I've read certain places that the Gore softshell is just proshell with a fleece backer and softer outer fabric...don't know if it's true though.
Last ski season I ran across the Sabre SV in the greenlight color. It fit and I should have purchased it then but I didn't. Flash forward to this year and I finally bit the bullet and ordered the jacket in Tungsten. I'm a large in virtually everything Arcteryx but this was just huge. Overall the construction was nice and professionally done. The hood easily envelopes a ski helmet. The powder skirt always being there is annoying to me, but that's more of a personal issue I think. The fleecy inside is a nice touch as well.
The jacked looked cool but the fit did not work for me. I'm a large in virtually everything Arcteryx but this was just huge. It was too baggy in the torso and the sleeves were too long. I understand it's cut for layering and a relaxed look but coupled with the powder skirt being permanently attached and the fleece backer that limits this jacket to snow activities and nothing more I decided to return it. I did opt for the Theta SV, which is cut large but doesn't have a powder skirt and can be used in all seasons.
The Alpha should be softer. The Theta is conceivably more durable.
I have been doing a lot of research on super lightweight down jackets and narrowed things down to two options; the Patagonia Ultralight down jacket and the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer. I ordered both and my impressions favor the MHW in almost every discernible way.
The MHW is lighter (the large weighed 7.6 ounces on my digital scale), the fabric is softer to the touch, the down lofts higher because it's higher quality down (850 versus 800 fill), and, as a result, it's a warmer jacket. Additionally, the Ghost Whisperer packs down into its own pocket and doesn't require a stuff sack (the Patagonia comes with a stuff sack).
Now, a comment on fit. The cut of the MHW is fuller than the Patagonia for sure. I wouldn't really say the Patagonia is a "slim" fit as the website indicates but it is fitted somewhat. I don't think the MHW is an athletic fit as this website indicates. Frankly, I would call it "relaxed" in terms of fit but it still fits fine under my shell (as an aside, docking this jacket to 2 stars, like one of the reviews below, because it fits "large" is silly as it gives zero actual information on the actual merits of the jacket). I wear a large is virtually everything and that's what I purchased in the Ghost Whisperer. I have plenty of room for layers and honestly, if I didn't eat for a week, I could probably wear a medium. But I'm happy with the large.
In short, I returned the Patagonia. That was hard for me b/c I really like their stuff and I had sort of lost respect for MHW after they were purchased by Columbia. However, the Ghost Whisperer is simply superior to the Patagonia in every way to me. I'm very impressed and it really opens my eyes to MHW products again.
I wanted to like this jacket. It was light. I liked the color (Paprika). It was on sale. It was warm. I didn't find the snaps to be tight like others.
However, the cuffs are the fatal flaw for me. They are ridiculously tight to the point where I can't ignore it. I tried a large size and it fit perfectly in the body except for the cuffs. It was nearly cutting off my circulation. Because I was unsure of sizing I also ordered an XL. The cuffs on the XL felt no different. I've never considered myself to have large wrists, if that's even a thing, so be wary of the cuffs. If they were different, I'd probably be keeping the jacket. Oh well...
Go with the large. I'm about that size and the large had plenty of room.
I've used capilene off and on for the past 8-10 years and I feel like things have really improved over that time. The present iteration is very nice and to me, fits a little looser than it used. Perhaps I'm just small. Who knows. I feel like the piece wicks very well, dries quickly, is warm, and regulates temperature quite well. I had been using wool baselayers exclusively the past couple years but I may reevaluate things. The Capilene 3 is half the price of a nice wool piece. Good option.
If you want to use this as a piece layer over everything else I would opt for the larger size. It's exactly what I want to do with this jacket and I plan on sizing up.
thanks for the response man...good info
I've always wanted a jacket like the Fitz roy but it has zero practicality in North Carolina. I've had the down sweater once but it wasn't quite warm enough in the real cold. This may be the solution.
It's so much lighter than a pump filter, takes up virtually no room in my pack, and filters water quickly. I suppose if you were looking for a reason to complain it's sometimes difficult to completely fill the water bags prior to filtering. I use a dip and pull method to fill it up.
How much longer is this jacket really than the Alpha SV? The specs say the center back length on the Theta is 0.7 inches longer. Is that all we're talking about here?
1. Would you pick this or the Sabre for skiing (resort skiing only at the moment)?
2. What about for winter backpacking?
3. Which would you pick if you could only have one?
The new Alpha comes with the new N80p-X Pro Shell fabric (whatever that is). This year's Theta has N150p fabric and the Beta has a combo of fabrics but not the N80p. I believe the new Sidewinder and the new Sabre jacket have the N80p fabric as well.
