Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 25

Thread: Expectations For A Hard Shell

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    3,238

    Expectations For A Hard Shell

    It's looking like it is time for me to invest in a new hard shell soon. I've only owned one in my life so I was curious about what I should be expecting in terms of weather resistance. I have an Arc'Teryx ( I believe Beta AR) hard shell and I have found it to be outstanding in every way. But it wets out much easier than it used to. I think it is 7 years old (maybe 8) and the past few seasons I have had to treat it to get water to bead. I hit Webster Cliff Trail to Webster yesterday and even in a light rain it wetted out less than an hour into the hike (I didn't put it on until the first outlook and was pretty wet by the time I hit the summit of Webster). I'm pretty sure I just cleaned and treated it last Fall and it didn't get much use this past year.

    Is that typical for the age of a heavily used shell? I have nothing to go on being my first one. I imagined when I got such a high end shell with a lifetime warranty that it would provide many, many years of outstanding performance. And it has in every other way. I use it a lot and everything else is flawless. I know the DWR treatment on GoreTex does wear out eventually but what kind of a lifespan should a heavily used shell have? Trying to get a sense of what is "normal" from people who have owned many over the years in many brands.

    And another thing I'm wondering is if anyone here has tried non-GoreTex alternatives like Future Light by NF or other products that claim the fabric is water repellent without the need for a coating and presumably if you clean regularly they bead water "indefinitely". Any feedback on brands and or types of fabrics would be appreciated as well. Finding more "marketing" versus real world analysis as I begin to research the topic.

    Thanks in advance.
    ďAn emerald shines even if it's worth is not spoken of" - Marcus Aurelius

  2. #2
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    New hampshire
    Posts
    2,859
    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    It's looking like it is time for me to invest in a new hard shell soon. I've only owned one in my life so I was curious about what I should be expecting in terms of weather resistance. I have an Arc'Teryx ( I believe Beta AR) hard shell and I have found it to be outstanding in every way. But it wets out much easier than it used to. I think it is 7 years old (maybe 8) and the past few seasons I have had to treat it to get water to bead. I hit Webster Cliff Trail to Webster yesterday and even in a light rain it wetted out less than an hour into the hike (I didn't put it on until the first outlook and was pretty wet by the time I hit the summit of Webster). I'm pretty sure I just cleaned and treated it last Fall and it didn't get much use this past year.

    Is that typical for the age of a heavily used shell? I have nothing to go on being my first one. I imagined when I got such a high end shell with a lifetime warranty that it would provide many, many years of outstanding performance. And it has in every other way. I use it a lot and everything else is flawless. I know the DWR treatment on GoreTex does wear out eventually but what kind of a lifespan should a heavily used shell have? Trying to get a sense of what is "normal" from people who have owned many over the years in many brands.

    And another thing I'm wondering is if anyone here has tried non-GoreTex alternatives like Future Light by NF or other products that claim the fabric is water repellent without the need for a coating and presumably if you clean regularly they bead water "indefinitely". Any feedback on brands and or types of fabrics would be appreciated as well. Finding more "marketing" versus real world analysis as I begin to research the topic.

    Thanks in advance.
    I wear the Patagonia Triolet. It's 3 layer Gore-Tex and has taped seams, huge pit zips, articulated hood with visor and enough pockets to put a dent into a stores inventory if your into shoplifting. My jacket is at least 12 years old, I have worn it the last two days in heavy rain, not even close to "wetting out" in fact, my shirt was bone dry, minus where I lower the zipper under my chin to vent. My friend who runs Lahout's in Lincoln always give me 20% off, sticker on this bad boy is 380.00 or so. I think it's the best shell out there, I have friends who way out class me hiking and they swear by it as well, one of them does the long trails of the country, she knows what she is doing. P.S. I have never or would I, use product to bring back the waterproofness, if your jacket is past it's prime, replace it. Oh one more point, for a jacket, I stick with Gore-Tex, nothing else compares, for pants, I go Marmot precip, a lot cheaper and excellent performance, I just rarely use them, so they last.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    3,238
    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I wear the Patagonia Triolet. It's 3 layer Gore-Tex and has taped seams, huge pit zips, articulated hood with visor and enough pockets to put a dent into a stores inventory if your into shoplifting. My jacket is at least 12 years old, I have worn it the last two days in heavy rain, not even close to "wetting out" in fact, my shirt was bone dry, minus where I lower the zipper under my chin to vent. My friend who runs Lahout's in Lincoln always give me 20% off, sticker on this bad boy is 380.00 or so. I think it's the best shell out there, I have friends who way out class me hiking and they swear by it as well, one of them does the long trails of the country, she knows what she is doing. P.S. I have never or would I, use product to bring back the waterproofness, if your jacket is past it's prime, replace it. Oh one more point, for a jacket, I stick with Gore-Tex, nothing else compares, for pants, I go Marmot precip, a lot cheaper and excellent performance, I just rarely use them, so they last.
    Definitely not a believer in the retreatment of the DWR. I've done it a several times with different products and gear washes and it doesn't seem to last more than 1-2 trips before it is useless again. It certainly seems like once the OEM's DWR fails that's pretty much it for the garment.

