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wrenrunner


Mar 11, 2004, 2:08 PM
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Soft Shells
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Hey guys! I was in the process of buying a new shell jacket mainly for skiing when the thought of buying a soft shell popped into my mind. I could drop a load of money on a soft shell and be able to use it climbing (of course!!), but i'm not sure that it would be sufficient to ski in. Also, for those of you who have soft shells, do you love yours? Is it one of your most priceless pieces of clothing/gear? If so what type,(-brand and model-), do you have?? Thanks for the info guys, I've always gotten good feedback from other climbers in the "community"....So Have at it!!! :D Thanks!! :)


atg200


Mar 11, 2004, 2:33 PM
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Registered: Jul 27, 2001
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soft shells are great for skiing - especially backcountry skiing where goretex shells sweat out unless you strip when you skin up. my soft shell pants and jacket are by far and away my favorite pieces of outerwear, and they were worth the horrendous amount of money you have to pay for them.

i have the arcteryx gamma top and bottom. fit is important, and especially for the pants they were the only one of many i tried that fit like a glove. most of the pants seem built for really skinny types - i wear 34/34 pants so i am not overly fat or anything, but i had a hell of a time finding anything that fit right.


adichad


Mar 11, 2004, 2:42 PM
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Check out beyond fleece on the internet. Their Cold Fusion soft shell is unbelievable. You get a custom tailored jacket for a reasonable price. This is by far my favorite piece of outerwear. I have used this softshell in all conditions, from snow, freezing rain, bike riding with temps at 10 degrees, rain storms. It is worth the money and you will find that it practically replaces your gortex for all but the most extreme conditions.


wedgy


Mar 11, 2004, 2:42 PM
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i have the gamma emsemble as well & love it. not as water tight as g-tex but good in snow & wind (you will get wet in the rain). REI has a new line of soft shells w/ the same material (Schoeller) thats definitely worth looking in to. they are about 1/2 the price .


crag


Mar 11, 2004, 2:55 PM
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Registered: Jan 29, 2003
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Been using Mammut's soft shell Champ pants since last summer, love them completely. Best god darn piece of gear I ever spent too much moola on. Up top I'm using Mtn Hdw's older style N2S top as a shell. It is performing well too.


epic_ed


Mar 11, 2004, 3:08 PM
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Love my Mountain Hardwear Alchemy pants and jacket. Beyond Fleece also gets great reviews for their customizable features and overall value. ArcTeryx is bomber stuff, and some of the best on the market, but you'll pay more for it.

Ed


kman


Mar 11, 2004, 3:10 PM
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I have a TNF softshell. I use it as a mid layer aswell. I love it. Totall freedom of movement!


mrme


Mar 11, 2004, 4:24 PM
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i have a moonstone vest that i like.


vegastradguy


Mar 11, 2004, 4:26 PM
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I'm a Cloudveil whore, myself. Serendipity...nice. Ice Floe..my next softshell..its got a hood. woo!

one of these days, i'll pick up the symmetry pant, but for now i'm happy with my BD Alpine pant (also soft shell).

you also cant go wrong with Arc'teryx and i've heard good things about the MH Alchemy as well...


une


Mar 11, 2004, 4:38 PM
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I've got a REI one soft shell. I have not taken it climbing yet but when I have to walk to work in 20 below wind chill it has kept me warm and dry. I don't even need gloves as long as I keep my hands it the pockets. They even start to sweat after a while.

I definetly reccommend a soft shell jacket for the simple fact that they are so light, warm and protective.

-UNE


soccer_fan


Mar 11, 2004, 4:49 PM
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I've got Patagonia's Core Skin, and so far I really like it - you will eventually get wet in a good rain, but that's not what its designed to hold up to.


Partner tattooed_climber


Mar 11, 2004, 7:36 PM
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Pay the extra and get an Arc'Teryx, wicked softshells.

something also worth a look are the softshells by Mountain Hardwear that have the waterproof zippers that seem to disappear when zipped up, really cool jacket


bsperes


Mar 12, 2004, 1:09 PM
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everyone raves about the Arc'teryx softshells, me included, but there are so many, which ones are we talking about.

I have the alpha comp, ultra liteweight and VERY breathable. I am looking for something with a bit more wind resistance but that breathes better than the MH Alchemy.

Of course I am looking at the Serendipity and BF.


e_wire


Mar 12, 2004, 1:59 PM
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I've been using softshells for the last 2 years. I haven't used my hard shell ever since. Good for skiing, climbing, ice-climbing, snowshoeing... Lousy when it really pours...

I've tried Patagonia Core Skin, ArcTeryx (forgot the model) and Cloudveil Ice Floe. The one I loved best? Cloudveil... Why... Flexible fabric, hoody, overall very good.

