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Softshell Standoff

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Softshell Standoff

Postby Strider » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:37 am

Hello and thanks for dropping buy
so im in the market for an alpine softshell for mountaineering.

my must list is:
Windproof
light
Very stretchy
must NOT ride up when climbing
Abrassion resistent
not very warm (i think i prefer a not very warm softshell, i want to retain my flexibility and could just put a loftier base layer if i get too cold right?)
Pit zips
Cinch cords

i also wanted a hooded softshell but i just cant find one that i can try on around where i live
any feedback on my list?

Narrowed down my options for those 3:
http://www.mammut.ch/en/productDetail/1 ... t-Men.html

http://www.mammut.ch/en/productDetail/1 ... t-Men.html

http://www.backcountry.com/the-north-fa ... acket-mens

all seem to be a very high end products which answer to all my wishes. the Ultimate Nordpfieiler is clearly the stretchiest and almost doesn't ride up at all (tailored to climbing movements)
but it costs a lot.


any experience with any of the above?
suggestions will be welcomed.
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Re: Softshell Standoff

Postby pvnisher » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:02 am

The standard Ultimate Hoody isn't very stretchy, but is by far my favorite. Main thing is that the pitzips go from the hem to biceps. You can really open that thing up for ventilation. That means either less sweat or less stopping to change layers. The lack of stretch doesn't matter to me much. I don't have it fit snugly so I can layer underneath.

FYI- The Nordpfieiler isn't super stretchy. Anything with Windstopper isn't very stretchy. Not like Polartec Powershield or something like that. But Windstopper is more water resistant IMO, due to the membrane. And like I said, stretchiness is overrated in my book. Pitzips are king.

Might want to consider adding a hood to your list of requirements.
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Re: Softshell Standoff

Postby Strider » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:17 am

Hey Pvnisher, thanks for your feedback!

I tried the 3 softshells above and i can guarantee that the Nordpfieler is by far the stretchiest of them all - yes more than the TNF APEX THERMAL which is a polartec windbloc softhsell . i dont know how they did it with the materiel but i know what i felt. also the nordpfieler is the one which "rides up" the least of them all when i put my hands up. really good tailoring. the thing is it's super expensive - cotsts twice as the TNF APEX THERMAL!!!


about the hood- yes i would really love a hood on my softshell but i just cant find a hodded softshell anywhere in the country (yes im serious) so im left with the buying online option or waiting untill i get to europe . and i really would like to settle the softshell issue quick.
is the hood such a "deal breaker"? cant i just get a non hodded softshell and wear a balaclava or windstopper buff?


P.S
The TNF APEX THERMAL is a very good softshell made with a quality Polartec Windblock material but it doesn't have pit zips at all which i think is a MUST have. i think i might drop it from my options because of that...
ventilation is very big issue in my book. what say you?
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Re: Softshell Standoff

Postby Tonka » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:31 am

Years ago Marmot made a Driclime windshirt that had 2 front pockets and a roll-up, light hood, this was my favorite jacket of all time. If anyone has one please send it to me.
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Re: Softshell Standoff

Postby WyomingSummits » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:12 am

One of my favorite softshells now is one of the most inexpensive on the market. The SierraDesigns Campfire hoody. Wind and water resistant(dwr), helmet compatible hood, adjustable cuffs, angel-wing arms so it doesn't ride up, and VERY light yet durable construction. It weighs about 14oz. I wore it on a speed hike on Harney Peak in the Black Hills on Sunday with just a baselayer underneath. It was light rain/sleeting on us the whole 3.5 miles up and it never soaked through. It's a light but durable material that breathes really well in my opinion, and I tend to run hot. The only downside is that it has open pockets.....no zippers. I had to scratch my head over that one. It's a summer alpine jacket as it has little to no insulative value other than the wind resistance, but it fits loosely enough to put whatever layer you want underneath. For $50 you can't go wrong.
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Re: Softshell Standoff

Postby Kiefer » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:59 am

Image

I've owned this Ar'teryx Gamma AR for about 4 years and I absolutely LOVE it. It's one of my favourite pieces in my gear closet. It's stretchy, seems fairly abrasion resistant (thus far), functions good at keeping the wind at bay and it doesn't ride up the waist or
in the arms. I JUST washed it for the first time last week and replaced the pressure clips on the waist. Great as new. It's a pricey SOB but so far, it's proven its worth. I consider it a good purchase.

