Westcomb Apoc Jacket
The Holy Grail is Found: After using Gore-Tex Pro…
The Holy Grail is Found:
- Sleeve cuff design
After using Gore-Tex Pro Shell, Performance Shell, and Paclite products for many years, and never having been very satisfied with their breathability, especially in warmer weather, Polartec's NeoShell fabric is a welcome addition to the mountaineering market. It pushes the limits on breathability to such an extent as for me to declare the arrival, finally, of the Holy Grail.
This is the real deal. Unlike Gore-Tex, NeoShell breathability doesn't vary with temperature. In warm temperatures, Gore-Tex really does not breath at all. Not so the case with NeoShell, which breathes well in any temperature. In fact, it breathes so many times greater than Gore-Tex, in both warm and cold temperatures, that I cannot even begin to quantify the actual difference.
And quite frankly, whether it is five times greater or ten times, is immaterial. Suffice it to say that it relegates all of my Gore-Tex to retirement status. If this fabric ever really takes off, (Think about e-Vent's troubled history) it will be the Gore-Tex killer. (I have not used Active Shell but no matter as it is only marginally more breathable than their other fabrics.)
Polartec's NeoShell fabric is being marketed to clothing manufactures as a fabric that is so breathable that pit-zips are unnecessary. This is incredibly shortsighted of Polartec for two reasons. First, many, such as myself, will never buy a shell without pit-zips regardless even of the most extraordinary claims. Second, pit-zips serve two functions. They permit perspiration to escape and they allow for greater heat-temperature control. Profuse perspirers such as myself cannot live without pit-zips to help keep us cool.
Westcomb was the first company to make NeoShell jackets with pit-zips. As far as I can tell, the Apoc may still be the only truly full-featured shell to incorporate them. I see that The North Face just updated last year's Jammu shell by adding pit-zips to it and I expect many more companies to quickly follow Westcomb's far-sightedness.
I would even venture to state that the single greatest factor to explain why NeoShell has had such a limited impact on the market in the two years since it was released, is the almost complete dearth of models available with pit-zips. If not already, it is only a matter of time before Polartec realizes what a bone-headed marketing decision it made.
Polartec claims that Neoshell meets industry waterproof standards, and I entirely agree. I recently wore it in a record-breaking rainstorm in Parque Nacional Villarica in Chile. I could find no difference between it and Pro Shell's waterproof capabilities. Like all shell fabrics, its water-shedding ability will decrease with use. I recommend treating it occasionally with a DWR product such as McNett's excellent, ReviveX.
The Apoc is probably the most feature-rich Neoshell jacket currently on the market, even including a helmet-compatible hood, though I will not bother to list all features. Please visit the Westcomb Website. I recommend buying the Apoc at least one size greater than you would normally take, perhaps even two, as Apoc sizes run quite small. (Perhaps it's a Canadian thing.)
If there is one weakness in the Apoc it is in the terrible sleeve cuff design, a significant disappointment regardless of all else I love about the Apoc. The sleeve cuff diameter is much too small. It is nearly impossible to put on thick gloves or mittens and then get the Apoc's sleeve cuff to cover over the ends of your hand-wear, something that is essential to keeping water from running down your sleeve and into your gloves. Even when you get one mitten end covered by the cuff, it is nigh impossible to get the second one tucked-in using your now mitten covered other hand.
To make it somewhat easier, I take the jacket off. Zip it up partially. Put my mittens on, and then slide the jacket over my head as if it were a sweater. This is a royal pain in the neck which gets you wet and requires you to take your pack off. Westcomb needs to increase the cuff diameter by at least two if not three full inches.
Second, the velcro band on the cuff attaches quite poorly if you want the cuff somewhat loose. Only when the cuff is tightly adjusted dues the velcro hold securely. Otherwise, it continually flaps around, another annoyance.
