I've got an old berghaus xcr extrem jacket with the retract hood, its a tough old jacket and hasn't seen too much abuse so its lasted well, but the lack of pitzips has been a bug bear as it can get too hot in their and the chest pocket vents are useless, and are only good for making you cold when you try to use the chest pockets to warm your hands when you are resting.
I tried a arcteryx jacket on at the weekend, and even the missus thought I should get it ....until I told her it was £400, so I'm on a bargain hunt, but first I need to know what jackets I should be looking at.
I'm looking for a hardwearing midweight jacket with pitzips mainly for hiking sometimes with a backpack, doesn't need any frills, but it does need to be tough and hardwearing.
I've got a variety of jackets on the go, so they tend to last quite a long time as no single item gets all the abuse...
but that said I've had a Helly Hansen Verglas for a good few years now and it's done surprisingly well. My review is here. I've had some problems with older versions of the HH HellyTech material but this one has held out well and they've updated it a few times to the current version using HT XP. Here.
Good points : pit zips, well designed hood (at least mine is... fully wired... haven't seen the new one but I think the wire's gone ), reasonable weight...
Great point : often found for less than 50% rrp in the HH outlet stores around the country... try Bicester Village as they've regularly had them in and sold them for between £80-150 depending on the whim of the manager . Additionaly 10% cards for Bicester are easy to acquire so on a good day you could get this shell for around £70.
Weak points: not as breathable as eVent; not as long lasting as ProShell; no external storm flaps. It's an alpine style jacket with the advantages and limitations that that brings. I generally use mine in winter as I chose a large size to go over other insulation and so rain isn't so much of a problem. Helly do have one advantage as they make their own waterproofs so they can choose face fabrics. On the whole I've been impressed by what I've had from their 'serious' range of kit.
OK it's not an Arc' but at those prices you could afford to replace it up to 7 times before you'd hit the Arc' budget!!!!
just had a quick look at the verglas - looks tops, but I'm worried that its a bit too alpine cut, i.e quite short in the body and if it poured down I'd get me nuts wet! (if you know what I mean! )
Anyway, I'll see if I can get hold of one to try on, I'm in London over the weekend so any store recommendations (from anyone)?
Actually been having a scout about and I quite like the changabang. I tried it on at the weekend and it feels good, but while there are three of them on ebay at the moment, they are in every size but XL
Also, I know the berghaus mera peak XCR has been around for a while, but I'm guessing its still a good jacket (and has pit zips from memory) - the only problem I have is the sizing, Bergaus xl is bigger than (say) mountain equipment Xl (which fits me), but not as big as northface xl (which is too big), so I need something more like a north face large, but the berghaus large is just a bit too small..... now I'm confusing myself!
Do any of the RAB jackets have pit zips? Their XL size is a good fit on me.
Fiona N wrote (see)
I've got a Mountain Equipment heavy duty Goretex jacket with pit zips - great jacket but it's a men's (bought in a hurry when there were no equivalent women's models available in the shop) so it's never been the best fit for me so I'll be ebaying it shortly.
I sold a jacket that would have served you well, WPgB... the Berghaus Trango XCR. It was a full on Scottish winter beastie but weighed around 750g I think. It was the banana coloured one in the OM article. They turn up of fleabay too. It's not as long as the Mera Peak but has pit zips and was a well designed bit of kit. However, I never really found a use for it with the weather where I've lived for the last 4 years (South of France) so sold it to a friend.
In my opinion both this Trango and the Mera Peak are much heavier than you should be able to find around and about.
The other 'random' idea that occurred to me was the PHD Alpamayo jacket that comes in Gore Tex option (or using Tempest) and you can have pit zips added for £28. Still a lot cheaper than an Arc'... Looks good on paper - wired hood, mid weight, storm flaps, PHD production quality... but I've never seen one in the flesh.
John, just had a look at the PHD jacket, nice jacket but goretex is a £100 option!
Right - I hear what you're saying about weight, so I'll narrow my search down, I still like the changabang and the arcteryx (probably the theta AR, but willing to be guided in another direction), and other jackets spring to mind?
Have you looked at the Haglofs range? Many of them have pit zips...
And the Marmot Exum does too. But it's another light alpine cut jacket.
I'm also pretty sure that the hard core Spanish climbing brand, Trangoworld, has several Pro Shell jackets with pit zips (e.g. Geon) or side ventilation zips ( e.g. Samil) but their range might be hard to come by in the UK. Shame.. interesting stuff.
I think the French alpine brand, Vertical, also do some... but same problem as above.
I'm slightly out of touch with what you'd find in the UK shops right now...
John, thanks for the spanish and french links, the trangoworld label seems to be confined to Spain, but the Vertical one has an outlet in Sweden.
I'm in London this weekend so I'll have a good scout around, but the following weekend I'm back in Stockholm so I'll try on a few haglofs and maybe check out the peak performance range (got one of their hybrid jackets and its really light and stretchy but doesn't feel very tough) and I'll see if I can find any vertical jackets as they have a retail unit in uppsala, wont be going up there but they might have a unit in stockholm
Have you thought about the last version of the Trango that Beghaus made?
T'is very good, and it would appear to tick all the boxes for you
sorry, i'll stop
If you are going to London,try to get to Covent Garden for the widest selection of gear.
You may even find yourself going into the Paramo store
When Pandas go Bad wrote (see)
Fiona N wrote (see)I've got a Mountain Equipment heavy duty Goretex jacket with pit zips - great jacket but it's a men's (bought in a hurry when there were no equivalent women's models available in the shop) so it's never been the best fit for me so I'll be ebaying it shortly.what size and colour? - also which model is it
It's red with black reinforced bits, roll-up hood/collar in small men's. No idea about the model, I never note these things down. It's quite long (very long on me, which is part of the problem - it's like a cagoule, I have to unzip the bottom of the zip to walk unless I cinch the waist to the nth degree), 2 big slanting pockets on the front, plus ones inside the zip, mesh lining throughout...
Oh I just noticed, it says 'Karokorum' on the sleeve - could this be the model?
When Pandas go Bad wrote (see)Fiona N wrote (see)I've got a Mountain Equipment heavy duty Goretex jacket with pit zips - great jacket but it's a men's (bought in a hurry when there were no equivalent women's models available in the shop) so it's never been the best fit for me so I'll be ebaying it shortly.what size and colour? - also which model is itIt's red with black reinforced bits, roll-up hood/collar in small men's. No idea about the model, I never note these things down. It's quite long (very long on me, which is part of the problem - it's like a cagoule, I have to unzip the bottom of the zip to walk unless I cinch the waist to the nth degree), 2 big slanting pockets on the front, plus ones inside the zip, mesh lining throughout...Oh I just noticed, it says 'Karokorum' on the sleeve - could this be the model?
http://twitter.com/stourvalewalker wrote (see)
Pandas If you are going to London,try to get to Covent Garden for the widest selection of gear.You may even find yourself going into the Paramo store
Try one of these Haglofs Spitz....
Pit zips under arm about 12" long
Bombproof 3 layer Proshell
around 500grm for a xl
Love mine .
I've never really seen the point in pit zips.
If it's pishing doon, they'll be closed. If it's not you'd be better wearing a windshirt.
Or is that just me?
If you're dead set on having them WPgB, have a look at the ME Kabru. Same as the Morpheus as far as I can tell, but with pit zips. Way cheaper than the Changabang.
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