/ Smock/mountain shirt advice

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martinph78 on 29 Oct 2012
Hi all,

I'm getting asked what I'd like for christmas (yeah, already!) and have been considering a mountain shirt/smock for a while.

I have plenty of layers from down and synthetic jackets, fleeces, gortex active etc so really don't need anymore clothing if I'm honest. I usually run hot when I'm active, even in winter I rarely wear anything other than a microfleece for insulation, and the down goes on when I stop.

Anyway, I wouldn't mind a smock/hoody that I could wear for kicking around the house (keep the heating bills down!), pottering about in the garage, walking to the pub or shops, cycling to college, setting up camp (when car camping), etc. Basically a garment that I can wear all of the time, more versitile than a north face hoody.

Do you think a Buffalo Mountain shirt would do the job, and if so, which one? Do you still wear these under a gortex shell or down jacket in really wet/windy/cold conditions?

I was looking at a montane extreme smock but am worried I might get too hot in it? I don't want it to be like my down jacket which only goes on when it's well below freezing and I'm sat around doing nothing.

Is there anything else on the market I should look at? Local stockists are rubbish so I'm not able to get a good look at them. My mate has a montane extreme smock (way to big for me to borrow though) and I think it's to bulky/warm for what I am after.
thedatastream on 29 Oct 2012
Buffalo have the Teclite Shirt with less insulation...
gear boy on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin1978: if you normally wear microfleece you will cook in Montane extreme or buffalo spec6

options on this thinking but lighter, Marmot Dri clime, Rab Vapourise, Montane Krypton etc...

as a "jumper" do you have thin primaloft, like a 40g or 60 g fill weight, like Montane fireball or patagonia micro puff pullovers?

Just a few options of many

Ross B - on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin1978:

My thoughts as I read this was also primaloft, I personally use a rab generator as my regular jacket for doing most things, and consider it my best purchase of the year.
wilkesley - on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to Ross B:
Whilst I love my Rab Generator, which I have had for three years now, their Vapour Rise Lite jacket is also great. If you are doing aerobic things, ikn my case cycling, the VR Lite is very breathable. For just standing around and keeping warm the Generator is better.
Ben Sharp - on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin1978: Pile jackets sound too hot for what you're after. I'd give another vote for the vapour rise tops. They don't make the smock anymore unfortunately but they still do the jacket and a stretch top.
martinph78 on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin1978: Thanks all, had a look at the suggestions above.

I do have a Berghaus ignite jacket, which is primaloft and I do LOVE it as an active insulating layer. In fact I used it when climbing needle ridge in teh Lakes a few weeks ago, kept me warm at the belays but didn't cook me during the climbs. Spot on. The downside to it is it isn't that durable and is already showing a lot of signs of wear after just a year.

It does fit the bill though, and I wasn't aware of the primaloft pullovers so if I can find one cheap enough (around the £70 mark, I'd happily consider that.

I would like something more durable/hard wearing though if I'm honest. It needs to be easy to maintain as well, as it will be getting worn everyday for everyday activities (think your favourite hoody, all day, everyday in the winter, and every evening during the summer!). Happy to sacrifice some weight/breathability/packability for durability. That's why I was looking at the pile mountain shirts/smocks as I figure I can throw them in the wash once a week. I doubt my primaloft will last for 3 years, wheras my mates montane extreme smock is still going strong after 10.

The teclite shirt might meet my needs. Is the primaloft 4 ripstop more durable than that found on my ignite hoody and (I suspect) the rab generator etc?

Cheers, Martin

drsdave - on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin1978:

yes mate, try a Buffalo teclite shirt, they work really well. If its pure function and a little about townness you need then this is the one and guess what, made in GB yer thats right GB that is GB GB and not GB China

scrufff on 29 Oct 2012 -
In reply to Martin1978:

How does the Active Lite differ to the Teclite? Is it just the fixed hood?
sargy - on 29 Oct 2012
I have a Buffalo which is great in some situations. Its not quite warm enough when its Baltic and you're stationary, but far too hot when moving. I have the Rab Generator jacket which is nice and warm, but the Rab Vapour Rise seems to be all things to all men. I've worn it in a huge range of conditions. Its got a nice snug inner-fleece, a 'nearly' windproof outer that offers some protection, and just feels nice, comfortable and breathable. If you do anything that involves hanging around water (canoeing, canyoning, apres-surf etc the Buffalo jackets are the bees knees.
Denni on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin1978:

Sounds like you need a RAB VR smock. I wear mine for absolutely everything.
Pub, sorting the chickens out, kayaking, skiing, winter walking, sleeping in in the campervan, alpine stuff, basically everything.