I've used this jacket for the past 2 winters as my insulted ski jacket and have been pleased. It's windproof and very warm. It kept me toasty on a January ski trip in Jackson Hole for reference. I have been hesitant to really test its waterproofness since it's not marketed as being waterproofed but the DWR seems to work well in the light rain/snow I've had it in.
So I'm a bit confused on the difference between this and the normal Patagonia down sweater. The specs both list 800 fill down and a very similar weight. I thought "hi-loft" implied more down (fill weight), which would make it warmer. Is this correct?
Thanks for the info. I guess I was more concerned with whether it would be warm enough for Jackson Hole in January. You seem to imply it would be!
Was thinking about getting this to use under my shell for skiing in Jackson Hole in January but have a question. Coming from North Carolina I don't have huge experience with that level of cold. Coupled with a smartwool midweight or possibly a patagonia R1, will this be enough for out there? Thanks.
probably wouldn't recommend Scarpa at all for wide feet (unless you run across a wide size, which I'm not certain they even make)
Sorry never been in tropical conditions, I assumed you meant rainy but wanted to make sure. I've never seen any rust on mine at all (and I've left them in the rain overnight several times) but I never got any rust on any other trekking poles I've had either. I think these are the best primarily because they're more stable than others. As to grips, I prefer foam over cork. When wet foam may well absorb some water but I've considered my grips slick at all; I feel like cork might feel a bit slick (and hard plastic definitely will). I live in the southeast where 90 degree humid days are the reality in the summer and I think the grips still work great despite sweaty hands.
Seriously not trying to be a gear snob but $800 for anything made by Kelty is ridiculous. Get a top of the line Osprey for half that....or a Gregory...or hire a Sherpa for a trip. Like someone else suggested, it does resemble a garbage bag, albeit with "nice" embroidery.
based on your chest measurements I would definitely lean towards the XL or even a 2XL
This Usage Agreement (the "Agreement") governs your conduct while using various services on the web site Backcountry.com and its affiliate web sites (collectively, the "Site"). All references to "we," "us," and "our" shall mean Backcountry.com and all references to "you" and "your" shall mean the user of the Site and Site Services. This Agreement applies to various services and activities on the Site as well as to gear review and product ratings (collectively, "Site Services"). Please read this Agreement carefully.
BY ACCESSING, BROWSING, AND USING THE SITE, ANY SITE SERVICES AND OTHER SERVICES THEREIN, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THIS AGREEMENT AND ITS TERMS. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THIS AGREEMENT OR ANY SUBSEQUENT MODIFICATION THEREOF, DO NOT ACCESS, BROWSE OR OTHERWISE USE THE SITE OR SITE SERVICES, INCLUDING THE SUBMISSION OF ANY REVIEWS OR COMMENTS.
Any comments, reviews (including gear reviews and product ratings), posts, feedback, questions, answers, notes, messages, images, video, audio, materials, documents, data, graphics, ideas, suggestions or other communications (collectively, "User Content") you submit on the Site are not private or proprietary. By submitting User Content on or through the Site, you grant, assign and transfer to Backcountry.com all of your rights, title and interest, including without limitation, all intellectual property rights and moral rights, in and to such User Content. To the extent the preceding assignment and transfer is ineffective, you hereby grant Backcountry.com an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use, copy, modify, adapt, display, publish, archive, store, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works based upon such User Content, in any form, media, software or technology of any kind now existing or developed in the future.
By submitting such User Content on or through the Site, you are confirming that (a) you are the sole author of the User Content and the User Content originated with you and not copied in whole or in part from any other work; (b) you have obtained all necessary permissions associated with the User Content, including without limitation permissions relating to copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity and/or rights of privacy; (c) the User Content does not contain hate speech or profanity and is not unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortuous, defamatory, vulgar, libelous, obscene, racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable, an invasion of another's privacy, or otherwise in violation of this Agreement; (d) that you are not a minor and have the legal right and capacity to enter into and comply with this Agreement; (e) such User Content does not and will not, in any way, violate or breach any of the terms of this Agreement; and (f) Backcountry.com shall not in any circumstances be required to pay or incur any sums to any person or entity as a result of its use or exploitation of the User Content.
