Gore-Tex shell for resort?

Henry

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Air permeability of fabric isn't discussed as much as moisture permeability, and we need to hear more about it. I first discovered it after I bought a Haglöfs shell and was surprised how warm I was with my usual inner layers on a windy chairlift. It was great. After a few years of use the barrier gradually broke down, wind was leaking through, and it was time to replace it. That's my way of knowing when to buy a new shell. I'm now in a shell from the local Arc'Teryx outlet store, working great so far. Between those a Trew parka worked very well for its lifetime.
 

Scotty I.

I only care about the graphics
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I don’t think your first hunch about the shell is off. Every shell has a membrane, outer fabric, and inner fabric all laminated together.

Gore, Gore Pro, and NeoShell are all different membranes, with the prior two being more like a stretched, thin sheet. NeoShell is electrospun, which ends up looking kind of like uncooked ramen noodles and is more porous.

But Polartec is unlike other membrane suppliers because they’re a fabric supplier and they sell the laminated trio as a set. If I'm buying a generic PU membrane, as a product developer, I can put any weight, weave, or knit on both sides of the membrane. But with Polartec, there's a catalog with the set fabric options and color options. Wind resistance is also a reflection of which membrane you use (stretch vs. non), whether your fabrics are knitted or woven, and whether you've got a lightweight NeoShell fabric that's ~80gsm or a heavier one 200+ gsm. Polartec noteably only offers knit interior fabrics. Knits use less thread and create a circular pattern with more "holes" for air to pass through (think of a warm, chunky sweater where the wind can still cut through). Wovens interlock like a basketweave and can be much denser. Goretex's C-Knit series is literally just a knit inner fabric that helps them hit that "lighter, softer, quieter, more breathable" claim.

Goretex just sells their membrane, but they have a lot of licensing requirements. For example, Pro can only be sold to customers with a 40+ denier face fabric and particular woven inner fabrics. But within the "regular" Gore lines, you'll see more a lot more variation in terms of fabrics, weights, weaves, and yarn twist compared to Polartec's catalog. Goretex is Goretex with low air permeability, but what the PDs decide to laminate on both sides of it will influence your experience with the garment.

In terms of whether the 1cfm rating on NeoShell is something you'll pick up on, there are a few things to consider. Namely, NeoShell themselves calls their fabric "wind resistant." But also the lab testing is standardized for the "average atmosphere" in terms of temps & relative humidity (70 deg, 65%). Skiing temps are much lower, and since cold air cannot hold as much moisture, the relative humidity increases. Totally possible that your experience may differ than the lab data and/or others' experiences with the same garment. Also, softshell fabrics tend to test between 5-10cfm, which I find to be a good reference point in evaluating whether 0.1cfm vs. 1cfm would be substantially different.

Totally understandable that the Strafe Alpha isn't helping. Both the insulation and the face fabric are extremely air permeable. Personally, I like a very air permeable insulating layer and to rely on my shell for wind & waterproofing. Vapor already has a tough time crossing most membranes on the market, and dense or coated wovens that provide wind protection only add obstacles to keep moisture from escaping the jacket. But given the cost considerations mentioned above, it's still a solid idea. But overall your kit can be exaggerated layers of mesh designed for the sweatiest of recreationalists. The good news is there are a plethora of products at a wide variety of price points that will help you out.
It seems that every year around this time, Analisa gives us a text book in depth look at ski clothing material. Always appreciated!
Next time you're at Aspen Snowmass, go into the Strafe Store and tell the salesperson "I love your designs but did you know that both the insulatioin and the face fabric are extremely air permeable?"
 

Slim

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@palikona , I think you were on the right track with your thoughts about something like a Powderbolw.

As @Analisa mentioned, air permeabilty (even if you don‘t feel ‘wind’) will really increase heat loss, especially in very cold temps (see windchill charts).
as @Dos-Equis mentioned, the drape of the fabric matters too.

So your idea of the Powderbowl addresses both issues:

“As Patagonia’s mid-range resort offering, the Powder Bowl Jacket packs in a quality and highly weather-protective design. First, you get a proven 2-layer Gore-Tex construction, thick face fabric, and effective durable water repellent (DWR)”

  • 2 layer means a bit warmer (that loose liner fabric has to be thicker than the inner layer of a laminate, and traps some air too).
  • GTX , so no air permeability
  • Thick fabric, to reduce wind pressing the garment against you
Thicker, stiffer fabric also means the collar stands up better, keeping your neck and chin more protected.
 

CascadeConcrete

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Air permeability of fabric isn't discussed as much as moisture permeability, and we need to hear more about it.
It's not discussed much because most hardshell fabrics are 100% completely windproof. It's more notable when a shell isn't windproof. Only a handful of mostly newer shell membranes like Neoshell and AscentShell are at all air permeable. If you have a traditional GoreTex or PU membrane, any wind entering is via gaps in the jacket (e.g. actual holes, intentional or otherwise), not through the membrane. These materials do not become more air permeable with age or use.
 

LoneStarMtnLover

In the parking lot (formerly "At the base lodge")
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Texas
That and stellar warranty. Love how their warranty covers second-hand sales. Was hoping they could fix my 10 year old shell when it began delaming in a small area (beyond expected life time), instead they just told me to pick a replacement shell :D

(I'm biased as I used to work for the dead bird)
No intention of antagonizing anyone here (I love Arc'teryx' ergonomic fit when I'm not carrying my COVID +20), genuinely inquiring: Is Arc'Teryx warranty and quality control as robust as their history would suggest? I've read (e.g., negative reviews on Beta AR jacket on a co-op retail website) that they were bought out, and having gone public in recent years have had real issues with manufacturing (e.g., taped seems coming undone, lamination issues on fabric layers, less waterproofness, etc.) on the one hand, and poor customer service/honoring their warranty on another. As opposed to lifetime warranty (as SpeedyKevin alludes to above and was my impression all these years), several reviewers reported getting coupon discounts for a defective jacket on their next retail purchase (maybe 40% off?). Reportedly Arc'teryx' repair shop was shutdown with COVID and has not been re-opened. I don't mean to relay misinformation, which is why I'm asking. A co-op retail customer service rep concurred, also pointing to supply side issues that may have impacted production in recent year/s. Is anyone more knowledgeable on this alleged state of affairs (poor production/QC/limited warranty)? Please advise.
 
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