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Ski jackets - soft shell ok for Europe?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
menatarms wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
menatarms wrote:
also in the past had some bad experiences with stuff from TK Maxx, realised quite a bit of their stuff is fake.

That would surprise me - as I wouldn't expect a company of their size, to risk selling fake stuff, which is illegal and thus be unnecessarily risking their business and reputation. Certainly, I've had no problem with the quality of brands like Killy, Spyder and Mountain Force....though they can get the sizing wrongly labelled.


I'll give them another look, the stuff I suspected was fake was cookware so clothing may be completely fine.


Some stuff in outlets are made for the outlet. EG MacArthur Glenn or TkMAXX or Biscester Village. Some are full spec and overstock.

I got this from TkMAXX
https://www.phenixski.com/collection/ESA72OT32.php
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GlasgowCyclops wrote:

Some stuff in outlets are made for the outlet. EG MacArthur Glenn or TkMAXX or Biscester Village. Some are full spec and overstock.

I got this from TkMAXX
https://www.phenixski.com/collection/ESA72OT32.php

That certainly sounds plausible.

For skiing, I stick with premium labels that have 60+% off, like the Spyder Turret 3L Goretex trousers, with 74% reduction.

Phenix make quality stuff and that jacket looks lovely.
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[quote="boarder2020"]
Quote:

I am not sure they are fakes but some of the discount outlets sell so much some of the brands actually make stock at lower spec specifically for them.


Do you have any evidence for this, as I'd be a little surprised if true. The more common practice is buying the brand itself e.g. sports direct buying the likes of karrimor, Slazenger, Lonsdale etc. Then potentially making a much inferior cheaper product to sell off the old branding.

[quote]

Heard about such a practice when I worked in the industry a few years ago in relation to a major ski brand.

And if these outlet stores are supposed to be to sell off odds and sods left over, its odd dont you think when sometimes just one outlet shop has the entire size range for a particular style with several items in each size (which again I have seen for a major ski brand) , that would be very unusual and meant the style just didnt sell at all for the outlet to be able to range it like this or .......


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 28-04-22 9:19; edited 1 time in total
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AL9000 wrote:
Quote:

Personally I think nothing looks more tragic than an all the gear no idea beginner …


Crying or Very sad

What about a North Face ski jacket on the 7.36 to Waterloo?


North Face and to some extent the duller grey/black Arc stuff can be considered a "street" brand. All the local teens seem to wear grey/black shells or puffers.
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GlasgowCyclops wrote:
menatarms wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
There was some lovely yellow Phenix "Team Norway" jackets in TK Maxx this season.....maybe a bit much with all those logos on a Beginner, though. Madeye-Smiley

If your decision can wait, TK Maxx usually has some great bargains from late September.



We have a bit of a family philosophy of buy once and buy high quality (within reason), also in the past had some bad experiences with stuff from TK Maxx, realised quite a bit of their stuff is fake.


A lot of stuff in Tkmaxx is rubbish with a badge buy.some are good. I got a phenix Jacket for £128 that is this season and £600 on the phenix site.

It is insulated and I found it great on the BB this year and also in the fridge.


I bought a patagonia down insulated H2No jacket, can't remember the model about ten years ago. €120 with an RRP of €600 on their website. Has lasted great.
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Quote:

plenty of Euros look well kitted out in Decathlon kit.

French families - all of them better skiers than most of us holiday-making Brits will ever be, and all in Decathlon kit. Or often in old one-piece suits, not being worn ironically. And possibly on their father-in-law's old skis. Brit skiers are often like over-engineered yachties - I was once an inexperienced skipper of a yacht tied up in a gale in a Scottish loch. There were several yachts, all full of crews with our Musto or Henri Lloyd gear and all (including me) petrified of undoing the warps to turn the boats round to face into the new wind. We were earnestly discussing our tactics when a bunch of scruffy fishermen in old macs tied up with a bit of string came over and talked us through the manoevre with a minimum of fuss.
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

plenty of Euros look well kitted out in Decathlon kit.

