Best Durable Hardshell

9:40 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi. I'm looking to get a new hardshell jacket for work. My last one was an Arcteryx Beta AR with Goretex pro shell and lasted 2 years. I recently tried a Westcomb Cruiser and within 2 months had a couple of holes in the lightweight panels. I live in WA state and work outside in the rain 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I need something that is waterproof and very durable for walking through trees and bushes, climbing walls and brushing up on fences, houses, cars, etc. I prefer mens jacket because they are roomier for the gear I have to carry and layering underneath during the colder months. Lightweight, about 14-24oz, is better because I need to be quick on my feet. Also on warmer days when it stops raining I like to be able to take off my jacket and tie it around my waist. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

7:16 p.m. on April 6, 2011 (EDT)
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I would check out Mammut.  They seem to make some pretty durable stuff.

5:59 p.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
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whatever brand, i would look for something with physical fabric reinforcements at key points - shoulders, forearms.  i know some of the north face shells do that.  it sounds like you need to place a premium on resistance to abrasion and tearing.  worth calling places that cater to the climbing community, who tend to abuse their gear more than most.  try international mountaineering equipment or bradley alpinist, see what they recommend. 

arc'teryx is generally a pretty durable brand.  if you spend for their more expensive shells, eg the alpha SV, you might get a slightly more burly fabric.   i happen to like wild things' alpinist jacket - it's an eVent shell, fairly heavy-duty shell fabric, stands up to abuse in my experience. 

7:24 p.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
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I consider my Marmot Exum jacket extremely durable for the weight (15oz). I've owned it for a couple of years now, and believe it to be as fine a jacket as I could have found for its intended purpose. It's Pro-shell, and marketed as a minimalist-style Alpine jacket. I've never have to worry about what I walk through while wearing it, and as a Wilderness Ranger on the western slope of Colorado I walk through some fairly wild places. As a climbing jacket it is cut a bit short, which may or may not be a good thing in Washington rainforests...

As I understand it, the SV at the end of any Arcteryx product indicates a specialization towards severe duty. And if you really like Dead Bird stuff, look into their LEAF line, as it is some of the most wicked special forces-purposed gear available to you. I can say with as much certainty as possible that their LEAF line is the most durable, well-engineered, holistic clothing system currently available. Wild Things' stuff is absolutely as good as far as quality goes, in my opinion, but they just don't offer the sheer selection of garments Arcteryx does.

July 22, 2014
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