With respect to your conduct on the Site or while using the Site Services, you agree not to: (a) attempt to disguise the origin of any User Content transmitted to the Site Services whether through the Site or any third party site; (b) act in any manner that negatively affects other users' ability to use the Site and Site Services; (c) impersonate any person or entity, including without limitation, a manufacturer or owner of any product, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity; (d) interfere with the Site or Site Services, or servers or networks connected to the Site or Site Services, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies, or regulations of networks connected to the Site or Site Services; (e) upload, post, or otherwise transmit any User Content that with respect to the Site Services: (i) is not relevant to the product, service, person or entity being reviewed; (ii) you do not have a right to transmit under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (by way of example but not limitation, inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements); (iii) contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment; or (iv) is unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation.
User Content does not reflect the views of Backcountry.com, and Backcountry.com does not represent or guarantee the truthfulness, accuracy, completeness, timeliness, integrity, quality or reliability of any User Content, nor does Backcountry.com endorse or support any opinions expressed in any User Content. In no event shall Backcountry.com have or be construed to have any responsibility or liability for or in connection with any User Content, Any gear reviews and/or product ratings submitted on the Site, if displayed, are displayed for entertainment and informational purposes only. Under no circumstances will Backcountry.com be liable in any way for any User Content, including but not limited to, any errors or omissions in any User Content, or for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of any User Content posted, emailed or otherwise transmitted via the Site or Site Services.
If Backcountry.com determines, in our sole and absolute discretion, that you or any User Content you submit violates this Agreement, we reserve the right, at any time, without notice and without limiting any and all other rights Backcountry.com may have under this Agreement, to: (a) refuse to allow you to submit further User Content; (b) remove and delete your User Content; (c) revoke your registration and right to use the User Content Submission Features; and (d) use any technological, legal, operational or other means available to enforce the terms of this Agreement, including, without limitation, blocking specific IP addresses or deactivating your registration, access to the Site and Site Services using your e-mail address, and your user name and password. Without limiting the foregoing, once User Content is submitted to the Site, Backcountry.com may take any or no action with respect to such User Content, including without limitation, deleting, editing, modifying, rejecting, or refusing to post such User Content, but is under no obligation to offer you the opportunity to edit, delete or otherwise modify User Content once it has been submitted. Backcountry.com shall have no duty to attribute authorship of User Content to you and shall not be obligated to enforce any form of attribution by third parties.
If, despite the foregoing assignment and transfer of rights in the User Content, it is determined that you retain moral rights (including the rights of attribution or integrity) in the User Content, you hereby declare that: (a) you do not require that any personally identifying information be used in connection with the User Content or any derivative works of or upgrades or updates thereto; (b) you have no objection to the publication, use, modification, deletion and exploitation of the User Content by Backcountry.com or its licensees, successors or assigns; (c) you forever waive and agree not to claim or assert any entitlement to any and all moral rights of an author in any of the User Content; and (d) you forever release Backcountry.com, and its licensees, successors and assigns from any claims that you could otherwise assert against Backcountry.com by virtue of any such moral rights.
You are prohibited from violating the security of any system or network compromising the Site or the Site Services, including but not limited to the following: (a) unauthorized access to or use of data, systems, or networks, including any attempt to probe, scan or test the vulnerability of the Site or Site Services or to breach security or authentication measures; (b) unauthorized monitoring of data or traffic on the Site or of the Site Services; (c) interference with the Site or Site Services including without limitation, any type of flooding technique or deliberate attempt to overload the system such as denial or service attacks; (d) forging of a message header or any part of a message header; or (e) using manual or electronic means to avoid any use or access limitation placed on this Site or the Site Services. Such violations may result in criminal or civil liability.
Backcountry.com reserves the right to report any activity or persons that Backcountry.com suspects has violated any law or regulation to appropriate law enforcement officials, regulators, or other appropriate third parties (including the disclosure of appropriate subscriber information). Backcountry.com may also cooperate with appropriate law enforcement agencies to assist in the investigation and prosecution of any illegal conduct. Indirect or attempted violations of this Agreement and actual or attempted violations thereof by a third party on behalf of any user shall be considered violations of this Agreement by such user.
BACKCOUNTRY.COM DOES NOT ENDORSE THE USER CONTENT, IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE USER CONTENT AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY RESPONSIBILITY OR LIABILITY TO ANY PERSON OR ENTITY (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, PERSONS WHO MAY USE OR RELY ON SUCH USER CONTENT) FOR ANY LOSS, DAMAGE (WHETHER ACTUAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR OTHERWISE), INJURY, CLAIM, LIABILITY OR OTHER CAUSE OF ANY KIND OR CHARACTER BASED UPON OR RESULTING FROM ANY USER CONTENT PROVIDED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.