French families - all of them better skiers than most of us holiday-making Brits will ever be, and all in Decathlon kit. Or often in old one-piece suits, not being worn ironically. And possibly on their father-in-law's old skis. Brit skiers are often like over-engineered yachties - I was once an inexperienced skipper of a yacht tied up in a gale in a Scottish loch. There were several yachts, all full of crews with our Musto or Henri Lloyd gear and all (including me) petrified of undoing the warps to turn the boats round to face into the new wind. We were earnestly discussing our tactics when a bunch of scruffy fishermen in old macs tied up with a bit of string came over and talked us through the manoevre with a minimum of fuss.


In Canada if you see someone in a jacket 10 seasons old, patched up, and generally on its last legs 99% of the time the person wearing it is one of the best skiers on the hill that day. If you see somone with kinco gloves they are probably a local, and may well work on the hill. On the other hand I know a few brit 1-2 week a year skiers who have to buy something new for each trip, even when their old stuff is perfectly fine and only has a few weeks use on it. I guess some of it is the Brit holiday skiers tend to be money rich but time poor (although more instruction would probably be a better investment). Also I think some of it is just flat out snobbyness - I know plenty of Brits that will turn their nose up at decathlon stuff even though it meets their needs perfectly. Lastly plenty way overestimate their needs, a skiing holiday is not an extreme expedition.
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One needs to compare like with like though... Brits are predominantly "holiday skiers" for obvious reasons, where as it's a different deal for locals. So they likely have more money and fewer days. Skiers from Toronto for example are more likely to adopt a similar approach to Brits than locals. Or people from the fancy bits of Paris. I've seen some very fancy Parisians out on the slopes, in very tasty clothing.

And of course it wasn't that long ago that Brits were the worst dressed people on European slopes.
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Yep that's what I mean by money rich time poor. I'm at the other end of the spectrum so perhaps I notice it more. That said if it's good enough for the locals, do holiday skiers really need more? If anything the locals gear probably has more demands placed on it. Of course no holiday skier would probably want to be seen dead in kinco gloves snowHead
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Quote:

it wasn't that long ago that Brits were the worst dressed people on European slopes.

I looked dead gorgeous in my C&A suit.
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@pam w, I bet you look dead gorgeous in whatever wink

Back on real keyboard after a week away ...

IME a softshell is great in spring when it's more breathable. But totally inadequate in full winter. (I have both softshell (Arc'teryx Gamma) and hardshell (historically Mountain Hardwear & Patagonia, currently Stellar)).

Layering defo the way forward - insulated jackets are +/- really not a great plan, IMHO/E. And anything that says "ski jacket" should be avoided, unless one-two weeks a year use are budgeted in.

Whereas a decent rain jacket, such as one would wear frequently in parts of Scotland, or indeed, decent alpine jacket such as one would wear frequently in parts of e.g. Scotland, gives year round use, and works very well for outer layer skiing.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
... . Personally I think nothing looks more tragic than an all the gear no idea beginner
struggling to stand upright but kitted out in spangly new Norrona and on the other hand plenty of Euros look well kitted
out in Decathlon kit. ....
That reminded me of Martyn Hurn's 1987 "Skiing Real Snow" book where he points out (page 30)
that feeling good about one's clothing can be an important positive factor in beginners learning to ski.

I think "all the gear/ no idea" would apply to learners on expert skis/ boards, maybe, but clothing's just clothing.

I learnt to ski in jeans, and would probably do so again, simply because even though now I wouldn't
have to, it's cooler to ride in jeans. Still a fashion victim, then, just a different perspective.

--
Is it just me or did Decathlon go down market? I remember when I lived in Paris back in the day is was pretty
funky (for someone used to UK shops), but now it's a bit basic.
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Quote:

Is it just me or did Decathlon go down market? I remember when I lived in Paris back in the day is was pretty
funky (for someone used to UK shops), but now it's a bit basic.


My local one has halved in size. Seems like the shops are now a bit empty and almost work as distribution centres with you ordering online and then picking it up in store. Presumably cost cutting, but if it helps them keep their prices down I'm not going to complain.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
menatarms wrote:
Thanks I'll have a look on decathalon. She's very keen that the jacket be yellow which is proving a bit of a limiting factor, but oh well I've long since learnt not to argue over such things.


hahahahaha that is wisdom, my friend...