    I know you probably have no idea but how many times would you say you've worn it in 12 years? I know you get out there quite a bit so I assume it is a lot more than I do. I'll research it and the specific Gore Tex used in it. I didn't realize how many different types of Gore Tex there are since I started researching.

    P.S. I'm a big fan of Marmot Precip gear. Have several jackets and some rain pants from that line.
    ďAn emerald shines even if it's worth is not spoken of" - Marcus Aurelius

  4. #4
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    New hampshire
    Posts
    2,859
    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Definitely not a believer in the retreatment of the DWR. I've done it a several times with different products and gear washes and it doesn't seem to last more than 1-2 trips before it is useless again. It certainly seems like once the OEM's DWR fails that's pretty much it for the garment.

    I know you probably have no idea but how many times would you say you've worn it in 12 years? I know you get out there quite a bit so I assume it is a lot more than I do. I'll research it and the specific Gore Tex used in it. I didn't realize how many different types of Gore Tex there are since I started researching.

    P.S. I'm a big fan of Marmot Precip gear. Have several jackets and some rain pants from that line.
    I wouldn't want to guess on how many times, I have used it, my answer would be wrong, no idea. I do hike every week, year round, last year and half it's been on the 52 wav and the ranges of the lakes region, I needed a break from the 4ks. I will say this though, all my shells in the past 40 years have been from Patagonia, a couple attempts at cheaper models in between. I would safely say, 15 years minimum on my shells. side note, washing a shell in the washer is a no no, beats the hell out of the finish, spot wash it if anything.
    Last edited by sierra; 10-31-2021 at 04:25 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    3,238
    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I wouldn't want to guess on how many times, I have used it, my answer would be wrong, no idea. I do hike every week, year round, last year and half it's been on the 52 wav and the ranges of the lakes region, I needed a break from the 4ks. I will say this though, all my shells in the past 40 years have been from Patagonia, a couple attempts at cheaper models in between. I would safely say, 15 years minimum on my shells. side note, washing a shell in the washer is a no no, beats the hell out of the finish, spot wash it if anything.
    Thanks. I haven't washed my shell much, really just as part of the reapplying of the DWR recently.
    ďAn emerald shines even if it's worth is not spoken of" - Marcus Aurelius

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Lewiston, and Biddeford Maine
    Posts
    813
    I was under the impression that throwing a shell in the dryer was the way to fix the "leakiness" of it. Not washing it, just drying bit. Something to do with the heat fixing the porosity of the water barrier film.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Ipswich, MA
    Posts
    778
    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    I was under the impression that throwing a shell in the dryer was the way to fix the "leakiness" of it. Not washing it, just drying bit. Something to do with the heat fixing the porosity of the water barrier film.
    If you do this, make sure the shell is sewn, not bonded. This is how I destroyed my favorite hard shell.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Stamford, VT
    Posts
    1,478
    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I have an Arc'Teryx ( I believe Beta AR) hard shell and I have found it to be outstanding in every way. But it wets out much easier than it used to.
    What sort of problem are you finding because water is not beading on the surface? Is perspiration building up inside at a higher rate than in the past? As far as I know, that's the only consequence that happens when the DWR coating wears off. How does the rate of perspiration build-up compare to wearing the shell when it's not raining out? It may be that the actual Gore-Tex membrane is contaminated and the bazillion holes in the membrane are plugged.

    https://www.heddels.com/2018/06/what...oes-it-matter/

    https://arcteryx.com/ca/en/help/product-care
    Last edited by jfb; 11-01-2021 at 09:38 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    3,238
    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    What sort of problem are you finding because water is not beading on the surface? Is perspiration building up inside at a higher rate than in the past? As far as I know, that's the only consequence that happens when the DWR coating wears off. How does the rate of perspiration build-up compare to wearing the shell when it's not raining out? It may be that the actual Gore-Tex membrane is contaminated and the bazillion holes in the membrane are plugged.

    https://www.heddels.com/2018/06/what...oes-it-matter/

    https://arcteryx.com/ca/en/help/product-care
    I believe the DWR coating has worn off. I am aware of all the "mechanics" of how the membranes work, the breathability, etc. I am just trying to assess what length of time is "normal" for this to eventually occur, particularly on a high end garment. I didn't think it would have happened after 5-6 years. When it rains now I rarely get a bead on the shell regardless of my exertion level, unless I have recently treated it, and that does not last very long (maybe 1-2 uses).

