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nbo10


Nov 19, 2007, 12:01 PM
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Soft Shell
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Hi All,
Can ya'll recommend a Softshell. I'm looking to at the 200 dollar range. I'm looking at the Mountain Hardwear Synchro Jacket and the Couldveil Inertia Peak Jacket. I'm looking for breatheability and good wind and light snow repellent. Thanks


zealotnoob


Nov 19, 2007, 12:14 PM
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Re: [nbo10] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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Check out ebay and froogle for deals on the Arc'teryx Gamma MX (hooded or regular). It fits great, doesn't pull out of your harness and doesn't show a modicum of wear after thrutching up some off-width goodness.


dobson


Nov 19, 2007, 12:27 PM
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Check out the Beyond Fleece Cold Fusion. I've been really impressed with the durability and performance of mine. Beyond is an exceptionally good choice if you have a hard time finding clothing that fits.

Phillip


justinboening


Nov 19, 2007, 12:51 PM
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Re: [nbo10] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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Yo,

the Synchro is NOT a breathable softshell; in fact, I'd hesitate to call it a softshell at all. Read Andy Kirkpatricks article "The Best Softshell," here.

http://psychovertical.com/?thebestsoftshell

To a large extent, he popularized the softshell CONCEPT when his work, with Mark Twight, Duncan Ferguson, and the rest of the folks over at Patagonia, created Regulator. Although garments designed to function under these same principles have been around for centuries, Patagonia was the first to market the term softshell with the release of this Regulator line of clothing. Ultimately, the Arcteryx MX garments, or anything else that relies on the Powersheild Lightweight fabric for performance, gets my vote. It seems to strike a good balance for climbing. The Inertia pieces, or garments with better breathability, may function better, however, if your activities involve a more constant exertion level. Think slow uphill walking at altitude with a headache. Go to Beyondclothing.com; they have some good information over there and make an excellent garment. If I could only give you pithy advice, on the other hand, I'd leave you with this--a waterproof garment is NOT a softshell garment. Good luck and don't overcook the Turkey.


mheyman


Nov 20, 2007, 9:49 AM
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Re: [justinboening] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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Agreed, the Synchro is NOT a breathable softshell, certainly not a very breathable softshell. It is really a smart looking lightweight almost waterproof wind breaker. Almost water proof is why they call it a soft shell. Itís a nice jacket, but itís not very breathable.

That said, Andy Kirkpatricks article "The Best Softshell," makes it seem as though one jacket will fill your needs. I canít fully agree with that Ė and I think most people will layer to some degree even when using a softshell as one of the layers. One example would be a belay jacket over the softshell. Also I am not sure that it is up to date enough to consider the nylon weave jackets that are the more breathable softshells today.

I do feel that my softshell is more comfortable over a wider range of conditions than other alternatives, but it does not and can not completely eliminate the need to layer.


(This post was edited by mheyman on Nov 20, 2007, 10:11 AM)


reno


Nov 20, 2007, 10:06 AM
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Re: [nbo10] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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nbo10 wrote:
Hi All,
Can ya'll recommend a Softshell. I'm looking to at the 200 dollar range. I'm looking at the Mountain Hardwear Synchro Jacket and the Couldveil Inertia Peak Jacket. I'm looking for breatheability and good wind and light snow repellent. Thanks

Not having tried this jacket, I can't speak to it's performance, but I do have several items made from Lowe Alpine (packs, hard shell, pants,) and they've all done well for me.

Sierra Trading Post: Lowe Alpine Volition Jacket for $179.

