Sep 8, 2006 at 6:39 am #1219545
Has anyone had experience with these jackets, especially the Quick-Fire? Montane claims the Quick-Fire weighs in at only 320g / 11oz in a size Medium, which would make this one light, highly breathable and feature-rich shell.
Can anyone comment on the length? The fit? The hood?
I like the Superfly very much, but it weighs in at 15 oz even without pit zips, and that’s the weight of my current less breathable shell that has pit zips.
Also, can anyone recommend any other light eVENT shells, especially ones with pit zips?
What can I say, I want it all. A highly breathable shell weighing in at 12 ounces or under with pit zips. I believe Montbell has a shell with pit zips falling in this range (Peak Jacket?), can’t speak for the material or design as I’ve never checked one out in person.Sep 8, 2006 at 7:38 am #1362627
Both eVENT and MontBell’s “Breeze Dry Tec” laminate are air permeable — unlike all others that require a coating of polyuerethene — which significantly reduces breathability.
My understanding is that eVENT is the most breathable out there. However, I haven’t found a light weight eVENT jacket with pit zips.
I own a MontBell Peak Shell jacket. It is a full-featured jacket. It has huge pit zips, and it weighs 10.5 oz in size Medium. I am very happy with its breathability.
I have snowshoed on a 2-mile incline with a full backpack in about 38F and was dry all throughout. I didn’t open any of the zips at all.
I have also hiked for hours in the rain — mostly going downhill but with a full backpack — in around 55-60F and felt very comfortable and dry.Sep 8, 2006 at 9:05 am #1362631
I’ve emailed several manufacturers and nobody has been able to tell me the moisture permeability (or hydrostatic head) of eVENT. I’d like to know that… and how it compares to softshells (and other hard shells).Sep 8, 2006 at 9:36 am #1362634
Not a coincidence at all that manufacturers and retailers are all very creative in selective disclosure of information — and always in a way that precludes easy comparison across the board.
One measure of breathability is the number of grams of moisture vapor that passes through a square meter of fabric within a 24-hour period (JIS L1099 B-2 method). Beats me what that really means in and of itself, but it at least gives me something to compare against.
eVENT – 21,000 grams / sq meter / 24 hrs
eVENT super lightweight – 17,000 g
Peak Shell jacket – 15,000 g
Goretex XCR – 13,500 g
SD Isotope – 3,000 g (i.e. breathable but not very)
Ironically, the lightest and thinnest ones (SD Isotope or eVENT super lightweight) are not the most breathable!
Finally, there is no universally accepted standard of measurement, and no independent testing at all. Numbers are both hard to compare AND prone to manipulation.
1. eVENT – from Colin Thomas’ post.
2. MontBell and Goretex – from MB’s website.
3. SD – from my inquiry of Sierra Designs.Sep 8, 2006 at 10:33 am #1362640
I’m looking seriously at the Peak Jacket. What’s the fit like?
1) Is it cut true to size? I’m 6 ft 180 lbs, 42-43 chest. I usually wear a size Large.
2) How long is the hem? Does it fully cover the crotch? Nice when you are hiking in the rain and don’t want to put on rain pants.
3) Do you know how it compares with the Patagonia Ms Rain Shadow Jacket and Patagonia Jetstream Jacket for breathabilty and length? The hem on a large Patagronia Rain Shadow is 25.5 inches and the Jetstream 25 inches. Only nice extras I like on the Patagonia jackets are an inner chest pocket and stretch on the Jetstream.
I’d like the Peak even more if the pockets extended a little further down. Otherwise, looks like it may be the best pick for me now.
EtanSep 8, 2006 at 10:56 am #1362643
I am 5’9″ and 150 lbs. I usually wear Medium, and the MontBell’s medium fits me just fine… so I guess they are fairly “true to size”. In any case, you may want to click over to MontBell and see their sizing chart.
The jacket reaches down six inches below my hipbone. Size Large should reach down even lower.
The pockets are positioned a bit higher so they can be fully usable even when you have a pack (and thick hipbelts) around you. I remember reading a review criticism about this, but I find the position comfortable enough as hand pockets.
