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Kane

First Ascent Clothing - New choices

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What do you guys think? Is the peak XV suitable for Denali alone? In theory it seems like it but the price makes me wonder.

 

Depends on the time of year.

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It IS a very warm jacket. I just wish it was in Event.

 

You wouldn't if you understood the limitations of down and DWR.

In the case of a down jacket DWR is a better answer than Event.

 

"DWR, What is it? And how does it work? DWR is a fabric treatment. DWR stands for Durable, Water, Resistant. This durable water resistant treatment coats the fibers of the fabric with a hydrophobic finish, that causes water to bead up and roll off of the fabric. The DWR treatment does not close off the tiny

openings between the fibers of the fabric, in turn keeping the fabric breathable. What this does in tents and clothing, is keep the water out, while allowing condensation to escape.

 

How this all plays out in the real world: The DWR treatment does have its limitations. While under about 90% humidity conditions it will either negate or severely reduce condensation, once you hit dew point (dependant on humidity and temperature conditions) it

won't matter what the fabric is treated/laminated with you will have condensation. When it comes to rain, there is a "breaking point" for what can be held back. The fabric can be overwhelmed with heavy and prolonged rains, This can be exacerbated by heavy winds that can force water through under extreme conditions. This can lead to water dripping on you through the fabric of a DNR tent wall.

 

So if you want a shelter/clothing to shield you from winds and moderate precipitation, and want something that doesnt have ever present condensation issues, IE dripping on you when its nice outside, then DWR is the choice for you. DWR also excells in winter conditions.

 

Think of it like lite weight breathable rain gear, it works under moderate conditions, without getting you all sweaty."

 

 

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It IS a very warm jacket. I just wish it was in Event.

 

You wouldn't if you understood the limitations of down and DWR.

In the case of a down jacket DWR is a better answer than Event.

 

So Dane, would you also choose a sleeping bag with DWR over Event under the same pretenses? I know some do preferring to have the bag breath as opposed to resist outside moisture. Thats the trade off I guess.

 

Personally, I like to protect my down at all costs from the outside while dealing with the condensation from the inside, if any, actively but thats just me.

 

 

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Bag gets Event or something better. Clothing DNR. Different animals entirely. All depends on your use requirements. I don't wear down where it will get wet easily. Down bags always get wet in my environment without a water proof/resistant shell and more importantly a VBL.

 

I like to protect my down at all costs from the outside while dealing with the condensation from the inside, if any,

 

Down gear's efficiency for my use is most easily negated by condensation from your person (body and mouth), not by water in the outside environment. We used down bags for years in Alaska and S. America with lwt nylon outers and a extremely light weight synthetic over bag with a breathable shell material. A VBL inside would keep them dry for weeks of use with proper management.

 

Down jackets in the same simple lwt outer nylon material stayed dry as well if you magaged your own body temps and jacket storage well.

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Bag gets Event or something better.

 

Something better? Please elaborate.

 

Clothing DNR. Different animals entirely. All depends on your use requirements. I don't wear down where it will get wet easily. Down bags always get wet in my environment without a water proof/resistant shell and more importantly a VBL.

 

Dane, so what I understand you telling me is that it all depends on the environment and use requirements correct? Like the differences between one or two day trips in the Cascades as opposed to multi-week expeditions where weather and outside conditions have a wider range, are more variable, and predicability of conditions is unknown.

 

Using this concept, wouldn't it be better to use a DWR bag with a event type bivy bag to protect it or not use a down bag down low in moisture environments?

 

So how is this concept different for insulating Parkas /Jackets and bags? Would you use a down bag where it will get wet easily?

 

Dane: "I don't wear down where it will get wet easily. Down bags always get wet in my environment without a water proof/resistant shell and more importantly a VBL."

 

Wouldn't this be the same weather and environmental conditions especially if the bag has to be used outside of a tent?

 

To me, if I'm going to take a down parka or a down bag to any big mountain Rainier, Denali, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, Everest etc... I am going to choose a down jacket and/or a bag with am Event or equivalent cover.

 

I need some more convincing here.

 

 

Edited by ASmith

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so what I understand you telling me is that it all depends on the environment and use requirements correct?

 

yes

 

Like the differences between one or two day trips in the Cascades as opposed to multi-week expeditions where weather and outside conditions have a wider range, are more variable, and predicability of conditions is unknown.

 

No.

 

Two day trips in the Cascades can have some of the most varible weather on earth. Hard to pack for rain on the trail head and sub zero temps up high. Which is why the stuff in the Cascades seldom gets done in winter. It is like over-grown, exaggerated, Scotland winter climbing with longer approaches and more elevation gain.

 

Most multi week expeditions are simple affairs in comparison. You know what the weather will be like as you gain elevation. Cold and nasty up high generally. You don't generally pack rain gear for the Alaska Range for example unless you are walking/skiing into the range. During the climbing season the Kahiltna air strip at 7K can have some nasty weather anytime, Plaze da Mulas @ 14K not so much.