It has been absolutely abused and it is the best thing on the market. Still going strong and only a slight bit of piling.

You won't regret it!
Mad Hatter 1988 on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin1978: I've got a buffalo special 6, it was originally brought to wear under my motorcycle jacket( and because I'd always wanted one)

But now I wear it ALL the time, it can get a little warm inside shops and stuff but its not to bad. I've had mine nearly 3 years and it looks nearlynew still and I've worn it nearly everyday. The map pocket is amazing for just dumping your keys, wallet, etc. But you will fill it with cr@p.

As other people have said it gets really hot if you stat doing much in a physical way but for just sitting around its ace. Camping wise I love mine I went touring on my motorbike in Scotland tis year in July and just used that without a fleece and wwerright up on the north coast as well as in Prague on holiday a couple of years ago when it was about -4 most of the time.

I normally run pretty hot to tbh and unless its into the minus or raining heavilI can't wa in it, but if I'm wearing trousers instead of shorts I can't walk with a really thin fleece on tbh. But to have it just to chuck on for a minute when you stop is good, Que generator fans. It stands up well to wind, rain and snow. But it doesn't pack small and it isn't that light, que generator fans again.

But it is tough, I don't treat mine nicely and it looks nearly new. I'm of the opinion that I brought it for a purpose if I wear it out that's fine as long as its served its purpose for a suitable amount of time that's fine. My old man has a generator and it just doesn't give me the same confidence in how tough it is.

I love mine I think its brilliant, but I am looking at getting a rab generator with a full length zip, mainly for kayaking and climbing wear it needs to be small and light and because of how warm I get I won't actually be wearing it while I do anything so I don't have to worry to much that it will rip.

Hope I was a help, sorry for the ramble I'm on the way to work and someone else is driving. Remember dude it's your choice.
Mad Hatter 1988 on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Mad Hatter 1988: That should say:

I normally run pretty hot to tbh and unless its into the minus or raining heavilIy I can't walk in it.

Stupid phone.
martinph78 on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin1978: Thanks again for the replies. The Rab generator isn't what I'm looking for, too much like my Berghaus Ignite I think.

After this thread, and lots more reading, I am thinking I'll be too hot in the Buffalo's or Montane smocks. I don't want something I'll only be able to wear in certain conditions (ie REALLY cold and staying active). As I say, looking for an everyday item.

I've had a good read of the Vapour Rise smock and it looks good. I didn't realise it was a softshell outer? I only wear my softshell for cragging as it's pretty durable, but I've never found it warm so wear it over layers (or to protect my skin when dogging routes!). Never take it on the hills.

Is the VR a softshell material like it says? If so that's durable enough. I shall make some phonecalls and try to find somewhere with a VR in stock to have a look at.

Thanks again, big help!

martinph78 on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Mad Hatter 1988: Thanks for the reply, it is a help. I am going to look for somewhere with the lighter buffalo in stock, and the rab vapour rise. If I can compare the two I think that will make my mind up for me. Good to have narrowed it down

wilkesley - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin1978:

Note that there are two types of Rab VR. The original one and the newer VR-Lite. I have both The original is too warm for me for most of the year, but great in Winter. It also has a crap hood. I find the newer VR-Lite is better for me and I can use it in most conditions. It also has a decent hood and I generally dislike built in hoods.
Gentleman Antiquarian - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Martin1978:

I find my Buffalo Teclite is ideal for the three coldest seasons. I just vary the thickness of the thermals underneath.

I like the fact it has a half reasonable hood permanently attached; had side zips to ventilate, you can push the sleeves up and it has a really useful map pocket. yes, it looks dated but I always feel that wearing a smock in the outdoors kind of invokes the spirit of all those past explorers and adventurers.
captain paranoia - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to wilkesley:

There is only one type of Vapour Rise; the Vapour Rise, and Vapour Rise Lite... there are only two type of Vapour Rise; the Vapour Rise, the Vapour Rise Lite, and the Vapour Rise Guide... there are only three types of Vapour Rise...

<nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition>
captain paranoia - on 31 Oct 2012
In reply to captain paranoia:

ps. It seems I need to get to a kit shop and see how the new names relate to the old VR Trail and VR Climb.

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