Noob Winter Hiking gear
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Author:  RWills81 [ Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:13 pm ]
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So tell me which one you would get in your opinion.

I found a Columbia Bugaboo parker at a closeout place for $75, a Columbia Steep Slope for $123 or with that EMS Helix for $175.

Me...I am leaning on the Bugaboo because of the insane price from $230 marked down to $75...but I don't want something that won't hold up or be weather tight

Author:  Salty [ Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:22 pm ]
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New Hampshire wrote:
Now I am not saying go out and buy wool everything.

Totally, wool underwear really itches.

Personally, I'd go with the Bugaboo. The price is right at what *I* (meaning, me personally) would pay. Columbia makes good products, IMO, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. My hardshell has been through some bushwhacks and has held up nicely.

I just use my regular hiking pants, with long underwear underneath, and a pair of insulated EMS 5k snow pants. Again, all cheap, and I've NEVER had cold legs under some cold conditions. I usually don't bother with gaiters. The snow pants take care of any issues there.

Author:  RWills81 [ Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:29 pm ]
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I read that the Bugaboo lacks a powder skirt and armpit zips...does this matter that much? There was also 2 reviewers on REI's site saying it isn't really waterproof. Same with Alrec's review calling fairly water resistant, but many more reviewers calling it water-proof

Author:  New Hampshire [ Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:08 pm ]
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RWills81 wrote:
I read that the Bugaboo lacks a powder skirt and armpit zips...does this matter that much? There was also 2 reviewers on REI's site saying it isn't really waterproof. Same with Alrec's review calling fairly water resistant, but many more reviewers calling it water-proof

There is nothing...NOTHING...you can wear on this planet that is both 100% waterproof and breathable. The people making the comments in the reviews probably don't even realize it is not rain/snow seeping through the jacket, but their own sweat. Water resistant can give you breathability but not guarentee some water will eventually seep in. 100% waterproof can (usually) guarentee no rain/snow water seeps through.....but your going to get bathed in your own sweat because of it. It is all a trade off. In summer it is mostly about keeping you warm. In winter it is mostly about wind protection.

Look, I'll be frank with you.....save all your cash. Buy a Columbia fleece jacket. Take your summer rain jacket (I am of course assuming you have one.) Between a polypro t-shirt (can be had cheap), polypro long sleeve shirt (can be had cheap), fleece jacket (can be had cheap) and your rain jacket you now have a perfect 4 layer system. THAT is what is important...layering. I can guarentee you that 75% of the time you will be in 3 layers...the t-shirt, long sleeve and fleece jacket. When the wind kicks up your rain jacket should protect you from the wind.


Author:  Salty [ Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:29 pm ]
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I'll again agree with the Bri-Master (why, I don't know :P ), but will amend what he said to needing a waterproof layer in winter for wind protection to also needing it in conditions where you'll be getting a lot of snow dumped on you. Classic case would be recent snow on the trees on a already deep snow layer. You don't want all that snow going on your fleece.

And polypro is da bomb!

Author:  Salty [ Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:22 pm ]
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New Hampshire wrote:
DING DING DING DING DING, we have a winner. That is the philosophy I was trying to infer, but you said it perfectly.

BTW, what the hell is this, mutual appreciation day? :D

Author:  Cruzin1a [ Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:57 am ]
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I can say the Helix kept the falling snow from the branches nicely off my head and back :)

Author:  Tom_Murphy [ Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Clothing and their purposes


I hope this post will be helpful to you. This is only one way of doing it...

I made a list of what each piece of clothing did first and that helped me organize what I needed vs what I already had that the would work.

For example, my summer rain jacket was my winter hardshell for the first few winters. A few years later I found a Columbia ski jacket with minimal insulation on sale at the end of the winter.

The Columbia jacket really looks the part but I miss the pit zips on the rain jacket. The tough part was finding a ski jacket that didn't have a lot of insulation since insulating isn't what I use my hardshell for.

My two 3 season fleece jackets take turns as a mid insulation layer / softshell. One has a tight weeve and is very windproof but I need to be extra careful about sweating since it doesn't breath. The other one wicks away moisture great so I can tolerate a bit of overheating but a wind goes right through it. I want to buy a softshell some day but I am making do with gear I have.

I have EMS knee high gaiters and they have worked well for me. They add a good deal of warmth but more importantly, when I pouched through a snow bridge with foot/boot/snowshoe I was incredibly thankful for them.

Much of my actual hiking is done stripped down to my wool baselayers, goretex bib pants, a thin wool hat, and thin wool liner gloves [I am a walking advertisement for the smartwool brand]

Good luck. Wear layers, and subtract them, as needed, to avoid sweating

Author:  Cruzin1a [ Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:00 pm ]
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As mentioned above, waterproof and breathability, are a great sales pitch; but in the field under working conditions you find one or the other prevails. On that note, with a good 20k waterproof shell I find the pit zips are a blessing. The pit zips on the Helix are welded zippers that open with two zips per side making for a nice range of adjustment and they really help shed the heat when you're moving.

Author:  Pucknuts61 [ Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:49 pm ]
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Don't forget to check Sierra Trading Post. Sign up for gear mail and you'll get 20% off coupons almost everyday.

Sometimes it's tough to find just the right size but keep looking as their stock changes daily

Pants? Mountain Hardwear winter wanderer.

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