Aug 18, 2013 at 7:36 am #1306658
I am in the market for another shell because my REI Kimtah eVent jacket was lost. I loved the breathability of this jacket, but not necessarily the weight (17 oz.). This was the 1st waterproof shell with which I was actually happy……my previous experiences with mid-90's gore tex and gore-tex XCR were that they are not breathable enough for intensive hiking and I got "wet" from sweat eventually. I was very happy with the fabric's breathability and I honestly did not mind wearing it as a wind jacket, whereas with gore-tex, I only wore it when I "had" to.
It seems like Westcomb makes one of the lightest eVent full zipped jackets and this is why I am heavily considering the Specter. However, I see that they now have the newer Shift which uses Neoshell and now I do not know which will be better.
I want something that will be totally waterproof in sustained long periods of rain and also breathable. Should I go with the Shift (Neoshell–12 oz) or the Specter (Event–11oz)? Will the Neoshell be more breathable and still totally waterproof in rain? From my research online, it sounds like the actual breathability of each neoshell jacket model can vary and that some are also less waterproof when they make them more breathable.
If you have suggestions for better light eVent or Neoshell jackets, please feel free to suggest them. The super UL coated shells are not for my hiking style since I tend to shred them to pieces and they are not breathable enough for me.Aug 18, 2013 at 7:56 am #2016303
Idan YBPL Member
I used the Shift on my last hike in the alps and it performed admirably. Don't know compared to event, but it was very breathable. There were times I left the Shift on me just for wind protection. Pay attention to the price difference between those two. the Neoshell is extremely expensive.Aug 18, 2013 at 8:11 am #2016307
Idan, agreed, the price difference is significant especially because the specter is now significantly reduced at several places (180 dollars), so I'd rather go with the specter if the performance difference is not significant.Aug 18, 2013 at 10:04 am #2016330
Colin KrusorBPL Member
@ckrusorLocale: Northwest US
Michael, I bought two Westcomb Shifts recently, a medium and a large. I've now worn mine (the medium) on four weekend trips, and saw sustained rain on two of those and intermittent rain on another. The Shift feels much more breathable than any other jacket I've owned, including my Rab Drillium eVent jacket. I had no leakage at all after hours of continuous rain in Olympic National Forest. Also, the Shift has a quiet, matte, somewhat stretchy, softshell-like face fabric, which I like much better than the more conventional plasticky hardshell fabrics.
I don't have a use for the large Shift I bought. It is black in color, unworn, with tags, and I'd be willing to let go of it for $200 if you're interested in it.Aug 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm #2016345
Dan DurstonBPL Member
Have you looking at Westcombs 9oz Focus LT? It's eVent (2.5L) and offers some nice features (ie. long torso).
Mountain Hardwear's "Dry Q Elite" material is also eVent. They buy the membrane from GE and then put their own face fabrics on it and call it their own thing. The Blazar/Quasar from MH is a really nice 9oz coat if you want a pull over. I really like the wrist gaskets but do wish the torso was a few inches longer (as I usually do).Sep 1, 2013 at 6:49 am #2020627
The Westcomb Focus LT looks pretty good at 9.7 oz. My only question is about the durability of 2.5 layer eVent DVL fabric vs. the regular 3 layer eVent fabric. Does anyone have any experience with the event DVL and think that it is nearly as durable as 3 layer eVent?Sep 1, 2013 at 7:01 am #2020628
Stephen MBPL Member
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
Not much help to you, I looked to change to Event Dvl a while back but my 3 layer Event Rab Demand Pullover (11oz in Xl) and Montane Quickfire (11.5oz in Large) are still in perfectly serviceable condition and don't weigh much more than the Focus.Sep 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm #2020830
During the design process Polartec made sure the breathability was higher than any competitor including Event. Based on all accounts I have seen it is. As to how waterproof it is Event has a hydrostatic head of about 25,000mm (way more than needed). neoShell is 10,000, good enough to keep you dry in a very hard windblown rain. for all practical purposes, both are waterproof.
I have the SpecterLT event and I like it very much. Even though it doesn't have pit zips, I have found that I don't need them. My jacket came in at 12oz when I got it. However my scale is cheap and it be in error.
The durability, breathability, and hydrostatic head of the SpecterLT should be no different than your lost Kimtah. For no difference in weight, more breathability, and no practical difference in waterproofness the Shift makes it a equivalent choice but at this time we don't really know much about it's long term durability. The focus LT will have identical breathability and hydrostatic head, and ligher weight also makes it worth looking at. However again we don't really know how durable it is. But my guess is that Event DVL will have durability that is roughly equivalent to Gortex Packlight.
You havea difficuult choice!Sep 2, 2013 at 1:39 am #2020863
Ito JakuchuBPL Member
I have the Westcomb Swift, similar to the Shift but heavier with pitzips.
I've had it out in the rain, but nothing real extreme yet. During the summer/typhoon rains here I mostly just hike in my baselayer or windshirt because of the heat/high humidity. Up till now I have no complaints about it regarding waterproofness, and from what I've read the NeoShell is easier to take care of than eVent (supposedly eVent requires more frequent cleaning to breathe well, but I want to stress I have no personal experience with this).
I got mine through prolitegear.com for roughly half the normal price. They carry Westcomb and often have good deals there, perhaps worth a look before you buy.
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