That said, I'm on the look for a new jacket (shell) and I've also come to the conclusion yellow is one of the best options: it's light so it doesn't heat up in the sun (I currently mostly wear a thin rain jacket but it's black and I can tell it heats up quite a bit when it's sunny - I tend to run hot), but also not white which would easily get visibly dirty, it's distinguishable on the piste yet not ugly (like neon or bright pink)... so at least she picked a good colour.
(and it matches the colours of Brazil and the Lakers, though I have a hunch that may not be as relevant for her)
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@Gustavo the Gaper, I'm pretty happy with my Stellar one, although the prices increased this year ...

https://www.stellarequipment.com/product/m-stellar-shell-jacket2-blue/
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GlasgowCyclops wrote:
menatarms wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
menatarms wrote:
also in the past had some bad experiences with stuff from TK Maxx, realised quite a bit of their stuff is fake.

That would surprise me - as I wouldn't expect a company of their size, to risk selling fake stuff, which is illegal and thus be unnecessarily risking their business and reputation. Certainly, I've had no problem with the quality of brands like Killy, Spyder and Mountain Force....though they can get the sizing wrongly labelled.


I'll give them another look, the stuff I suspected was fake was cookware so clothing may be completely fine.


Some stuff in outlets are made for the outlet. EG TkMAXX Some are full spec and overstock.




Apparently there's a figure at the top right of the price labels which indicates this - (1) for made for TK MAXX , (2) for genuinely sold elsewhere at the "original" price , (and thus a genuine bargain) and (7) for "held over stock - i.e. seasonal stock from previous years etc.

Not sure if this is genuine or not, but I'll certainly be checking for this next time I'm in there.
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@Roguevfr, saw the same thing earlier. The 1 indicator might explain some of the weird things that are in there sometimes. Hopefully I’ll remember to look in future.
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under a new name wrote:
@Gustavo the Gaper, I'm pretty happy with my Stellar one, although the prices increased this year ...

https://www.stellarequipment.com/product/m-stellar-shell-jacket2-blue/


Looks amazing! Too bad the price is stellar too...
A couple weeks ago I ordered a Scott Vertic 3 shell for eur50, quite a bargain, now wondering if I'll keep it or not
https://www.bol.com/nl/nl/p/scott-vertic-3-wintersportjas-heren-maat-l/9300000052368055/?Referrer=ENTcli_order_confirmation2008093611
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@under a new name, I've always wondered about Stellar kit (they seem to pop up as Facebook ads alot), how long have you had the jacket and is it fully waterproof?
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@kitenski, seems waterproof, although I don't ski in the rain. Got it at beginning of season 19-20 so it's done maybe 80-90 days?
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Quote:

and is it fully waterproof?


Waterproof is a spectrum. Any credible company should disclose their waterproof testing results:

"Waterproof ratings are measured in millimetres using a Hydrostatic Head test. In a Hydrostatic Head test, the fabric is pulled tight under a 1 inch diameter sealed tube of water. This is then observed over 24 hours to ascertain how many millimetres of water the fabric can withstand before it soaks through."

Of course without taped/sealed seams all the waterproofing in the world in useless. ("Fully taped seems" = all seems are sealed, "critically taped seems" = only those considered important are sealed

Usually waterproofing and breathability are a bit of a trade off. You can find some materials that have better ratios. However for breathability huge underarm zips are a better solution than any material.

At 20000mm waterproof rating the Stella shell 2.0 is plenty waterproof, I'd argue for most people 10k is sufficient. At £365 I don't think its particularly competitively priced if you shop around you can probably do a lot better at that price point. For example a quick look on sports pursuit has marmot spire jacket (3 layer goretex) for £150.
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@boarder2020I've had 10k stuff leak in Yorkshire rain and when sat on wet chairlifts, and I've skied in Scotland and the Alps in rain, and I'll also go out skiing in heavy wet snow (whereas others would stay in) so I reckon 20k is what I tend to go for waterproofness wise.