 

Nepal you might do a good bit of the walk in shorts and a T shirt depending on season. Base camp might be 14 or 17K. You live in cold weather clothing from there on.

 

Rainier I will probably wear t shirt and shorts to Muir in the summer. There I change clothes and wear clothing I can layer up and down a tiny bit but suitable for the weather on the summit.

 

Clothing insulation and water resistance is totally different than what I require in a sleeping bag 98% of the time. I might go really light for clothing knowing I will have a warm bag stuck away to "hide" in. But I might just as well take a really light bag for the temps and just enough clothes to climb fast in knowing full well I'll really suffer at night and at the belays if the climbing is harder than expected.

 

The choices for clothes and bag are defined by the technical difficulties, the expected weather, my fitness (or generally lack of) and what experiences tell you *might* be possible.

 

Bad experiences climbing, teaches you better judgement hopefully.

 

I need some more convincing here.

 

No, you just need to get out more to gain your own experience of what will work for you.

 

Shoveling snow in a XV isn't something I'd generally even think about doing do. Based on my experience even in some really cold temps, I'd put on a tech T shirt and maybe if required, a breathable wind layer, then blast away.

 

Twight's "Extreme Alpinism" covers this conversation pretty well.

It is worth the read.

 

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/

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Shoveling snow in a XV isn't something I'd generally even think about doing do. Based on my experience even in some really cold temps, I'd put on a tech T shirt and maybe if required, a breathable wind layer, then blast away.

 

Twight's "Extreme Alpinism" covers this conversation pretty well.

It is worth the read.

 

Dane, no disagreement here just different thoughts. While shoveling snow may not be the best use of an XV it was 7 degrees that morning and I needed something to put on to quickly to walk the dog and shovel the drive and the XV was hanging next to the door.

 

I have read Extreme Alpinism and it is a great piece of work which focus is in the "alpine" discipline and if I'm not mistaken he advises strongly against using down jackets in the "alpine" environment due to moisture management as well as the change of high moisture weather......but recommends synthetic jackets which I would also agree.

 

Again, I feel we are back to that intended use thing.

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Some of the points missed I think.

 

Twight suggests synthetic because you use a belay jacket to dry stuff out while you climb. You, your "action suit" and gloves as required get dried in a belay parka. Sometimes two or three pair of gloves on just one climb. No can do with down.

 

People bitched about lack of pockets inside the XV...no need for pockets in a down jacket other than to keep a water bottle from freezing. Alpine climbers don't generally carry water bottles in their parkas. Simply because parka goes on and off a gazillion times during the day and shit falls out of pockets. XV is a great alpine climbing parka in a cold environment. It is good for places you don't end up with a water bottle in your parka and you don't go through 3 pairs of wet gloves in a day.

 

In a belay jacket you want pockets to dry gloves next to your body ....but only if you have a synthetic jacket to dry them in. Down won't dry anything very effectively past under wear and sox and then only over night in your sleeping bag. When you realise how many functions a piece of gear is really required to do, that you have to manage its weight and size on your back, you start to realise what is required for materials, insulations and coatings.

 

It is a system and each environment requires its own system which brings us back to DWR, Gortex, Event and other answers.

The better you understand the design process behind each piece of gear the better you can decide what is required for your own use.

 

I buy a 4x4 for off road and a Porsche for illegal public driving or the track and the BMW for the wife's car. There is some cross over on use sure. But a different tool for each specific job. Climbing gear and clothing are extremely complicated designs these days. The more you know about the design and the more critical you can look at your own use the better choices you can make.

 

So back to the DWR verses Event comment for the XV shell. For my use with a down jacket of this weight/warmth I want the most breatable shell possible. I would have excused EB for not using a DWR, Event, Goretex shell fabric and have others in years pass to gain maximum breathability in a jacket of this type. Which I suspect is why EB choose DWR over Event or somthing else. It certainly wasn't price point imo.

 

The big gain is a quality jacket with the warmth/compressability/breathability and lwt weight of down.

 

It works well, as it is, for MY use. It may not work for you.

 

 

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Dane,

 

Said much better than I but for the most part what I meant. Great points, thanks, you do a great job.

 

"Places you don't end up with a water bottle in your parka and you don't go through 3 pairs of gloves in a day."

 

Well said.

 

So..... I want Event and bottle pockets.

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Had my First Ascent XV Jacket in a four day trip to the Tetons two weeks ago.

Freakin' loved it. Such a nice bit to have after my down sleeping bag got so wet it wasn't lofting much anymore, and to wear it while melting snow and cooking.

 

At 32 oz it was worth the weight. Didn't absorb ANY water. Seems like everything got wet but the shell on the XV jacket was surprisingly weather and water resistant. Used it as a pillow and even when water from melted snow had puddled up the jacket always lofted up.

 

IMG_68761.JPG

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Old post, but thought I would reply. Like you all, I was skeptical, but picked up an EB Serrano Jkt on sale (69 bones)...wore it on a recent trip up Hood and it's as warm as my MH compressor hoody at less than half the price. I returned the Compressor....