    EDIT: I have followed the directions on the Arc'Teryx Care website exactly as described several times.
    Last edited by DayTrip; 11-01-2021 at 12:14 PM. Reason: missed detail
    ďAn emerald shines even if it's worth is not spoken of" - Marcus Aurelius

  10. #10
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    6,066
    https://sectionhiker.com/winter-hiki...che=1635769824

    This just appeared today, and may or may not be interesting to you.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    3,238
    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    https://sectionhiker.com/winter-hiki...che=1635769824

    This just appeared today, and may or may not be interesting to you.

    Tim
    Hah! I did see that and have read it. I'm looking for the experiences of shell owners on DWR wear, and the lifespan of a shell, not so much features to look for, etc. I know what I want for features and what to expect that way (thanks in large part to this forum when I bought my first shell back in 2013 or thereabouts). I'm just trying to assess how long I should expect it to last and perform. Sierra's reply is more or less the type of reply I had in mind, i.e. I've bee using the Patagonia Triolet and I go 15 years before the DWR is cooked and I replace. Figure a lot of people here have been through a lot of shells over the years so a consensus of sorts would appear as people replied. This would hopefully steer me in the direction of a brand worthy of my next shell purchase.

    I was also really curious to see if anyone here had feedback on non-DWR products like Columbia's EcoDry and North Face's Futurelight. They were the only non DWR fabrics I could find in my research. Based on a pretty significant amount of customer reviews Futurelight sounds like it does not work well at all and while EcoDry sounds like it actually works very well, Columbia's execution with the actual garments is lacking - poorly fitting hoods, adding liners which compromise breathability in warmer conditions, etc. I've had good experiences with North Face products in the past (although I haven't bought any of their "serious" gear in recent years) and I have not had good experiences with Columbia's recent products, particularly footwear. (Way back in the day I had a lot of Columbia stuff when I downhill skied and had very good luck with it). So before I go down the DWR/Gore Tex road again I was curious to get any feedback on this as well.
    ďAn emerald shines even if it's worth is not spoken of" - Marcus Aurelius

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    7,244
    I read the ARC terex instructions and it was interesting that the DWR treatment is applied to wet item. I have 25 year marmot shell that I did the tech wash clean, and then wash in method. It improved things but no way close to original. Looks like I need to try the wash then spray wet method.

    I have used three winter shells since I moved to the whites since 1987, an ancient LL Beans Anorak with hood that I added pit zips, A north face shell with huge rip across the back (patched with repair tape) from a Sunday River return (free) that covered most of my 4 ks and a more recent GoreTex pro jacket. The Goretex pro is impressive, I think it breathes better but it also has long pit zips to ventilate.

  13. #13
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    3,238
    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I read the ARC terex instructions and it was interesting that the DWR treatment is applied to wet item. I have 25 year marmot shell that I did the tech wash clean, and then wash in method. It improved things but no way close to original. Looks like I need to try the wash then spray wet method.

    I have used three winter shells since I moved to the whites since 1987, an ancient LL Beans Anorak with hood that I added pit zips, A north face shell with huge rip across the back (patched with repair tape) from a Sunday River return (free) that covered most of my 4 ks and a more recent GoreTex pro jacket. The Goretex pro is impressive, I think it breathes better but it also has long pit zips to ventilate.
    I followed the Arc'Teryx instructions to the letter and it didn't seem to matter much. I've never actually tried applying it dry so I have no idea how that compares. My shell is GoreTex Pro and they clearly seem to use the latest and greatest everything in their stuff. I have a wide variety of their clothing and find it all excellent. It's sounding like the DWR is the Achille's heel of the product based on how long people are saying their shells are lasting. Seems hard to believe no one has come up with a legit, non DWR alternative. Planned obsolescence maybe. An article I read yesterday said Japan is inventing/making a lot of interesting fabrics like this but it didn't mention brands or products. Maybe someday....
    ďAn emerald shines even if it's worth is not spoken of" - Marcus Aurelius

  14. #14
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    6,066
    I've never been able to bring myself to spend $400 on a so-called waterproof-but-breathable hard shell. I will, without a doubt, overwhelm any garment's ability to vent moisture from within and invariable end up damp if not soaked. Unless, of course, I am going prohibitively slowly.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Ipswich, MA
    Posts
    778
    I gave up on "waterproof/breathable" for above freezing temps. They are rarely either of those things for very long. Silnyl and silpoly work as advertised for the life of the fabric and are a lot lighter/cheaper.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •