vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak

Based in : Boston MA. Stomping Grounds : Indo-Malayan rainforests.

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vatica.rassak's Passions

Hiking

vatica.rassak's Bio

While my secondary interest lay in engineered apparel design / fabric & material technology and nanotechnology, my key passion is for the disappearing biodiversity and especially the tree flora of the Indo-Malayan region - the tropical lowland dipterocarp forests of Borneo, where thousands of new species yet remain unknown.
Today key diverse species exist from botanical families like :
Dipterocarpaceae, Myristicaceae, Sterculiaceae...

vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak wrote an answer about on October 20, 2010

Hi,

Both the MontBell's UL Down Inner Jacket and The North Face's Foil Thermal II can be worn under your ski jacket. These will provide the warmth that you need for the really cold days. In general, both jackets function as a simple/functional down layer without the bells and whistles. Just note these other points :

- The North Face's Foil Thermal II is more like a pullover, or think of it even like a T-shirt, in terms of use and wear. You got to pull this over your head to put it on - the 3 zips just close up for a snug fit.

- The MontBell on the other hand will be a little easier to handle since its a fully zipped jacket. Normal use.

- Weight-wise and warmth-wise the MontBell wins hands down - VERY light and VERY warm (800-fill), of course at double the price that of the North Face. (No mention of the weight of the Foil Thermal II but it won't be as light as 6.1 oz definitely.) Oh if your're wondering, the MontBell website puts the specs at 800-down instead of 725. Same goes for the weight, taken from the official website instead.

- Keep in mind MontBell's very warm rating as you might get heated up in all that skiiing. There are no venting outlets.

http://montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=70&p_id=2301132

- There are no specifications on the length of North Face Foil Thermal but both jackets will be short (the MontBell is at 24.4 inches long). At 24 inches you should expect this at or slightly above the waist and not cover your bottom area.

- The North Face Foil Thermall II is not full down - the sleeves are Primaloft insulated and supplemented by Polartec areas for some breathability. It essentially is a hybrid construction.

- Your ski jacket should be roomy enough to take this layer in - these are both after all Down jackets. They are not super puffy but still keep that in mind.

- Minor point - The North Face Foil Thermal II does not have pockets at all - its really like a Down-padded tee. North Face tends to create these "minimalist" apparel-types. MontBell's has 2 handwarmer pockets (from website).

Well in the end it will come down to what you really need so if you want guaranteed warmth (with not too good breathability) without all that weight (for a normal Down jacket, that is) you could decide to go with the MontBell. The fact that you're looking at MontBell would mean you already know that they are known for lightweight apparel. If you don't mind the weight, lesser warmth and the "pullover" use time and time again, you can save some money and get the Foil Thermal II then.

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vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak wrote an answer about on October 18, 2010

Hi,

Don't stress; there's plenty of North Face Down jackets with hoods, in a variety of down fill-power (the higher fill numbers will give you more warmth from its better lofting properties) :

1. Insulated Hood/Detachable
- Menlo Down Parka, 550-fill

2. Non-insulated Hood/Detachable
- Amore Down jacket, 600-fill
- Transit Down jacket, 600-fill
- Triple C Down jacket, 700-fill
- Greta Down jacket, 600-fill

3. Insulated Hood/Fixed
- Oh Snap Down vest
- Hey Mama Bomba jacket, 500-fill

4. Non-insulated Hood/Fixed
- Destiny Down jacket, 600-fill
- Arctic Parka, 550-fill
- Gotham Down jacket, 550-fill
- Totally Down, 600-fill
- Catalyst Down, 800-fill
- Greenland Down, 550-fill
- Move Down, 550-fill
- Gimme More Down, 600-fill

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vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak wrote an answer about on October 18, 2010

Unfortunately, North Face's products are shippable only within the US. You will have to look at the UK range of North Face products for an equivalent parka since the UK range does not have the Arctic Parka.

You can try the Insulated Grace jacket (UK range) which is also a long-length jacket that is waterproof (HyVent) and insulated (100g Heatseeker) but it will not be as warm as the Arctic Parka which has 550-fill down.

http://uk.thenorthface.com/tnf-uk-en/women/jackets-vests/women-s-insulated-grace-jacket.html

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vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak wrote an answer about on September 24, 2010

Hi,

This is tricky but here's some hints :

1- If you do own other North Face jackets in size S, and of a standard fit (eg. Khumbu, Denali) what is the 'roominess' feel of an S for you? For me, an S can definitely take a t-shirt, a long sleeved fitted light-wool turtleneck. For a sweater, it was tight at the sleeves, and not comfy for extended wear.

