High Country eVent Hard Shell

11:39 p.m. on March 5, 2011 (EST)
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Hey Folks,

I am looking for a high country hard shell I can use for backpacking, when I go and photograph stone sheep and other wildlife in northern BC.

 

I have a few things in mind that I would like to see in a coat, I'll list them and maybe you guys can shed some light on a few different products.

 

I would like it to eVent.

I would like a storm hood

I would like it in a natural earth tone (grey, green, brown)

Length is nice, I am 6'3 and narrow frame.

I would like some weight to it.  450-700 grams.

 

There are tons of very nice jackets I have found, but the color is a big issue for a lot of them, most shells ( rab, montane etc.) are basic black, red, blue, and none of those will do, I will stick out like a sore thumb.

 

I really like the look of the arc'teryx with the storm hoods, ive tried a few on, but I just dont know if I can do the 500+ thing.  I am more into the 450- range right now.

 

Anybody have any suggestions, my searches are becoming exhausting :P

4:23 a.m. on March 6, 2011 (EST)
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You're kidding, right? You are describing Westcomb jackets, which are supposed to be excellent (except for the hood bit maybe). And you are in BC?

Full disclosure: I have no idea if this person works for Westcomb.

10:15 a.m. on March 6, 2011 (EST)
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LOL,

 

I hear ya man, I have been seriously considering the cruiser hoody in cinder, but I just am not a huge fan of the hood, I really want a storm hood.

 

I will be hiking all day on open ridges well above timberline, and when the weather turns sideways it would be nice to be able to really hunker in, and not have rain hitting me in the mouth and dripping down my neck.

 

Or, are the hoods of westcomb pretty decent for what I described?

12:23 p.m. on March 6, 2011 (EST)
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I don't know. You would have to try it on, move your head around, see if the peak distorts when tightened down, put a large hat/helmet on, and so on. Or find a few reviews.

Westcomb are rare in the UK. They make a Crux jacket, which I almost purchased except the hood gets bad reviews. In the UK, a wire hood is essential but I have only had a wired hood in half of my jackets over the years - I think a stiffened peak can be just as good, depending on the fit.

Exum by Marmot has one of the best hoods for bad conditions, it just uses ****tex.

Westcomb jackets are very nice and if the prices are similar to Arc'teryx, then I would rather have one, especially as eVent is more breathable (though maybe colder) and you don't get the "I paid a stupid amount of money to stand out from the crowd" look with Westcomb, I would imagine.

But with softshell these days, I am less and less fussy about fully waterproof jackets and would get something ethical like Finisterre (they publish breathability figures as well), even if it didn't have pit zips, which I hardly use. And for the price of a an assembled in Canada jacket, you could get a cheaper windproof, softshell and waterproof, just assembled in China by a company like Patagonia etc.

Or wait til the new fabrics come out, spend the same crazy money and get something, well, something 'new'.

2:46 p.m. on March 6, 2011 (EST)
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Check this jacket out. I have an earlier version, which I have worn places like Antarctica, Alaska, the New England mountains, and a lot of other places in snow and rain. Wild Things is located in North Conway, NH. Their gear is US-made. Excellent designs, small shop, been around for years.

Here is a photo of me wearing it on the summit of Mt. Mansfield (Vermont) last September - rain, fog, wind. Kept me dry (except for the pants, which are supplex, which dries quickly). I do have a pair of Wild Things eVent bibs, though I didn't take them with me on that trip.
NewEngHiPnt2010_21A.jpg

7:26 p.m. on March 6, 2011 (EST)
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I use a variation of the same jacket.  the hood is excellent, and the fit would probably appeal to you - it is on the longer side, hip-length for me.  it is a well-made, functional, outstanding hard shell.  for the most part, though, they make it in colors you tend to see hiking - blue, red, yellow. 

if you google "wild things tactical multicam jacket," you will see that Wild Things manufactured and sold a camo eVent jacket for the military:  http://store.us-elitegear.com/wild-things-tactical--multicam-hard-shell-jacket-p2332.aspx  this might fit your needs, if you really want to blend in while taking photographs. 

8:46 p.m. on March 6, 2011 (EST)
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Oops!

2:27 p.m. on March 7, 2011 (EST)
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If your going to hunker down bring a poncho. Some can even tranfrom into a makeshift tent like structure using youre walking pole. Exped makes a very good one. I have a Marmot Exum jacket that I love and the hood is pretty good. It's pro shell though.

9:53 a.m. on March 8, 2011 (EST)
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Thanks guys!

 

Checked out the Wildthings, looks real good, just emailing them now.

 

Also looking at a rab Latok in dark shark color

10:20 a.m. on March 8, 2011 (EST)
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I would choose a Westcomb shell over anything else currently on the market and am saving my pennies to buy one. They are the best I have seen in my years of outdoor work and recreation and they are made here in Vancouver.

I am probably going for a Stone's ram this coming August and will hopefully have one by then in the "Cinder" colour they offer, which will blend well with the sheep's habitat. Check their website and see what you think.

12:39 p.m. on March 9, 2011 (EST)
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I have a Westcomb VaporFX with a hood and I've got to say it's a pretty good shell. I got it from Steep and Cheap for about $170. Hasn't let me down yet. It's one of the few eVent jackets that have pit zips (which I would strongly recommend, regardless of how breathable the membrane is). The hood is fine, though it would be a little nicer if it had a bit of wire to make the brim stiffer.

 

I also tried the Marmot Exum and Marmot Trollwall, but decided on the VaporFX mostly due to the cost (one day I'll get a Trollwall, that might just be the best shell I've ever tried out). It should be noted that those two Marmot jackets use Gore-Tex ProShell and not eVent.

9:26 a.m. on March 10, 2011 (EST)
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i agree on the armpit zippers - essential in my view.  the wild things jackets and the marmot exum both have them.  

the exum is a great jacket.  length is fairly short, to your waist.  extremely lightweight, minimalist design - weighs meaningfully less than 16 ounces.  very durable, mine looks like new after a lot of hiking with a pack on.  not the jacket to get if you crave lots of pockets.  plenty of room to layer, though, and excellent adjustability with the hood.  spent an hour outside this morning wearing it in steady, heavy rain - it's a couple of years old - and i was bone dry.  

still, i would go with wild things if i had to choose.  

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