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Thread: Best Gore-Tex Jacket ?

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    Best Gore-Tex Jacket ?

    Looking for some advice. W.L. Gore is going to buy me a jacket since my seams failed on my old one. They will buy me pretty much any jacket made with gore-tex. They seems to not be able to get LEAF products - like the Arc'terx LEAF multi-cam jacket :-(.

    I will be using it hunting, and as general outerwear in Colorado. This covers high altitude 3 season, and winter ski season. I would love to hear the hide's users opinions and suggestions on their jackets - just keeping in mind it has to be gore-tex based.

    I have mostly been looking at the Sitka Gear jackets, but since they are back-ordered for forever, am looking for alternatives.

    I guess I will be using it primarily for general use, and less often for hunting - maybe 25% hunting, 75% other.

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    My vote for the best Gore-Tex hunting jackets: Sporting Ultimate 3 In 1 Jacket | Barbour
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    Arcteryx Theta AR

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    Best is relative.

    Propper makes a goretex multi-cam.

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    Sitka Stormfront, it's been my go-to shell for the last year. Is Gore reimbursing you or sourcing a jacket for you? You can usually find remnants from last years Sitka production run if you look hard enough. Or you could wait until the 2013 stock hits the shelves.

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    Gore is buying it directly - as they get some deals with the manufacturers as a part of the warranty process - so the jacket would come from the manufacturer directly - ie Sitka in this case, or Arcterx for example.

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    I don't have any shell systems beyond my Navy Type III camo ECWS shell, ECWS green camo, and ECWS desert camo that I have been issued over the 20 years I was in.

    A lot of people like Sitka, I have no experience with it. I don't personally like the pattern, it looks like the Army pattern that someone did a wierd job of printing. Their green camo I like better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by herofish View Post
    Looking for some advice. W.L. Gore is going to buy me a jacket since my seams failed on my old one. They will buy me pretty much any jacket made with gore-tex. They seems to not be able to get LEAF products - like the Arc'terx LEAF multi-cam jacket :-(.

    I will be using it hunting, and as general outerwear in Colorado. This covers high altitude 3 season, and winter ski season. I would love to hear the hide's users opinions and suggestions on their jackets - just keeping in mind it has to be gore-tex based.

    I have mostly been looking at the Sitka Gear jackets, but since they are back-ordered for forever, am looking for alternatives.

    I guess I will be using it primarily for general use, and less often for hunting - maybe 25% hunting, 75% other.
    define best?

    do you have an athletic build with long ape or average or more round with no ape? Most of your high end mountaineering line will be athletic cut with a trim body and long arms. Those for general or back packers tend to have a more round body with shorter arms.

    what features do you want in your jacket? Once you know this then find the jacket that has them.

    Personally using GoreTex WB laminate I would stay away and go with a soft shell.

    me, something like this

    OTTE GEAR | ...

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    Guess I was just looking for opinions on Gore-Tex jackets used and owned by the Hide users.

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    Arcteryx beta ar has been my go to hunting shell for years. If you can't get the jacket you want, get something that can be sold easy enough and buy what you really want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by herofish View Post
    Guess I was just looking for opinions on Gore-Tex jackets used and owned by the Hide users.
    I have the Theta AR. It's a delight and there's not much if anything better although at that price point there's plenty of good out there. It just happens to work for me.

    Here's this guy's opinion and he does much more humping than I. Not a member but knows a few. He's a good guy, won't lie to you.

    OUTDOOR GEAR EQUIPMENT REVIEWS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HUNTING, BACKPACKING, SEARCH AND RESCUE, MILITARY: Best Camouflage Shell Layer Jackets For Hunters - List

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    Thanks, I enjoyed his review.

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    Quote Originally Posted by herofish View Post
    Guess I was just looking for opinions on Gore-Tex jackets used and owned by the Hide users.
    You will find most hiders promote Dead Bird and its great kit, I had a short sponsorship; free jacket well almost as I had to send it back after the season so they could examine and test it with my review of its performance.

