Schoeller Dryskin Extreme versus Schoeller WB400 Without Membrane for softshell hat
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Feb 4, 2006 at 11:47 am #1217703
Anyone know how Schoeller Drysking Extreme with 3xDry compares to Schoeller’s WB400 (the WB400 material without the waterproof membrane, which cuts down on breathability) for water resistance, wind resistance and breathability? Looking for a softshell hat with good combination of wind and water resistance and good breathability + light weight and found hats made of both materials by Outdoor Research and Cloudveil.
Thought also about Ibex’s climawool lite cap, made with a merino wool and nylon outerface – I have the Ibex Icefall jacket made of same material and it’s great for hiking, X country skiing and general aerobic use b/c it’s super breathable, however, not as wind resistant as I might like for a light winter cap.
I’d appreciate any and all suggestions, for other materials and brands as well.Feb 4, 2006 at 3:26 pm #1349913James HemphillMember
I have tried all the brands over the last few years and I have had the best luck with the North Face apex Meterials! I know North face is a click thing and every urban college kid in america wears it, but it is good stuff(Some of it). It doesnt snag like the scholler products, and is closer to the feel of Polatec Power sheild, wich doesnt breath as well.
There are three types of Apex Fabric, Apex Aerobic, Apex Universal, and Apex weather block.
Apex Aerobic is light weight with some wind resistance and is very strechy. Great for fast moving stuff.
Apex Universal is more water resistant and blocks 90% of the wind and is very strechy. It is my favorite for spring fall and winter.
Apex weather block has a breathable waterproof membrain, and has some good stretch. But I find to unbreathable. I couldnt wear it for anything very aerobic, it just diddnt breath that well.
I dont want to sound like a North FAce salesman, but I think it’s great stuff.
The only other softshell I have is the Ibex Neve jacket(Thicker than the Icefall)! It breathes better than the Apex Universal but doesnt stop moisture as well. It’s also not so wind proof.
All that said, I dont think they make hats out of the stuff, but I dunno!Feb 4, 2006 at 6:42 pm #1349921
Thanks for the info – that was helpful. I’m familiar with at least one variant of the Apex material, only because I called Malden Mills, maker of Polartec fabrics, to check on all the variations of a fabric I found super versatile and durable – Polartec WindPro with Hardface – think 86% tight weave polyester and 14% spandex with a urethane coating. One of Apex jackets is made of this material.
Do you know what the composition of the material is in the Apex fabric of the hats? I think I’ve seen an Apex pant that was a mix of mostly nylon and some spandex on the face with a brushed backing.
I have a fleece jacket made of the Polartec Wind Pro with Hardface, the Cloudveil Wister, it’s a great balance of breathability and wind resistance with some water resistance as well. Great comfort range. Outdoor Research also makes a hat out of this same material called the OR Wind Pro hat (super creative name…) that I was checking out in the list of softshell caps. I hear you on the North Face fashion thing – I’m not into the brand, but I’ll buy any brand that makes a good quality product and offers it at a good value (barring some nasty violation of decent business and ethical practices).
As for the Ibex hat and jackets, Ibex does indeed make a climawool lite skullcap, same density of material as the Icefall jacket. I have the both the Neve and the Icefall jacket. The wool offers a wide comfortable temperature range but the weave does let in a lot of air, an advantage in aerobic activities, but something that brings down the warmth of the jacket. I think a lot of people who don’t know how to use it with a windshell underneath wind up disappointed with how wind permeable it is. You can make the Icefall work more comfortably in windy and colder conditions with the addition of a windshell under it and over a merino baselayer (windshell – I use the Montane Litespeed, but switching soon to Patagonia Houdini). The Icefall is so breathable I use it as a late Spring, cool summer night, early Fall jacket for casual use. The Neve is tougher material and a little warmer and more wind resistant. I use it in higher abrasion situations and as a winter jacket around town over a fleece layer. For cross country skiing and winter hiking, I prefer a lighter soft shell, the Patagonia Stretch Krushell (newest version of it is called the Ready Mix) – about 15 ounces, tight weave stretch polyester with very good DWR and hood – more wind resistant and water resistant than hoodless Neve and Icefall while still quite breathable.
How do you find the Neve and Icefall and how do you use them?Feb 5, 2006 at 7:07 am #1349936Michael BMember
I am not sure what you mean by wb400 without the waterproof membrane, so I can’t comment on that. I have a jacket out of wb400 by beyondfleece, I think it has the membrane, but it is nicely breathable and I love it for winter use. I have the 4 shadows beanie by cloudveil, as well as a powerstretch toque by MEC.
The 4 shadows beanie out of dryskin is very light, but not warm enough for winter use in cold weather. It has minimal insulation and it hardly covers the ears. It is good when skiing, but even on the descent my ears get cold. It is good in the rain and sheds water pretty well. Backpacking light obviously sells the liphe hat out of dryskin too.
