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Clothing tech query

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@ulmerhutte, Perfect summary Smile
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@ulmerhutte, a nice quote, but is based on the very basic assumption that £=quality. That's not to say that it isn't a good indicator, just that things that are cheap can still be decent quality, a prime example being the Aldi/Lidl stuff.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
johnE wrote:
@Scarpa,
Quote:

ski touring at night in 80km winds.


There must be a good story there - please tell


It was just a couple of years ago doing the full moon tour up Forstau. The wind was strong enough that an 8 foot section of tree blew onto the middle of the piste. The trees were whipping back and forth and eyelashes and beards had quite an ice covering by the time we arrived at the top hut.
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Thank you for all your contributions and. Very interesting to read the replies.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
When next in Aspen looking to spend some $$$ on clothing, i recommend a looksee at this place - bought my visor helmet there last year.
http://www.stefankaelin.com
Very Happy Very Happy
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I try to buy expensive things cheaply. I have got cheap things (for skiing and otherwise) in the past but tend to find that they don't actually last that long before becoming less warm/waterproof or the material wearing thin in key places like cuffs on trousers.

I tend to have several brands that fit me well, some of these are generally the more expensive ones

TKMaxx has been a good source but as above, not recently. Amazon is quite good at times, Oakley Airbrake goggles for £50 and a Haglofs insulated midlayer reduced from £180 to £60 spring to mind. If it is not 50%+ off then I don't generally buy it but then I do waste a lot of time looking for such items that I do like!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@mmgg1988, Me too. Find quality winter gear and then buy it in summer sales Toofy Grin

BTW - the Dare2B jackets I had were from their top end range, very good quality.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
As well as what everyone else has said (all very valid points)...

I just bought a fancy new jacket because I wanted one. After years of skiing in borrowed jackets, or perfectly good bargain jackets from TK maxx or the charity shop, I wanted a jacket in my choice of colour.

Sometimes people just buy things because they want them and can afford them.[/i]
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
The adage "you get what you pay for" doesn't quite work as at the "top end", the Arc'teryx Alpha SV (RRP £600*) is obviously not going to twice as good as a £300 technical jacket. However, a top of the range Dare2B jacket with a non-branded proprietary membrane costs as much as a North Face/Mountain Equipment/etc jacket with a non-branded proprietary membrane and a jacket from either brand will be just as suitable for piste skiing as the other, the purchaser of one will be pleases to not be a brand snob and the other will be please to be sporting a brand they associate with.

As much as these items of clothing are expensive, they are using expensive fabrics, have a lot of effort go into the cut, hoods etc and are made in comparably small production runs. The mark up is minimal and "soft" products (T-shirts/shirts/caps/trousers) etc is where the margin is made.

Admittedly I come from a climbers background and sitting belaying in sprindrift for 4 hours in January in Scotland generally asks a little more of your clothes than piste skiing so I appreciate quality clothing that keeps me dry and warm.

*obviously it has higher R&D/production costs as it's made in Canada and is where or the time and effort is spent on new ideas/technologies but it must still be a loss leader in order to maintain the high-end image of the brand.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
My hardshell certainly wasn't cheap... but I wear it pretty much all year walking and as a normal rain jacket during summer / winter so 'per use' it is actually one of the cheapest.

Would a cheaper one have done the same job...? From experience, actually no.

It has exactly the right vents, exactly the right pockets in the right places, and the right level of adjustment for the hood to fit over a helmet or just my moderate bonce when walking to work or up a hill.

Definitely 'best in class' IMV. I will also definitely kill it at some point over the next five years, and have to hope they don't change anything, because I would buy it again straight away.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Badbobby, buy what you want, if it looks good and feels good then who cares. Given you've asked the question, it's all about you, who you are, what you like and value.

Everyone has their own experiences but it's highly personal, the mrs needs loads of warmth, I don't. I like Scandinavian design so brands which have that look I like, so does the mrs. It's the same with anything, why spend £900 on a piece of nice furniture?

