Patagonia Velocity Shell
Fabric: Pneumatic (same as Gore Activent
Price Paid: $98 at retail
This is a great minimalist shell for cycling (road or dirt), XC skiing, days out snowshoeing, any sort of high-output sport. The material is very breathable, but seems to shrug off rain, sleet, snow (though you will eventually get wet if you're out in enough rain or wet snow). The cut is good for action sports - sleeves are long, back is dropped to keep your butt covered when you're on the bar ends or double poling, nice collar fit. One chest pocket. Weighs only 9 oz, and stuffs away in tiny spaces.
Not perfect; the back still rides up on me when I'm cycling, and I'd prefer Velcro closures to the Lycra tape used on the sleeve ends and bottom of the Velocity shell. However, this is my first choice for any high-output sports, and it's light enough that I've been know to take it backpacking just for windy days when I don't want to have to wear a w/b shell.
Price Paid: $89
I bought the updated Velocity Shell after my Marmot Activent jacket gave up the ghost; frankly I'm surprised at the positive reviews. The jacket does an excellent job of shedding snow, light rain, and wind but doesn't breathe AT ALL. I get back from runs with moisture beaded up on the inside of the jacket, which of course gets the underneath (insulating) layers soaked and kind of defeats the purpose. I mean, I could wear a Hefty Bag, save $88.85 and get approximately the same result. It's going back to the store.
Fabric: Zephyr ??
Price Paid: $98
Excellent lightweight shell. Completey windproof although it is thin as and weighs less than paper (7oz). Much cheaper than the TNF conterpart. I run in it all the time, the DWR is fantastic and still beads water superbly while allowing sufficient breathing(much better than goretex). Chest pocket is great for keys and sunglasses and big enough for gloves or hat. Well built.
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