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/...t-Shell-For-Men.html


justinboening


Nov 20, 2007, 7:01 PM
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Re: [mheyman] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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Agreed. Andy's article is clearly dated. The concepts he outlines, however, are still pertinent in todays market, I maintain. If you peruse his website (or have read his articles over the years), you'll see that he wears a belay jacket and base layer just like the rest of us. But instead of wearing several layers, it seems he frequently opts for a more heavily insulated softshell. For example, the product he was most closely connected to out of that original line-up was the Stretch Speed Ascent, an encapsulated (read non-laminate) shell sewn to reversed R2 (in the body) and R1 (in the sleeves) fleece--basically a more technical version of the Patagonia Infurno, really the impetus for the whole project. Now, I don't know what you wear when you're climbing, but that's more than I almost ever wear while active. And I live in Montana and travel to Canada frequently. What I'm saying, basically, is that Andy knows that no jacket is going to work best all the time, but what he sees as the essence of the softshell concept, and what I particularly agree with him on, is that versatility is the goal of the softshell concept. Shelled polyester may still be the choice if that's what you're after. Yes, there are more breathable garments. There are warmer garments, too. There are, of course, garments that have better wind and water resistance. But maybe it has the best combination of these characteristics. I don't know. For me, when I'm climbing wintery technical terrain (read stop-and-go), it's a base layer and my Gamma MX. Depending on the weather I change my base layer. But once I put the jacket on, it usually stays on all day. The only layer I actually layer is my Belay Jacket, of which, like my base layers, I have many choices for varying weather. I approach layering in this way because the goal is simplicity--ease of use. If the goal was playing with equipment, I would have gone wall climbing. But the main point I want to make is make sure you know what you're looking for; make sure you're aware of the design goals of the product you're interested in buying; and please, don't listen to me. There are real experts on the subjects that are constantly speculated upon in these forums. Andy Kirkpatrick is an expert, in my opinion. Don't listen to me. Go to his web-site. Find a Patagonia article called "The Percent of Naked." Read Extreme Alpinism, by Mark F. Twight. When you want to know if you should be using the belay loop, look at the instruction manual that came with the harness or is sewn into the harness itself. Don't ask a joker like me. Inertia is one of the most breathable shells on the market, or at least it used to be. Frankly I'm not sure if the fabric has changed recently. The Synchro, which is a conduit laminate--conduit: Mountan Hardwear's proprietary waterproof-breathable technology--is, as I said in my previous post, not even softshell under the term's original defenition. Yeah, it's not waterproof, but the primary DESIGN GOAL of this product is to keep water and wind from getting in, not to keep moving it out. This is the basic difference in principle that has been obstructed from the view of the average consumer by companies that were too committed to Gore and their theories on layering. I'm going to step off of my soap box now. Sorry for the rant.


justinboening


Nov 21, 2007, 9:57 AM
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Re: [mheyman] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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hey mheyman,

check out this article

http://psychovertical.com/?cuthecrap

Another Andy classic. Again, sorry for the rant. I'm just tired of seeing antiquated technology continuosly recycled. Gore-tex softshell comes to mind.


nuts_bolts


Nov 21, 2007, 10:13 AM
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Re: [justinboening] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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http://psychovertical.com/?cuthecrap


reno


Nov 21, 2007, 10:40 AM
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Re: [zealotnoob] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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zealotnoob wrote:
Check out ebay and froogle for deals on the Arc'teryx Gamma MX (hooded or regular).

Mountaingear.com has one (non-hooded) on sale now for $179.

Sure, you only get one color choice (Garbanzo???) for that price, but you'll never find a better price.

LINK


Uncia


Nov 21, 2007, 11:14 AM
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Re: [reno] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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I got a hooded gamma mx for 175 on backcountryoutlet.com a few months back. Unfortunately, that deal is no longer available but there is always hope. I had to get the green color too. I hated the idea at first but it's grown on me.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend the hooded mx. The cut is amazing and the fabric (powershield) rocks. Worse case scenario, find a jacket made out of the same stuff that fits well. Good luck with your search.


justinboening


Nov 21, 2007, 12:36 PM
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Re: [nuts_bolts] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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Nut Bolts,

