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Reccommend Soft Shell Touring Jackets For Me & My Gal

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

We need some soft shells, primary use is for ski touring.  Any suggestions?

post #2 of 12
I actually just bought a Ski the East soft shell. Haven't gotten it into really cold weather yet obviously, but based on my experience with soft shells (I practically live in them in winter), so far it's the best one I've ever owned.

http://store.skitheeast.net/collections/mens-sweatshirts/products/born-from-ice-softshell-hoodie-gray
post #3 of 12
Is the reason you want a softshell (as opposed to a hardshell) because you want to pack it away?
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

The reason is that we are taking a guided touring trip of the Haute Route and soft shells are on the extensive list of things they want us to pack that we don't have.  I have 2 TNF Goretex shells.

post #5 of 12

A Hardshell is usually a 3-Layer jacket with a heavier nylon/polyester outer layer.  It is more durable and windproof than a 2-Layer or 2.5-Layer Softshell.  But it weighs more than a softshell and does not pack away as small.

 

2-layer and lightweight 2.5-Layer shells should not really be used for serious, high altitude, cold, windy backcountry excursions.

 

Gore-Tex is a proprietary Teflon (polymer) membrane that is bonded to an outer protective layer (the outside of the jacket).  The outer protective layer and the bonded Gore-Tex are referred to as a 2-Layer jacket.

 

A 2.5-Layer jacket has an additional very thin liner that is bonded to the inside of the Gore-Tex membrane.  This is what you see inside the Jacket.

 

A 3-Layer jacket usually has, in addition, a lose inner liner.  Because of the three layers, 3-Layer jackets are heavier and bulkier (hence my question).

 

I would just ask the tour guide if your existing jackets are okay.  At a minimum your existing jackets are 2.5-Layer.

 

Beware that there are several different Gore-Tex membranes (Gore-Tex, Gore-Tex Paclite and Gore-Tex Pro).  ALl are great so there is n o need to check which one you have.

 

You should really check what conditions you are like to encounter. 

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe strummer View Post
 

A Hardshell is usually a 3-Layer jacket with a heavier nylon/polyester outer layer.  It is more durable and windproof than a 2-Layer or 2.5-Layer Softshell.  But it weighs more than a softshell and does not pack away as small.

 

2-layer and lightweight 2.5-Layer shells should not really be used for serious, high altitude, cold, windy backcountry excursions.

 

Gore-Tex is a proprietary Teflon (polymer) membrane that is bonded to an outer protective layer (the outside of the jacket).  The outer protective layer and the bonded Gore-Tex are referred to as a 2-Layer jacket.

 

A 2.5-Layer jacket has an additional very thin liner that is bonded to the inside of the Gore-Tex membrane.  This is what you see inside the Jacket.

 

A 3-Layer jacket usually has, in addition, a lose inner liner.  Because of the three layers, 3-Layer jackets are heavier and bulkier (hence my question).

 

I would just ask the tour guide if your existing jackets are okay.  At a minimum your existing jackets are 2.5-Layer.

 

Beware that there are several different Gore-Tex membranes (Gore-Tex, Gore-Tex Paclite and Gore-Tex Pro).  ALl are great so there is n o need to check which one you have.

 

You should really check what conditions you are like to encounter. 

One does not sign up for a trip like this without checking what conditions one is  likely to encounter.

 

Guides recommend a soft shell and a light waterproof layer and a down sweater.   We are traversing the Alps in mid- April so not terribly cold with the possibility for rain or snow or wind. Have the down sweaters need soft shells and a light rain shell.  Could probably get away with one of the shells I already have for top layer if needed.  Yes I know what Goretex is.  I asked for a rec. not a lecture..

 

I have not had an insulated ski jacket in decades... I just layer appropriately under a waterproof/windproof shell.  

post #7 of 12

Just a quick mod note:

 

When responding to a careful explanation along the general lines of your topic, please don't assume you're being talked down to, even when the person doesn't seem to be answering your question. He or she may not 1) be clear what your asking, and/or 2) be aware of what you already know.

 

Thank you.  Carry on.

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 

Just a quick mod note:

 

When responding to a careful explanation along the general lines of your topic, please don't assume you're being talked down to, even when the person doesn't seem to be answering your question. He or she may not 1) be clear what your asking, and/or 2) be aware of what you already know.

 

Thank you.  Carry on.

Or speaking to everyone who is reading the thread who may not know as much as the OP.

Here's a nice review of softshells. http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Softshell-Jacket-Reviews

Since you're going to take a lightweight waterproof shell--breathable I hope--you don't need a membrane lined jacket.

I have a couple of softshells. My experience in the Alps is limited to guided off piste skiing in the Chamonix area--where the Haute Route starts. I personally would take a fairly burly uninsulated hardshell with good venting and skip the soft shell, but I can understand if you choose to take the advice of your guides rather than mine. I assume that if you're doing a Haute Route trip you have a fair amount of touring experience; I wouldn't discount your own experience regarding what to wear.

post #9 of 12

I got a soft shell last year because I ski near Los Angeles and up to Mammoth and we get a lot of warmer, sunny days.  I'm quite partial to Patagonia because as a skinny person I find that their products fit me well.  So I got the Adze jacket.  It did everything I needed and was more wind-proof than I expected too.

 

http://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-adze-hybrid-jacket/83450.html?dwvar_83450_color=CMPG&cgid=web-specials-mens-jackets-vests#start=1

post #10 of 12

Joe I do not agree with your description of a softshell.  Sounds more like a description of the different ways a laminate (goretex) jacket can be made.  

 

The one freeski recommends looks heavy.  I would not like ribbed waist and cuffs in a touring jacket.

 

I used a Dynafit Mercury Jacket last year and my hardshell never came out of my pack.  There was a day in the PNW it should have.  I like that it is simple, relatively windproof and water resistant and I could always keep it on.  I just picked the right first layer and then a buff, hat and gloves could be used to regulate warmth.  Hood worked well with and without helmet.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 

Just a quick mod note:

 

When responding to a careful explanation along the general lines of your topic, please don't assume you're being talked down to, even when the person doesn't seem to be answering your question. He or she may not 1) be clear what your asking, and/or 2) be aware of what you already know.

 

Thank you.  Carry on.

Or speaking to everyone who is reading the thread who may not know as much as the OP.

Here's a nice review of softshells. http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Softshell-Jacket-Reviews

Since you're going to take a lightweight waterproof shell--breathable I hope--you don't need a membrane lined jacket.

I have a couple of softshells. My experience in the Alps is limited to guided off piste skiing in the Chamonix area--where the Haute Route starts. I personally would take a fairly burly uninsulated hardshell with good venting and skip the soft shell, but I can understand if you choose to take the advice of your guides rather than mine. I assume that if you're doing a Haute Route trip you have a fair amount of touring experience; I wouldn't discount your own experience regarding what to wear.

Yes.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

I apologize if I seemed a bit cranky...probably spent too much time reading the instructors forum.

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