My point of view...

e_wire


sspssp


Mar 12, 2004, 2:08 PM
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For all of you that climb in your soft shell. Are you only talking about cold climbing conditions (say 40 degrees and below)? Or are can you wearing a soft shell in more mixed/moderate conditions. Say its in the 50's. Some of the climbing is calm and in the sun (feels like 70) and some of it is in the shade and windy. Could you wear a soft shell without overheating? If you aren't wearing a soft shell all the time (say you are carrying a jacket just for belays and emergency/storm), wouldn't a lightweight hard shell offer better rain protection with less bulk and weight?

Curious.


galt


Mar 12, 2004, 2:33 PM
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REI All in one jacket... I love it! I use it on a regular basis in Orlando and used it all winter to ski up in Maryland. It's also one of the cheaper shells. I love mine for the price.


killclimbz


Mar 12, 2004, 2:57 PM
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The Ibex Neve is probably one of the nicest soft shells I have seen. Shchoeller fabric, merino wool liner and pit zips. Sierra Designs also makes some nice soft shells for a lower price. Comparable to the REI models.


rhu


Mar 12, 2004, 3:01 PM
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Registered: Apr 14, 2003
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I have TNF Apex 1 and I am very pleased with it, especially considering how darn cheap I got mine. ($100)


jimdavis


Mar 13, 2004, 8:42 PM
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Marmot Sharp-Point. I love that thing! I checked out the Patagonia soft-shell jackets (not fleeces) and they seemed like someone the fabric from my LL Bean's heavy-duty backpack and turned it into a jacket...I'm not impressed.

I know plenty of people that love their Cloudveil, I actually saw some of them myself and wasn't that impressed, but I haven't tested them myself.

I'll give three cheers for Marmot though, my sharp point is wonderfull... just wish the pockets were a little higher sometimes. Check out their Quantum jacket and pants.


tricky123


Dec 2, 2004, 11:56 PM
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I know this is an old thread, but I just wanted to add for the benefit of future forum readers my view of the Apex 1.

I got this a couple of months ago and found it to be really thin, so it didn't insulate me very much. It was not good at blocking the wind (I rode around on a bike on a spring day, about 60 F), and the wind just cut through the jacket. I guess it is rated at 20 CFM, so maybe if you want more wind-resistance, you want something better than that. Perhaps if you're really generating a lot of heat it's not an issue, but I was cold in it.

The sleeves are pretty long, though, and it is pretty stretchy.

In any case, now I'm looking for something more wind resistant and warmer (maybe with a thin fleece lining)


maxdacat


Dec 3, 2004, 2:13 AM
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i have the Mountain Hardware Alchemy jacket ($150 at REI) and i love it. was perfect for the Alps this summer but now i wear it all the time, around the house, jogging to the gym etc...the fit is great and it's warm(ish) and quite water repellant....the only downside i can think of is the sleeves are a bit tight fitting so you can't roll them up to get rid of excess heat....purists may say it's not a true ss coz it's got no hood but i prefer it without.

edit - oh and i love the colour shceme.....orange and grey rocks! one of the few articles of outdoor attire i would be seen dead on the Kings road in! much more cred than everyman and his dog North Face crew!

tried on the Arcteryx gamma pants in the shop and i know what the second poster means when they fit like a glove...they do! but GBP250 was just a bit too much!

some of the Mammut stuff looks pretty cool as well.


healyje


Dec 3, 2004, 2:16 AM
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I use it strictly for rock climbing, but I recently went with a Marmot Photon shell after looking at almost all the other shells mentioned in this thread.

And after a number of cold, windy (and wet) multi-pitch days at Beacon Rock along the Columbia River and at Red Rocks I still think it's the perfect shell for climbing when things are going to get beyond brisk. I use it in combination with some dwr pants from SportHill.

[I also recently tried those instant heat packets (one in each pocket when we did Epinephrine on 11/19) and they really worked and go all day as well.]


arun


Dec 3, 2004, 2:35 AM
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Registered: Dec 8, 2003
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just to add my five cents worth: re Arc'Terxy! I have now been using since last autumn my Easy Rider Softshell for, everday wear to the office, ice climbing, skiing etc. Its my favourite jacket I have. Not as breathable as other softshells, but darn wind resistant! Also very warm. Actually I have used it 99% of the time I have been ice climbing, as my hardshell just wasn't required. Pretty good water resistance and perfect fit. I have even done a few mixed routes with the jacket, with back against the wall or in cracks etc and the jacket has held up well! Luckily I got mine on sale, so it wasn't as bad as the retail price (which isn't cheap) but I think you get what you pay for. I also use the Häglofs Softshell pants (Shark I think the model is called), with full legth waterproof zips on the side of the legs. They are also very nice.

cheers

Arun


hiram


Dec 3, 2004, 5:44 AM
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REI - One: I wear mine every day to work and snowboard in it on the weekends.

I have absoutly no complaints.


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