If you've been doing the same thing for many years stick with it. I've never had anything stolen, damaged or even close, that said I'm careful, not a heavy apres go'er so I'm not regularly in those situations... if you are, don't buy expensive. I have a nice pair of shoes, I never go to bars in them but do go to restaurants in them. Risk management

It's All about you, from your posts I would say don't bother, you're not a brand chaser, you don't see what expensive can get you in terms of performance (or don't care), and you damage and lose your clothes... (or someone else does). Puzzled
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
If you can't afford the more expensive options then the question is moot.
If you can afford more expensive things, your choice is likely not made on cost alone.

So why do people spend so much money on shells, or other gubbins ... Educate a non believer!

If you find no problem understanding the utility of expensive gear for those who work in the snow teaching kids, clearly that will also work for everyone else.

You'd likely point out that industry people tend not to pay full retail for their gear and may get it for free. That's true, but if you want the quality they enjoy, obviously it's going to sell at a premium, and as above, if you can pay it, then you probably will.

A true cheapskate would never use dedicated ski gear, which you can't sensibly make use of for the rest of your year.

Other thoughts:
  • Burton has multiple ranges from cheap fashion" gear intended to be quickly thrown away as fashion changes, through to robust gear for serious use which changes less quickly over time.
  • Bogner are targeting a different market from Patagonia etc. Bogner is probably bought by people with ugly mechanical watches which keep poor time. You don't see much of it in the back country.
  • You probably don't get a lifetime guarantee with TKMax.
  • Decent gear doesn't "get wet" and zippers etc are generally much more robust than on cheap gear
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
philwig wrote:
.......A true cheapskate would never use dedicated ski gear, which you can't sensibly make use of for the rest of your year..............


Try living on the UK South Coast, even from May to December, and not just the winter, and walking dogs everyday and you'll soon find your jacket / layers being used, in fact the jackets tend to often get more exposed to wet weather in the UK than five months in the mountains!

I don't bother bringing my ski pants back with me only a very light shell pant and have a dedicated pair of Paramo pants which I leave in the UK.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I think you're saying that gear designed for powder skiing is better for the UK climate that stuff designed for the UK climate, which contradicts my own view but there it is.

The suggestion that the South Coast has particularly harsh weather is also interesting.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@philwig, we get our fair share of wind and rain, but thankfully not as much as oooppp North especially in the summer months Toofy Grin

Last two seasons I've been using Paramo jackets - and Paramo designed their kit for the likes of the wet lake district and then introduced jackets better suited for mountain conditions i.e colder

After a while even the most expensive of gear will get wet even Paramo which is produced by Nik of Nik Wax and hence you have to reproof it.

Paramo actually has a lifetime guarantee!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'll concede that my quicksilver trousers have seen the zip pocket fail and the jacket has an unacceptable number of inside pockets!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
So, on the subject of tech, where do we stand on North Face clothing?

I have recently found out that I can get a decent discount on the gear.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Badbobby, ski in the rain in Scotland in cheap outer layers, or -20 in a gale then +20 in the spring and you'll soon understand why folk pay a bit more for outer layers!
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@Badbobby, It depends on the NF range. The Summit Series stuff is top end stuff.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

Have you ever skied when it's been close to +20 degrees?


I have. Why do you need expensive gear for that? A cheap pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Sorted.
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PowderAdict wrote:
@Badbobby, It depends on the NF range. The Summit Series stuff is top end stuff.


Excuse my ignorance, but what makes it top end?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
goretex is very overated in my opinion, there are lots of cheaper just as good waterproof membranes out there, they just do the publicity thing very good,
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
goretex is very overated and overpriced in my opinion, there are lots of cheaper just as good waterproof membranes out there, they just do the publicity thing very good,
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@compostcorner, more like; they were the first to develop it and built their brand while the patent lasted.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@compostcorner, but their guarantee is second to none and one reason I'll spend extra on Goretex.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

Excuse my ignorance, but what makes it top end?


same as for all brands the quality of materials, construction and functional cut
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
So i thought that I would update to say that, having been way too hot in the March sun recently, I've seen the sale at North Face and have caved...! I also have been doing a bit more off piste and getting hot and bothered.

Currently awaiting the NFZ shell jacket, trousers and some new gloves. I'd still be reluctant to commit at full price, but at 50% off it seems a fairly decent price. I guess i'll know that they're like in due course...
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Badbobby, sounds like a decent buy. A good shell won't breathe properly though without an effective base/mid layer. Perhaps ditch the cotton and get a set of merino bases. Only need one set; you can wear it for 2 straight weeks without (much) pong...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
So all my stuff has arrived, returned, then arrived again. Funny sizing and surprisingly large variances between M and L.