Is this another vote for the article who's link I posted? Or do you, like I, feel like Mr. Kirkpatricks words better convey whatever you might be trying to say. His web-site's pretty cool. I can't think of another figure in the community who makes more sense to me when it comes to evaluating our tool. You should really check him out before you discredit him. Or me, for that matter.


nuts_bolts


Nov 21, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Re: [justinboening] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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justinboening wrote:
Nut Bolts,

Is this another vote for the article who's link I posted? Or do you, like I, feel like Mr. Kirkpatricks words better convey whatever you might be trying to say. His web-site's pretty cool. I can't think of another figure in the community who makes more sense to me when it comes to evaluating our tool. You should really check him out before you discredit him. Or me, for that matter.

No, no, no, I'm not voting for anyone. Or discrediting anyone for that matter. I just go around fixing URL links to boost my post count.Wink If you actually use the "url" "/url" tag chances are more people will visit that site.


(This post was edited by nuts_bolts on Nov 21, 2007, 12:49 PM)


justinboening


Nov 21, 2007, 12:49 PM
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Re: [nuts_bolts] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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sorry. I'm an idiot. Really sorry. I'm going to go cook my Turkey now.


nuts_bolts


Nov 21, 2007, 1:05 PM
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Re: [justinboening] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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Haha, no worries. Feel free to keep talking about soft shells, I was enjoying this conversation.

BTW, have you received a "STFU n00b" yet? If not then: STFU n00b!!!11!


fancyclaps


Nov 21, 2007, 1:29 PM
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Arcteryx Trident Hoody on sale at REI-Outlet for 140.00, use coupon WMPRT7 to get $25 off. I ordered one and ended up paying 125.00 w/ sales tax. However I dont know if it is going to work as a softshell, but I trust Arcteryx quality.

http://www.rei.com/REI-Outlet/product/759716


nuts_bolts


Nov 21, 2007, 1:37 PM
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http://www.rei.com/...utlet/product/759716

Hehe, two in one thread, I'm on a roll!


chouca


Nov 21, 2007, 2:35 PM
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Re: [nbo10] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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Beyond Fleece Cold Fusion Pullover w/ hood is the ticket. Made to fit you and it has a great warmth to weight ratio, deflects moisture the way a softshell should. Wear an N2S baselayer with this and you handle 5 Deg. F weather before you need to slap on a belay jacket.

Avoid the Patagonia Mixmaster. It wets out real fast and takes forever to dry.


studclimber


Nov 21, 2007, 10:49 PM
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Re: [nbo10] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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Personally, I like the Mountain hardwear alchemy. it has been one of the best jackets i have ever bought, and I use it in a huge range of conditions. just my two cents, hope it helps.


vegastradguy


Nov 21, 2007, 11:23 PM
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Re: [studclimber] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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The Cloudveil Serendipity is the jacket i'd recommend. I think it retails at $220. Fit is excellent, and the quality is very high for the price point. I've had mine for 4+ years- the DWR lasted for two, but other than having to wash in a new DWR once a season now, it still looks brand new.


nbo10


Nov 29, 2007, 8:39 AM
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Re: [vegastradguy] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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Thanks for the replys. I was able to find a gamma on sale.


builttospill


Nov 29, 2007, 8:15 PM
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Re: [nbo10] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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Here's a question for the group:

I've never owned a softshell. I do a lot of winter climbing, some skiing, some ice climbing. I sweat a lot, even though I'm in good aerobic condition. I always have.

When I climb I always wear a base layer, and then a fleece. I carry my shell on the approach and for the climb (unless it's wet) and wear it on the summit and descending because I get cold. Occasionally I carry a down or synthetic parka to layer if I'm truly concerned about cold (usually).

In terms of where a softshell fits into this, it seems like it would merely replace my fleece on the approach and as an insulating layer later if necessary (I remove my fleece frequently on the approach and end up in just baselayers on some days). Do I really need this?

