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Thread: Whatvest?

  1. #1
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    Whatvest?

    Anyone rocking one of these? Seem them around more and more. Small company out of WY. Seems like a decent pack for side country and inbounds hiking laps.

  2. #2
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    Got one for patrol. Lot better than a backpack for skiing, IMO. Fits nice. Well made. Lots of compliments. I have not hiked with it.
    focus.

  3. #3
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    I have a friend who raves about his and he wears it every day for inbounds/slackcountry and has for four years and it seems to be holding up well and he gets asked about it all the time. Fits all his stuff well and is so much less bulky than a backpack, plus with the pockets on the front he says it distributes the weight better so it's not all hanging off his back.

  4. #4
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    I was about to pull the trigger on one after fondling a few at Loveland.

    Ended up with the Dakine vest for about 1/3rd the price and all the function.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    I was about to pull the trigger on one after fondling a few at Loveland.

    Ended up with the Dakine vest for about 1/3rd the price and all the function.

    The Dakine is kinda scarce, but Powder 7 has them. They made me a nice deal on an on-sale avi kit and the vest last week.

  6. #6
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    Whatvest?

    I like my Whatvest for Flute laps, when Iím gonna be skiing inbounds for a bit after skinning.

    Lots of room in the vest for shovel, probe, skins, snacks, water etc.

    Only issue is the front zipper is kinda smaller toothedÖ.and not as burly as the zippers on the pockets. The front zipper was freezing up (and not working so I had to ski down with it open) on an ice-mist day. Was kind of irritating. Was fine once I got out of the ice just. Otherwise pretty happy with it.

    Here it is fully loaded:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by kc_7777; 03-27-2023 at 10:17 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Regarding zipper icing:
    I've had both TNF Powder Guide vest and DaKine RAS vest and have experienced the same thing occasionally (but always at transitions).
    The DaKine vest is much less prone to icing as it has a very large toothed zipper (2 way, which is nice).

    Safest thing seems to be to zip the zipper at least slightly shut prior to setting it down in the snow.
    Or blow hot air into the zipper like a mad flutist to melt out the ice (frustrating, but amusing for others).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kc_7777 View Post
    I like my Whatvest for Flute laps, when Iím gonna be skiing inbounds for a bit after skinning.

    Lots of room in the vest for shovel, probe, skins, snacks, water etc.

    Only issue is the front zipper is kinda smaller toothedÖ.and not as burly as the zippers on the pockets. The front zipper was freezing up (and not working so I had to ski down with it open) on an ice-mist day. Was kind of irritating. Was fine once I got out of the ice just. Otherwise pretty happy with it.

    Here it is fully loaded:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CDCD3F01-6280-4E36-84C4-AB5B340F4379.jpg 
Views:	124 
Size:	990.9 KB 
ID:	453470

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    My zipper occasionally does that. I can blow out the zipper quite ez. On mine iits just getting the zipper started those few times. Ezpz.

    For op:
    I have an older one. New ones look extra nice.Its lasted very well. Theyre built quite durable I did wear it most days out west. Only occasionzl out east when its a pow day. Its not like wearing a pack. I barely notice its their most days. Fits like a glove, no flopping around. The company seems like good people as well

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  9. #9
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    Oct 2003
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    Not directly related to the vest but you might try wax on the zippers. I eat a lot of dust doing mechanized trail work and was killing zippers regularly. Starting waxing zippers on everything and realized it helps with winter freeze up as well. I just use cheap Parowax household wax but guessing just about anything would work.

  10. #10
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    How hot are they? I'm kinda annoyed with how my avy pack skis. Would a vest work for warm spring tours? I'm guessing not really.

  11. #11
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    Thereís a waist belt and chest strap so you can leave the zipper unzipped for just that. Hotter than a backpack Iím sure, but Iím not sure how much.
    focus.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cocximus View Post
    How hot are they? I'm kinda annoyed with how my avy pack skis. Would a vest work for warm spring tours? I'm guessing not really.
    I have the Dakine, not the WhatVest, but it's definitely warmer than a pack. It's basically like adding an extra midweight layer.

