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Soft Shell Jacket at altitude?
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northcave


Jan 24, 2012, 7:11 AM
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Soft Shell Jacket at altitude?
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I am tempted to take my soft shell jacket on a ski touring / mountain trip next week. It is gonna be cold and dry. I wondered if anyone has tried a soft shell in those conditions and could advise.

I could just take my hard shell waterproof but thought i might benefit from the warmth of the soft jacket and flexibility maybe? Downside is that is doesn't pack down as well, weighs 320g more and is technically not 100% waterproof.

Thoughts?


Lazlo


Jan 24, 2012, 7:54 AM
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Re: [northcave] Soft Shell Jacket at altitude? [In reply to]
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northcave wrote:
I am tempted to take my soft shell jacket on a ski touring / mountain trip next week. It is gonna be cold and dry. I wondered if anyone has tried a soft shell in those conditions and could advise.

I could just take my hard shell waterproof but thought i might benefit from the warmth of the soft jacket and flexibility maybe? Downside is that is doesn't pack down as well, weighs 320g more and is technically not 100% waterproof.

Thoughts?

I'd advise the standard layering system. Base layer, mid layer, puffy, shell.

That said; if there are unique reasons why your soft shell would excel, then go for it. I just can't think of any reasons a soft shell would excel in winter for a multi-day ski trip. I think it will just add weight to a trip where weight is otherwise very important.


northcave


Jan 24, 2012, 9:30 AM
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Re: [Lazlo] Soft Shell Jacket at altitude? [In reply to]
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I think you're right and I think I am just trying to find a reason to use a lovely jacket that is gathering dust :)


Colinhoglund


Jan 30, 2012, 11:42 AM
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Re: [northcave] Soft Shell Jacket at altitude? [In reply to]
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I brought a Patagonia Houdini Jacket a year and a half ago and it now goes with me everywhere. At about 122g it weighs nothing and packs into my hand. However, it is very wind resistant, spindrift proof, quite breathable and rain resistant. I've even heard one local (Canmore=cold and dry) mountain guide say that if he had to use only one shell, that would be the one. With shells, lighter is better. Besides if it's raining, I'm working up a sweat trying to GET HOME! (and thats where the Goretex is 90% of the time)


jjanowia


Jan 30, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Re: [northcave] Soft Shell Jacket at altitude? [In reply to]
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northcave wrote:
I am tempted to take my soft shell jacket on a ski touring / mountain trip next week. It is gonna be cold and dry. I wondered if anyone has tried a soft shell in those conditions and could advise.

I could just take my hard shell waterproof but thought i might benefit from the warmth of the soft jacket and flexibility maybe? Downside is that is doesn't pack down as well, weighs 320g more and is technically not 100% waterproof.

Thoughts?

If you're just day-tripping, then just try it out. If you get a little wet and cold, no big deal; you learned something about your preferences for a winter clothing system.

The whole point of a softshell is to provide "enough" resistance as a shell when it is below freezing while being more breathable than a more traditional waterproof garment. If you're not getting rained on, then 100% waterproofing is less of an issue. If it is like most softshells and has a fleecy backing, then it can serve as a combo mid-layer (whatever that means) and shell. In this sense offering the flexibility you're alluding to.

If it's snowing wet and heavy, and you're sweating a lot, you can still wet out a softshell (Ive done it in the Pacific Northwest plenty of times).

Don't expect it to be a perfect solution to everything. Clothing system selection for winter conditions is about tradeoffs; many people end up preferring different setups. Sounds like you've got an opportunity to figure out what does and doesn't work for you.


northfacejmb


Jan 30, 2012, 4:41 PM
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Re: [northcave] Soft Shell Jacket at altitude? [In reply to]
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These days I rarely bring a hard shell in the winter. My softshell (Patagonia Ascentionist) is plenty wind/water resistant to handle pretty much anything the cold winds and snow can throw at me. If it gets too cold I'll just throw on a primaloft 1 puffy over everything.


(edit for spelling)


(This post was edited by northfacejmb on Jan 30, 2012, 4:42 PM)


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