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Discussion Starter #1
I spent all season dialing in my gear, from base layers to mid layers to shells.

Recently my Mt. Hardware Alakazam jacket started to deteriorate beyond an acceptable point.

Long story short....... I spent all season wasting time on base layers and mid layers and down vests etc, only to find out that once I got an ArcTeryx Goretex shell that the Mt. Hardware coat was my problem source.

I can't speak about all MT. Hardware, just the Alakazam. It has the soft shell / hard shell combo.

I put 31 days on it. It has small holes in the lower pockets area, and chaffing marks everywhere. A side from how it's held up this $550.00 dollar coat lets wind through like a screen door!

Until today when I first tried the ArcTeryx/Gore I had to always go back to the car and get a mid layer or second mid layer. Even on days in the high 40s lower 50s I would have to go get the TNF fleece.....a medium weight polartec. I'd get worked up in the morning runs with just a base layer and then take a break. After the break and body temp cool down I'd go back out and the wind would blow right through the shell to my base layer making me cold causing me to go get another layer, or in a few instances just call it quits for the day.

Today top temp of 44 degrees (departure), low of 34 (arrival), I wore my new ArcTeryx Goretex Sidewinder SV (Severe weather) jacket with only a base layer. All day. Not only did I sweat I ate shit once on one of the steepest slopes on our hill and loaded up with corn snow. Yep nice and wet. No matter what the situation I barely felt a minor chill. Barely. I never had to mid layer up. Even after being wet from somersaulting in the corn.

Don't know if it's Goretex or ArcTeryx or both, but I know it's night and day difference. I never got as hot and I never got as cold. I sweat the same (easy sweater).

Now.... to be fair I have the most expensive MT. Hardware hard shell....no liner pants money can buy and they have always kept me warm with just a base layer or a base layer and some work out polyester shorts.

Also the Mt. Hardware coat/ shell did keep 100% of the water out. I know for a fact because I kept getting so wet from sweating and the coat not breathing my heat out that I thought it was leaking water in. SO...... I took a shower in it. Not one drop made it through.

The conclusion? MT. Hardware might have some good stuff (my pants work great) but there Alakazam jacket is crap in durability, wind protection and letting hot air escape.

I personally believe it's the soft shell material they use. It's the part that is wearing prematurely and the part I think is letting most of the air in.

My buddy I ride with was wearing a base and a mid layer two days in a row last week. He has the snowtastic which has the same soft material. It was over 50*. !!!

This is just my experience. I've read a lot of praise about Dry Q Elite, a lot from the Teton Gravity forums, and other websites. Not sure what went wrong with my coat, or if what is wrong with Dry Q Elite. From what I can gather MT. Hardware is still working out some issues. Growing pains maybe? They have tons and tons of zipper issues as well.

A nice feature of the ArcTyrex Sidewinder is you don't have to 'unzip' it. Just pull on the either side of the collar and it unzips. It's a feature they implemented and I like it a lot! :thumbsup:
 

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Overall, MH is decent stuff.

Sounds like you're just cold natured as hell. When it's in the 50s, I'm riding in a t-shirt. All of my outerwear is uninsulated shells and it's gotta be mighty damn cold for me to wear a base layer and even then a light one. I'm a natural born heater.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like we're opposite! I am naturally colder, and I chalked that up to the Mt. Hardware issues. But today when I wore the Gore it was night and day.

Maybe it was just the Alakazam, or the soft shell patches. I don't know. Like I said- I've read tons of positive shit on MT. Hardware. This is just my experience.

Hell, the pants are working great!
 

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I'm not that familiar with that particular jacket, but Mountain Hardware's Conduit material while waterproof, definitely isn't as breathable as Gore-Tex.
 

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^^ X 2 - What he said. IMO, no material will breathe like Goretex for shell material. Also, Its a shell, aint supposed to be warm. Also, Its a 3L, not sure if that Mt hardware is: There's a world of difference in performance between a 'Chevy Level Mt Hardware' and 'Ferrari Level Arcterex'.
 

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The Rooster King
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eVent is too breathable to be reliable in cold alpine environments. it doesn't block wind well enough to stay warm. same thing with softshell gore. 3 layer hardshell gore with proper vent management during hiking is the best solution for me in the PNW.
 

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Yea, I dont consider Event a fabric that I would use for riding in typical winter conditions around here (Cascades). We've (family) had Ultrex, Membrain, Conduit, Entrant, 2L Goretex and 3L Goretex kits and from my experience a good 3L jacket will beat anything for breathing, will be lighter, will dry faster (they still get wet from sweat, snow), and pack better. Thats my perspective from experience. Even tho I own a Marmot 3L jacket I usually ride in a 686 2.5 Layer jacket (I think thats the right term) because it has a lot of pockets and its 'waterproof/stormproof enough' and breathes good.
 

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eVent is too breathable to be reliable in cold alpine environments. it doesn't block wind well enough to stay warm. same thing with softshell gore. 3 layer hardshell gore with proper vent management during hiking is the best solution for me in the PNW.
3L goretex is da bomb, great material, super durable
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Day two, a bit cooler and much windier. Base layer only, again. Loving the coat. It's like it's got auto climate control in it. Lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Lesson of the season: listen to Sam's advice the first time and save money. :D
:laugh: :thumbsup: honestly from what I can tell you have your gear knowledge down Everything you suggested I researched and eventually bought.

I was kind of stuck being at mt hardware 1/2 off. The good thing is I hopefully won't have to lose any money. I'm sending the mt hardware in for warranty and expect a replacement, which ill fire sale for a good price.


Speaking of .... If anyone is interested I have a 190.00 Columbia / mt hardware gift card. Ill sell it for 150.00 and go to the employee store to get whatever you'd like for 1/2 price.
 

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The Rooster King
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The wet of the PNW is far more demanding on gear than the places that get cold, dry, light, fluffy snow all the time.. (fuckin dicks!:laugh: )

after a couple of decades i've pretty much figured out what works :thumbsup:

for the most part the phrase 'buy once, cry once' is usually pretty accurate. it's gonna cost more to get into the good stuff for sure, but its also going to last 3 times as long and perform better the entire time.
 

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When you're as hot natured as I am, breathability takes precedence over wind resistance.
I have this problem too. i didn't wear anything more than my long sleeve base, a tshirt, and a hoodie up top for all of February and March.
:dunno:
 

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I always thought it was the coat that was giving you grief. I had the same issues until I dropped big money on Goretex. Now I am popcorn dry and warm all the time. Some people can get away without it, but not us my friend.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I always thought it was the coat that was giving you grief. I had the same issues until I dropped big money on Goretex. Now I am popcorn dry and warm all the time. Some people can get away without it, but not us my friend.:D
:laugh: You mean you've been following the year long saga?

It was indeed the coat. And I am now enjoying, like you, the big money Goretex jacket.

Merino wool and Goretex FTW! :thumbsup:
 

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:laugh: You mean you've been following the year long saga?

It was indeed the coat. And I am now enjoying, like you, the big money Goretex jacket.

Merino wool and Goretex FTW! :thumbsup:
I sure have been. I posted a couple months back that I thought it was the coat. I experienced the same thing with cheaper quality material. Glad you got it figured out PDX.:yahoo:
 

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I think this applies to pretty much everything in life. Pony up the $$$ for a quality piece that will last you a long time and you'll save yourself headaches and $ spent on replacing garbage. Now's the time to look for some goretex on sale, will still be expensive but much more reasonable.
 
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