  13. #13
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    If they made un ultra light 25litreish white one i'd use it for proper touring. Skiing with it on is noticeably better than a pack. As it is now its definitely more focused on heavy duty. Its the difference between a heavy duty ski hill shell with cordura level protection comoared to 250g shell. As they are now it offers a degree of protection between the thicker material front and rear, and also has some padded rigidity against your back that stays put because the vest doesnt move like a pack. As it is i wouldnt proper tour with it . For me its for hill and slackcountry only. It does breath though being a shell vest and those clips that allow you to leave the zipper open. I imagine the new one is lighter than but still no complaints with mine for the resort

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  14. #14
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    Nice, valuable feedback. Thanks. Trigger pulled. I can see it being nice for summer dirt biking too. They have a video showing how many PBRs will fit in it. Thats valuable info and was probably the tipping point for me.

  15. #15
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    I have a vivid memory of working in a bike shop and having a customer walk in the door with a 30 rack of PBR. Walked around and tested every messenger-type bag we had in stock to see which fit the 30 rack the best. Bought that bag and gave us the 30 rack.

    She got a nice discount on that bag.

  16. #16
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    ^^Haaa and all was right in the world

    They are marketing them towards snowmobilers as well. I showed them to my sledder BIL but he doesnt want to cover up his fancy sledder jacket. Sled wear doesnt seem very well designed but its their look

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  17. #17
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    how about if you gotta carry skis or boots ?

    I've had to carry a set of lotus 120's/ Vulcans on a Dakine apex 30L mtn bike pack and it did not carry well
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  18. #18
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    It has ski and snowboad carry straps. I like the diagonal ski carry system. Im not sure but i dont think you could fit boots inside it.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    how about if you gotta carry skis or boots ?

    I've had to carry a set of lotus 120's/ Vulcans on a Dakine apex 30L mtn bike pack and it did not carry well
    No small pack or vest is going to carry boots well. That's not what they are designed for.

  20. #20
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    Ive got one.

    They're rad for resort days, a little less rad for short tours/walks.
    It doesnt breathe great, so I've found that for most resort days, I dont wear a hardshell underneath -instead opting for touring softshell underneath.

    Other than that its rad, and really like the quality, customer service, and fit.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by grinch View Post
    They are marketing them towards snowmobilers as well. I showed them to my sledder BIL but he doesnt want to cover up his fancy sledder jacket. Sled wear doesnt seem very well designed but its their look
    Your BIL is a moron. Vests are the best thing ever for snowmobiling. That was the main reason I bought mine. Soooo much more comfortable than wearing a pack when you're moving around on the sled. Between the vest and a BCA tunnel bag I can carry my entire normal backcountry kit (plus extra beer, because snowmobiles) very comfortably.

    Also great for sidecountry, comfortable on the lift. Anywhere that you're doing regular laps out the gate like Jackson, Telluride, etc. the vest is the way to go, no question. I'm totally fine with doing short skins or bootpacks in the vest and it carries skis just fine. I can't imagine why you'd ever want to use it on a day when you're carrying boots as well, and if I'm going for a big tour lift access or not I'd probably bring a normal pack.

  22. #22
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    I personally wear the vest at certain resorts even if I'm not carrying a full avalanche kit or expecting to walk out a gate. Any ski area in which I want to avoid the base area for the day or take a bus/shuttle from parking/lodging == vest. Food, spare gloves, lenses, beers, etc.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    No small pack or vest is going to carry boots well. That's not what they are designed for.
    well my point exactly ^^ and one might have to, certainly at least skis but also where do carry spare layers and stuff ?
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    well my point exactly ^^ and one might have to, certainly at least skis but also where do carry spare layers and stuff ?
    I think you're misunderstanding the use case for a vest. Is the critique that a vest isn't a 40L pack? Yeah...a vest or 15L pack of any sort is not suitable for certain situations where you need lots of survival gear or glacial gear or the like.

    I carry a spare layer in mine no problem.

  25. #25
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    The Whatvest carrys a lot of beer. I have a ski buddy who likes it for that purpose.

    A point on warmth/layering with the Whatvest.

    Iíll wear less under layers if Iím skiing with the vest on. Itís great wind protection. And you can basically wear just 1 baselayer, a puffy and a shell under it on cold days. Feels way less bulky, but same warmth as 2-3 baselayers + puffy + shell.


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