Even taking into consideration the poor sleeve cuff design, this shell is quite likely the best product currently on the market, and certainly the most breathable. And for whatever it is worth, it is a great looking jacket, especially the red color. I recommend it highly.
Where to Buy
The Apoc Jacket is an active alpine jacket generously decked out for your next expedition without weighing you down. Featuring Polartec NeoShell its soft hand and comfort stretch performs continuously with no performance compromise. Tightly woven face and exclusive NeoShell membrane offers unparalleled water protection and breathability to keep you on the move.
Here's what other sites are saying:
Free Shipping. Westcomb Men's Apoc Jacket FEATURES of the Westcomb Men's Apoc Jacket 3-point adjustable hood is roomy enough to wear over a helmet, yet cinches comfortably down when worn without one, it has a bungee cord on each side of the hood and a third in back simply adjust with one-handed ease, keeping your other hand ready for the unexpected Adjustable waist system is easy to adjust with one hand; just pull the cinch-cord within the hand pockets to lock out the elements. Press the one-handed release on the outside hem to loosen the jacket back up High collar with Velour lined chin-guard provides comfort and protection from the elements for your neck and face 1 Napoleon pocket on the chest provides easy access to crucial gear and essential items 1 Bicep pocket offers convenient easy access stash pocket for small items Internal media pocket keeps your MP3 player, iPhone, or other valuables secure and dry Velcro cuff closure keeps snow, wind, and rain from creeping in right at the wrists Venting zippers located under the arms open the jacket to maximize air circulation to cool the body's core during those moments of extreme heat generating activity Articulated sleeves have integrated strategic pocket areas allowing for unrestricted movement in any position YKK AquaGuard Vislon zippers provide smooth operation with watertight performance while also reducing weight by eliminating the need for storm flaps Micro Seam Taping creates the thinnest waterproof boundary while creating a more pliable seam without the added weight 20 stitches per inch allows for a lighter, yet stronger fabric seam giving a lifetime of wear and tear while reducing weight SPECIFICATIONS of the Westcomb Men's Apoc Jacket 340 NRS Polartec NeoShell - Fly weight nylon ripstop with breathability and waterproof performance. NeoShell techology works continuously without sacrificing hand, stretch and durablity 360 NP Polartec NeoShell - Durable water & wind proof nylon weave with revolutionary breathability and stretch performance Weight: 485 Grams This product can only be shipped within the United States. Please don't hate us.
The Westcomb Apoc Jacket is an alpine jacket featuring: pit zips, helmet compatible hood, adjustable waist, and Velcro cuff. The Apoc Jacket has Polartec NeoShell which offers unparalleled water protection and breathability to keep you on the move.
The Westcomb Apoc is an active alpine jacket that's decked out for your expeditions. At 1 lb. 1 oz., this shell won't weigh you down when you're on the move.
Minimalist doesn't have to mean simple. With the Apoc Jacket, Westcomb has come up with an expedition-oriented alpine shell that is super lightweight, packable, and weatherproof, thanks to a Polartec NeoShell membrane that's completely waterproof and breathes like it's got a set of lungs. Unlike traditional breathable membranes that must wait for pressure to build before they start to exchange air with the outside, NeoShell allows airflow to begin immediately, eliminating the clammy feeling of heavy-duty waterproof shells. The Apoc is rated waterproof to 10,000mm, indicating that it will block all outside moisture without inhibiting the flow of air with a thick, semi-impermeable membrane. By sewing the Apoc with 20 stitches per inch, Westcomb more than doubled the industry sewing standard, ensuring that the seams are durable and flat without requiring bulky, heavy reinforcement, and made extra-sure that seams were waterproof by fully taping every one. If you start sweating faster than the Apoc's membrane can dry you out, just open the underarm zips to cool down, or flip up the helmet-compatible hood if the weather starts getting angry. Articulated elbows keep you moving smoothly whether you're hiking, skiing, or climbing, and a laminated hem and cuffs stand up to rocks, trees, and sharp edges.