Feedback: Montbell Peak Dry Shell jacket
Aug 31, 2019 at 3:00 pm #3608345
<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>Hi all. I’ve recently hiked in Swedish Lapland a bit (400km) and used the Peak Dry Shell as my raincoat there. I’ve purchased it about three months ago and was a bit worried it’d end up being a bit too brittle for my needs, so I had my doubts…</span></p>
<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>I’m 6’2, skinny, so the U/M size is actually a good fit for me. The jacket does not cover all my rear end, but covers enough to extend at least 5cm below my pack waist belt. Good enough for me.</span></p>
<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>The jacket packs down to less than a soda can. </span></p>
<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>Naturally it works fine as a wind shell, but I was far more impressed by its performance in the rain. I had at least 4 full days of Swedish rain. This meant either being constantly sprayed or some heavier rain, and wind is essentially a constant – ever present. </span></p>
<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>So far this has been the best rain shell I’ve ever owned. It really doesn’t wet out. The cuffs and hood straps are well designed and give you very good protection, even in all this wind. I was only wet under the hip belt where I traditionally sweat like a pig. The rest of my body was well ventilated, as much as can be expected, and dry. </span></p>
<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>Temperatures were lower than I normally walk in, up to 15 degrees Celsius when it rained. Lows were around 5s I think, and with the wind factor + light fleece, when it was that cold, I couldn’t stop for too long. So it’s not much of a temp barrier, but wasn’t expecting it to be either.</span></p>
<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>I tried looking for abrasions on the fabric at the end of the trek, but could not really detect any. This was something I feared after some emails exchanged with the Montbell support team. But the fabric did ok, in two continuous weeks of hiking. The pack started out at 13kg, ending at 5kg, so there was a bit of weight in the first three days. (First re-supply point was on day 10).</span></p>
<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>I was wearing a pair of zpacks rain pants with it, which would wet out after a couple of hours rain. </span></p>
<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>So overall I’m very satisfied. Just my 2 cents.</span></p>Aug 31, 2019 at 3:11 pm #3608348
(again: and now without the html fuzziness. for some reason i can’t seem to my own post :-))
Hi all. I’ve recently hiked in Swedish Lapland a bit (400km) and used the Peak Dry Shell as my raincoat there. I’ve purchased it about three months ago and was a bit worried it’d end up being a bit too brittle for my needs, so I had my doubts…
I’m 6’2, skinny, so the U/M size is actually a good fit for me. The jacket does not cover all my rear end, but covers enough to extend at least 5cm below my pack waist belt. Good enough for me.
The jacket packs down to less than a soda can.
Naturally it works fine as a wind shell, but I was far more impressed by its performance in the rain. I had at least 4 full days of Swedish rain. This meant either being constantly sprayed or some heavier rain, and wind is essentially a constant – ever present.
So far this has been the best rain shell I’ve ever owned. It really doesn’t wet out. The cuffs and hood straps are well designed and give you very good protection, even in all this wind. I was only wet under the hip belt where I traditionally sweat like a pig. The rest of my body was well ventilated, as much as can be expected, and dry.
Temperatures were lower than I normally walk in, up to 15 degrees Celsius when it rained. Lows were around 5s I think, and with the wind factor + light fleece, when it was that cold, I couldn’t stop for too long. So it’s not much of a temp barrier, but wasn’t expecting it to be either.
I tried looking for abrasions on the fabric at the end of the trek, but could not really detect any. This was something I feared after some emails exchanged with the Montbell support team. But the fabric did ok, in two continuous weeks of hiking. The pack started out at 13kg, ending at 5kg, so there was a bit of weight in the first three days. (First re-supply point was on day 10).
I was wearing a pair of zpacks rain pants with it, which would wet out after a couple of hours rain.
So overall I’m very satisfied. Just my 2 cents.Sep 1, 2019 at 11:57 pm #3608558Ito JakuchuBPL Member
Thank you! There is not a lot of feedback about this jacket so it’s highly appreciated.
I used to have a neoshell jacket and to be honest I just like my less breathable GTX jacket, with pit zips more. Topping out at peaks or walking along ridges I really like and appreciate the bomber wind proofing. And when I get warm I open the pit zips to vent. Must be more breathable than fabric.
Really nice to hear it seems to work well for what it is designed though. Not wetting out nor gaining wet water weight, and the compact size and lightness is very tempting.Sep 3, 2019 at 5:01 am #3608719Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Thank you, Avi. More testimony that quality is the sine qua non in the rainshell dept.Dec 10, 2019 at 11:52 pm #3622307
Your description of your experiences is encouraging. I use a Montbell Versalite and I regard the pit zips as essential, particularly when ascending in elevated winds and cold temps. In these conditions, I will sweat excessively without the extra ventilation provided by the pit zips. During your hikes, did you experience high output periods, such as ascending, when your jacket could not keep up with your sweat production? Or, did you find that the jacket always kept your base layers dry? Did you encounter periods where pit zips might be have been useful?
