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Soft shell jackets

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I thought i started a thread about soft shells.
I have a Fila soft shell (same model used by the Italian alpine ski team). This model uses the Schoeller fabric. I used it in July on the glacier and it worked very well. Very breathable and the wind did not affected it at all. However, i am very interested to see how it stands up to winter conditions.

I would like to know three things.
First, tell me what soft shells you have.
Second, tell me how breathable and warm they are.
Third, what fabric?
Fourth, your overall impression and which temp range the soft shell works best in.

post #2 of 6
Have a Cloudveil (don't recall the name) made from Schoeller Extreme Dry 3X. Very breathable, wind resistant but not wind proof, water resistant but not water proof. It's not real warm, and isn't intended to be. It's really intended for moderate weather or aerobic activities in cold weather. Works fine for lift served skiing when it's in the upper 20s or higher, not windy, and sunny. Also have a Marmot with Gore Windstopper -- it's basically windproof and highly water resistant. Its as warm as a hard shell but breaths better. Doesn't breath nearly as well as the Cloudveil. IMO, the only place this wouldn't compare favorably with a hard shell would be if you're out in very wet conditions. With the right layers it's suitable for pretty cold conditions.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I do not know what variation of Schoeller fabric is used for my jacket. Thanks for the reply. It's really important that your jacket uses the Schoeller fabric and this makes the info very useful.
I noticed that the Italian ski team uses the soft shell most of the time (except for really cold days).
I really like the fabric b/c it is stretch technology. I bought the jacket in a close-fitting size.
post #4 of 6
I have two Mountain Hardware Alchemy soft shells.
Face fabric: Alchemy Stretch Nylon
Laminate: WindstopperĀ®
Lining Fabric: Polyester Microfleece

I wear them with a quality base layer down to 20F, adding another layer for temps down to 10F. After that, it's parka time. I tend to be more tolerant of colder temperatures than most people, so my results may not be typical. I have wished they were more breathable (or ventable) when it gets warm, but I don't tolerate warm temps all that well either.

I just picked up a Descente Protector soft shell for race training, but it only lists the material as a 3 layer stretch fleece. It was good in similar temps as the Alchemy jackets, and needed venting as it got around 45F.

I'm a big fan of soft shells. Unless it's bitterly cold or raining fairly hard, they suit my purposes.
post #5 of 6
I have a 4 year old Mountain Hardware soft shell made with Gore Windstopper and could not be any happier . This jacket is used for everything and is my only jacket unless it is raining or dumping snow. It keeps me warm with two thin layers underneath in almost all conditions down to about 20 degrees. High winds don't penetrate it at all and even moderate snow fall is kept at bay. When it is really coming down I will break out a hardshell.

In spring time it keeps out the morning nippiness and with great Pit zips and the front zipper open I can vent all I need. A fantastic jacket for 85% of the conditions I see in the west. The perfect jacket for me in all weather unless its raining or blizzarding. Cheers.
post #6 of 6
I wore my Patagonia White Smoke jacket for the first time yesterday at Mary Jane. The day started out bright and sunny and it was quite warm while skiing. The soft shell was incredibly comfortable and kept my body at the perfect temp (I wish I could say the same for my helmet!). At about lunch time a blizzard moved in and I had a chance to see how well it would hold up while it was dumping. What I found is that although it doesn't "shed" snow like my hard shell (Patagonia Chute to Thrill) it never really got wet or allowed any moisture through. I still would have preferred to have had my hard shell for the afternoon, but I stayed warm and dry nonetheless. The fabric is Patagonia's own H2NO.

Note also that my ski pants are Gore-Tex XCR and completely waterproof. No matter what the weather I want my lower half completely protected. I don't understand the point of soft shell pants when hard shell pants with side zips are so common. I just can't see how soft shell pants would wear very well over time.
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