2018 Rain Shells ~ Mountain Tech Tuesdays (001) (3-5 min)


Discipline equals freedom. Ever after hearing Jocko Willink speak these works in his podcast, I’ve been looking to incorporate discipline into different aspects of my life. From my morning wake-up to an hour before laying down for bed, structured discipline has helped me get a lot of work done.

For the first example, it helped me launch a product line. I’ve been coming up with a bunch of ideas for business opportunities ever after separating from the Navy. Back and forth from this to that, so much I want to do and see. That in part led to the blog…. but I’m getting side-tracked. I LAUNCHED A PRODUCT LINE!!! It’s beyond exciting, because I get to go talk about it with a bunch of people and control every aspect of it (for the time being at least haha). Most importantly, I get to instill values into something that will (hopefully) become much bigger than myself.

The idea behind the launch was that I love to get outdoors, and these places I go are precious to many more people than just myself. So I thought, what are companies doing to protect playgrounds for people like me? A portion of sales from a specific product? That’s too limited. That doesn’t raise a lot of money. It sounds and looks good on paper… maybe, but what kind of actual impact does that have. Then I though, what if a company gave a portion of there total money AND their personal time? This could be much more valuable… so that’s what I did. I launched a clothing line that donates 1% of it’s money, and all our staff are giving 1% of their total time to protecting our National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. See more at www.shopglacierlife.com

Disciplined nature helped me accomplish this – looking at every minute as a battle to get the ball rolling, I jumped into research and got it done. Sure, it’s still in it’s launch phase, but I have an utmost optimism that it will succeed and help secure parks for our future generations!


I know, a little self branding here may be a little egocentric – but I wanted to build the stage by which I show that discipline accomplishes this blog…

Through discipline and set timetables (with flexibility as needed) I will be bringing you new info on Mountain Tech/gear every Tuesday for the foreseeable future! Unbiased (hopefully) thought’s and specs for the latest gear to help you get out – and stay out.

This week, to start off this series – and the spring hiking season – is lightweight shell/rain gear. Let’s kick ‘er off!


The all to important layer that will protect you from the spring rain/snow that wasn’t forecast. Shells come in a wide variety of designs, but primarily are of zippered construction and include a rain hood for added protection. When considering which shell YOU want to buy, it’s best to consider what type of activity you’re gonna be doing, length of the trek, and what you can afford. Investing in something that will last longer even though it stings now may be wiser than investing in something lower quality that will need to be replaced half-way through the season… So, here’s a short compilation of 5 shells that may suit your needs this upcoming year.

1. Outdoor Research: Interstellar

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Being that’s it’s breathable, packable, durable, and stretchy, it’s got all the makings for a solid 3-season shell. Cut for a slimmer fit, best pairs with thinner base layers. The hood accommodates climbing helmets for you wall-hitters, and the waist has integrated pieces for hip belts. Packs down to the approximate size of a 1L nalgine.  Price will be the drawback here as it runs $299 MSRP. 11.6oz



2. Mountain Hardware: Quasar Lite II

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A well balanced shell for both comfort and weight, running in at just 10 oz. Designed with an adjustable, helmet-compatible hood, the jacket boasts “short, but effective” armpit zippers, to provide extra airflow when having high exertion. Apparently it was tested doing chimney climbs and scrambles in BC and came through without serious abrasion. Another one that’s a hit to the pocketbook, it runs $300 MSRP.



3: Colombia: Outdry EX Featherweight

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A newer take on Colombia’s outdry jackets, it still provides the amazing waterproofing of this line, but reaps the benefits of lightening up. Weighing in at only 7 oz, this is hands down the lightest jacket in the list. It includes vented chest pockets and alway-s open underarm zippers, meaning it may run a tad cold on those early season/late season trips. Usual tropes include the stiff “crickle-like” nature of the outdry tech. $199.



4. Black Diamond: Stormline Stretch

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The best priced in the list, this jacket comes in at only $149! Apparently it sports superb breath-ability and mobility due to stretchy construction – as proven by their testers in New Zealand. (backpacker.com) Apparently the drawbacks with the low cost are hipbelts cover the hand pockets and the main zipper scratches the chin when fully zipped. 11.3 oz




5. REI: DryPoint GTX

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The final jacket on my list, apparently this one is the best against you hardened adventures. REI testers claim to have has brushes with rocks, thorns, thistles and everything in between with no wear and tear on the jacket. Fitted with a two-way adjustable hood, adjustable cuffs, and mesh lined hand pockets – the jacket is both breathable and watertight. The hood also provides full range-of view for helmet wearers. $249 10.3 oz



There’s obviously more jackets (for example Patagonia and Arc’teryx) out there than just these, but from what I’ve read these will all give you the best bang for your buck.

So that’s all for our first Mountain Tech Tuesday.

What did ya think? Beneficial info or should we go in a different direction?

Any ideas on what you’d like to hear in the next one? Let me know in the comments below!

Until the next one, Mahalo friends!








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