    For me and my GoreTex jackets I have used:

    WildThings, 3 of them, jacket that is and in my opinion there is no equal to WildThings using their line since 1986 but they got smart and went to eVent over Gore. Multicam but now eVent.

    Integral Designs, two of them, smart kit but again Evan the owner moved on to eVent. Camo but now eVent.

    Marmot, the first company to bring GoreTex to the outdoor market, I still have my original jacket made in Durango Colorado 1979 or 80. It leaks and my rep said sent it back for a new one but just cant.

    Patagonia, a solid jacket good fitting hard wearing jacket.

    The North Face, great kit back then and still good. Cut is for back packers. Over built and heavy.

    Mountain Hardwear, OK, fit is odd and its very over built and heavy.


    I was not clear but I was giving my opinion that if gore is buying you a new jacket, I would look at their soft shells. You asked for opinions and in my usage over 30+ years, it is soft shells out perform hard shells. Plus, since me livihood was testing, selling, promoting outdoor kit, I was making a comment on getting the best fit for your manufacture jacket. WildThings, Arct and such have an athletic cut so if you are over round in the middle they do not fit well but if you have big chest, long ape index this is the body type they fit best. If you are more general like most mid aged backpackers, then the mass produced jackets might fit you best.

    I was sponsored by Albany International, "Primaloft" and while they do not make garments they would send me kit from manufactures who use Primaloft so I understand a little on how this works and your new jacket.

    Dead Bird Leaf program is an enigma to most, I sold Arct for years and asked my rep to get me one and he said cant and that he even as a rep for Arct could not get one. That is a little strange since I would think they would want to show off their product and get it into lots of people but last time I asked it was a no-go.


    Good luck

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    They would get ya one for $600!
    Obey Acts 2:38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirnyx View Post
    Arcteryx beta ar has been my go to hunting shell for years. If you can't get the jacket you want, get something that can be sold easy enough and buy what you really want.
    I just started wearing one of these this week. So far I like it alot. Its my latest Arcteryx jacket. Their gear never has let me down.

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    45.308 - thanks for the clarification - it was unclear to me what your earlier post meant, the recent one is much more clear and very informative. I have a fairly athletic build - not so round in the middle, but don't have really long arms either.

    I just was looking at KUIU, and saw that Gore owns Sitka - which was news to me. It sure seems like a lot of manufacturers are moving away from Gore products, maybe because of the high regulation Gore requires - and maybe cost? I have a Mountain Hardare hardshell and that fits me, I will take a look at the softshells I can find that use Gore-tex to see what seems to be available.

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    Definitely Arcteryx...
    Clinging to my guns and my religion

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45.308 View Post

    WildThings, 3 of them, jacket that is and in my opinion there is no equal to WildThings using their line since 1986 but they got smart and went to eVent over Gore. Multicam but now eVent.

    Good luck
    ^^ THIS ^^ +1! I completely agree, with OTTE a very close 2nd. In feel the quality of both Wild Things and OTTE is just better that the others mentioned. (as always: YMMV! )
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45.308 View Post
    define best?

    do you have an athletic build with long ape or average or more round with no ape? Most of your high end mountaineering line will be athletic cut with a trim body and long arms. Those for general or back packers tend to have a more round body with shorter arms.
    This is good advice. I prefer Arc'Teryx products because I like their features, they've proven durable for my uses, they've given me excellent customer service when I've needed it, and they fit me like a glove. It is like they designed the clothes based off my measurements, which keeps me going back to them instead of other companies that may have similar positive traits.

    My Beta AR sees year round use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by herofish View Post
    45.308 - thanks for the clarification - it was unclear to me what your earlier post meant, the recent one is much more clear and very informative. I have a fairly athletic build - not so round in the middle, but don't have really long arms either.

    I just was looking at KUIU, and saw that Gore owns Sitka - which was news to me. It sure seems like a lot of manufacturers are moving away from Gore products, maybe because of the high regulation Gore requires - and maybe cost? I have a Mountain Hardare hardshell and that fits me, I will take a look at the softshells I can find that use Gore-tex to see what seems to be available.
    I think KUIU has gone to Asia and no longer uses Gore but you should verify that for your self.

