/ Recommendations on winter climbing hardshell jackets

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Andy Mountains - on 02 Nov 2013
Its time for me to 'shell' out (forgive the pun) on a new hardshell specifically for winter climbing.
The choice available is overwhelming these days, and prices vary massively. So I am looking for personal recommendations from winter climbers on which hardshell jackets you have used and the pros & cons.
Price is a consideration obviously but apart from that I have a completely open mind.
iksander on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to Andy Mountains: Get something that fits, including when wearing a helmet and rucksack and waving your arms over your head. Don't spend more than £150ish. Pitzips are a really good idea
veteye on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to iksander:
But those modern waterproof zips are the pits in winter.I'd try to go for the old fashioned zips with a material overlap instead.
I have had a top of the range Mountain Equipment jacket for ~4 years and really like it as it is good for wind protection,but has lots of pockets inside and out and yet you can vent by the pitzips(as above)or by opening up at the front.It is not the lightest,but then you are not going to be doing Alpine stuff.Certainly there are a lot of people I know with the red ME jackets.
Taurig on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to Andy Mountains:

I've got a Marmot Spire.

- Durable face material
- Excellent hood
- Storm flap over the main zip
- Has a detachable snow skirt which may come in handy if you ski
- About an average set of features; two chest pockets, two inner mesh and pit zips

- Chest pockets can be a bit snug for maps
- Zip is on the American side
- Either the hem or your cuffs are going to move when you reach overhead, Marmot 'Angelwing' is a load of mince in my opinion.

Overall though I do like this jacket and expect it to last a good few years given the material and construction quality.
ralphio - on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to Andy Mountains: sorry to hijack the thread but would gore-tex active shell be robust enough for Scottish winter? I can't afford pro-shell!
BnB - on 02 Nov 2013

by - BnB on - 16:46 Sat

In reply to Andy Mountains: I have the latest ME Tupilak in new gen Goretex pro. I shopped extensively and found this to suit me best (and that includes vs the gold standard Arcteryx Alpha SV)


New Proshell is pretty breathable
The face fabrics appear highly durable (my previous Marmot Spire was good in this regard as well)
Arms have great articulation and high reach without any hem lift (unlike the Marmot)
Cut is very climbing specific, really snug around tummy harness area, just as it should be
Napoleon pockets are terrific for climbing (but not so good for walking/hand warming so make sure it is climbing you're gonna use it for)
Hood will take a week's shopping and the kitchen sink

After several outings in Scottish weather, including two Skye/Lochalsh Munros this week, I've finally worked our how to adjust the hood. It works but the adjusters are more fiddly than traditional toggles and the sheer size of the hood makes it harder to find a comfortable setting. The Marmot was the best hood I've ever worn.

All in all, very pleased. And at £260 (with 20% discount off RRP) a complete bargain. Don't follow advice to save an extra £100 and regret it for the next 4 years. Be properly protected and right comfortable. My son's ME Firefox, a decent shell at £200, isn't a patch on the Tupilak.
franksnb - on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to Andy Mountains: I'm in the same boat. I have had the ME ogre for about 8 years, its nearly shagged but it put up a good fight. I'm going for the ME kongur.

*loose cut so a down jacket will fit underneath
*there is a storm flap over the zip
-you can have the zip undone and the coat still closed for better breathability
-the zip wont leak
*long cut stay under your harness easily keeps ur bum dry

*1 bad service experience

FYI i tried on the slimmer fit ME jackets and found that they were to tight across my shoulders.
davidbeynon on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to franksnb:

Don't do it!

I got a Kongur MRT for the same reasons a year ago, and it started falling to bits almost immediately.

Avoid like the very plague!
Denni on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to Andy Mountains:

Hi Andy,
I'd go for an old style XCR jacket, heavier but bombproof.
I have a 10 year old Arcteryx Alpha XCR that has been absolutely abused everywhere, is covered in various stains and marks but after a reproofing, it just keeps going on.

I definitely feel like the weather can't get inside it when I'm wearing it and it only has a slight amount of wear at the bottom of the back from rucksacks.

I don't mind proshell but I never feel like it is up to the job which is of course my perception as I'm sure it is fine.

Hope all is good, Den
Andy Mountains - on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to Denni:

I'm good Den yeah thanks mate. Recovering quickly after op.
Know what you mean about old style xcr jackets. I had a bright orange berghaus solipsist big wall jacket which I hammered for years. It was bloody bomb proof but I stupidly sold it before last winter on here. Big mistake. Wish I hadn't

Hope things are good with you.
pork pie girl - on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to veteye: second thst re red and grey me jacket. Bomber
Andy Mountains - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to Andy Mountains:

Anyone tried a Berghaus Mt Asgard jacket?
sleavesley on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to Andy Mountains: Andy what size are you in Berghaus?
I have a large extrem Pro shell in orange that if I am honest with myself isn't going to get the use it should.
Have sent you an email with link to pictures.

jezb1 - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to Andy Mountains: I need to order a new jacket and trousers soon too, replacing my crux kit which was never as good as it should have been...

I'm going for a ME tupilak jacket, undecided on trousers yet.
TobyA on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to jezb1:
> replacing my crux kit which was never as good as it should have been...

What didn't you like about it?
jezb1 - on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to TobyA: Mostly the eVent fabric. Despite following instructions, it was never waterproof for long enough.

I had the original Flak Jacket. The fit on that was great. That got replaced under warranty with the newer fat zipped model and the fit was crap. Obviously this is very personal but the original was an athletic fit and the newer one in the same size is nowhere near as fitted.

Real shame, I love the concept of simple kit.
TobyA on 03 Nov 2013
In reply to jezb1: eVent does seem to really have its problems!
Lee Sutcliffe - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to Andy Mountains:
I've just bought the new ME Tupilak this weekend after reading lots of reviews. Tried lots of jackets on and the Tupilak fitted me the best. I'm impressed how the jacket doesn't move up or bunch when singing arms above your head.
Had and eVent based jacket before and after 2 years has started to get soggy.
franksnb - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to Andy Mountains: so which face fabric laminate combination is going to last?

I have heard bad things about the stretch fabric and neoshell combination. Event has never been as reliable as XCR imo. And now i'm told the new 3 layer from gore (pro)is no good!

i might just get a poncho

BnB - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to mrplastique: My Tupilak had an epic workout in the highlands on Saturday. Whipped by a gale and drenched on the outside, comfortable and dry as a bone inside. Happy camper
CurlyStevo - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to Andy Mountains:
My take on it is to use stretchy soft shells for climbing, with primaloft jacket for belays. In the sack if I think its worth it I'll chuck a light weight Rab Latok Alpine and more rarely water proof troos, however this is very rarely worn and so far never climbed in (during winter since using my current system), only used it for walking in/out when its raining.

This massively changes the requirements on winter waterproofs from must be heavyweight to (nearly!) the lighter the better. I find soft shells are much better at taking the sort of abuse that is caused by winter climbing as well as being more comfortable to wear and keeping me drier most of the time.

Jon Wickham - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to Andy Mountains: To those recommending jackets made with Gore-tex XCR, this fabric has been replaced by Gore-Tex Pro. The durability of the old XCR jackets was all down to the face fabrics used on them, not the membrane itself. I would say that Gore-tex Active Shell is not durable enough for Scottish Winter climbing (as it tends to be used with face fabrics that prioritize breathability over durability) and is probably best left to activities like running.
A Reid - on 04 Nov 2013
In reply to Jon Wickham:

Based on what Jon says, if you want a really durable jacket (and have lots of cash) these have pretty good face fabrics on, and will probably last a bit longer.




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