Westcomb Mirage Jacket
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 350$
A wee bit on the heavy side, but the best hardshell I had in my whole life.
- eVent material is absolutely great
- A bit heavier and stiffer than an Arc'teryx
I really don't know what is wrong with the previous reviewer. I had the Mirage Jacket for about two years now. I used it for mountain climbing, skiing, and for my work as a cameraman. I used this jacket in pouring rain, in freezing temperatures, in hot and moist temperatures, while doing strenuous exercise, and for sleeping on the floor and still can't find much fault with it.
GoreTex jackets often feel uncomfortably moist on the inside. This is because GoreTex material needs to transform the vapor into water before it can transport it thru the membrane. The eVent material transports the vapor directly, which means that you will always feel comfortably dry in this jacket. This is a very important advance from any of the aging GoreTex fabrics in my opinion. Once you tried an eVent jacket it's hard to go back to GoreTex.
As for the jacket, one has to try it to see if he likes it. It is extremely sturdy and you can use it to protect yourself from the branches while off skiing. You don't have to worry to rip it... it won't. In may ways it's the opposite of an Arc'teryx or Mammut jacket, of which I love the thinness and lightness but always feel a bit vulnerable.
This is a serious jacket for peoples that don't mind an additional 50g for something that will give them perfect comfort... for a lifetime.
I have done plenty of outdoor activity in harsh conditions and the Westcomb Mirage was great every time. I recommend this jacket for anyone.
I'm an outdoor active type of guy (ultras, cycling, skiing, etc.) that is generally unaffected by weather - assuming planning and competent gear. I spent a long time doing research and focused on the eVent fabric as the current technological top-dog. Price was not an issue, I just wanted the best I could get.
Sorting through the manufacturers I chose the Westcomb version in the Mirage. I liked the Mirage styling for its overall purpose, though some features are overkill (i.e., the curved main zipper is gimmicky, doesn't hold together under athletic movements, and is down-right annoying). My low rating is more for the fabric than the jacket itself - though I wouldn't buy it again even if it had Gore-Tex.
The eVent fabric FAILED TO PERFORM in phenomenal fashion. I've had it a year now and it has never shed rain, and overall has performed about as well in moisture protection and venting as my retired 12-year-old North Face Mountain Lite (now my dog park jacket).
My advice is to stick with Gore-Tex. I think there is a good reason the major manufacturers have not picked up eVent fabric, and it is not because it is expensive. It just does not work in the real world in the manner they expected in the lab.