Image

Another softshell I own is the Mountain Hardwear Alchemy. Almost identical to the Arc'teryx but I really like the small chest pkt.
It fits looser which makes it great for layering underneath. Between the two, the MH is a slightly beefier jacket. Though, I believe it's discontinued.
Both of these pieces get a serious workout in the spring.
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Re: Softshell Standoff

Postby dskoon » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:20 am

WyomingSummits wrote:One of my favorite softshells now is one of the most inexpensive on the market. The SierraDesigns Campfire hoody. Wind and water resistant(dwr), helmet compatible hood, adjustable cuffs, angel-wing arms so it doesn't ride up, and VERY light yet durable construction. It weighs about 14oz. I wore it on a speed hike on Harney Peak in the Black Hills on Sunday with just a baselayer underneath. It was light rain/sleeting on us the whole 3.5 miles up and it never soaked through. It's a light but durable material that breathes really well in my opinion, and I tend to run hot. The only downside is that it has open pockets.....no zippers. I had to scratch my head over that one. It's a summer alpine jacket as it has little to no insulative value other than the wind resistance, but it fits loosely enough to put whatever layer you want underneath. For $50 you can't go wrong.


Sounds very much like the Marmot Driclime, which they still make, but with a hood( I think Marmot also makes a version w/ a hood), and maybe breathes
a bit better than the Marmot. Marmot also has fairly deep side pockets as well as a chest pocket. Works for me. But, the Driclimb is the same as what you'redescribing, and no zips on the pockets is the mode of many lightweight shells- gotta save the weight somewhere.
Stick your wallet in a fanny pack or other pack, assuming you're carrying something such. . .
Anyway, sounds like you got a good one, and Im'a gonna check it out.
Thanks for the rec.
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Re: Softshell Standoff

Postby Strider » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:04 pm

great.. more options which i cant get where i live :(
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Re: Softshell Standoff

Postby jdenyes » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:39 pm

If you are headed into the alps you are likely passing through either a main city or a main village en route which is likely to have a lot of climbing friendly stores. I can recommend some places in Zurich, which have outlets! if you are coming in through Switzerland and I am sure some people can help you sort out France based locations/approaches, or give some recommendations. Not an ideal solution, but sounds like you are having some tough luck :-(
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Re: Softshell Standoff

Postby jthomas » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:40 pm

Tonka wrote:Years ago Marmot made a Driclime windshirt that had 2 front pockets and a roll-up, light hood, this was my favorite jacket of all time. If anyone has one please send it to me.



Happy to oblige; just picked one up:

http://marmot.com/products/ether_driclime?p=216,120
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Re: Softshell Standoff

Postby Tonka » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:21 pm

jthomas wrote:
Tonka wrote:Years ago Marmot made a Driclime windshirt that had 2 front pockets and a roll-up, light hood, this was my favorite jacket of all time. If anyone has one please send it to me.



Happy to oblige; just picked one up:

http://marmot.com/products/ether_driclime?p=216,120


Not exactly what they used to have but close. I'd like to try one on.
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Re: Softshell Standoff

Postby Kai » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:22 pm

You shouldn't need pit zips in a soft shell, especially a light one.

Get a softshell with a hood.
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Re: Softshell Standoff

Postby JB99 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:18 am

What Kai said, hood, no pitzips. Polartec Powershield Pro is a good material to look for if you want a good balance of breathability and weather protection. Marmot Membrain Strata is a stretchy, yet waterproof material that I've been pleased with the times I've had a chance to use it. Not that a jacket made with it would qualify as a softshell by any stretch, but potentially worth a look.
Last edited by JB99 on Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Softshell Standoff

Postby Strider » Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:38 am

I also think that hood is a must . but then again why is that?
i think that when dealing with steep snow or ice or rolling in the snow while self aressting or rescuing someone from a crevasse a non hooded softshell will just expose mu head ears and neck to the snow , right?


Edit: No need for pitzips in a softshell? i don't understand. i generate a lot of hear when i climb and this is a very good way of ventilation. it only adds a couple of grams of weight so what is the preblem?
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Re: Softshell Standoff

Postby Wastral » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:12 am

Polartec 100 powerstretch + windshell is both lighter, more universal in more situations, cheaper, warmer, EDIT: vents better, more wind proof, and lighter than any of these so called "wind stopper" etc types of tops.

Stop overthinking a simple old time solution. Then again, gotta keep over priced gear in the stores and marmot etc doors open, so by all means, spend away.
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