2. If, however, this is your first North Face jacket, and you don't want too big a look (or don't want to 'drown' in an M), stick to fitted inner layers. For example, hoodies and loose-fit sweater types will run the problem of the tight sleeves (especially at the armpits), but you can wear comfortably with fitted inner layers like next-to-skin type of baselayers. Getting a woolen (Icebreaker brand or Patagonia Capilene series) next-to-skin kinds of baselayers or tees will definitely give you the warmth factor AND allow you to put on the Oso without the tightness.

3. Most importantly, your wearing preference - some people like a good fit being defined as loose-baggy fit, while some people like a more "closely-fitted / slightly tight but not like compression-type gear" definition. My preference is the latter, so do take the above comments in this perspective.

Oh the other point is that this is a short-length jacket (at 24.5 inch centre-back length).

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vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak wrote an answer about on September 23, 2010

Hi,

i can't comment on the sizes you need except that i think your 8 yr old daughter will not be able to take these women's sleeves as they will really be too long for her.

On the point of skiing, do note that this is a really short-length urban/casual wear jacket and so bear in mind it does not have the full features of a skiing jacket like a powder/snow skirt which keeps the snow from getting inside the jacket; as well as to keep the jacket from riding up during skiing and falls. So with the Gotham you will get some snow, especially on the back which will inevitably ride up (from a skiing posture) and in really cold/wet conditions that will not be too pleasant and you will get a cold/wet back eventually seeping in. Not fun in the long run. Lastly, the hem and cuffs are ribbed and do not allow for tightening/fastening like with a hem cinch-cord or Velcro closer so thats not snow-proof.

On the other hand, if you are tolerant of these issues, and also for the fact that you are not going for a long ski tour (eg. more than a few days, going into weeks) the Gotham might be ok (it will definitely keep you warm!). So it depends on your skiing comfort preferences (in the past) and how much tolerance your children will have.

For an idea of the length, the link below with a photo of the Gotham on a model might give a clue. It will stop at the waist level, whereas for a ski jacket you would be more comfortable with a hip length one.

http://coolspotters.com/clothing/the-north-face-gotham-jacket

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vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak wrote an answer about on September 23, 2010

Hi,

You could have tried on what possibly was the North Face Insulated Grace jacket. That's an insulated version of the Grace rain jacket, an unlined version of the Stellar Grace jacket that you bought. So there's actually 3 lookalikes here!

Now the Insulated Grace jacket certainly has insulation (hence its almost twice as heavy at 41 oz) - it comes with North Face's proprietary Heatseeker insulation which is a synthetic but lightweight alternative compared to Down feathers (ie. Heatseeker is thus not for the extreme cold temps).

The Insulated Grace unfortunately looks like its not making a comeback this fall/winter, so its a 2009 Fall version left selling online. Backcountry.com has it in stock but there's limited sizes and colors (White only - M, L and XL) - try this link :

http://www.backcountry.com/the-north-face-insulated-grace-jacket-womens?RSC_ID=WR_TNF3732

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vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak wrote an answer about on September 16, 2010

Hi. XXL is limited to Black, available (to my knowledge) only at The North Face's website at this point now. They are out of stock unfortunately but you can try to check with them from their online chat.

http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/sc-gear/womens-apex-bionic-jacket_2.html?parent_category_rn=&cm_vc=Search

i have a friend who actually takes Men's Large (sizing comparable to Women's XL) so that means Men's XL would be in the range you are looking for.
From chest measurement sizings :
Women's XL: 42"
Women's XXL: above 42" (not listed)
Men's L: 44"
Men's XL: 47"

Check the actual size charts for a comparison. Currently at Backcountry, the Men's XL are in stock in Black and Deep Water Blue colors. The fit, however, would not be tapered (slightly at the waist) as in Women's fitting; they would be more a straight-looking fit.

This is just a suggestion, so it will be up to you.

