/ Softshell Vs vapour-rise

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BallsOfSteel - on 02 Oct 2012
Soooo I have a bit of cash sat aside for some new kit for the coming season.

the last couple of years I have been climbing with a RAB Vapour-rise smock, and I love it. amazing bit of kit IMHO. so I'm seriously considering getting a Vapour-rise guide Jacket, can anyone comment on whether they do a smock version though, as I cant find one.
The thing is, in the same price bracket are softshell solutions such as the RAB baltoro etc.... and from the blurb, these seem to be more climbing orientated pieces. what kind of performance difference would I see between the two garments?

Basic question is, for Scottish winter, which is the better choice??

Cheers,

BOS
Ben Sharp - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to BallsOfSteel:
> Basic question is, for Scottish winter, which is the better choice??

I haven't seen the VR guide but I've got both the VR smock and the baltoro guide. The baltoro guide is a good, warm winter climbing jacket, it's main fault imo is it's packsize. For the same size and less weight you could get a hard shell and a primaloft midlayer. Once it's on it's great though.

The VR guide and baltoro guide look pretty similar on paper, makes you wonder why they have them both. It's not like they've taken a VR and just added a bigger hood and a tougher outer, there looks to be the fluffy lining as well. Full zips annoy me but it seems to be the way, do RAB even do the VR hooded smock anymore?

Ben
BallsOfSteel - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp:

Cheers for the response. I managed to get a VR smock a couple years ago...the hood is better on the smocks too!

hmm...might go try them on in the shop and decide.

BOS
jolivague - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to BallsOfSteel:

+1 for the Baltoro, been waiting for it to get cold enough to wear it again in anger!
MikeLell - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to jolivague: Yet to wear my Baltoro guide in anger too. Seems like it will offer a lot of protection though. Tried the VR guide on too. It seemed really nice and I was very close to shelling out for it but hood didn't seem helmet compatible, which was a deal-breaker for me as I was intending on wearing it mostly winter and alpine climbing. Rab, sort the hood out for next year and I'll buy one.
CurlyStevo - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp: soft shell jacket wont be i the pack much though. mine stays on the whole time after having walked in, with belay jacket on top of when stopped
Damo on 02 Oct 2012
In reply:

Not a smock, but the hood looks good on these: http://www.montane.co.uk/products/men/soft-shell-and-fleece/krypton-jacket/955
cyberpunk - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to BallsOfSteel: I had a VR hooded jacket and changed it for a RAB Exudos as I found the VR left in to much wind. I really can recommend the Exudos and IMO I would use the RAB VR you have for walking in and then put the Exudos on over it when you get to route.
iksander on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to BallsOfSteel: I found Baltoro Guide heavy, stiff and soaked up water. Now I use a close fitting mid layer under a thin uninsulated softshell. Lighter, more flexible, more comfortable and dries quicker
The Big Sender - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to BallsOfSteel:
+1 for baltoro guide. I use it for Scottish winter with just an icebreaker 200 underneath and its perfect. Also carry a belay jacket in the bag which rarely gets used. For me it's a perfect system and it removes the need to carry a hard shell (on one day trips anyway).
CurlyStevo - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to iksander:
I'm of the same opinion - stretchy soft shells are best with no insulation, that way you have the most possible adjustment and the garment will be suitable for the greatest number of circumstances.

CurlyStevo - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to cyberpunk:
> (In reply to BallsOfSteel) I had a VR hooded jacket and changed it for a RAB Exudos as I found the VR left in to much wind. I really can recommend the Exudos and IMO I would use the RAB VR you have for walking in and then put the Exudos on over it when you get to route.

Personally wouldn't have two softshell jackets on when winter climbing though, insualation layers and one soft shell jacket are perfect for walking in /climbing (adjust as necessary) and for belays chuck on a belay jacket. Perfect.

I find I rarely use my hardshell in winter using this approach.
Wee Davie - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to cyberpunk:

Yeah, I love the comfort factor of softshell jackets but I found my Rab Fusion (Event hood, shoulders and arms- softshell body) was much colder to wear than a hardshell.
Had a look at the VR Guide but it seems quite bulky. If you're saying the VRs are also a bit lacking in windproofing I reckon I'll be trying the Stretch Neo at some stage.
CurlyStevo - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Wee Davie:
Do you use a belay jacket? TBH until i started using a pertex and primaloft belay jacket softshell didn't make sense to me!
Wee Davie - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

I haven't really used them (I have used a Patagucci synthetic Gilet thing with some effect). I'm interested to know if anyone has noticed much heat loss/ wind penetration with Neo Shell? (Don't want to hijack the thread though).
bouldery bits - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to Wee Davie:
> I'm interested to know if anyone has noticed much heat loss/ wind penetration with Neo Shell? (Don't want to hijack the thread though).

You aren't supposed to feel any, but I remember when testing the Marmot last winter going outside, so from +20 to -20, and it sort of felt like you could feel the air coming through. In retrospect it might have just been the temperatures changing or something? On more crappy days - wind, sleet, snow, just below freezing - no problems. Felt hardshell like then.

In reply to Wee Davie:

> I haven't really used them (I have used a Patagucci synthetic Gilet thing with some effect).

I've got a Haglöfs barrier hoody (basically this http://www.haglofs.com/en-US/products/clothing/layers/insulation/men/barrier_ii_hood_en-us.aspx from a couple of seasons back) that I'm looking to sell if you are interested in trying out a belay jacket, now you're back in the hopefully frozen north! Think it's size medium, but fits me fine over a fleece and softshell.
Wee Davie - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:

Cheers for the Neo Shell info- sounds like it might be a bit closer to hardshell in wind resistance than my old Fusion. The Rab Stretch Neo seems to be fairly heavy duty. Just need to save a few pennies first!
I'm not in the market for a belay jaiket right now but ta for the heads-up.
Stuart the postie - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Wee Davie)
>
>
>
> I've got a Haglöfs barrier hoody ! Think it's size medium, but fits me fine

Don't let the 'wee' before Davie fool you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regards

Stuart
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NathanP - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to BallsOfSteel:

I used a VR Guide last winter and thought it was very good:

Excellent freedom of movement, comfy and a proper helmet-covering hood and pockets you can get at wearing a harness. Most importantly for me, breathability was excellent.

I misjudged the weather one day and, after leaving my hard shells in the car, it chucked it down and I arrived at the bottom of the climb soaked to the skin. However the jacked kept me warm enough and was dry by the time I'd got up to the top.

The negative points were that it is more wind-resistant than windproof and needs a bit of extra insulation underneath in cold weather (I tend to run hot). I wore it over an R1 and that was fine.
In reply to Stuart the postie:

> Don't let the 'wee' before Davie fool you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You cruel man. :-) And from his facebook post it appears Davie never seems to stop running these days.

You're not need a nice cozy and quite generously sized medium Haglöfs coat are you?
Timmd on 04 Oct 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Stuart the postie)
>
> [...]
>
> You cruel man. :-) And from his facebook post it appears Davie never seems to stop running these days.
>
> You're not need a nice cozy and quite generously sized medium Haglöfs coat are you?

How much are you wanting for it Toby?

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