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hafilax

Recommend me a softshell jacket

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Not quite a softshell, but something I just looked and am thinking to try this winter (please not that I haven't used any of these pieces, but have read great things about ether).

 

1. Base layer of your choice.

 

2. Mid layer, which can also be used as outer for the approach, etc.: Arcteryx Acto MX Hoody (or similar piece with a tight-weave non-membrane fabric). This looks to breathe amazingly, be quite wind resistant, repel some water and provide some warmth, while being lighter than a 'normal' softshell.

 

3. Outer layer: Arcteryx Alpha / Beta FL (or other Active Shell garment). These are super-light, reputed to be extremely breathable and are fully wind- and water- proof.

 

Most of the benefits of a softshell, hardshell and windshirt? Any thoughts on this?

 

That's what, $1000 in jackets (retail)?! :shock:

 

Retail (Cdn): Acto MX Hoody $300, Alpha FL $450, Beta FL $500

 

So not quite 1k, but close, if you actually buy at retail. Since you're in Van, the factory store is a good place to find bargains on a lot of their gear. I've never bought an Arcteryx piece at full retail, just look around.

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I'm surprised not one poster has brought up the importance of appearing EXTREME. "Looking good is feeling good."

 

I run warm and have found my hooded windshirt to be good for 90% of when I want a jacket. If it's really that wet out, I'm headed home. I will usually pack a puffy but leave the hardshell at home to wear around town or resort skiing.

 

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Mr Kruk makes the Acto sound like putting a hardshell over top is superfluous.

 

Sadly the last time I went to the factory store they didn't have any Actos yet. They had some $1100 Veilance wool overcoats on sale for $800 though.

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"Arcteryx Acto MX Hoody (or similar piece with a tight-weave non-membrane fabric). This looks to breathe amazingly, be quite wind resistant, repel some water and provide some warmth, while being lighter than a 'normal' softshell."

 

Ya, having repeated Jason Kruk's comments on my blog and now having and ACTO in hand not all that impressed having used a previous Arc model a good bit. As Jason commented it would work well in soem situations. I found the material too limited in over all performance. More here:

 

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2011/09/new-arcteryx-soft-shell.html

 

Gotta laugh, as all this is so condition dependant. BB is using a Atom Lt on a road side crag as a belay jacket in the first Fall colors. Where my friends and I use it as our main climbing layer and wind protection at 13K feet mid winter in the Alps or at -30c in the Ice Fields.

 

;)

 

As I said, what works for me my not work for you.

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Might throw in 2 cents. FWIW I run hot...

 

My idea for soft shells is the thinner the better, and worn within a layer of the skin. Since these garments aren't waterproof, I figure they had better dry quickly. My best example of this is the Gamma LT pant. If you wear it in the rain, or wet snow, it gets wet. If you keep working, they will be pretty close to dry in 30 mins. Almost the same thing with my Jasper pullover from Mammut on top, but not quite.

 

I've always seen the Atom LT as an insulating piece. I could well imagine it working as a "softshell" in high, dry, cold climates. But when things get yucky at 6-8000 feet and 40 degrees in the Cascades, I've had a hard time drying out a wet Atom LT in time to keep the fun-meter from hitting 0.

 

 

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I went to the Arc'teryx factory store on Sunday and they had very little selection especially in a medium. A few Atoms and the only softshell was the Firee which is "Ideal for alpine/urban transitions". I'm not sure if it's just bad timing on my part or what but I rarely find much of interest there.

 

I think I've narrowed things down to something like the Ferrata 2. I stopped by MEC today and they only had a size small and there doesn't look to be much in the online system. I like having a hood for tree bombs and spindrift. The Marmot Uptrack looks similar but with their M3 softshell and non-MEC brand price

http://marmot.com/products/up_track_jacket_fall_2011?p=182

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I'm not sure if it's just bad timing on my part or what

The October factory sale starts next Friday, so no doubt they are stockpiling for that. Selction always sucks for a couple weeks in advance. The email said they'd have lots of Gamma MX's for $199.

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I ended up getting and Acto and also picked up an Osprey Variant 52. Hopefully they will be the last two pieces of their kinds that I buy. Next on the list is a cheap light hardshell.

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