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vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak wrote an answer about on September 16, 2010

Sorry i don't have the answers to that but you might want to take a look at another site to gauge its length (they have modelled the GTD on a mannequin), if that's useful. There's a drop-hem at the back, but the front hem looks like its at waist level.

http://www.onlineshoes.com/womens-the-north-face-l-s-gtd-crew-white-p_id186823

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vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak wrote an answer about on September 16, 2010

No, this jacket is not made with waterproof fabric. Look out for jackets that are constructed with North Face's HyVent materials for waterproof quality.

Here are some examples of waterproof, down-filled North Face jackets, listed below from Backcountry.com's stock. They are a mix of urban-styled jackets as well as ski jackets (which still look ok when you use them as street outerwear). The down-fill specs (amount of insulation) are listed here too so you can gauge the insulation level to compare with the Menlo (at 550-fill down). The ski jackets are a tad warmer at 600-fill down. A last point - the ski jackets are generally shorter length (for movement) compared to the urban styled ones. Check them out to see what you need.

Urban Styled :
- Greenland Down jacket, 550-fill down, $248.95
- Brooklyn Down jacket, 550-fill down, $278.95
- Arctic parka, 550-fill down, $298.95

Ski/Semi-Urban Jackets :
- Furallure jacket, 600-fill down, from $167.37
- Destiny Down jacket, 600-fill down, $198.95
- Amore Down jacket, 600-fill down, $248.95
- Get Down jacket, 600-fill down, $298.95
- Totally Down jacket, 600-fill down, $198.95

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vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak wrote an answer about on September 16, 2010

Hi,

The 2 chest and 2 front hand warmer pockets all come with zips. These pockets all come designed with a small covering flap that helps direct water/rain away from the zips, helping to keep the pockets dry. The internal media pocket is zipped too, with an additional slot for the earphones.
This jacket is waterproof based on North Face's HyVent 2L (2-layered) material fabric on the exterior. This will help keep you dry in wetter wintry conditions.

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vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak wrote an answer about on September 13, 2010

The jacket's Apex Universal fabric is primed with DWR (Durable Water Repellency) which, by your needs, is not going to work, especially if the type of rain (above the level of mists/sprinkles) is prolonged and the DWR will not be able to cope with that. Adding to this, the DWR will eventually diminish with subsequent launderings, so in the long run you would be better off with something waterproof. Btw, Apex fabrics are primarily constructed as wind-blocking fabrics. The DWR is simply an applied layer adhering to the fabric.

If you ever noticed DWR in action, heavy drizzles of rain cause the fabric to start absorbing the water (more pressure, more instances of rain drops, etc) and slightly darker patches (wetness) will appear and these will be the wet points that the insides will feel gradually. TNF's standard for Apex fabrics start at a value of 90 after a mist test according to an industry specs set by the AATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists). A value of 0 is totally wet, while 100 is fully dry.

You could take a look at TNF's waterproof jackets - just look for those made with HyVent DT (Dry Touch) technology which are lightweight. The Venture jacket is a proven North Face jacket when it comes to waterproofness/breathability (not clammy). On the other hand, i've met with people who swear by the greatness of their DWR but that is really subjective.

Hope this helps.

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vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak wrote an answer about on September 13, 2010

Unfortunately, no, the Resolve does not have any inner media pocket at all. It strictly has 2 side pockets. North Face jackets are very "minimal" when it comes to pocket provision and media pockets/Napolean pockets, bicep pockets, etc. mostly come at the higher range jackets where it is deemed to be "needed" by their design team.

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vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak wrote an answer about on September 13, 2010

This is a little late for an answer, but check out the Wavewalk W500 that is a new concept based on a co-jointed dual-hull system. It also has a generously sizeable cockpit and its REALLY STABLE. The specs put the max. loading at 360 lbs.
Check this :
http://www.wavewalk.com/W_Fishing_Kayak_Product_Information.html
Retails at $996 and upwards for variants of the model.

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vatica.rassak

vatica.rassak wrote an answer about on September 13, 2010

Perception teams up with Harmonygear.com for outfitting and accessories.
You can try their Rudder Kit #G, which is specifically stated to fit "Dagger & Perception Tandem Touring, SOT and Rec Models with molded rudder post hole at stern of boat."

Retails at $225 from this site :
http://www.harmonygear.com/product/203820/RUDDERKIT_G/_/Rudder_Kit_%23G_-_Dagger_%26_Perception_Tandem_Kayaks

Backcountry.com carries Harmony items but unfortunately does not have the rudder kit.

Hope this helps.

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