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Women's Hard Shell

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I'm looking for a hard shell for my [skier] girlfriend. She's an advanced skier who does all sorts of outdoor type activities, including backcountry stuff, so breathability factors are important, and obviously, it needs to fit over a helmet, and price is a factor.

 

I own a Westcomb Shift LT (which is a Neoshell-based jacket) and absolutely love it, which she's well aware of, so if anybody happens to be familiar with a solid Women's Neoshell-based jacket, I'm sure that sort of recommendation would be highly thought of, but really we're just looking for recommendations.

 

Thanks a bunch!

post #2 of 12

It's not the highest end, but I've been well-served by LLBEan.
 

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/82678?feat=506593-GN3&page=bean-s-neoshell-bounder-jacket

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ah, yeah, we actually ran to a store to check that out last week—They didn't have it, but the shells they did have in stock were too "boxy" in terms of fit. She's pretty thin, and for the sleeves and chest to fit, it kind of flared out at the waist and hips too much.

 

tldr, athletic fit type stuff would be preferred.

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollercoaster37 View Post
 

Ah, yeah, we actually ran to a store to check that out last week—They didn't have it, but the shells they did have in stock were too "boxy" in terms of fit. She's pretty thin, and for the sleeves and chest to fit, it kind of flared out at the waist and hips too much.

 

tldr, athletic fit type stuff would be preferred.

She has my sympathies. It is very difficult to find a quality women's shell for a slim woman and even worse if she is both slim and small. My wife is 5'5" and 105 lbs and most outerwear is exactly as you say - 'boxy'. Not only is that not flattering, it is also inefficient. Of all the major brands Arcteryx comes the closest. Some pieces fit perfectly but other pieces need altering which is not a problem for fleece, softshell, etc. but much more difficult with Goretex and other waterproof breathables. Bottom line - she settled on a Sidewinder SV - it's not a perfect fit and the hood is too small for her helmet but it's as close as she could get. Yes Arcteryx is expensive but it does exactly what it's supposed to and lasts almost forever.

post #5 of 12

There are some French brands that have great quality and make their products fitting 'petite' Euopeans... Check out Millet.fr/en/ and eider.com/en/

 

Not sure if these brands are available in North America though.

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post
 

She has my sympathies. It is very difficult to find a quality women's shell for a slim woman and even worse if she is both slim and small. My wife is 5'5" and 105 lbs and most outerwear is exactly as you say - 'boxy'. Not only is that not flattering, it is also inefficient. Of all the major brands Arcteryx comes the closest. Some pieces fit perfectly but other pieces need altering which is not a problem for fleece, softshell, etc. but much more difficult with Goretex and other waterproof breathables. Bottom line - she settled on a Sidewinder SV - it's not a perfect fit and the hood is too small for her helmet but it's as close as she could get. Yes Arcteryx is expensive but it does exactly what it's supposed to and lasts almost forever.

Agreed. Pay attention to the fit description: arc'teryx has trim, athletic, relaxed, and expedition (getting looser as you go).  Arc'teryx also started putting darts in some of its women's shells, which is really nice for fit, but I'm not sure which styles use it.

 

Mostly, stick to climbing/mountaineering brands and steer clear of most American brands. Stay away from Patagonia's regular fit, but the slim fit might do it.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheizz View Post
 

There are some French brands that have great quality and make their products fitting 'petite' Euopeans... Check out Millet.fr/en/ and eider.com/en/

 

Not sure if these brands are available in North America though.

 

I've seen them but they aren't easy to find. 

post #7 of 12
Is this for a gift for her ? IMO you should take her to the shop and have her try on jackets. Any ski shop will have lots to chose from this time of year.

Remember, if she's not happy with the way it fit's and looks, she won't wear it. Something this important, needs to tryed on.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

Agreed. Pay attention to the fit description: arc'teryx has trim, athletic, relaxed, and expedition (getting looser as you go).  Arc'teryx also started putting darts in some of its women's shells, which is really nice for fit, but I'm not sure which styles use it.

Thanks for reminding me. She bought the Arcteryx covert hoody two weeks ago and it's listed as a 'trim' fit. It was perfect right off the rack. 

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post
 

Thanks for reminding me. She bought the Arcteryx covert hoody two weeks ago and it's listed as a 'trim' fit. It was perfect right off the rack. 

 

Somehow arc'teryx manages to fit a decent variety of body shapes. At least I think it does. My buddy @SkiNurse and I are built almost opposite, yet we end up in arc'teryx quite often. They brought on women to design their women's line (at least some of it) a few years back, it makes a big difference IMO. Can't speak to the men's line, though. 

post #10 of 12

Yeah, Arc'teryx is pretty much great for a trim, flattering and feminine fit while still being a solid technical brand. It's the only piece of outdoor wear that I can wear and my MOM (who pretty much never strays outside of the house for any sort of 'outdoor' pursuit) will comment on how good I look in it. And, if it can make my body look good to my mom, then it gets solid fit points. 

post #11 of 12

Another vote for Arcteryx.  My wife is petite, bought her the Arcteryx Sentinel "hard"shell.  It's actually rather soft in feel compared to many (men's) Arc hardshells.  She LOVES it. Layers with an Atom LT for cold days.  Arc does have a couple other options with longer length, depending on body height/shape.  Expensive, but really top notch.  Highly recommend.

post #12 of 12

If you want something simple and rugged and basically brilliant, look at an Arcteryx Alpha SV.

Athletic fit, pit zips, pockets and a helmet compatible hood and not only ski specific. Lots of $$ but would buy one again in a heartbeat! I've had mine 6 years and it looks brand new. I think its basically won the best hardshell reviews pretty much everywhere on the net too.

P.S I also  layer with an ATOM LT or SV too depending on the day, ATOM LT is crazy good too at what it does but not a hardshell.


Edited by snala - 11/18/14 at 2:21am
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