But as per my other thread my 15 year old Arcteryx jacket will be fine Smile

Never thought of skiing in the rain with pit zips open though! Although checking out sportpursuit they have a HAGLÖFS Mens Spire Alpine GTX Jacket but that doesn't appaer to have pit zips whereas the Marmot spire does.
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@kitenski, Everything will leak eventually if exposed long enough and not rewaterproofed occasionally - I've had goretex fail on me with enouh rain. 10k you can stretch out the material, place a metre column of water on it and it won't let anything through in 24 hours. That should be enough for most people, and in my experience has been fine in some pretty awful conditions (any worse and I'd say it's my own stupidity for going out rather than being let down by gear snowHead )

My experience is even the most breathable waterproof material is not that breathable and can quickly get quite sweaty especially if you are skiing somewhere with hike to terrain. (If you just like to cruise around on pistes maybe not such an issue). If you are someone that runs hot better to look for pit zips than a more breathable jacket material. However, we again come back to what people actually need - realistically how many days are people skiing in rain? It's a very small minority even somewhere like fernie or Whistler where rain can be a problem, maybe worse in Scotland I wouldn't know.
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So I paid €349 for my jacket, currently €429.

Cheaper than Arc’ equivalent I think, a bit anyway.

Sport Pursuit all very well but sizing, selections, colours … I am quite particular.
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I'm laughing because I reckon if you can afford a jacket which will work for riding all day in the rain,
you can also afford not to ride all day in the rain.

If the point was that you don't need the highest specification Gore-Tex for snow sports, that seems very likely.
My gf would point out that I also don't actually "need" a 368 kW car.
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@philwig, well, exactly. Some of us have (re-)engineered our lifestyles so we don't need to worry about skiing everyday wink

That said, a. you can get caught out by the weather and b. I rather like knowing I can totally rely on my kit. Also, I reckon it'll last longer and I am not a big fan of change for change's sake.

Although, par contre, my new rucsac, which is functionally very similar to my 20 year old rucsac, is half the weight and a much nicer colour.
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Well this thread just cost me the price of a new jacket. Full on Gore-Tex Arc shell from the Covid seasons on the left, brand new Icelandic soft shell on the right.


The 66 North jacket is fully taped, and the material (Polartec Inf[something]) is supposed to be 10k proof, which as per above I also reckon is likely plenty. Not as good as a Tesco carrier bag, but good enough, I think. It's missing a couple of things: (a) snow skirt; (b) pit zips. I shall see if either matter. Obviously the jackets are cut very differently.
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@under a new name, I think I have finally convinced my kids that a shell and layering is the way to go after years of insisting on padded anoraks with furry hoods. So both now rocking Elevenate shells (Sport Pursuit, half price). I have a softshell jacket for spring but shell all the way in the winter.
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I much prefer skiing in a shell jacket - as someone who runs hot.

Got my recently retired jacket from TK Maxx. Mustard yellow Quiksilver shell gore Tex jacket. Quiksilver were selling it for £300. I got it for £70. Lasted me 8 seasons of 3 weeks a year and one whole season. Retired because it’s now got lots of little nicks in it. Gutted though as I loved it.

I’ve found the ski range in most TK Maxx shops I’ve visited to be quite limited in recent years though.

Replaced with another yellowy orange shell jacket after my regular ski buddy said I needed to choose my new jacket so that she could see me easily yet she skis in a black jacket.
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hammerite wrote:
I much prefer skiing in a shell jacket - as someone who runs hot.

Got my recently retired jacket from TK Maxx. Mustard yellow Quiksilver shell gore Tex jacket. Quiksilver were selling it for £300. I got it for £70. Lasted me 8 seasons of 3 weeks a year and one whole season. Retired because it’s now got lots of little nicks in it. Gutted though as I loved it.

I’ve found the ski range in most TK Maxx shops I’ve visited to be quite limited in recent years though.

Replaced with another yellowy orange shell jacket after my regular ski buddy said I needed to choose my new jacket so that she could see me easily yet she skis in a black jacket.


Interesting reasoning. I recently decided to get a new shell jacket, as I tend to run hot. Yellow would probably be my colour of choice, as it's easily identifiable (and doesn't heat up in the sun like my black jacket). And I do like Quiksilver... (My winter ski jacket is a Quiksilver, also purchased at the TK Maxx...)