    Gore is the standard all others are compared to. It is very good at what it does but eVent is just better in a lot of different manufactures and users prospective. It transfers more vapor. I sat through a long very boring 2 day seminar with Gore and they do demand strict adherence to their way, I think you have to buy and use their seam tape machines, to hang their tag on your garment, good or bad who is to say but eVent in my use is more better but soft shell is my preferred.


    Quote Originally Posted by plong View Post
    ^^ THIS ^^ +1! I completely agree, with OTTE a very close 2nd. In feel the quality of both Wild Things and OTTE is just better that the others mentioned. (as always: YMMV! )
    Obviously you and a few of us know about WildThings even compared to the highly touted dead bird, I find WildThings a solid shelf+ above Arct and all the rest but its easier to regurgitate dead bird is the best ever because everyone says so. Never owned OTTE but might some day as I want it.

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    Arcteryx! I have the Adam jacket and goretex shell. the jacket is water resistant and very warm, the shell is easily packed into a ruck pocket and pulled out when needed. I have beaten this thing up in Afghanistan and its awesome, lightweight and not bulky. stayed dry in all sorts of rain and hail, and never been cold.
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    arcteryx beta ar for me too

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    third on arcteryx!

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    I like and use a varity of gore-tex from Arcteryx (regular & LEAF), Wild Things Tactical, and Otte Gear.

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    KUIU uses something different than Goretex in their rain gear. I've got two sets of the chugach rain gear and I have been extremely pleased with them. Unfortunately if Gore is buying the new gear, than I don't think KUIU is an option.

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    I like the Military ECWS green camo, have trashed so many others that just didn't hold up. First few purchased by Uncle Sam, now get them used for a great price.
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    Gore-Tex is worthless in a heavy downpour and whenever there are pressure spots the water will press through. Other than a top line soft shell by Wild Things or OTTE, a solid or coated fabric is what I prefer. Let the "chimney effect" cool the body. Drying time of the soft shell and warming capabilities are more important. Once Gore-tex gets saturated it way too long to dry out.
    Obey Acts 2:38

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    Quote Originally Posted by SFree View Post
    Gore-Tex is worthless in a heavy downpour and whenever there are pressure spots the water will press through. Other than a top line soft shell by Wild Things or OTTE, a solid or coated fabric is what I prefer. Let the "chimney effect" cool the body. Drying time of the soft shell and warming capabilities are more important. Once Gore-tex gets saturated it way too long to dry out.
    A lot of valid points to this.

    The chimney effect will actually vent off more body vapor than Gore if the garment is designed to vent. But with powerful advertising dollars, Gore made us all think we need their product and like many manufacturers commented on, unless it has a Gore hang tag we have a hard time moving our product. Even today with products like eVent, Sympatex and a host of others that perform just as well and better like eVent, Gore has the dollars and advertising to say we are the best, you need us.

    The Scottish people live and work in harsh climate and know something about clothing systems that work. Soft shell is a new term to most but the Scotts have used it for quite a long time its just now or the last 15 years has a term labeled to it. All I know is it works unless you are a standing in a down pour or spray of waves like commercial fishing then nothing but coated rain gear works.

    Gore parent fabric has a good amount of control on how Gore works. If the outer fabric is saturated with water, then Gore has no place to expel body vapor so it collects inside giving that cool damp clammy feeling. This is why a water repellent finish is very important to how Gore works. If the body is working harder than Gore can expel body vapor, it collects inside also giving damp clammy feeling. Once a threshold is reached where Gore and the body vapor meet, flash off occurs chilling the body rather quickly. I have experienced and witnessed with clients this event. Most times its just a nuisance but can be dangerous under the correct parameters. I had one elder client go into body shut down from flash off. With soft shell or open weave nylon, the fabric passes body vapor with ease. The chimney effect will also vent up and out body vapor quickly enough. Yvon Chouinard has the most thought process, usage and designs and of the chimney effect but lost out to big advertising dollars.

