A 5 ounce waterproof-breathable shell jacket that makes devil’s club wilt just at the sight of it. I saw a preview of this thing last year and was sworn to secrecy. Now the Eyebright jacket has been public for a short time and good to go for a blog post, soon you can buy one for $600.00. NWAlpine Eyebright shell is Dyneema® with a breathable coating that’s said to be virtually the same thing as eVent. We’re seeing some amazingly lightweight but durable tents coming out with this textile as well, but a jacket that might be the last shell you ever buy is something to behold.
Aparantly, seam sealing Dyneema effectivly is said to be rocket science. So that’s the NWAlpine claim to fame. Long term durability for the seam taping and “bVent” coating need much testing, but the fabric’s beef-to-weight ratio is rather stunning.
If this and other Dyneema® garments prove out, it could be another game changer in terms of alpine mountaineering gear — both in the climbing and backcountry skiing arenas. Can you imagine your kit weight dropping another pound or so? k2, here we come. A few garments and other things made with this stuff could accomplish that. At a monetary price, of course.
Nothing is perfect. Dyneema® isn’t exactly body armor when used in garment cloth thickness. It’s got a low melting point, and while being incredibly cut, puncture and tear resistant for it’s thickness and weight still abrades quite easily. Main thing: in most modes this stuff is a heck of a lot lighter than nylon in equivalent strength.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.