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Soft Shells

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I am looking for a new ski jacket. I have a Fila soft shell which uses Schoeller soft shell. I love it. It does not have a membrane. As a result it it breaths incredibly well. So i am thinking of getting a new jacket without a membrane. At least not with a membrane like gore tex. I am looking at a Mammut jacket with Schoeller WB-400. The trick is that it does not have a membrane like goretex. It has an acrylate layer instead of an additional membrane. This should make it much more breathable than the jackets made with WB-Formula, which is an entirely different animal. I saw the breathability tests (there is a link somewhere) and the WB-400 was a poor performer. The difference between the WB-400 and WB-Formula is that the latter uses a polyurethane membrane. The WB-400 with its acrylate layer repels water and does not interfere with perspiration transport. I want to use the Fila softshell underneath the Mammut jacket (which is essentially a soft shell,too). I know it will not be completely waterproof or windproof but it should be much more breathable than a jacket with a true membrane.

What do you think? I also read that some members are using a softshell under their jacket. I am only interested in the breathability of the setup. IMO it should be much more breathable than a goretex membrane and a softshell.

Thanks a lot!

Jamie
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
post #3 of 14
I'm having a hard time getting my arms around what you are trying to do. You mention that you have a soft shell jacket and love it, but that you want to buy another soft shell jacket to wear over the first one? Why? Don't get me wrong, I think softshells are great - I have one and wear it 95% of the time when I am skiing. Just not sure why you would want to wear 2 jackets? Is your existing jacket too small to allow layering underneath it?
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yes, my Fila softshell is very small and i can only wear a base layer underneath. I bought the Mammut softshell with WB-400. I like it very much. I hope it will do the trick. I wear it over my Fila and i bought it very small, too. The stretch material is amazing. I can move and the softshells do not restirct the freedom of movement. The WB-400 is better suited for more severe conditions than the original soft shell. It should work very well with the original softshell. What do you think? These softshells do not have a membrane so they should breath very well. I want to wear both softshells and forget about a fleece jacket.
It's very important for me to know if two softshell jackets can breath just as well as one can. I don't want to go back to the fleece jacket.

Last summer, for the first time in my like i felt that the breath ability of a softshell is not just a simple word. I had goretex and other membranes and nothing came even remotely close to a softshell. I was up on the glacier and i was wearing the softshell with a base layer underneath. It was quite warm but the base layer and softshell performed. I felt as if i had an air conditioning unit in the back. This is why i bought another softshell. This time i wanted a fabric better suited to more severe conditions WITHOUT a membrane like goretex. I found it. It is the Schoeller WB-400. I hope it will work over the original softshell. IMO it should have the same breath ability.

If you think that wearing two softshells is not a good idea, i think i can wear a fleece jacket under the Mammut softshell.
Tumbler, what fleece jacket do you suggest? I am looking for max insulation and min weight. I am thinking Polartec 200 Classic or Thermal Pro. I don't think i can wear the 300 and i even don't like the 300 Series. They are bulky IMO. Other suggestions? I really need a very breathable fleece jacket.

Thanks,
Jamie
post #5 of 14
Try it!

I found that wearing a softshell under another shell to be a problem on the forearms. My forearms got very wet.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yes, i will try it BigE.
What can you tell me about the breath ability? Did you notice any difference? Wearing a softshell over another is not a new idea IMO and i think that there are some people who tried this setup. It also depends on the fabrics. I wanted Schoeller fabrics, not Gore Windstopper. I wanted two softshells w/o a membrane.
post #7 of 14
Breathabiliy was fine, except for the forearms -- the moisture is wicked to the surface of the inside garment, but due to the insufficient airflow, it did not evaporate. I think you will have a huge problem with wetness.

I don't have windstopper, but I can't say what it is for sure.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
Breathabiliy was fine, except for the forearms -- the moisture is wicked to the surface of the inside garment, but due to the insufficient airflow, it did not evaporate. I think you will have a huge problem with wetness.

I don't have windstopper, but I can't say what it is for sure.
Interesting. I do have two questions:
What softshells do you have?
Are you saying that the moisture wicked to the surface of the inside garment won't be absorbed by the fabric of the outside garment/softshell? I got the impression that you were talking about the forearms issue. I just want to be sure.

Thanks.
post #9 of 14
They are from the same local manufacturer (second ski), but different materials.

The moisture wicked to the surface of my forearms is not getting picked up by the outside shell. This is not a problem elsewhere, as the outside shell is fairly loose everywhere else, and there is more air flow.

Two layers of softshell is a LOT of material for moisture to pass through.

I am doubtfull that it will work very well. Please let me know how it works.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
They are from the same local manufacturer (second ski), but different materials.

The moisture wicked to the surface of my forearms is not getting picked up by the outside shell. This is not a problem elsewhere, as the outside shell is fairly loose everywhere else, and there is more air flow.

Two layers of softshell is a LOT of material for moisture to pass through.

I am doubtfull that it will work very well. Please let me know how it works.
Yes i will tell you if they work or not (probably tomorrow). I will not be skiing but i will test the setup while i ride my mountain bike.

I agree that two layers of softshell is a lot of material for moisture to pass through. I think it could work. Still, it should be much more breathable than a softshell under a softshell with a true membrane (like windstopper) or a hardshell.

Jamie
post #11 of 14
If you are looking for breathable insulation take a look at a Patagonia R1 pullover. I find it almost as warm as a regular fleece when used as insulation, and not nearly as bulky as standard fleece. Wind will blow right through it so it is no good as outerware, but great for insulation. If you start heating up you just open up your jacket and you can really feel the heat dissipate. I use it under a softshell down to 15 degrees F with no problem.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44X16
If you are looking for breathable insulation take a look at a Patagonia R1 pullover. I find it almost as warm as a regular fleece when used as insulation, and not nearly as bulky as standard fleece. Wind will blow right through it so it is no good as outerware, but great for insulation. If you start heating up you just open up your jacket and you can really feel the heat dissipate. I use it under a softshell down to 15 degrees F with no problem.
If the two softshells won't work together i will have to consider a fleece for the Mammut softshell. It will be my softshell for more severe conditions while the Fila softshell will be the same garment for warmer weather. I can't use it only with a base layer undeneath in cold weather.
Thanks for the suggestion!
post #13 of 14
I would not use 2 soft shells for exactly the reasons that you fear - reduced breathability. I would recommend a regular fleece (non windblock) under the Mammut. Good luck
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the reply.


I wanted the Schoeller WB-400 b/c it does not have a true membrane so it should be much more breathable than a hardshell. I wanted the Mammut to replace my hardshell for most conditions where i would use it. I read that some people use the softshell under a hard shell when it's colder or when the conditions are more severe. I think that a softshell made of a fabric better suited to more severe conditions like the WB-400 without a true membrane is more breathable than a hardshell over a softshell.

I want to use the Mammut with WB-400 separately like the Fila. Just as you said i will use it with a fleece jacket when it's colder. Only when it's too cold or the weather is nasty i will use it over my Fila softshell. It will replace my hardshell for those conditions when i would use my Volkl jacket. So i can use the softshells separately 80% of the time (depanding on the weather conditions) and 15% i will use them both (replacing my hardshell for those conditions) and 5% i will use my hardshell.
Of couse it depends on the weather conditions.

Jamie
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