/ Is it better to take a jacket or soft shell travelling?

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s crombie - on 02 Sep 2012

I am planning a trip to Asia and Australia for over a year. I do not know wither is better to take my Berghaus Mera Peak and light weight fleece with me. Should I look to take a soft shell with me which combines both aspects of a jacket and a fleece all into one.

If so, which soft shell would you recommend?

Any advice would be great.


Dr.S at work - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to s crombie:
For a trip like that you might cover a huge range of climatic zones - I'd certainly take the three garments rather than risking being without them. I believe clothing is very hard to get in Asia so best to take everything with you that you may need.
Timmd on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to s crombie:From the point of view of thinking about flexibility and packing space, I think if it was me i'd take the waterproof and fleece and a base layer or two to go underneath the fleece, which could be worn by themselves when it's warmer.
Timmd on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to s crombie:I mean base layer and mid layer, though a base and mid layer and fleece and fleece gillet could be good.
Timmd on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to s crombie:

The above combination kept me toasty warm onto of Wetherlam in the Lake District that winter when there was loads of snow, think it was 2009/2010.

There was ice inside my friend's bottle of water and I wasn't at all cold. Would have been colder than -10 on the top I think.

A bit of an old-school combinaion but it worked okay.
valjean - on 02 Sep 2012
In reply to s crombie:

all depends what you are planning to do. I am assuming you are trying to minimize the amount of gear you are taking. if you are travelling, which ill assume is sight seeing, day hikes, getting on buses, i would actually skip the full on waterproofs. I would just go with a softshell that will double as your warm jacket for wind and light rain. that way you have to take 1 item instead of 2-3.

When you get to Asia/Australia,get a cheap (1-5 quid) plastic poncho and stick it in the top of your pack for when it really rains.

captain paranoia - on 03 Sep 2012
In reply to valjean:

> all depends what you are planning to do

Bingo; it's impossible to advise without knowing what the OP is intending to do whilst out there; urban travelling? lost-distance trekking? mountaineering?

If the OP chooses to go with the fleece and waterproof, I'd urge adding a lightweight wind resistant layer (e.g. Pertex). Weighs about 100g, packs to the size of an apple, and makes for a very versatile, comfortable layering system; that's the advantage of layers over a fixed, insulated soft shell, which cannot cope with a wide climate range very easily.

The Mera Peak is a bit 'full-on', and breathable fabrics don't work too well in humid climates...
almost sane on 03 Sep 2012 -
In reply to s crombie:
Asia for a year: what clothing should you take?

Well, first thing is to be a bit more specific about the likely climate you will face.

Stating the obvious: Asia is pretty big.
You could spend all your time in cities, or on beaches, or you could be in a jungle during the monsoon. Perhaps spend time in a hot desert, or a cold desert, the Himalayas, wander the Steppes...

Lots of different weather patterns depending upon where you plan on going.
Once you decide where yo will (or might) go, then the choice of clothing should become more obvious.
BruceM - on 03 Sep 2012
In reply to s crombie:

Take a soft shell fleece and a light waterproof like a Marmot Precip.
Ross McGibbon - on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to s crombie:
If you are going to Sotuh Asia, take a thin fleece for the plane. No waterproof. If you need something out there, buy it. No point lugging around kit for temperate zones you will never use. In south Asia, if it rains, get wet. Too hot for cagoules.
Monk - on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to s crombie:

No idea what you intend to do, but for travelling about South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, I took a Marmot Precip (or similar) and an umbrella. This did me well for torrential rain in the Blue mountains, wet snow in New Zealand and monsoon rain in Asia. I didn't bother with any sort of mountaineering clothing - it's heavy, bulky and not usually necessary. For warmth, I think I had a thin fleece, a long sleeved technical T-shirt and a dirt-cheap hoody.
edunn on 04 Sep 2012
In reply to s crombie:

For a similar trip I took a large hoody and a Berghaus Packlite. Pretty much did the job for the odd 2-3 day trek in NZ and Aus and some general backpacking in Asia.

Didn't go particularly high and it didn't rain that much (except in NZ!). I took the hoody for 'fasion' reasons rather than practicality, but would definately recommend a lighter-weight fleece instead.

To be honest, I'd stock up on the singlets.


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