Oct 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm #1295223
My name is Justin and I'm a newbie to backpacking. I'm lucky to have caught wind of the UL way before too many 35 LB weekend trips (one was enough). I'm currently reinventing my big 3, (1 down, pack and sleeping set-up left!). I had a question about the Marmot Minimalist jacket, has anyone had any experience with it or thoughts of comparable pieces?
It has the lure of being an all-around jacket for skiing, rain protection,climbing, and as an over-insulation shell.
And I found it for $90, which never hurts.Oct 18, 2012 at 6:34 pm #1922678
A quick look at marmots site says 15oz… at least in the weird world of BPL, this is crazy heavy. I have a full on bells-and-whistles bomb proof mountaineering shell that weighs 17oz in a large.
In the world of "do it all" shells, you will have to sacrifice weight at some point. You can get a bomber event shell from Rab for about 10oz, albeit not $90.
If you wanted this jacket as a go-to for other activities, you could always get it and then get a 5oz Dri-Ducks jacket for lightweight backpacking. It appears you live in socal, if so a Dri-Ducks could last you years and years :-P
You will find that not many of the items championed on this site are great "all-rounders", however they are usually cheap and stupidly light.
Edit- golite has the Malpais in stock for $80. WP/B, 7oz.Oct 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm #1922736
Hi Ozzy, thanks for the reply. The Malpais looks a little light for skiing and other backcountry fun. While I realize I can't have every category perfect, weight, durability, price, etc., is there a product that gets close? I check out RAB's products, the Momentum seems the lightest eVent shell at 13 oz, is there one lighter?Oct 18, 2012 at 11:50 pm #1922746
@sgiachettiLocale: Boulder, CO
The demand is lighter. Mine is 10oz in a large. They are on sale at campsaver right now: http://www.campsaver.com/demand-pull-on-smock-jacket-men-s
I'm a big fan of this piece. The increased breathability of event makes it a better bet for the other activities you listed.Oct 19, 2012 at 1:18 am #1922751
Not sure this is helpful, but i just bought a Malpais and i will be testing it out in the Rockies this winter for skiing. I have been using a previous version of an ultralight Golite gore-tex shell with smart layers for several years in some wicked conditions, so I have high hopes for the Malpais!
Any others with experience with the Malpais in winter conditions?Oct 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm #1922917
I love the weight, but what is your initial thoughts on the fabric on the Malpais? Durable? One of the aspects I liked about the minimalist is that I am familiar with Goretex Paclite, so so I somewhat know what to expect from it. I'd love to shave the weight though if there are other lighter options for comparable durability.Oct 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm #1922962
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
The Marmot Nano is Gore Tex Packlite and only 8oz.Oct 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm #1922968
I like my GL Malpais for 3-season stuff. My only complaint is with the crappy zipper. I found that the lack of pit zips precludes decent venilation, but the 2-way zipper helps manage that. However, I was able to score a Marmot Super Mica a couple months ago from our very own Adam Kramer, which I hope will be the answer to this with its pit zips. We'll see.Oct 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm #1923221
I've been futzing around with my Malpais today, working to see if I can add multiple layers underneath it for winter. It's pretty tight with a merino wool base layer, Stoic hadron down anorak, Golite synthetic puffy & wind shirt. I'm not sure it will work for winter. Maybe for day snowshoe or downhill ski trips. I'm still going to test it out and report back.
My initial impression of the durability– it does seem like ultralight material that would need some special care.
I will say that Gary is an expert on Golite gear (my impression), and I've been thinking about this for a bit this morning, and I think he may be right about leaving it for 3 season use due to the lack of pit zips. Venting is so important during winter activities.
Sorry, wish I could be more helpful, but I'm curious what you will end up with.Oct 21, 2012 at 10:08 pm #1923571
Thanks for the input Raquel! I think I'll be on the hunt for something with eVent (no bells and whistles and sub 10 oz?)and report back. Either way, thanks everyone for pointing me in the right direction!Oct 22, 2012 at 9:29 pm #1923790
Westcomb Focus LT will probably go on sale early next year and is expected to weigh 7oz using a new 2.5 event fabric.Oct 23, 2012 at 4:50 am #1923838
If you find something with pit zips, I'll be even more interested. Seems like that will be a critical piece to a winter shell.Oct 23, 2012 at 11:49 am #1923918
Is Westcomb going to put the LT on sale directly through their site? It looks pretty amazing. Where did you get the sale info from?Oct 23, 2012 at 8:12 pm #1924043
I first hears about the focus in this Bacpackinglight post
Based on the original article it should be available soon but with the holidays and existing preorders it will probably be hard to get until early next year. You can order through there website (http://www.westcomb.com/product/jackets/103/focus-lt-hoody.html) or purchase it through a distributor.
