Lightweight softshell jackets are a summer staple for both walkers and climbers. We compare 11 models here.
Changes in climate, equipment and attitudes have seen traditional Alpine seasons begin to blur. Spring and Autumn are now the key times for those who aspire to sinuous goulottes, frozen rocks and faces steeped in history. The biggest lines would once have had the prudent Alpinist reaching for his inflexible outer armour in preparation for tortuous days and interminable bivouacs. Today's devotee has the luxury of dressing lighter and moving faster but at what cost? The lighter you go, the smaller the safety net becomes. The key is clothing that expertly treads the line between protection, weight and breathability and this is where the Orbital Jacket excels.
Fully bonded EXOlite II fabric provides a rare combination of performance characteristics. Weatherproof enough to seal out icy winds and spindrift avalanches but almost infinitely breathable to keep up with the urgent front point dash on Les Droites lower ice field. Alpine climbing is rarely forgiving to clothing and the fabric's excellent abrasion resistance ensures that the Orbital Jacket will be with you trip after trip and route after route.
A trim, active cut ensures that you can move freely once the icy ribbons of the headwall are reached and the pre-shaped articulated sleeves minimise flap in icy gusts whilst working with your most athletic leashless manoeuvres. Forearms are seamless to improve durability during increasingly desperate fist jams and when chipping ice from cracks to seat crucial large cams. Our most advanced Super Alpine Hood swallows the highest profile modern helmets with ease. A reliable refuge at belays but perfectly engineered to allow the crux to be climbed unimpeded and with a perfect view of necessarily precise footwork. A simple adjustment system allows fit and volume to be fine tuned one handed and with gloves on. An extraordinary hood for over exposed situations.
Two easily accessible mesh lined Napoleon pockets keep energy bars, gels and topos to hand whilst split tether hem drawcords provide simple adjustment that won't tangle in the rack. All of the features you need for difficult climbing but nothing more.
A truly versatile, highly weatherproof, soft shell that will become a year round classic. From Alpine north faces to ski tours and rock climbing the Orbital Jacket will genuinely do it all whilst still leaving you change for an extra trip up the Aiguille de Midi.
|£149.99. Free Postage throughout May|
See this product at the Ellis Brigham shop