    I asked two very pointed questions at the seminar I attended; flash off and chimney effect and got back a blank stare. I am sure they were thinking, we paid for this guys plane ride, hotel and food with free kit, and how dare him question us. I wasn't, I just wanted to know what their thoughts were on flash off and chimney effect.

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    Yep. Anything that says Arcteryx will serve you well.

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoGun View Post
    Arcteryx Theta AR
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonthomps View Post
    Yep. Anything that says Arcteryx will serve you well.
    There are others out there that are as good or better than "Dead Bird", especially Berry compliant companies, i.e., Wild Things, OTTE, etc.
    Don't remember the names, but if I remember correctly, one of the original owners or Dead Bird left the company and went on his own because of outsourcing and quality issues. This was told to me by our outdoor equipment supplier.
    Obey Acts 2:38

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonthomps View Post
    Yep. Anything that says Arcteryx will serve you well.
    Quote Originally Posted by SFree View Post
    There are others out there that are as good or better than "Dead Bird", especially Berry compliant companies, i.e., Wild Things, OTTE, etc.
    Don't remember the names, but if I remember correctly, one of the original owners or Dead Bird left the company and went on his own because of outsourcing and quality issues. This was told to me by our outdoor equipment supplier.
    Arcteryx is no longer Arcteryx the private company, they were bought out by the Soloman group in Europe a few years ago. Solomon and Columbia are buying up a good amount of companies. Its still good kit and they run on their name but when they transferred to Soloman, some issues with quality and materials with outsourcing just like Mountain Hardwear.

    I would go to WildThings first and every time having used both. Of course I know John Bouchard the original owner but WT is so much more better designed and stitched. I would go Patagonia over Dead Bird as Yvon may be a loon, he still believes in the US private company and last time I know, said he would never sell out to a conglomerate. Patagonia has or did have a military line just like dead bird but most do not know this.

    As I understand, the new dead bird company is a high end business suit company geared towards Wall Street. Kind of a running joke to those in the climbing world, reminds of TNF when they wanted their clothing on the streets of New York more than on the backs of climbers who built them up.

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    I concur on the Arcteryx. I have tons of stuff and I have never had any of it fail. I am a seasoned backpacker for over 25 years, and the only thing wrong with any of mine is stain . 45/308, didn't know that they had been sold. I had heard that about north face, and I have had quality control issues with their stuff in recent years. Right now, I just shop Arcteryx, Patagonia, and Marmot due to the pleasant experiences I have had. Once you have had a piece of equipment fail you in the field, you never go back (at least I don't). Good luck with your exchange.

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    It's a cycle. Small company gets name is bought by big company. Owner stays 2 years with 5 year no compete. After 5 years, former owner either starts new company or retires. I still miss the original Moonstone Mountaineering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoGun View Post
    It's a cycle. Small company gets name is bought by big company. Owner stays 2 years with 5 year no compete. After 5 years, former owner either starts new company or retires. I still miss the original Moonstone Mountaineering.
    And the Great Pacific Iron Works! Yvon Chouinard is still the man (though a little goofy )
    Obey Acts 2:38

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45.308 View Post
    Arcteryx is no longer Arcteryx the private company, they were bought out by the Soloman group in Europe a few years ago. Solomon and Columbia are buying up a good amount of companies. Its still good kit and they run on their name but when they transferred to Soloman, some issues with quality and materials with outsourcing just like Mountain Hardwear.

    I would go to WildThings first and every time having used both. Of course I know John Bouchard the original owner but WT is so much more better designed and stitched. I would go Patagonia over Dead Bird as Yvon may be a loon, he still believes in the US private company and last time I know, said he would never sell out to a conglomerate. Patagonia has or did have a military line just like dead bird but most do not know this.

