparison, the Simms website at least implies they're using advanced Gore-Tex laminates of more than one type in their best waders; which would give more waterproofing (sacrificing some breathability) in some wader parts, and more breathability (sacrificing some waterproofing) in other wader parts. There are many materials called GoreTex, some with excellent performance, as in Simms waders.

    Maybe it doesn't matter -as long as it works for you and your applications, but the conditions others experience, even in "field tests" can be quite different than getting stranded in blowing rain on Kodiak. What a sad time to discover that "good enough" isn't.

    Very interesting site; very useful for helping sort through the gear maze.


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