Marmot Alpha linned jacket

Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by slovhike, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. Cali

    Cali Backpacker

    @slovhike Good article, still applies today. His definition of soft shell would be called "active insulated" nowadays. The Rab VR tricot/equilibrium combo would probably best fit his criteria of breathable/wicking and weather resistant. He's probably right that next to skin is the ideal, but I always use a light base (e.g. Rab Merino 120) under the alpha combos.

    There's been discussions on BPL about the utility of Alpha/shell combos and other active insulated pieces vs. separate windshirt/shells over raw active insulation. Basically it comes down to simplicity versus versatility. The idea is with the combos you have less layers to deal with, but your stuck with the face fabric choice paired with the insulation. Whereas the raw insulation piece allows you to wear stand alone for max breathability or pair with the ideal layer matching conditions/exertion level. Lightweight shells like the BD Alpine Start, Kor Preshell, and others have been discussed as potentially good over raw alpha and other layers.

    I posted some observations about the BD Start, Kor Preshell, and Tantrum II on BPL. Basically found that BD Alpine was most breathable, Kor very good, Tantrum not so much. Kor least precip resistant, BD and Tantrum about the same. Later sent Kor and Tantrum to fellow BPL member with testing expertise and equipment, results:

    Tantrum: Perm-1.5 CFM/Ft2, HH-323
    Kor Preshell: Perm-23 CFM/Ft2, HH-231

    Bottom line, alpha direct is a useful development in active insulation, but needs to be paired with a breathable and somewhat weather resistant shell fabric to gain the type of utility discussed in the article. That can be done via a combo piece or by pairing with a stand alone shell with those characteristics.
    edh likes this.
  2. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    That's a useful bit of info @Cali !
    I bought the preshell as a candidate for 30/300 wpb type combo, doesn't quite meet the required figures, but closest I own.
    The kor isn't a light windproof and I think the better measuring alpine start is heavier, as a gram weenie it's annoying to carry a >100g windproof plus a wpb jacket that's potentially lighter. I'd always carry a wpb as well.
  3. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    Don't conditions play a part in this? I'll just report what I found on Sunday using Alpha in a layers situation. I was quite particular to note things because I wanted to know for my own future reference.

    I went out on the grouse moors above Nidderdale to test out new gear. It was around 6C, wind gusting to c20mph (guestimate, I used to be a sailor) with that kind or rain that has big drops but not that many of them that lash at you in the wind. My top was OMM Aether smock, Rab Alpha Flash jacket, OR Echo T shirt. Bottoms, Ronhills and OMM Kamleika over trousers. I had a fleece beanie and merino buff on at start and removed these about 1.5 miles in as I had warmed up. I did 7 miles, 200m elevation in 2.5 hours walking with poles (I was in boots). Hood up and cinched down on the open moor.

    I was comfortable for the whole walk. Strangely so for a first time Alpha user. When I go home the outside of the Aether was wet and the inside slightly damp. The Alpha was very slightly damp but was absolutely dry after wearing it indoors for 5 minutes. I was really impressed and will be interested to try the same set up when it is a bit warmer.

    I'm belly aching about whether to just take the Aether or take it and a wind shirt on the TGO Challenge. Mainly because I want to minimise weight. If my Aether can double as a windshirt I can leave 150g at home.
    WilliamC and Chiseller like this.
  4. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    IME (backpacking) - super light waterproofs are not a comfortable replacement for a windshirt.
    A base and windshirt are all I need while moving unless it gets very cold.
    Chiseller likes this.
  5. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    I must admit that my standard is a merino T-shirt and wind shirt. I walk quite hot and I'm probably being completely unrealistic thinking I can use the Aether instead of a windshirt.
  6. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    You'll lose 150g on Day 1 of the TGO :D
  7. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Similar condition on the Chevin yesterday. 7C and about wind chill making it feel about 2C. I was fine going gently uphill in 140g base T, 270g 1/4 zip fleece, and 90g Golite windshirt (all XL). Made a cuppasoup on the top and threw on a 350g down jacket while I sat around for 30 mins enjoying the view.
  8. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    Are you from Otley then Rog?
  9. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Yeadon
    PhilHo likes this.
  10. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    Great fish and chips around there! I used to like the Fountain at the A658 crossroads.
  11. Cali

    Cali Backpacker

    @Enzo Yeah, I have a WPB (Marmot Bantamweight) that weighs the same (4.9) as the Kor Preshell. Any doubts about real rain I'll pack or wear it instead of the wind shirts. Of course, there is more to it than just numbers. I wear the Kor way more often than other wind jackets for it's fit and features. Just a more comfortable jacket all around in dry and light drizzle conditions. I'm in SoCal, so real rain here is pretty rare, even in winter :)
    Enzo and Balagan like this.
  12. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Murgatroyds chippy on the airport side of the A658/Yeadon High St junction is good, but you pay top buck. The Fountain became The Trawler's Catch, and is now a Greek restaurant.
  13. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    :banghead:
  14. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    During the summer I take one of the original berghaus hyper smocks, 85g. Kor is much more comfortable in wind or light rain, and I want to make the hyper last as long as possible so a windshirt is a bit of a sacrificial layer to my pack straps!
    SoCal huh? hope to visit one day. Will probably bring the drizzle with me!
  15. benp1

    benp1 Trail Blazer

    I always prefer a windshirt to a waterproof. If you're working hard enough to generate proper moisture, you don't want that trapped