Which size was your jacket? Hahaha
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The Quiksilver one was a small. Bit weird really as I’m at least a medium in everything else. 177cm tall, 82kg.
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I've found sizing ridiculously varied. I tried on some jackets in Snow and Rock at Port Solent yesterday. Some Musto, Helly Hansen, some North Face, Patagonia, Arcteryx. I'm a size 10. Some "Small" jackets fitted fine, other "Medium" ones were too tight, even over a light fleece. And in Decathlon, up the road, I bought a £9.99 fleece - which, like all my Decathlon fleeces over the years, was "Large". Decathlon sizes are for skinny French women. Laughing

I didn't buy any - a Patagonia one at £325 was the best of a bad bunch but I didn't like it enough to splash that cash.
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pam w wrote:
I've found sizing ridiculously varied. I tried on some jackets in Snow and Rock at Port Solent yesterday. Some Musto, Helly Hansen, some North Face, Patagonia, Arcteryx. I'm a size 10. Some "Small" jackets fitted fine, other "Medium" ones were too tight, even over a light fleece. And in Decathlon, up the road, I bought a £9.99 fleece - which, like all my Decathlon fleeces over the years, was "Large". Decathlon sizes are for skinny French women. Laughing

I didn't buy any - a Patagonia one at £325 was the best of a bad bunch but I didn't like it enough to splash that cash.


Vanity sizing. Usually the North American brands are the biggest offenders, European companies like decathlon tend to be more "traditional" in their sizing. Apparently some brands even misreport the measurements - e.g. 34" waist trousers, might actually be cut to 36". There is the classic example of Marilyn Monroe who supposedly was a UK size 16 but in today's sizes would now wear a size 10-12. Perhaps you have to adjust to increasing size of people, what today is a medium sized person is certainly a lot bigger than what would be medium sized person 40 years ago. On the other hand as you say it makes shopping much harder.
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Just for some closure to this topic we ended up getting Mammut Stoney HS Thermo Pants (marine) & Jacket (golden yellow). Got some fairly good deals on them but were still quite the splurge. Still waiting for them to arrive but hopefully will be great quality. Decided to go with insulated items because better safe than sorry for a beginner. Thanks for all the advice from everyone.

Having trawled through all these outdoor gear online stores I'm only just realising how far the technology has comee along, now wanting to upgrade my own jacket and shells...
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I'd be interested to see what you think of the Mammut stuff. I have my eye on one of their shell jackets......
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rogg wrote:
I'd be interested to see what you think of the Mammut stuff. I have my eye on one of their shell jackets......


Will let you know,given the price and their reputation I'm hoping they're great!
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boarder2020 wrote:
... Vanity sizing. Usually the North American brands are the biggest offenders, European companies like decathlon tend to be more "traditional" in their sizing. Apparently some brands even misreport the measurements - e.g. 34" waist trousers, might actually be cut to 36".
... Perhaps you have to adjust to increasing size of people, what today is a medium sized person is certainly a lot bigger than what would be medium sized person 40 years ago.

This. M&S underwear sizes are stated in cm/ inches, but the actual sizes are much larger than the stated. This is true for their knickers, but not for socks, or course. There are brands which sell true to the stated size. The problem is working out which sizing system the supplier is using.

---
On the thread title, I just spent a week or so in Europe snowboarding with my first ever soft shell, and I couldn't tell the difference. I mean, the material is a bit softer, but everything else is the same. The jacket style is more "bomber jacket" than "coat", which I like, but that's about it. The softshell didn't have pit zips or a snow skirt, but I didn't notice those as the pockets were designed to vent and I don'tfall over anymore anyway. The seams were all taped as you'd expect. We had some rain at sea level and the jacket seemed waterproof. [Oh yeah, and rained on low-level snow is the stickiest substance known to man, to the extent that I'd rather ride plastic in the rain.]

I think the difference in "cut" of jackets is more important than the construction, assuming you're buying stuff with taped seams and decent proofing. My Arc hard shell is designed for you to layer up underneath it, so it's cut very baggy, even in the smallest size. The [66 North] soft shell is cut much closer, which I like. You're supposed to put your down jacket on the outside when you stop for lunch... which is what people generally do anyway. I'm a convert.
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