The MEC toque is warmer, but not too warm. Great for active use in winter weather. It has a smooth face that would resist snow, but is not nearly as water resistant as the dryskin. For 1/4 the price, it is a much better deal, and a much better hat. Looks a little dorky.
I think a hat out of wb400 would be just great, and I should have bought a zipoff hood for my jacket. WB400 would be a great combination of stretchy, warm, breathable, and weatherproof for a hat.Feb 5, 2006 at 8:00 am #1349939James HemphillMember
I narrowed it down to two softshells to keep in my closet. The North Face Apex Valkryie Jacket and the Ibex Neve Jacket.
I use the Neve for 80% of my backpacking and hiking. It’s fairly tough, Although have lots of snags on the material from bushwacking. I like how well the material breathes, and I like wool alot. Even when it has got soaked I have stayed warm in it. I am know a big fan of wool, I spend at least 10 to 15 days of each month out in the woods and I have found wool the most comfortable of any material. I really like the fact that it doesnt stink after a few days.
I ended up selling the Icefall jacket on ebay because I wasnt impressed with the fabric. It felt to thin and weak. I live in the mountain west and do alot of off trail exploreing and I diddnt think the jacket would hold up very well. It was vey light and would be a great jacket for runnung and many other aerobic activities.
When the weather during the colder months is looking wet I bring the North face Apex Valkryie jacket. It has a hood and is VERY water resistant. Heck, during the winter I dont even bother bringing a hard shell with this jacket. I have hiked on some wet cold days and I stayed completely dry in this jacket, the Ibex Neve would have been soaked out already. My only problem with the jacket is it’s weight. At 27oz I know most people at this web site will have a heart attack. But it is very durable and have no fear bush wacking in it. North face makes lighter non hooded versions. Also, after a few days on the trail the jacket starts to stink from wearing it, wich is not as bad of a problem with the Ibex.Feb 9, 2006 at 6:51 am #1350232
I had the opportunity to snag one of the few remaining OR Float Hats (Schoeller WB400) out there – it’s a better softshell hat than the Cloudveil Four Shadows (Schoeller Dryskin Extreme) which I also tried and other similar Schoeller Dryskin hats.
The Four Shadows is a good softshell hat, but the OR Float hat improves on it with 1) an extra layer of powerstretch around the ear band, which provides just enough extra warmth to extend the temperature range of the hat quite a bit (the extra material also helps keep wind drafts from getting in around the bottom of your ears, a problem with the Four Shadows). 2) WB400, the non-membrane variety, is a little warmer, still highly breathable and more water resistant than Dryskin Extreme. 3) the Float hat is available in two sizes, S/M and L/XL. I usually wear a M or M/L hat and 7 1/4 or 22 1/2 inch hat and find the S/M fits well and the L/XL quite big.
If the Four Shadows were available with a slightly wider ear band and a double layer of fleece around the ear band such as the Float hat employs, it would be usable over a much wider range.Feb 10, 2006 at 11:30 am #1350329
From Outdoor Research “Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. According to our design team, there is only one WB400 fabric and it has an interior acrylate coating, not a membrane. This coating functions much as a membrane would. This is the fabric that we are using in the Float Hat. If you have further questions, there is more information on Schoeller’s web site at http://www.schoeller-textiles.com/pdf/stretch_wb400_e.pdf.”Feb 11, 2006 at 3:56 pm #1350383
For anyone who’s interested, just tested the OR Float Hat and Cloudveil 4 Shadows in 32F at the wet snow start of an E Coast blizzard, under mildly windy conditions. The Float Hat was amazing. In fast hiking aerobic mode, it was totally dry on the inside when I took it off after an hour, melted wet snow beaded on top and it never felt hot, but just right. The Four Shadows, as I thought, did not keep me as warm and comfortable, primarily because it was cold around the ear band, and while it was fairly water resistant, it soaked through a bit (probably because the Schoeller 3XDry material is not only less water resistant but also thinner than the WB400 used in the Float Hat)
Took the time to write this to give back to the BPL community. I hate to buy gear I use a lot that doesn’t perform well. I’ve made better decisions and saved $ reading good tips and reviews here.Feb 11, 2006 at 3:59 pm #1350384
The Four Shadows may be more comfortable in much milder conditions, around 45-55, but the OR Float Hat might work well in those conditions as well. I may keep the Four Shadows for use in milder wet conditions. To extend the usable range of the Four Shadows, I may sew a layer of powerstretch 150 or merino wool or fleece to the inside of the ear band.Feb 20, 2006 at 3:33 pm #1350878Matt ReadyMember
These postings are great. I too am looking for a softshell hat, as I am not happy with windstopper hats. Does anyone have experience with the Liphe skull cap? I really would preffer wool over synthetic on the inside. Any other hats come to mind that have a wool inside and softshell outside? thanks.
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