Westcomb Focus LT or Specter LT hmmmmm....

2:51 p.m. on March 17, 2013 (EDT)
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So everyone, I am in kind of a conundrum here as of late. I have been looking for a late spring through early fall wet weather shell to use here on the trails(or anywhere else for that matter. 

I had my eye on Westcomb's Specter LT but recently there was a review here done on their new Focus LT(nice review btw Rob.)

So now I find myself in somewhat of a conundrum in regards to what shell would be best for me. 

I plan on using it in the seasons mentioned above but also in torrential downpours, light snow, blah blah blah. 

Yes, I know the Focus LT is light but for $20 more I can get a 3 layer shell.

I purchased a high end 3 layer shell a bit back but due to the fact that I haven't been able to get out(work) I have not had the chance to use it really as of yet.

I do not plan on using this shell as my warmer season shell hence why I am looking into lighter weight alternatives.

Weight really isn't much of a concern. Water repellency, durability, breathability and just plain being able to shield me from the elements is key for me. 

Thoughts?

3:59 p.m. on March 17, 2013 (EDT)
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not to complicate your life, but i wouldn't rule out the shift LT.  neoshell feels cooler, allows more air in.  it might be a pretty nice warmer-weather shell option.  

4:46 p.m. on March 17, 2013 (EDT)
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it seems like the focus might be a little too lightweight - fragile, tears easily. I think that would be bad juju. 

10:49 a.m. on March 18, 2013 (EDT)
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Love my APOC.  Will never go back to eVent, now that I have a Neoshell jacket.

1:33 a.m. on March 20, 2013 (EDT)
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The Neoshelll jackets sound good. But $400 for a light rain jacket? Seriously? Yikes!

7:37 p.m. on March 20, 2013 (EDT)
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yeah those jackets are in the 200-400 dollar range-not cheap! personally I use my nylon cheapie for light rain showers, but I'm not out in the heavy stuff. if rain is forecast I stay home. 

8:12 p.m. on March 20, 2013 (EDT)
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leadbelly2550 said:

not to complicate your life, but i wouldn't rule out the shift LT.  neoshell feels cooler, allows more air in.  it might be a pretty nice warmer-weather shell option.  

Is this jacket a hard or softshell? My only other question is how would this shell do in an extended deluge?

Typically when I get caught in a storm on a ridge it is a pretty nasty one(sideways rain, winds, etc.)

6:44 a.m. on March 21, 2013 (EDT)
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Rick,

Have you looked into the Arc'teryx Beta SL? If not, it is definitely worth looking into. I've had my eye on one for a while now. It is a super light Gore-Tex shell.

6:46 a.m. on March 21, 2013 (EDT)
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**Also the Marmot Nano is similar to the Beta SL, but even lighter!

7:02 a.m. on March 21, 2013 (EDT)
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Ashleigh, thanks for the suggestions.

I just bought an Alpha SV a bit back as my go-to winter shell(just wish I could have got out to use it...no luck as of yet.) 

I kinda want to see how eVent performs in a way. I am also curious about Westcomb. 

There are a lot of fans out there of their products so I am curious as to what the hype is about and I am also curious to see how the finished product stacks up in regards to construction, and over-all quality of their products.

Granted these are 2 totally different types of shells so I am not doing this to compare performance(more of a quality/attention to detail thing. 

I'm a gearhead. 

What can I say? ;)

11:03 a.m. on March 21, 2013 (EDT)
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I'd be going Neoshell too! Sooooo much more breathable than gore. I have an arcteryx with the gore paclite and an EMS shell with Neoshell and the difference is noticeable.

For what it's worth the EMS guides on Mt.Washington all hike with the Neoshell. I'm willing to bet that if it's good enough to keep them protected on mt.wash then it's good enough for almost anywhere! ;)

6:00 p.m. on March 21, 2013 (EDT)
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the westcomb shift is a hard shell, feels uber-light.  the rab stretch neo is another of the same ilk, but heavier, more of a mid-weight shell (on par with your Alpha, just not quite as much of a bomb shelter).  they don't really stretch; the shells have just a tad of 'give.'  i tried them but ultimately decided i had adequate hard shells & ended up with the marmot zion, a soft shell w/the neoshell membrane.

neoshell  is fine in an extended rain storm; it is fully waterproof, doesn't wet out or soak through.  i have logged a number of cold, rainy days in the softshell.  no different than eVent or gore tex in terms of waterproofness, for a normal hard rain. 

neoshell departs from gtx and event in one key area - it really allows more air to penetrate.  that's great for keeping you cool while workin hard; while i haven't been able to try it in really strong winds, i wonder whether it would feel a little more chilly than the waterproof/breathable alternatives when it really starts to blow.  eVent, on the other hand, is virtually as windproof as gtx, depending on what shell material it's bonded to. 

happy hunting.   

6:52 p.m. on March 21, 2013 (EDT)
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Well, really didn't want to go over $300 on a 3 season shell but all the feedback on Neoshell has definitely sparked my curiosity...

Uggghhhh, thanks a lot. ;)

10:27 a.m. on March 22, 2013 (EDT)
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Westcomb mentioned yesterday on their FB page that Explore Magazine has a piece about the "best hardshell & softshell jackets", in which they apparently rave about the Focus LT.  They don't seem to have the article online so it must be just in the old school (paper) version.  Here's the FB page where it's mentioned:  https://www.facebook.com/westcomb?fref=ts

5:46 p.m. on March 22, 2013 (EDT)
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Tough choices. It's never easy picking these jackets and the various water proof technologies.

6:15 p.m. on March 22, 2013 (EDT)
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You don't have to spend $300 Rick....

http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12441077

Currently on sale, under $200 and free shipping. This is the same jacket I have. The black and orange makes me look like a pumpkin, but its a steal of a jacket, especially at that price!

11:09 p.m. on March 27, 2013 (EDT)
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Rick, so which one are you buying? :)

 

6:41 a.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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bheiser1 said:

Rick, so which one are you buying? :)

 

 

I spoke with Westcomb and they suggested that I go with the Specter being  it is a bit more durable than the Focus. and would meet my needs a little better. 

I was considering going after a Neoshell but I just dropped $600+ on a high end technical shell a bit back so I really do not feel it necessary to spend over $300 on a shell that will be used primarily for rain(late spring through early fall.)

With the 20% off TS has up through Campsaver for hitting the 25,000th review I can get the shell at Campsaver for $240 shipped.

So I am going to place the order Friday after I get home from work. 

Now the only problem I have is I can't decide between Avatar Blue, Cinder, or Alpine Red as the color lol. 

All of my packs are blue and I am kinda leaning towards Cinder or Alpine Red...

I'm getting a lil played out on blue and do not want to look like a blueberry walking down the trail :) .

http://www.campsaver.com/specter-lt-hoody-men-s

8:56 a.m. on June 7, 2013 (EDT)
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Snagged the Specter up in cinder:

030.jpg

Look for a review in the not so distant future. 

9:03 a.m. on June 7, 2013 (EDT)
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Nice!

9:05 a.m. on June 7, 2013 (EDT)
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I got the Focus a while back, but haven't been out in any rain since then to test it ... Also got some Rab Drillium pants to complete the ensemble.

9:07 a.m. on June 7, 2013 (EDT)
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Bill, those Drilliums look decent.

I am looking for a pair of eVent pants so if anyone out there has a suggestion please fire away on this thread:

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/gear-selection/topics/146060.html 

I am all ears. 

Thanks. 

November 26, 2014
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