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Thread Starter 
Long time reader, first time poster here.

I've been looking at many jackets lately.  I work in sporting good retail so I get great prices on all jackets.  I think I have it summed down to these 2 jackets.  There's also a jacket from TNF called the Astor jacket.  I don't know if any of you have any experience with it, if yes please share.

I love soft shell jackets, I own many of the S.T.H. II jackets by TNF and I have been skiing in them casually.

Recently I've been skiing a lot and am looking for a jacket that's is more fitting for skiing (powder skirt, hood etc.)

The Arcteryx jacket looks awesome, I love how minimal it is.  The soft shell gore-tex attracts my attention and just how great it looks.
The Free Thinker jacket looks to be a little more of a sturdier jacket.  But I am kind of turned off by the fact that it's a hardshell.  
Function wise, I dont think there is too big of a difference in therms of what either jacket would offer me (Free Thinker has a few more pockets but I am mainly looking for 1 inside pocket for iPod, handwarmer pockets and a napoleon pocket which both jackets have).

The kicker is that I would like to use this also as my winter coat when it gets really cold and snowy so I can throw it on with layers underneath.  I know most of you have a separate jacket for winter wear but I want a jacket that can do it all.

I'm 5'9, 186 lbs.  I lift quite a big so I'm a little more built than most guys 5'9.  In no way am I ripping out of T shirts but Just a bigger than your average 5'9 150lb guy.  
I currently have the Hercules and Gamma SV jacket by Arcteryx in large but they fit big on me.  Plenty of space in the chest area.
Should I go with a M in the stingray if I decide to get it?

Any comment would be appreciated!  Thanks