Hope this helps.Sep 8, 2006 at 12:09 pm #1362648
Benjamin, I’m certain you’re right, although I called Montbell quickly and they were saying it would only reach down to a little below the hip, but they seemed to be trying to sell me on the longer (and more expensive) Neige. I’m guessing that the Large will probably be long enough. Unfortunately no stores near me in NY carry Montbell, so will have to try on by mail order. Any recommendations on online dealers for Montbell?Sep 8, 2006 at 12:19 pm #1362649
I actually measured the length of my jacket with a ruler, so the 6 inches is good. My torso length is 18″ if that helps any.
If I were you, I would just order directly from MB. Should you decide not to keep the jacket, your risk is basically the shipping charge. Return shipping should be “next to nothing” given how light the jacket weighs.
If you buy, please remember to post an “initial gear report”. :)Sep 8, 2006 at 12:30 pm #1362650
I’ve boiled it down to the Peak, Patagonia Rain Shadow, Patagonia Jetstream and Montane eVENT Quick-Fire Jacket (last of which I’d cut pit zips into).
Anyone know which material is more breathable, that used in the Patagonia jackets or in the Montbell Peak?Sep 8, 2006 at 1:52 pm #1362654
The eVENT, w/ the Montbell Peak probably coming in a respectable 2nd, the Patagonia jackets come in @ show. Putting in pit zips on the Montane jacket will increase the gap but w/ a weight penalty, of course.
A subjective opinion, naturally. Patagonia uses a proprietary material of which they are loath to give comparitive figures.Sep 8, 2006 at 2:13 pm #1362655
Hi Kevin, did you mean Patagonia coming in 3rd?
That’s what I would expect, but I can never get any measure of how breathable the proprietary Patagonia material is.
BTW, I have some great PAtagonia gear, including the Ready Mix Jacket (best light winter softshell hands down, incredibly breathable and water resistant, and I’ve tried several similar jackets – posted my thoughts in this forum). But I think their proprietary shells are far less breathable than the Montane eVENT Quick-Fire and Montbell Peak. My old Patagonia shell really doesn’t seem to be breathable at all. Wish they’d make an eVENT shell and that eVENT would be more widely used by other manufacturers, bringing down the price.Sep 8, 2006 at 2:23 pm #1362656
Yes, Patagonia trails in W/B tech. I love their softshells, too, owning a Dimension—-my favorite hooded backcountry skiing shell.
That being said, for SUL backpacking, for less than the weight of the Peak or the Montane, I can bring both a Pertex Quantum windshell (which in itself is both far more breathable than eVENT and repels a light rain and also works as a sleep shirt to keep a sleeping bag cleaner) and a Patagonia Specter pullover (which gives decent enough w/b performance and definitely will keep out the hardest precip. Total weight for both (in L) is 9.3 oz.Sep 9, 2006 at 8:10 am #1362701
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
I made a pair of eVent gaiters for a friend at
Patagonia for backcountry skiing a couple of years
ago and asked him why they weren’t using eVent.
He said that in their labs that the laminate had failed over time like early versions of Goretex did
to maintain waterproofness.Sep 10, 2006 at 8:08 am #1362750
Thanks for the info!
Good to know for comparison… now isn’t it funny nobody has ever seen numbers for softshell material or windstopper material?Sep 11, 2006 at 6:09 am #1362805
From eVent’s website:
“Pit-zips are a strange phenomenon. They were invented many years ago to add ventilation to poorly breathable garments: just cut a hole in it to add ventilation. Today pit-zips are as standard as the 4 wheels on your car. We have come to rely on them without questioning their purpose. Our Direct Venting™ makes pit-zips obsolete. It could shave 2-3 ounces off a jacket, and make cooling off less embarrassing on the chairlift.”
Could it be that eVent doesn’t allow manufacturers to add pitzips under their licensing agreement?Sep 11, 2006 at 6:16 am #1362806
Great point. That very well could be. But I don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible to have the best of all worlds for only a 2 ounce penalty. Also, I don’t believe any breathable shell will ever be able to vent moisture as quickly as an opening like a pit zip.
Whenever you think about foregoing pit zips, just think what it was like last time you were slogging uphill in the rain and just melting inside your shell.Sep 11, 2006 at 7:00 am #1362808
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
My Lowe Alpine Evolution jacket uses eVENT as the WPB membrane and it was manufactured with pit zips. I bought it on a close-out at Sierra Trading post last year.Sep 11, 2006 at 8:58 am #1362814
So, eVENT’s PR flacks are becoming as ridiculous as Gore’s. I encourage you to go for pit zips or some other zip mediated vent system. All w/b’s need an assist on a long uphill slog. Even eVENT will be overpowered by exertion + humidity levels.