    As I understand, the new dead bird company is a high end business suit company geared towards Wall Street. Kind of a running joke to those in the climbing world, reminds of TNF when they wanted their clothing on the streets of New York more than on the backs of climbers who built them up.
    Yep, Amer Corp then bought Solomon- they are a bunch of morons who have driven the core folks out of ArcTeryx. Their LEAF gear still rocks but I won't give the bastard-owners any business.
    Some of the former ArcTeryx folks have gone on to other brands like First Spear. More to come from them.
    I have an older Otte Gear parka that works really well and , if I had to choose from a more popular, outdoor brand for a new jacket I'd likely go with Patagonia as well.
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    Yes, Arcteryx got bought, but they still put out a great product. Wild Things isn't the end-all be-all people tout it as. I have a WT SO 1.0 multicam jacket I bought two years ago that the pit zippers are cut so high on it's uncomfortable to wear without 2-3 layers under it. If anyone is paying $350+ for a jacket it better fit like a glove - I don't care what manufacturer we're talking about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonthomps View Post
    Yes, Arcteryx got bought, but they still put out a great product. Wild Things isn't the end-all be-all people tout it as. I have a WT SO 1.0 multicam jacket I bought two years ago that the pit zippers are cut so high on it's uncomfortable to wear without 2-3 layers under it. If anyone is paying $350+ for a jacket it better fit like a glove - I don't care what manufacturer we're talking about.
    Fit and finish are critical aspects, but the main topic has been material used in the garments manufactured and in my opinion (mine only here) is that Gore Tex is not the "end all" fabric. Much better options and I didn't like it 35 years ago...
    If it makes you feel any better, I still use Patagonia products I purchased 25 years ago.
    Obey Acts 2:38

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoGun View Post
    It's a cycle. Small company gets name is bought by big company. Owner stays 2 years with 5 year no compete. After 5 years, former owner either starts new company or retires. I still miss the original Moonstone Mountaineering.
    Haven't heard that name in a while, only had a couple items from Moonstone but top shelf in the 80s.


    Quote Originally Posted by jonthomps View Post
    Yes, Arcteryx got bought, but they still put out a great product. Wild Things isn't the end-all be-all people tout it as. I have a WT SO 1.0 multicam jacket I bought two years ago that the pit zippers are cut so high on it's uncomfortable to wear without 2-3 layers under it. If anyone is paying $350+ for a jacket it better fit like a glove - I don't care what manufacturer we're talking about.
    Never said dead bird is not great, just that there are others out there as good and better to consider and its not the greatest ever like many regurgitate. I saw a few dead bird garments show up not up to QC standards, does not prove much as any time humans are involved, things can get overlooked, mis stitched, wrong size sleeve on the jacket, bad zip, off color, a whole host of QC just like every manufacture I dealt received product. I received and used a WT soft shell jacket before they were on the market to demo and it had a very odd size cut. The arms sort of short and the forearm cut small and was tight around my bare arms. A quick call to Titoune and fixed. The bibs spot on perfect. My favorite gore jacket is from Marmot Mountain Works I picked up 1979 or 1980, the best stitched jacket attention to detail I have with an outstanding design but leaks on the shoulder area a little due to the hard wear on the fabric and membrane. Full of patches too.



    Quote Originally Posted by SFree View Post
    Fit and finish are critical aspects, but the main topic has been material used in the garments manufactured and in my opinion (mine only here) is that Gore Tex is not the "end all" fabric. Much better options and I didn't like it 35 years ago...
    If it makes you feel any better, I still use Patagonia products I purchased 25 years ago.
    This! I bought into Marmot Mountain Works ad plan on Gore, "remember when the seams were not seam taped sealed" for a few quick years but once in the hills, it faded quick. For anyone who does not know, clothing manufactures build a half half that is one side of the garment is one fabric and the other side something different and there can be minute design differences. The half half is given to testers and they use the garment and send in a field review. Wearing a Gore membrane half and a Schoeller soft shell half, huge difference in performance with soft shell out front by a large margin in my opinion and review, this is why the Scotts have been using soft shells for ever.

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    I suggest a visit to Military Moron's review of hardshell jackets.

    Link: Military Morons Hard Shells Page 1
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