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Thread: sitka stormfront review

  1. #1
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default sitka stormfront review

    well gave the storm front a good soakin' on this last hunt.
    my take...
    comfy stuff, cut good and makes walkin' good.
    the jacket worked great no complaints...(also no brush contact)
    the pants...well we walked thru 3 miles of wet brush and rain. by the end the crotch leaked, and both knees had saturation thru them, you could turn them inside out and see where the seams at the knees were leakin' water thru, all in all i think about 5 seams had water coming thru them.
    had it not been for the brush contact, they'd have probably been fine. but once again "breathable" rain gear did what it does.
    i'll still wear it, as i didn't get that wet, but i had a cabin i was headed to and a fire..had it been a cold tent, i would have been really unhappy. not worth the money they are askin' in my opinion.
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  2. #2
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default That's disappointing

    especially for what those go for (full retail anyway!).

    I wonder what it's going to take, for raingear to breathe, yet truly keep a person dry. Some of the new breathable, waterproof materials (eVent, Schoeller Dryskin Extreme) seem to offer good performance and are popular in mountaineering clothing, but Simms and other top wader manufacturers haven't adopted them for the heavy "brush contact" legs/hips wader areas - I'm guessing because the new stuff doesn't yet meet Simms performance requirements.

    As far as solving the problem of venting inside moisture (sweat) while keeping rain (outside moisture) out, it seems like keeping dry takes "layering":

    1. Sweat zone:
    2. Permeable/breathable barrier:
    3. Impermeable (Impertech) layer:
    4. Rain/exterior moisture zone

    At today's prices, what's that...$400 to $900 plus Impertech?
    Just getting wet and/or cold starts to look attractive, don't it?

    Or maybe watch for "after season sales this fall/winter.
    Thanks for the report BRWNBR.

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report. How hot was it to hike in? Otte uses Tetratex and it looks like some great stuff. I will likely give it the nod over the stormfront when it comes time to buy. It has roomier shoulders a better designed hood and is a little cheaper.

    Brett

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the report BRWNBR. Can you pull off a stalk in them are they that quiet?? I'll probably continue to rock either PreCip or Impertech depending on the hunt, but nice to hear honest field reports from a guys that really puts gear through the ringer.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Adam Barringer View Post
    Thanks for the report. How hot was it to hike in? Otte uses Tetratex and it looks like some great stuff. I will likely give it the nod over the stormfront when it comes time to buy. It has roomier shoulders a better designed hood and is a little cheaper.

    Brett

    What is Tetratex?

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    Member B-radford's Avatar
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    I dont think i will buy it till they provide arm pit vents, I dont understand why the heck no one puts these on hunting jackets.

    I know that they put it on the Celcius, but that jacket is wayyyyyyyyyy to much for sheep hunting and mountain caribou. I think the 90% also has pit zips, but i dont like hunting jackets with out hoods.

    Thanks for the update brown bear, I think i will stick with my current rain pants.

  7. #7

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    I have a pair of the Nimbus pants. While I did not see a lot of rain on a recent outing, I did see some rain, snow and lots of wet (thigh high) bushes. Pants did well. I use the Cloudviel Zorro jacket (the hooded one) and would prefer it, the Precip, or even the Rainshadow over the Sitka stuff, mainly for the cost factor. However, if Sitka wants me to be a field tester I would be all over it.... : )

  8. #8
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    storm frint is pretty loud but if its raining hard enough to need it..might not matter.
    it wasn't that hot to walk it, more comfy than my impertec for sure and the cut was much nicer for moving and climbing. just leakin' water ain't why i bought them...lol
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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-radford View Post
    I dont think i will buy it till they provide arm pit vents, I dont understand why the heck no one puts these on hunting jackets.

    I know that they put it on the Celcius, but that jacket is wayyyyyyyyyy to much for sheep hunting and mountain caribou. I think the 90% also has pit zips, but i dont like hunting jackets with out hoods.

    Thanks for the update brown bear, I think i will stick with my current rain pants.
    The stormfront DOES have zip pit vents. The stormfront lite DOES NOT.

