Long-Term Durability of Polartec NeoShell?
Jan 22, 2014 at 6:13 am #1312320
Any long-term durability info on NeoShell from you guys? I jumped at the opportunity to swap my Gore-Tex Paclite shell for the EMS Helix NeoShell Anorak today, and I'm pretty confident in EMS stuff so I'm not worried, but I'd love to know how your jackets are doing after 1-2 years of use.
MaxJan 22, 2014 at 7:36 am #2065083Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
I have a year old Westcomb Shift LT. It's doing great. I was just out on a 3-4 hour walk in the driving rain in it on Monday and stayed quite comfortable. I assume Polartech adds the fabric's DWR, but even after a lot of miles under pack straps, the face fabric still does not wet out. Impressive. Definitely my favorite waterproof breathable shell material.Jan 22, 2014 at 7:51 am #2065087
Thanks Philip, exactly what I wanted to hear.Jan 22, 2014 at 2:51 pm #2065228
how do you like the anorak? Thinking about getting one(vs the Rab Myriad)
Fit ok? Riding up problem bad/not so bad?Jan 22, 2014 at 3:31 pm #2065238
I'll update this when it arrives (I ordered it this morning)Jan 22, 2014 at 4:22 pm #2065249
I missed the word "today" when you mentioned orderingJan 22, 2014 at 10:47 pm #2065361Serge GiachettiSpectator
@sgiachettiLocale: Boulder, CO
I just thought I'd add something about the helix, since I was one of the folks who criticized the hem lift. I still think this is a pretty darn nice jacket at an amazing price. I just returned it, because I was looking for something that would primarily be used for ski mountaineering and climbing, so the hem lift was a deal breaker. I think this would do plenty well as a backpacking piece if thats what you're after.Jan 23, 2014 at 5:18 am #2065393
if the newer version of the EMS Helix jacket, with stretch and with pit zips, now on sale for $209, would be nicer than the anorak. I have the day off- might take a run the local EMS to check them out.Jan 23, 2014 at 10:35 am #2065474hwc 1954Member
All of these 3 layer fabrics should be pretty durable, since the waterproof "breathable" membrane is bonded between two layers of fabric, protected from dirt and oil and abrasion. I supposed the whole thing could delaminate, but that seems like a pretty remote possibility.Jan 23, 2014 at 11:33 am #2065491Woubeir (from Europe)BPL Member
" I supposed the whole thing could delaminate, but that seems like a pretty remote possibility."
Actually, I've seen quite a number of statements of 'bubbling' of the fabric after a while (maybe because NeoShell is still quite new). I guess 'bubbling' is another word for delamination.Jan 23, 2014 at 12:29 pm #2065507
I don't know exactly what "hem lift" refers to but I thought I'd give my initial impressions of the jacket:
Material: The Polartec NeoShell feels more like softshell than a waterproof shell. It's very nice, just oozes high quality. I'll see how it does over time.
The fit of the Anorak is perfect for me, but maybe not for everyone. I am 6'1" and 165lbs, and very athletic without huge muscles (think rock climber). The jacket has plenty of sleeve length for my long arms, with great cuffs. The hood fits well, and is very adjustable. The chest is pretty much exactly the right size, if it was an inch or two smaller it might constrict. Plenty of room down the middle and the bottom falls about 4 inches below my waist, even with the base of my pubic bone.
So, it's a great fit. Trim, but not tight, and with room to layer a puffy underneath.
The zipper for the pocket and pit zips is waterproof, but the main zipper is not. I personally don't think this will be aproblem, as it's a very tight zipper and there's a nice, big guard behind it. Additionally, it's a toothed zipper instead of a "coil" zipper which is much higher quality.
If by "Hem Lift" you mean the jacket riding up, then I would say this gets a 7/10 in my book. If I literally lift both arms over my head, the hem rises to my waist, but no higher. It doesn't ride up at all in my cycling position.
The kangaroo pocket is about big enough to hold a medium-sized book, or an iPad Mini. Maybe 5 x 9 inches at a guess.
