/ Recommend me a softshell

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chrisclimber_1986 - on 09 Nov 2012
So my old trusty North Face Apex softshell has died a death and needs replacing. Due to not being fully satisfied with some of its features I'm looking at what else is available. I use a softshell as an alternative to a fleece so I'm really looking for something that is warm, windproof, preferably relatively waterproof and doesn't restrict movement for climbing.
What do people recommend?
Little Brew - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to chrisclimber_1986: Been looking in to getting me a new one due to wearing out my SprayWay, the Jack Wolfskin range is winning for me, but that is the female range, they so have a nice mens range and Cotswold are now stocking some them.
chrisclimber_1986 - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Little Brew: I have to say I have never really considered Jack Wolfskin, are they a better brand than I think? I've always considered them to be better placed on a high street than on a mountain
Little Brew - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to chrisclimber_1986: They seem to do 3 levels of kit, Hike, Mountain and another I cant remember, no harm in giving them a go?!?
brokenbanjo - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to chrisclimber_1986:

Montane Sabretooth. Had one for nigh on 2 years now and looks like new. Wear it for everything, climbing, mountain biking, winter walking and it does the business. When it dies (it doesn't look like it will for a while), I'll be getting a new one!
Byronius Maximus - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to chrisclimber_1986:

Marmot Driclime. The best bit of outdoor clothing I've used, it's not far from perfect and cheap as well. Not sure if you can still buy them though!
Danzig on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to chrisclimber_1986: Rab Baltoro Guide for cold weather use, cut for climbing & low back / hood for warm belays, I love mine!
TheDrunkenBakers - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to chrisclimber_1986:
Ive got one of these and its never off my back at this time of year whether in the hills or out on the street.

I have had it 3 years and still looks like new. Great bit of kit.

http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/marmot-superhero-mens-softshell-jacket-p132576?gclid=CNGohfONwrMCFU3HtAo...

chrisclimber_1986 - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to Byronius Maximus: The closest to the Driclime is the Ether Driclime : http://www.joe-brown.com/outdoor-equipment/marmot_ether_driclime , is that whats its called?

That Montane Sabretooth looks pretty good I have to say
neuromancer - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to chrisclimber_1986:

The baltoro guide is not really suitable unless you run ultra cold or refuse to wear anything underneath it. It's an alpiine heavyweight fleece backed shell designed for altitiude or cold. Thy are pretty good pieces of kit, but overkill for the uk (had one). What prevents you from getting a hardfleece and carrying a shell?
chrisclimber_1986 - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to neuromancer: Whats a hard fleece? I have only ever had wind proof fleeces which were awful at drying obviously, this was my first softshell and I loved it, its served me very well for about 6 years but the lack of protection around the neck is the major flaw for me.
chrisclimber_1986 - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to chrisclimber_1986: any further suggestions?
xoran - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to chrisclimber_1986: Rab Vapourrise in one form or another. I've got an old VR Top which is awesome and despite being used for everything from keeping me warm fixing my car to some winter days out it has refused to give up. The "lite" version may be a pretty decent fleece replacement...
Iain Thow - on 10 Nov 2012
In reply to chrisclimber_1986:
Another vote for Vapour-rise. My VR Guide was my most used piece of kit in the last year. Versatile, comfortable, hardwearing, loads of pockets. Also have a lighweight VR for the middle of summer, when it's (sometimes!) too hot for the Guide.
mrchewy - on 10 Nov 2012
In reply to chrisclimber_1986: Montane Sabretooth - I have the older and less waterproof one but it's took a heck of a battering and been up to the job.
sargy - on 10 Nov 2012
In reply to chrisclimber_1986:

Another Rab VR vote- great bit of kit- mines been used regularly for several years now, and still going strong- so tough and hard wearing. Seems to be able to keep me at the perfect temperature, and because it's so breathable it keeps me comfy too. Particularly good for high energy activities like XC skiing without getting too hot.
Simon Wells - on 10 Nov 2012
In reply to chrisclimber_1986:

You can enjoy the full soft shell experience with a lot more flexibility by combining a patagonia R1 hoody with a hooded windproof, I use a montane pertex hooded top for the scottish winter walk in over a R1, then slap on a R2 with a helmet compatable windproof (paramo Fuera ascent this year) for the climb. or Rab VR / montane krytponite with no windproof.

This system gives me a more flexible layering system than a single soft-shell jacket, being able to cover a huge range of temperatures and mild rain / drizzle.

I like soft shells but they are often a all or nothing layer that takes up a lot of room in the walk in or you soaked in sweat.
iksander on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to Simon Wells:
> (In reply to chrisclimber_1986)

> This system gives me a more flexible layering system than a single soft-shell jacket, being able to cover a huge range of temperatures and mild rain drizzle.

+1, spot on
Gav Parker - on 11 Nov 2012
In reply to chrisclimber_1986:

Well Chris Ive used 3 types over the yrs......

A Rab vapourise, ME Microtherm and a Rab Baltoro light which is the lightweight version of the guide jacket..

I used my vapourise for yrs in all conditions the only thing I didn't like was it was a smock but the first version was...excellent kit....
Im using the microtherm now...very light, warm and windproof great for layering if needed...
Rab Baltoro Im struggling using this as a little bulky compared to what Im used too...so the Mrs wheres it shopping!!

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