Olsen’s post is interesting—I, too, have heard these niggling little reports that eVENT may have some longevity issues. But is it (if true) delamination of the membrane? contamination by dirt and oils?Sep 11, 2006 at 9:18 pm #1362863
eVENT doesn’t think pit zips are usefull? WTH???
I don’t care how well your jacket vents moisture, sometimes I want to wear the jacket and stay COOL. Pit zips don’t just breath moisture, they allow heat venting too.
No matter how the moisture vents, you are losing moisture. If you aren’t hot, there will be less moisture lost. Pit zips are less vulnerable to weather than your front zipper, though you may need both open when you are really working.
Pit zips can mean the difference between constantly layering up and down.Sep 11, 2006 at 9:27 pm #1362864
I meant to add earlier – I’m very skeptical about Patagonia not using eVENT because of durability issues. Patagonia makes some great products and I have a lot of their gear – they also make some bad products (their original Micro Puff Hooded Jacket from two years ago had such a thin flimsy shell material that it soaked through in minutes, something they corrected on the next model but at a 3-4 ounce weight penalty), and they also make decisions many times that are based on economics and not on quality or utility. That’s the price of growth. They may simply not use eVENT for the same reason why they don’t use a lot of Gore-Tex – it’s cheaper for them to use their proprietary material rather than buy material (like Gore-Tex) from an outside manufacturer.Sep 11, 2006 at 9:29 pm #1362865
Before I commit to an eVENT jacket and eVENT gaiters, does anyone have any conclusive information on problems with eVENT maintaining waterproofness?
If I find my nearly ideal light shell without pit zips, I will most certainly cut pit zips into it (at about a 2 ounce weight penalthy).Sep 11, 2006 at 10:31 pm #1362870
I just came back from a 212 mile hike in Scotland and had one day where it was pouring, i mean really pouring. Imagine taking a shower for about 3 hours. Never experienced something like that befor.
We had 2 eVENT jackets. IntegralDesgin rain jacket and the Montane Air eVENT Jacket. The BOTH leaked. The ID leaked through some seams around the pocket. The Montane leaked through the pocket, the zipper facing as well as thru the hem botton. It was not really funny. No jacket was seam sealed.
At home I tested them again in the shower, coz I thought there might have been some rain coming thru the collar, so I tested it with a 10 minute shower, result was the same. I sent the Montane one back, haven’t got any results from their side yet. I seam sealed the ID but haven’t tested yet, but I’m getting a bit unsure about eVENT.
P.S. I’m not a native English speaker…Sep 11, 2006 at 10:57 pm #1362871
Thanks for sharing. Wow, only 1 day of rain? I once spent three weeks backpacking around the UK — it rained every day — except for the very last day, when it was only cloudy. I never saw the sun! But luckily, most of the rain was more drizzles than downpours.
Back to the jackets. If the rain seeped through because the seams were not sealed or taped properly, then this may be the fault of production — and not the fault of the eVENT material itself. Now, if water seeped through different areas of the fabric, then that would be different. What do you think?Sep 12, 2006 at 12:33 am #1362873
yes we were lucky, and the more since the downpour was on our day off and we just went for a dayhike. Besides that we had one day of rain, but stopped in the afternoon, rest of the trip was perfect hiking weather.
about the jackets. Well in the meantime I’m pretty sure that it was a “seam-thing”, but on the hike i just wondered why both of us got soaked. I mean I had the ID already last year while hiking for a week in rain and it worked fine. I’ll see and will post what Montane says.
RolandSep 12, 2006 at 6:22 am #1362874
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
I recently returned from a 1 1/2 month expedition along the Gulf of Alaska in the SE. It rained for 16 days straight before we had the first day of sunlight. Again it rained most days after that.
For the second year in a row, I used my Lowe Alpine eVENT rain jacket/pants for protection and never experienced a drop of moisture inside.
The reliability of the eVENT membrane is one question. Each manufacturers fabrication pratice and QA is another.
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