I'm 5'10" and say 12 stone. Fairly broad shoulders and chest. Average dad bod waist Wink Although improved recently down to 33" but hampered by big bum!

The large jacket was massive - though large might be better for layers - sleeves came down to the tips of my fingers! Medium is just fine.

Trousers in a large are similarly gigantic, particularly in the thigh and bum. The mediums, again, were just right.

My only real reservation is that the trousers are not elasticated so I'd better not "winter" too well!

I'll report back on how they work once I've had the chance.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Badbobby, sizing interesting. I'm 5'6" in old money and 60kgs in new. I tend to do Arcteryx Small. Although I have a medium gilet as the small was, well, too small Puzzled

Arms? Many tech jackets are designed to accommodate ski mountaineering/climbing which requires a long reach, so longer arms than you'd expect.

Big round body though? I was understanding that an "athletic" cut was the fashion... (also, if it fits, arguably warmer in similar fashion that you don't want an over large wetsuit.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@under a new name,

It's first and foremost a mid range/price jacket for skiing so not sure they'd factor in needing long sleeves by design? Maybe yanks are built more differently than I thought!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Weathercam,

Try living here! wink There's a reason why Arcteryx stuff is so good! Madeye-Smiley
Think the location of a company is telling - I recently bought an Endura bike jacket, it's awesome. I believe they are based in Scotland?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Badbobby,
You are aware Arcteryx isn't a US company, right? *





*[Technically although headquarters are in N. Van, I suppose you could say it is in fact French or even Finnish, but either way not US]


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Wed 3-05-17 16:32; edited 2 times in total
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@Badbobby, probably want a little longer than e.g. a bespoke suit cut to make sure they don't ride up and leave sleeve-glove gaps?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Badbobby wrote:
... The large jacket was massive ... Trousers in a large are similarly gigantic ..

I used to be medium but now I'm small... and "small" is actually pretty baggy. Of course I'm still the same size & weight. They just make things bigger to make the fat people feel better.
--
North Face: a very mixed set of products. They've been bought & sold multiple times as a brand so have been inconsistent over time. They have multiple product lines, so some TNF is great, some is fashion kit.
--
Year round use? My point is that it's easy to get cheap gear which works in the UK which will also work in the Alps. The other way doesn't seem to me to work so well: cheap snow gear will not be particularly useful in UK conditions (none-waterproof, padding). As a poor person that was my approach, for those reasons. Each to their own. Now I'm not poor I'd certainly not want to use my snow gear in the UK - there are just better tools for the job.
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philwig wrote:

They've been bought & sold multiple times as a brand so have been inconsistent over time.


Have they been bought and sold multiple times? VF have owned them since 2000 and stopped them from going under.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@hammerite totally agree regarding jackets, RAB shell made from event for me - use it for everything outdoors, add/remove layers at will

Falke SK4 socks - painfully expensive even in the sale but super comfortable

Goggles - Smith knowledge turbo with fan - never ever ever mist up - simply superb, worth the $129.95 i paid in Seattle REI 10 years ago and still going strong

Helmet - i've only got one head!!, bit the bullet and purchased MIPS Smith Vantage for £150 from EB

Ski trousers - second hand O'Neill insulated from ebay £15 and are hard to justify changing unless I do a lot more off piste

Thermals - Sportsdirect, buy in the spring when priced are reduced, Nevica long johns are excellent, the 1/4 zip thermal top is superb - comfortable and easy to dump excess heat with the zip

Gloves, I buy (just) a bit larger so that liners can be worn if required, never spent more than £30 (in the sales) never had cold hands but lust after a pair of herstras/Black Diamonds etc - again hard to justify buying them


Regarding high end ski gear, I say buy what you like, some buy to look good others because they require higher end gear - off piste, lot more snow time etc, if you are buying it because you want to look more hardcore etc I say let your skiing impress, many a time ive seen the guy/girls ripping up the mountain are wearing the raggedy, duct taped gear and old skis Cool
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