My system seems to work fine as it is, and I buy fleece for $20 a shot or less (I own a lot cause I wear them around my frigid house). I don't want to spend unnecessary money.

I've always sort of done without a lot of things, in climbing and other things. So maybe I've just convinced myself that I don't need a softshell.

What do people think? Should I drop $200 hard-earned dollars on something?


crimpstrength


Nov 29, 2007, 8:26 PM
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I have the infurno. I keep it in my pack for windy/cold times when I'm sitting around and don't want to use my down jacket.

I have all that high tech garbage from Arc hardshells and softshells, mammut and hardwear insulators to patty softshells and insulators. They are all weak in comparison to my Miami Dolphins NFL jacket (with hood). Although I have no experience with the new Nascar designs, I stand behind the NFL jackets completely. I do want to try the new Nascar jackets though, especially the M&M one (I like the colors). I will get back to y'all with a review when I get one.


stymingersfink


Nov 29, 2007, 9:58 PM
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Re: [builttospill] Soft Shell [In reply to]
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builttospill wrote:
Here's a question for the group:

I've never owned a softshell. I do a lot of winter climbing, some skiing, some ice climbing. I sweat a lot, even though I'm in good aerobic condition. I always have.

When I climb I always wear a base layer, and then a fleece. I carry my shell on the approach and for the climb (unless it's wet) and wear it on the summit and descending because I get cold. Occasionally I carry a down or synthetic parka to layer if I'm truly concerned about cold (usually).

In terms of where a softshell fits into this, it seems like it would merely replace my fleece on the approach and as an insulating layer later if necessary (I remove my fleece frequently on the approach and end up in just baselayers on some days). Do I really need this?

My system seems to work fine as it is, and I buy fleece for $20 a shot or less (I own a lot cause I wear them around my frigid house). I don't want to spend unnecessary money.

I've always sort of done without a lot of things, in climbing and other things. So maybe I've just convinced myself that I don't need a softshell.

What do people think? Should I drop $200 hard-earned dollars on something?
Softshell? Where does it fit?


well, typically when I'm climbing ice, it's my outer layer... worn over a poly or schoeller base layer and a windstopper vest. On wicked cold days, I'll add the goretex shell over that.

On warmer days when the water is flowing, I might leave the softshell at the truck and wear the goretex over the other two layers mentioned above.

I get quite warm when climbing (usually), and rely upon the breathe-ability of the softshell to keep me from sweating too much. This also means my partner can't dilly-dally while I'm belaying, else I'm going to get a little chilled.

On my lower body I usually wear a poly-pro base with some lightweight schoeller pants over them (the BD Alpine pant) in pretty much all conditions. Occasionally I'll throw on my goretex bibs, but it's got to be extremely cold or exceptionally wet before I'll go that far.

Under similar conditions skiing or snowboarding, pretty much the same guidelines apply.


Soft-shells are not an end-all be-all of outerwear, but god-damnit they sure are versatile and indispensable IMHO.

If you're looking to purchase a softshell, figure out what you're going to be using it primarily for. Climbing? Check out the Arc'teryx Gamma MX. Longer cut in the torso to fit under your harness, pockets mounted high enough you can still access them while wearing the harness.

Cloudveil has some pretty good goods too (my partner climbs primarily in their Serendipity jacket... works for him).


Partner angry


Nov 30, 2007, 8:30 AM
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I consider softshells 130+bpm clothing. If your heart-rate isn't 130bpm or more in them, you're gonna fucking freeze.

I use mine for all night bike rides in the winter. I love it on the approaches, and it's nice to climb in if it's a single pitch and getting back down to the belay jacket is just a lower or rappel away.

Multi-pitch or mountaineering, I wouldn't even consider it. Goretex with pit zips, it aint great but you won't get hypothermia that way.

I do like softshell pants with really thick long underwear. Legs don't make you as wickedly uncomfortable if they're a little chilly though.

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