Gore-tex for Scottish winters

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  • Gore-tex for Scottish winters
  • Premier Icon jca
    Subscriber

    So my faithful Mountain Equipment jacket is finally falling apart. I’ve always had 3 layer jackets, and have been getting at least 5+ years out of them. Things have moved on since I last bought one (the ME has done at least 10 years), and I’m eyeing up the ME tupilak atmos, which is primarily 20D 2.5 layer paclite with 40D 3 layer reinforcements (and also on sale at the moment…).

    Anyone any idea how this type of construction is likely to hold up to all-round Scottish hillwalking use (walking with occasional scrambling in all kinds of weather)? Is something like this going to cut it or will it be dead in a couple of years? I’d rather spend more and have something that lasts than have to replace it in no time. Not that bothered about the weight since it doesn’t make a big impact on the primarily single-day outings I do.

    Thanks!

    Spin
    Member

    IME lighter weight almost invariably means less durable. It obviously depends on how much you use it, one person’s heavy use is another persons light use but all else being equal a 300g jacket is never going to last as long as a 600g one. As well as wearing out quicker the lighter jackets are more prone to accidental damage and things like stitching failing. But then a 300g weight and associated bulk saving will be an advantage if you’re wanting to move quick with a small, light bag.

    Horses for courses innit.

    Premier Icon duckman
    Subscriber

    I have just bought the latest incarnation of the 40/80 goretex Tuipilak to replace a Rab Neoshell. It’s the business so far this Summer, mores the pity. I would rather have a heavy jacket that worked and lasted, I have had lighter weight jackets and they just get eaten up by packs and rocks. Some mixed reviews about 2.5 layer about as well.

    hodgynd
    Member

    No idea as to what kind of layer they have ..but the best waterproof I’ve ever had was actually a fleece made by Keela ..

    https://www.keela.co.uk/

    Premier Icon davosaurusrex
    Subscriber

    I’m no expert but have one of these top end Gore jackets which seems tough as anything with the Pro fabric, shrugs off brambles that shredded a Morvelo jacket within a couple of rides

    https://www.sportpursuit.com/catalog/product/view/id/1834201?click=eyJxdWVyeSI6MTY2MjksInBhZ2UiOjEsInBhZ2VTaXplIjo0MiwicG9zIjo1fQ==

    tjagain
    Member

    to some extent it depends how you are going to use it. If like me you wear a softshell jacket and only put the waterproof on when its raining hard then maybe a lightweight one will be fine. If you like to wear it much of the time then get a heavier one. If you are going to have a big pack make sure its got the reinforced shoulders.

    Best I have had in recent years is a Berghaus. I also have a north face for winter use.

    The 60 quid decathlon one, brilliant.

    duckers
    Member

    https://www.sportpursuit.com/sales/gore-tex-0719?p=2
    I’ve bought a few bargain bits of kit off there over the past few years. You can probably get a goretex pro jacket for the price of a paclite if you look around.

    scotroutes
    Member

    My next winter waterproof will be a Keela.

    Premier Icon benp1
    Subscriber

    Scottish winters can be absolutely brutal. No point saving 300g, I’d want an absolutely rock solid jacket

    I also hate wearing a waterproof and wear a windshirt or softshell most of the time. But when the weather closes in I’d want absolutely certainty

    tjagain
    Member

    quite true Ben – thats why I have a specific winter waterproof that is heavyweight plus a summer one which is lighter.

    Premier Icon solarider
    Subscriber

    I have an Arcteryx Alpha SV. Super tough and robust and lasts for years. It should do given the initial outlay but there are a few about in the sales depending on your size. One of the few Arcteryx pieces still made in Canada.

    Failing that Trekitt have some of the Beta SV (a bit longer and only slightly less robust) on offer at the moment.

    Premier Icon jca
    Subscriber

    Thanks all. I often wear it all day in winter conditions so you have confirmed my suspicions. I’ve not come across Keela before…more options to consider!

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    I too have been very skeptical about light jackets.
    My ME 3-layer bomber ProShell has been the business for about 7years. £120 in half price sale, amazing value for money. It’s now leaking.

    The lighter (and £50 in a sale) Montane Atomic lasts 3 years or so, I’ve had five over the last decade between me and the lads. Not as breathable or ultimately as waterproof, but most of the time just fabulous.

    The one that stands out is my work Berghaus Trek Lite – it’s now 3 years in and shows no signs of wear or leaking, been proofed once, and just keeps on trucking. Berhaus own fabric. Long like my ME, good hood, great cut. Really waterproof and breathable, it keeps going in my bag. The only bit I don’t like are the pockets. Halfway house in weight.