    A waterproof is more resistant to moving sweat and moisture than a windshirt. 150g is a tiny price to pay for comfort and moisture free walking
  16. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    I agree, but 150g added to an 85g actual wp ***#*#*@##**#!!!

    One of those cases that confounds when compiling a literpack spreadsheet but is a no brainer on a hill.
  17. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Reading a BPL thread I saw tested specs for the MH kor preshell

    "The closest I am aware of to what you are looking for is the Mountain Hardware Kor Preshell at 23 and 231."

    So it's under ideal for the 35cfm/300mm but as close as seems available by atm.
  18. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    Really liking my Kor Preshell, works well with the Nitro or the brynje
    IMG_20200503_160321.jpg
    Just a shame I've not had the opportunity to really to test its mettle yet :(
  19. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    I've not had a chance to test properly yet either but have high hopes for the nitro+preshell combo :thumbsup:
    300g but you can't have everything

    It's what I've been using, other than if I suspect, rain then I use my outdry Featherlight.
    !
  20. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    Should be comfortable in short light rain spells... If your moving;) if your not moving.... Then get moving lol 300g? What sizes?
    It's a low weight for its functionality. The Kor could be worn next to the skin on a hot sunny day. Saying that, I ran/walked/jeffed 20miles in summer last year wearing the Nitro ... Folks kept asking... "arnt you too warm in that?"
    No... I was just right and when it was really hot, it kept the sweat off my brow :)
    To be honest, after last year, its hard for me to beat the Nitro+pulse for the largest majority of a day's hiking.
    Enzo likes this.
  21. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    Just realised... I've had one of these... Kept it a fortnight... Didn't rate it. VERY breathable but not very wind resistant.
    I sold it when I got the Kor Preshell to team with the Nitro or one of my other Alpha garments. The outer felt a bit odd... Not sure if it's 15D quantum? But it felt a bit like crepe.
  22. Cali

    Cali Backpacker

    Regional hiking park in my neighborhood recently reopened. Not all trails available and physical distancing rules in place, but nice to get out there again.

    Had a chance to wear Kor Preshell for morning hike few days ago. Temps were 64-68, overcast, no wind, humidity 90%, misty/foggy. Out about two hours going pretty good rate up some fairly steep inclines. I was wearing shorts and poly short sleeve tee. Kept jacket fully zipped, hood up at times when sun poked through. Interior of jacket was dry when I got home with exception of some wetness under arms.

    Reason these conditions are challenging is MVTR is greatly reduced when outside humidity is high and wind is low. In our typical SoCal low humidity with light wind conditions interior would most likely have been completely dry.

    Of course, I could have unzipped or rolled into interior pocket and carried in palm. But wanted to test how well it would handle the high humidity.

    OGL recently posted a Kor Preshell review and my experience pretty much agrees with their assessment. I also have the Ferrosi and Rab Borealis. Wear my Kor way more often than either of those. I really wouldn't put the Kor in the same category that OGL is using here. I would compare it to pieces I have like the BD Alpine Start and Tantrum II. My Arcteryx Tenquille Hoody would be a better piece to compare with Ferrosi and Borealis.

    I've been pairing my Alpine Start with the Macpac Nitro, great combo in terms of high breathability with light precip resistance.
    gixer, Chiseller and Enzo like this.
  23. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Top of my head both in large.
    Kor 140g
    Nitro 160g

    How you layering the pulse and nitro, I have an OR echo hoody I could try with the nitro.
    gixer and Chiseller like this.
  24. Cali

    Cali Backpacker

    I also have the Marmot Alpha 60. Outer is Pertex Quantum AIR© 20 CFM Face Fabric with 4-Way Stretch. Marmot doesn't list denier, but Kor is listed as Pertex® Quantum Air™ 20D Stretch Ripstop nylon. They both have that same light crepe like feel you mentioned. That orange lining in the Marmot sleeve is actually DriClime bi-component mesh. Runs about a quarter up the sleeve before meeting the alpha direct 60 insulation.

    Kor Preshell (green) and Marmot Alpha 60 (blue)
    IMG_2003.JPG
    gixer likes this.
  25. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Same colour kor as I have :)

    The marmot on paper makes a lot of sense. Don't know how much heavier the kor plus nitro is? Warmer and more flexibility I thought worth it.
    Chiseller likes this.

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