I purchased a Westcomb Specter LT (an older and somewhat heaver event jacket) about a year ago directly from Westcomb. I had no issues with the order. My jacket doesn't have pit zips but to be honest it doesn't need them (I have read other reviews of event jackets stating the same). With the jacket fully zipped up and hood and wast draw cords pulled tight on a cool windy dry day, I couldn't exercise hard to get my arm or the side of my body wet. My jacket does have more pockets than the focus (which only has one) and they are made by stacking 2 layers of event. Two layers doesn't breath as well as one and I did get a minor amount of condensation there. That can easily be solved by opening the pocket zippers (The focus has only one pocket and it looks smaller. I was carrying a 20 lb pack at the time and were the pack was pressing onto my back I did get wet which is typical for any pack jacket combination. However for the first tme I noticed my pack was also getting wet from the vapor that was passing through the jacket. I never notice that with my older Gortex jacket.
The only other minor issue I have with the jacket I purchased is the the main zipper rain flap in on the inside of the jacket. Most companies typically put it on the outside. With the rain flap on the inside it easily snags when zipping up the jacket. With the rain flap on the outside you can easily use your Thumb to prevent snagging. don't know why Westcomb puts the zipper on inside instead of the outside.Oct 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm #1924059
Gave you a good suggestion: DriDucks. They are around 6 oz. in a size small, which actually fits like a medium. Not made for off trail bushwacking, but good for rain and using to trap heat like say over a down shell. Works great for me. Cost is also around $15-20 delivered to your door and you'll get a pair of 3 oz. pants too. Save your money for other more needed items and invest in a more $$ shell later if you find you really need it.Oct 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm #1924210
Hey Steven….I am liking the Focus LT and the RAB Demand now…hmm…
Hey Warren-I already have a poncho, and I am more so looking for a light alpine shell that could also function as rain protection if needed.Oct 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm #1924235
they make panchos but also make rain suits. What I recommended is a rain jacket/pants combo that sells for around $20 shipped. Good luck in your search.
Meant to say that being in SoCal, I rarely use either. So, less money spent on them is a plus.Oct 24, 2012 at 9:30 pm #1924284
You're probably right! Alpine shell for the winter, something like driducks for the rest. Good thought, I'll follow through on that and pull the trigger on the driducks. Now to sell my existing Marmot Oracle jacket….Oct 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm #1924902
Hi there! I just wanted to follow up about the Malpais. I was able to test it out this weekend while trying to summit a 14ner in Colorado. I made it to about 13500 and had to turn back due to high winds and low temps. -20 was the windshield forecast at the summit, but I wasn't quite that high. Around 13,000 feet, I did throw the Malpais on over a thin merino base layer, Patagonia capilene mid-layer, and a Sierra Designs windshirt. So four thin active layers in total.
Anyway, it seemed to do the trick. I was not cold in the high winds when I added the Malpais. I actually had cold problems with my legs and hands, but not my torso.
So, I think for dry west windy and winter conditions, it works great as an active layer. I'll try skiing with it later this season too.Oct 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm #1924918
@bookLocale: Northern California
I've had the Rab Demand for over a year and really like it a lot. I used it in winter around Tahoe last year and I thought that it was superb. Even when nordic skiing it breathed pretty darn well. No problems at all snowshoeing with it on. It's bombproof in summer rains. so a big +1.Oct 29, 2012 at 11:48 am #1925117
Thanks Jeffrey on the +1, now to find it on sale! Saw it on campsaver for $217 but moved too slow…Nov 15, 2012 at 11:02 am #1928588
Pulled the trigger on the Alpha SL Pullover (10.2 oz-Medium). Not being totally familiar with eVent or GTX Paclite, I chose the Alpha over the RAB Demand because the Alpha SL has crazy huge pit zips.
Just go my Alpha yesterday, fits great and layers (t-shirt, Stoic Hardron down hoodie) fit well underneath, no compressed insulation.
And the hood+brim? Absolutely amazing. Can't wait to give it all a try in the field.
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