    Summary – cost wise, 1x ME bomber = same as 2x Atomic’s, the Berghaus fabric seems really good.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    I’d stick with 100% Gore-Tex Pro. The latest version’s decently light anyway and it’s tough too. Just about the only downside is the crisp-packety noise it makes. You save limited weight with the Paclite, the latest version is relatively new on the market and unproven and it won’t be as durable as the Pro by some way.

    Mountain Equipment’s shells have pretty much the best cut out there ime. The Alpine cut works if you’re slim / athletic, the Mountain one is more generous, depends on you. The full on helmet hood as per the Tupilak etc – they have two versions I think – is great with a helmet, but a bit loose without. If you’re only going to be using a lid occasionally, I’d go for one of the versions with the normal hood, which still accommodates a helmet, just not as comprehensively.

    As far as durability goes, it’s pretty obvious, but 80D fabric is thicker and tougher, 40D lighter and not quite as durable. ME does its shells in a sort of mix and match combination of fabrics, hoods and cuts, just choose the one that works for you.

    My next winter waterproof will be a Keela.

    I’d make sure it’s not a Munro then, or at least make sure you try one before buying. Massively heavy and cut like a bat-winged sack. People rave about Keela, but I’ve honestly not used anything as nasty for years. Their lighter stuff may be better, but the Munro is like a relic from the 1970s.

    Edit: for all its faults, Paramo works really bloody well in Scottish winter conditions, but it’s relatively heavy, warm in temperatures much about freezing and the aesthetics are interesting.

    nickewen
    Member

    Long shot but if you’re in the North East I just picked up a Berghaus Mera Peak Goretex jacket yesterday in Start Cycles for £99. There were a few left (S/M/XL/XXL) think I got the last L. Good price I thought and seems pretty tough

    whitestone
    Member

    +1 for Paramo. Unfortunately for me it has to be pretty cold otherwise I boil in the stuff. Not sure about the newer stuff but the older jackets were cut like a sack of potatoes!

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    +1 for Paramo. Unfortunately for me it has to be pretty cold otherwise I boil in the stuff. Not sure about the newer stuff but the older jackets were cut like a sack of potatoes!

    It’s improved massively on some models. The Velez Jacket and the Enduro are both a huge improvement on the sack-like cut of stuff like the original Alta – and the new one I think – and the one that was their ‘technical mountain’ jacket, which was big enough to share with a couple of mates. The Enduro’s a cracking wear-all-day UK winter mountain jacket, though you wouldn’t want to carry it around in a pack for long. The Velez Jacket’s the nearest thing they’ve come to a relatively light waterproof shell, but it’s still around 600g.

    tjagain
    Member

    One thing I have been pondering on the weight is that waterproofs are now a significant part of my trekking kit – 1kg out of 8! There is very little I can cut to save weight without compromising commfort. a 300g jacket and 200g trousers would save 1/2 kilo!
    But then a couple of years ago after 12 hours of rain the kit all soaked thru anyway.

    conundrum!

    Spin
    Member

    Whether Paramo works for you is down to how you’re actually using it and your expectations about what a waterproof garment should do.

    Premier Icon duckman
    Subscriber

    I have Aspira salopettes that are unkillable. The new Velez light is a cracking jacket as long as you remember it isn’t like other waterproofs.

    Spin
    Member

    I have Aspira salopettes that are unkillable.

    I killed a pair but it took nearly 10 years of regular winter climbing and ski touring including one slide all the way down Coire an Lochain. I’ve never had a pair of goretex or similar trousers that stood up to that for more than 3 years so I replaced them with another pair of Aspiras. But, I’d never use them out with the depths of winter and if the forecast is for rain on the walk in I use conventional shell trousers because the paramos just suck up the water, hold it and transfer it through if I lean against anything or do a high step. For snowy, subzero temperatures they’re the mutts nuts though.

    mrb123
    Member

    ME Lhotse for me. Absolutely superb jacket. The fabric is a little stiff but adds to the fortress-like quality of the jacket when used in the worst weather.

    Used to have a Paramo but always found it a bit heavy and hot, plus I tend to think they leak a bit in strong winds and rain.

    For a lightweight jacket I’d be tempted to try on of the Rab Kinetics. My wife has one and it’s lovely and soft and stretchy although I’d have doubts about its robustness and longevity.

    boblo
    Member

    For me, keeping dry and longevity are two separate things.

    IME, regardless of how much is spent or if it’s 2/2.5/3 layer, I still get wet in continuous rain after a few hours. It doesn’t matter if it’s Gore Tex/Pacshite/Event or home brew from the various manufacturers, I still get wet. This means, for me heavier does not equal drier so I tend to go fast and light and replace more often.