SteveDec 11, 2019 at 6:54 am #3622353
Hi Stephen –
1st of all the jacket did keep my base layer dry. Better than other jackets I’ve used previously. This was particularly evident during a 48hr period where it didn’t stop raining and I walked ~75km in these two days. So I was walking relatively fast (for me), but still kept dry. Bear in mind this was Lapland so it’s on the cooler side of temps, at least for me, and a lot of wind. This terrain did not have 1500m passes so there were no long steep ascents – naturally you sweat less.
So I didn’t really find pit zips needed there. Then again personally, I don’t make much use of pit zips. I would hang the jacket as a poncho if it’s raining and I’m sweating uphill (hands out of the sleeves) – but that’s just me. I’d do the same with this jacket, say if I’m ascending a steep Italian pass, and it’s warm typically – I don’t think any layer would be able to cope with all the humidity I generate :-).
hope this helps…Dec 11, 2019 at 3:34 pm #3622374Nathan LBPL Member
@nathansl2003Locale: Central Vermont
This is encouraging, Montbell does state heavier loads on this could cause abrasion issues (i.e. don’t wear it on the Appalachian Trail for 6 months). I am between 10 – 25 lbs pack so maybe this is worth a try for hiking next year. I currently have a Berghaus Hyper Extrem 100 that I used last year on the trails, and it it just okay, but it seemed to wet out and the reviews were spot on that the zipper allowed water to come through. It is light ( < 4 oz), but looking for a better jacket that never has to be treated.Dec 11, 2019 at 10:38 pm #3622435
I was able to confirm with montbell that the peak shell does indeed use the older less durable shakedry. not that this changes anyones experience with the jacket…Dec 13, 2019 at 5:52 am #3622633
I drove over to the Montbell store and picked one up. I will measure its MVTR over the weekend. If the number is really high, I will start wearing it. If not, then back it goes. I will post the results.Apr 4, 2020 at 9:38 pm #3639731Apr 5, 2020 at 4:02 pm #3639861
On my scale, the MVTR was 3370. I also did a Gore H5 which was 3060. The shake dry is the highest wpb I have tested, but not by a great deal. 2nd place goes to a Marmot Precip from 2019, surprisingly. The H5 is very close to OR Ascentshell.
What does this mean as a practical matter? As the highest MVTR I have tested out of 20 WPB membranes, during high levels of activity I must still rely on unzipping or removing the jacket to avoid wetting my base layer. So, it does better than others at removing vapor but is no panacea. I took the jacket to Boulder Mountain Repair and they installed some nice long pit zips for $75. They did a beautiful job, even matching the color of the front zipper. Right now, this is my go to shell jacket but, as you know, it is fragile so you don’t want to rub against rocks and you want to avoid bushwhacking. I have not had any backpack related wear but my pack weighs less than 8-9 pounds for winter activities. I did have a conversation with the Gore Shakedry product manager concerning pack wear. He said that wear occurs with specific pack fabrics or accessories that are in contact with the Shakedry. I did not get much guidance as to what products will cause wear. The question is whether this is significantly more fragile than other really light weight shell fabrics. I have found little wear holes in my Montbell Versalite, which I patch when they occur. I think any of these very light jackets require extra care and I expect to find the occasional puncture. I have a good supply of Tenacious Tape for such occasions. One other thing: the black color gets pretty warm under our strong Rocky Mountain sun exposure. Sometimes, that is welcome, other times not.Apr 6, 2020 at 3:31 pm #3640002
Nice!I have ordered one. It will be my jacket for expecting multi day rains.
Do you have a graph of all the pieces you have tested?
What are those MVTR units? I am used to seeing MVTR expressed as xx,000g/m2/24hrs (JIS L-1099 B-1 method)
Do you have any guesses on what backpack materials damage the jacket material?Apr 6, 2020 at 9:08 pm #3640044
When it arrives, hold it up to a bright light and look for light penetrating the jacket through any tiny holes. I know this can happen in a brand new jacket, so make sure it starts life in pristine condition.
At some point, I intend to publish my data. The units are g/m2/24 hours, just like any of the non-resistance methods. Just like any of the numerous methods, the results are not necessarily well correlated with any other test. With the limited intersection of my tests and published JIS L 1099 B1, there is general correlation. JIS L 1099 has a series of options which include variations of upright and inverted tests and will have very different vapor pressure differentials across the test fabric for the various test options. So, of course, pick the standard that will make your product look best in marketing efforts. As a frame of reference, I measured 3370 g/m2/24hr for this jacket and Montbell, using JIS L 1099 B1 measured 80000 g/m2/24hr. Rest assured, you will never sweat 80000 grams in 24 hours (176 pounds of water). If the JIS L 1099 B1 had any meaning, you will never experience wet base layers beneath the Shakedry jacket no matter how hard you work. Regrettably, this has not been my experience with this or any other jacket. I experience a wet base layer beneath the Shakedry virtually any time I maintain high level activity (say 7-9 met level).