I like it! For $124, I'm very happy. It also shipped in two days!Jan 23, 2014 at 12:33 pm #2065509
One thing: immediately after putting it on, I tried to put my hands in the non-existent pockets about five times… I like it, but it will take some getting used to.Jan 23, 2014 at 12:40 pm #2065511
I tried them at EMS today and liked them too, but concerned about the pocket thing. I am about your size and preferred the large to the medium.
Can you weigh it? Felt lighter than advertised to me.
I did not like the much heavier feeling Helix jacket
Still pondering a Rab Kinetic maybeJan 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm #2065512
Can't weigh it, I don't have a scale. Sorry.
Pocket issue is probably a non-issue for some people and a deal-breaker for others. I am happy to adapt and give my MLD rain mitts more use.
Climbers/ultralighters might even prefer the single slash pocket, which is lighter than the typical harness pockets (no dual-layer of WP fabric = tons of saved weight)
However, if you're used to resting your hands "T-rex" style in your harness pockets, you'll find this jacket annoying.Jan 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm #2065513Avery SBPL Member
Sorry if I missed it, but which size did you order?Jan 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm #2065514
Sorry Avery, I ordered a Large. My previous jacket was a Patagonia Super Cell, and it was also a large, and it was loose in the midsection in a bad way. This is nice and trim, but not even close to tight.Jan 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm #2065516Avery SBPL Member
At 6', 170 lbs with long arms, I seem to commonly be in between medium and large. I have had luck with large euro-sized items (like Rab sizing). Also the new Patagonia jackets (at least the alpine-oriented ones like the knifeblade jacket) fit gloriously well in a size medium.Jan 23, 2014 at 12:51 pm #2065519
I used to fit a medium T-shirt back when I was skinnier, but I gained a lot of muscle over the last 6 months and now I find a Large to be more comfortable in everything except maybe a baselayer t-shirt. I have long legs and a short torso. I think you should go for a large in this jacket. It's trim enough that you won't have excess material, but you'll be able to layer all of your other clothing under it.
#1 job of a shell for me is to fit everything else under it. Puffy, fleece, wool, etc.Jan 23, 2014 at 1:15 pm #2065525
P.S, props to EMS for shipping it so it arrived on the next day… I ordered 2-10 day shipping!Jan 23, 2014 at 1:32 pm #2065532Doug LBPL Member
@mothermenkeLocale: Upstate NY
You might be happy to learn that the top zipper is waterproof as well. It doesn't have the urethane teeth cover but uses a "Ri-Ri Aquazip"/"YKK Aquaseal" style zipper for weather protection.Jan 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm #2065534
Neat! Thanks for the info!Sep 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm #2134861Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
My approx 2-year-old Westcomb Shift LT jacket is starting to leak. There is nothing obviously wrong with the material; no delamination, no tears or stresses, never got poked by thorns, etc, just lots of days of wearing it. The leaks started where my pack straps go over my shoulders, but I think it leaks at the back of the hood now too. It seems the material just breaks down with use and starts letting water in. I could see damp patches on my shirt forming after walking in steady rain, and the distribution of wetness seemed more like seepage through the garment rather than condensation or sweat.
Most W/B laminates will degrade over time, but this seems to have happened a little faster than with GoreTex. While the jacket was waterproof it was still the absolute hands-down most breathable and best rain jacket I have ever owned, and would not hesitate to continue buying Neoshell products, just with the understanding that after about 2 years of regular use they may need to be retired as raingear.
I recently tried some eVent jackets and my impression is that those don't breath quite as well as Neoshell, but were quite good. Not sure on their durability.Sep 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm #2134862Rick MBPL Member
delSep 12, 2014 at 2:15 pm #2134866Stephen MBPL Member
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
Thats a shame Philip, have you spoken to Westcomb?Sep 12, 2014 at 2:44 pm #2134875HkNewmanBPL Member
@hknewmanLocale: The West is (still) the Best
Not good as I just got one for this upcoming winter. Tell us what you find out
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