    I do have a couple of 500-600g full weight jackets for climbing/winter mountaineering/Alps use but I think these are more of a throwback to how we used to think about kit rather than a necessity.

    Having written that, it’s reassuring to cinch down into a bomb proof cag when the weather is vile and blowing a hoolie.

    tjagain
    Member

    Boblo – I had that last year. In the end the conclusion I came to was that I had got cold therefore no vapour pressure to push water vapour back thru the jacket leaving it to soak thru over a few hours. Next time I am in that sort of situation I shall make sure I am warm and see if the warmth keeps the jacket working.

    I must admit a part of me wishes for the old days of non breathable waterproofs that really were waterproof

    boblo
    Member

    Aye but when it’s freezing cold, blowing a hoolie but dry, GoreTex is fantastic – you just don’t get wet so long as you don’t go too mad. In the old days (PU or Neoprene – PacJack era…) you’d get soaked from sweat condensing.

    I think we’re better off now just not as well off as W M Gore etc would have us believe…

    Premier Icon benp1
    Subscriber

    My wettest ever trip was a 3 day 2 bought bikepacking trip in the lakes, we had a 30 minute window of no rain climbing out of Hawkshead, otherwise it trained the whole time. Truly horrendous weather. I used a paramo third element jacket and was perfectly dry. Quite amazing really, anything else would have really struggled

    I use a berghaus gore tex pro jacket for winter, and a range of other waterproofs in other conditions. My bikepacking jacket is a columbia outdry, it’s very waterproof and has survived a crash or two OK

    Premier Icon ibnchris
    Subscriber

    Another Paramo wearer here. I use the New Velez on my bike and out walking when it’s wet and blustery. They are quite a bit lighter than they used to be. And colours are much improved!

    Main advantage for you would be the fact they are very easy to repair. Just stitch it up or send it back to Paramo and they’ll fix it for not much.

    Premier Icon littledave
    Subscriber

    Yet another Paramo user!!
    I wear the Enduro jacket and trousers for all winter activity in Scotland, walking, climbing, piste and touring skiing. I would not go back to Gore text or similar.

    The new design Paramo kit is much better fitting and lighter than it used to be. I run very hot and sweat loads but can mostly cope with the jacket on and all zips open.

    As mentioned above if you damage Paramo it is easy to repair. Just remember to wash and proof regularly.

    You see lots of folk wearing Paramo in Scotland, it really can suit our climate.
    I am not saying that you should wear Paramo, just not to dismiss it out of hand. Myself and many others love it for winter Scotland.

    boblo
    Member

    Guilty of prejudice here. I’ve always seen Paramo as a bit like Buffalo on steroids… Buffalo always seemed a good idea until you stopped (generating heat) and then you quickly realised you were soaked and rapidly getting cold. I haven’t tried Paramo but remain deeply sceptical.

    Spin
    Member

    I haven’t tried Paramo but remain deeply sceptical.

    Low energy activity, cold weather, people who don’t sweat much, activities that don’t involve leaning against things. Those are the situations/users it works for. I also wondered if they had a QC issue for a while so polarised is opinion on them.

    whitestone
    Member

    I used Paramo for Scottish Winter climbing and Alpine skiing. It would have to be really cold for me to wear it for biking. Even in the Arctic a couple of years ago during the Rovaniemi 150 at -16C it would have been too warm for me.

    boblo
    Member

    Aye sounds more and more like Buffalo+…. That’s what they said about Buffalo ~30 years ago…

    claudie
    Member

    Why is no one talking about neoshell anymore, I was under the impression it was the best of everything but especially breathability

    DrJ
    Member

    I have a Paramo Halcon jacket and it’s fine for light rain but it’s absolutely not waterproof enough for foul weather activities, whereas my old Berghaus goretex is about 15 years old and still going strong.

    boblo
    Member

    I’ve a Neoshell bike waterproof and it’s really good. It seems as good as my Shakedry but I use the latter when I might need to carry it as it’s really light and compact which Neoshell isn’t (in comparison).

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    I’d just like to apologise for mentioning Paramo in the first place. Sorry.

    giant_scum
    Member

    Worth a look at Decathlons Simond range. Bought shell trousers and jacket last year perfect for Scottish ski conditions!

    footflaps
    Member

    When I used to do a lot of winter mountaineering in Scotland, I lived in TNF Mountain jacket and salopettes, was their top of the range kit at the time. 2 layer GTX (before Pro existed) and completely bomb proof. My current hard shell is a TNF Point Five NG jacket, which has the best beading properties of any jacket I’ve ever come across – it just won’t wet out no matter what.

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