I have no idea what backpack materials damage the jacket material. The Gore product manager was not very specific about this.Apr 16, 2020 at 3:57 pm #3641637
Today, as I periodically do, I held my Shakedry jacket up to the light to check for holes.
Today I found two new holes. Here is the photomicrograph of larger one. It is about 1.2mm long. There is a second cut present too in the upper right. If you look closely you can see the threads of the inner liner knit crossing the cut. This image is bottom lit and top lit. The dim white on the image is simply reflection from the top light. You only care about the very bright white areas.
The photograph below shows the rear pad of my backpack, where a strap is sewn at a seam. This area appears to be responsible for the rub that produced the cut.
As they develop (and I am afraid they will), I will try to point out other rub or cut sources.Apr 17, 2020 at 7:49 am #3641737
Stephen, appreciate all the info. Looks to be matching up with Montbell’s claims.
Different jacket but I was able to get a weight of the newer Columbia ex lightweight jacket of ~7oz for size medium. I received this information from an online chat Columbia rep. https://www.columbia.com/mens-outdry-ex-lightweight-shell-jacket-1885001.html
So this is perhaps the replacement for the featherweight or the caldorado. I notice the back venting is in the incorrect orientation for backpackers but correct for runners. Also, different pocket/front vents and a double zipper.Apr 20, 2020 at 11:52 pm #3642359Nathan LBPL Member
@nathansl2003Locale: Central Vermont
So the consensus is that the Montbell Peak is as fragile as they say it is? So, is the next best option is the Columbia Outdry? I had high hopes that the peak wasn’t as fragile as they were saying.Apr 21, 2020 at 4:18 am #3642362Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Outdry or a Gore H5.Apr 21, 2020 at 6:50 am #3642368
Looks like the h5 shakedry is also discontinued. Gore does not appear to be supporting the “hiking” category the have in the past where the h5 lived.Apr 21, 2020 at 7:17 am #3642371Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
That’s a shame – an H5 jacket with pit-zips looked like it would be a near perfect shell. I wonder why this technology hasn’t taken off? It seems light years ahead of any DWR reliant tech, and more breathable than Outdry.Apr 21, 2020 at 7:41 am #3642373
That is a shame. I had a chance to test the H5. I could not really see how the fabric differed from the fabric in the Montbell, although the MVTR came out a little lower. The one I examined had a number of holes and cuts. It was a thoughtful design.
For me, the Outdry is not an option. The important feature of the Montbell Shakedry for me is the high MVTR. It has expanded the range of comfort beyond any of my other jackets. I tested two outdry jackets, A 2019 Ex Featherweight and an older Ex Diamond (used, perhaps 2015). MVTRs, respectively were 1488 and 1680. 1488 is the lowest WPB I have tested. Compare with the Montbell shakedry at 3370.Apr 21, 2020 at 11:51 am #3642398David CaudwellBPL Member
@dcinbcLocale: Gulf Islands, Coastal BC
This is such a great technology! But I don’t understand why someone doesn’t design one with high-wear reinforcements, or indeed just panels of non-breathable material in those areas.Apr 21, 2020 at 12:02 pm #3642401
My thoughts exactly. I just figured I’d slap some duck tape in such areas once I detect some wear…Apr 21, 2020 at 1:44 pm #3642417Robert SpencerBPL Member
@bspencerLocale: Sierras of CA and deserts of Utah
I thought I read in an earlier message or thread that this year’s version of the MB Peak Shell was less fragile than before, but it sounds like it’s not quite ready for backpacking. At least based on comments and pictures of micro-tears. It was promising, however, when the MB website clarified that the jacket is for “missions that are short and don’t require heavy packs”. Sounded perfect for ultralight trips with light to medium precip in the forecast.Apr 21, 2020 at 4:23 pm #3642440
I suggest Tenacious Tape Gear Patches. Conveniently, in black. The little precut circles do the trick and then blend in pretty well. Probably an expensive patch, but easy to do, survives multiple washes and nearly disappears on the fabric. My plan, at some point, is to purchase another when I have too many patches and start again. Assuming, they keep making these.Apr 21, 2020 at 7:43 pm #3642470
I have zero problems with patching this thing if it is wearing out via friction at specific points.
I just did a quick video on why I think shakedry is great and my rationale for buying this jacket. (there’s a 5 second advert, so don’t click if you don’t want that.)
@dcinbc I just don’t know why these pieces aren’t gaining traction. I personally think it’s because most normal people think “Ummmm that looks like a garbage bag, this one looks nicer.” I think that might be the sales dynamic. I agree though, reinforcements make sense.
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