    Brett

  10. #10
    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911-MW View Post
    What is Tetratex?
    It's a similar fabric to Goretex. It's at least 1-1 with Goretex. Maybe better. As stated the Otte is considerably cheaper than the storm front. It's a 3 layer like the stormfront. It does seem HH bomb proof, but we'll see. On the down side it's heavier than the stormfront and slightly louder. All things being equal you want things as quite as possible, but I'm not sure how much this really matters. If it's really bombing on you they can't hear you anyways. If it's not take the gear off, suck it up, and get it done. You'll be plenty warm packing out. We'll see how that thinking pans out in the next few years.

    Brett

  11. #11
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Tetratex and comparison...

    There's quite a market for breathable waterproof outerwear. I'm no expert, but have been taking a closer look at rain gear since Spring. First, waterproof gear seems to be simple, but once manufacturers discovered the market for breathable waterproof outerwear (something active outdoorsfolk have been willing to pay extra for), the race was on. GoreTex, which first brought us breathable waders, has evolved to become better, but now many competing companies have their own proprietary materials, each claiming to outperform any other materials.

    Comparing the different materials got easier when Lujon posted a reference in a March raingear thread (see post#7 in:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=51070). The information, from an Army research lab, seems to show in the two graphs that ePTFE, then eVent and Schoeller DrySkin Extreme, then Entrant DT10K outperform ("outbreathe") other waterproof materials when tested with water vapor (sweat).

    Tetratex is an ePTFE membrane (Google), and so according to the Natick Labs, has an edge over other fabrics, but only small differences compared to eVent, Schoeller DrySkin, etc.

    Your seam leaks might be a different problem though-and repairable. Waterproof breathable (W/B) materials seem to have certain problems and seam leaks are one problem. Leaks at seams might be a taping/sealing issue instead of a materials issue. Last year, I found seams leaking in my Simms and sent the waders back for repair. If it's true that SitkaGear guarantees 100% waterproof seams (http://www.bowhuntingmag.com/gear/fi...309/index.html), then maybe the seams need repair? Plenty else seems to be unknown or not yet solved about these materials.

    Is tech wash necessary to reduce micropore clogging? Supposedly W/B materials perform worse when clogged by dirt and oils. Lately there seems to be a market push for "tech wash", special stuff to wash W/B fabric more effectively. And then special stuff to recoat the surface for restoring water resistance. Is it worth it? Dunno.

    Does W/B outwear in these technical fabrics last? My Marmot Precip (polyurethane-coated nylon, see http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-...ear/index.html) jacket failed in blowing rain on a recent float. An old (Cabelas) wading jacket breathed less with years of wear and its replacement has become less effective after 3 seasons (Pat SST). The Impertech lasts. Technical fabrics?...maybe not. They at least have limitations.

    End of season sales are just a few months away. Good time for this subject because a lot of us are inevitably going to have rain gear "failures", smaller ones each year maybe, but still happening. I just don't think any manufacturer has it 100% right just yet. Better to pay less in discounted stuff after each season. Good luck to all this season.

  12. #12
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    BRWNBR- thanks for the info... I've been on the fence with this stuff for a couple of years.

    Eventually somebody will get this idea right; until then I'll just keep on in my Hellys.

  13. #13
    Member B-radford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Adam Barringer View Post
    The stormfront DOES have zip pit vents. The stormfront lite DOES NOT.

    Brett
    Thanks for clearing that up. I have only seen the stormfront lite and tried it on. Thanks again Brett.

  14. #14
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I have a full set of eVent gear that is heading to Kodiak this Oct.

    I also have a set of HH that will be making the trip just in case

    We will see, and I can't imagine there being a better test that Kodiak in OCT!!

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-radford View Post
    I think the 90% also has pit zips, but i dont like hunting jackets with out hoods.
    My 90% jacket has a hood on it?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    My 90% jacket has a hood on it?
    2007 was the last year for the hood on the 90% the new one is thinner and more athletic cut w/ no hood and sweet racing stripes on the front...

  17. #17
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Yeah, I got the 2007 jacket but the '08 pants.

    brwnbear,

    Are you using the stormfront lite rain gear?

  18. #18
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    nope stormfront hardcore stuff, not the lite stuff. just got home again, did 7 miles in the wet brush again, all the same leaks...just like clockwork. wondering if silicone spray might help them out...they'll be getting an email from me soon.
    SO not worth the money....
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