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Huh? DWR (Durable Water Repellent) is a catch all term for the chemical applied to the surface of face fabrics to prevent it from wetting out. It's applicable to any fabric regardless of whether it has a laminated PTFE membrane or not. And you're right - not all DWR's are the same. Some seem to last longer than others.

 

This is common terminology.

 

- Eddie (my personal account)

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Some manufactures seem to think there are advantages of just a DWR finish and not using a laminate such as Event or Goretex. Breathability being one. While others use expensive laminates that have to be augmented by a DWR to provide the level of moisture protection they require at a loss of breathability.

 

From:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durable_Water_Repellent

 

 

DWR (Durable Water Repellent) is a coating added to fabrics at the factory to make them water-resistant (or hydrophobic). Nearly all factory-applied treatments are fluoropolymer based,[1] durable water repellents are commonly used in conjunction with waterproof breathable fabrics such as Gore-Tex fabric to prevent the outer layer of fabric from becoming saturated with water. This saturation, called 'wetting out,' can reduce the garment's breathability (moisture transport through the breathable membrane). As the DWR helps maintain the breathable nature of the outerwear, periodic DWR re-treatment is recommended during the garment's life. Many off-the-shelf spray-on and wash-in treatments may be purchased at backpacking and skiing stores. Some manufacturers of these sprays include Grangers, Nikwax, McNett or Trek7.

 

The traditional methods for factory application of DWR treatments involve applying a chemical/solvent solution onto the surface of the fabric using either a spray process or a dipping process. Newer technologies have begun applying the chemistry in the vapor phase using Chemical Vapor Deposition machinery. The advantages to this process include: (1) It eliminates the use of hazardous solvents in the application process which are environmentally hazardous upon disposal. (2) The process requires less chemical and the resulting layer is "Nano-thin" which mitigates any impact the coating may have on the natural look or feel of the fabric. Additional advancements in the technology have eliminated the use of perflourinated acids (PFOA's) in the application process. PFOA's have been have been deemed as potentially hazardous to human health by the Environmental Protection Agency[2].

 

Retreating Garments

Durable water repellent finishes tend to wear off over time and need to be re-applied. Washing the garment first will help any DWR that remains work better. A subsequent treatment with a 'spray-on' or 'soak-in' treatment will restore the water repellency. Re-treatment products are generally available at stores that supply backpacking and skiing equipment.

 

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Some manufactures seem to think there are advantages of just a DWR finish and not using a laminate such as Event or Goretex. Breathability being one. While others use expensive laminates that have to be augmented by a DWR to provide the level of moisture protection they require at a loss of breathability.

 

Correct. The laminates seem to consistently last longer than simple fabrics with just a DWR however are usually twice the price and compromise the breathability of the fabric to a degree. Furthermore the rate of vapor transmission will be different depending on the particular fabric that the company uses, e.g. a $200 Gore jacket will likely be less breathable than a $600 Gore jacket. The variable is the facing fabric used in those cases.

 

I guess I was just confused by your post - it seemed to say it was an either/or choice: that you have a jacket with a membrane, or a jacket with a DWR. Maybe a laminate vs. a non-laminate might be more accurate? Sorry if I'm mistaken. :crosseye:

Edited by Figger_Eight

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This is an ages old topic, but I just bought my EB FA Peak XV and will share my first impressions about the jacket.

 

I'm not a climber (well, I do indoor climbing) but I live just a bit south of arctic circle in Finland and winters can be quite bitter around here. Therefore I was looking for a very warm jacket to keep me comfy when the temperature drops near -40.

 

So, I did some (actually quite many) comparisons online and in the end there was only two: Peak XV and Marmot 8000M. Because of great sales I could get them for virtually equal price and about $200 less than other competitors in the same league. Eventually I chose Peak XV (tall) because it was not only a bit cheaper (even after customs and taxes) but also because somebody complained about Marmot having some fill problems around wrists and it also seemed to have shorter sleeves (I have gorilla length arms).

 

First of all, do you think I did wisely? Has anyone made comparisons between these two and can say something about their pros and cons against each other? Would the Marmot have been warmer and more durable? (Actually, I got Marmot 8000M pants too and laughed my *** off after noticing how silly they looked - but probably can't complain about their warmth.)

 

I can't say a lot about Peak XV's quality yet, but it feels warm, which is the main point. However, it has spewn out a couple of "feathers" or whatever a single down pieces are called. I inspected the lining and the fabric seemed a bit loose for the purpose.

 

I also happened to order a Marmot Guide's down hoody at the same time for milder weathers and checked out its fabrics for comparison. The lining was a lot denser (like twice) than Peak XV's even though this jacket is also very competively priced (and on top of that I got it from 40% sale).

 

Anyways my guess is that the price of Eddie Bauer Peak XV is low because the fabrics are cheap and of lower quality. However, I'm planning to use it gently and I suspect it will last long enough, but next time I will probably push a few more bucks in to get a "nuclear war proof" jacket.

 

In general I want my gear and wear to last forever and to be "infintely" repairable.

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