Hood or No hood? Softshell

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cmdsuperstar
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Re: Hood or No hood? Softshell

Postby cmdsuperstar » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:12 am

I think the Marmot Zion is pretty sweet, and the NeoShell material definitely breathes better than anything I've ever worn. And it's waterproof. I spent 6 days on Mt Rainier in January where it snowed 12 feet, and this coat did everything they said it would.
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Re: Hood or No hood? Softshell

Postby CO Native » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:17 am

A hardshell uses a membrane such as Gore-Tex or eVent often with a DWR treatment to provide waterproofing.

A soft shell uses a tightly woven material usually with a DWR treatment to provide waterproofing.

Membranes like Wind Stopper (made by Gore-Tex) are more flexible and less waterproof than full water proof membranes so retailers sell them as soft shells though they aren't.

Most items sold as soft shells really fall into some unnamed category in between.

Bean (and apparently Bean 2) is very passionate about this topic.
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Re: Hood or No hood? Softshell

Postby Bean 2 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:21 am

cmdsuperstar wrote:I think the Marmot Zion is pretty sweet, and the NeoShell material definitely breathes better than anything I've ever worn. And it's waterproof. I spent 6 days on Mt Rainier in January where it snowed 12 feet, and this coat did everything they said it would.


Neoshell = not a softshell.
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Re: Hood or No hood? Softshell

Postby prestone818 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:27 am

CO Native wrote:A hardshell uses a membrane such as Gore-Tex or eVent often with a DWR treatment to provide waterproofing.

A soft shell uses a tightly woven material usually with a DWR treatment to provide waterproofing.

Membranes like Wind Stopper (made by Gore-Tex) are more flexible and less waterproof than full water proof membranes so retailers sell them as soft shells though they aren't.

Most items sold as soft shells really fall into some unnamed category in between.



while i understand what you are saying, thats an opinion. perhaps when the softshell was first created that was true, but they have evolved and now they are sold in different categories under the same 'softshell' line.
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Re: Hood or No hood? Softshell

Postby CO Native » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:28 am

prestone818 wrote:http://marmot.com/products/rom_jacket
Marmot M2 Softshell - Water-Repellent, Highly Breathable, Wind-Resistant, Durable and Warm
This zonally constructed jacket uses air permeable Marmot M2 softshell and GORE® WINDSTOPPER® fabrics to create an incredibly comfortable, breathable garment that’s also windproof and highly water-resistant. Marmot’s big mountain heritage shows in every detail of this Swiss army knife of softshells.

http://www.backcountry.com/sc/what-the-heck-is-soft-shell

sorry if it does not live up to your personal definition of a softshell, however it is a softshell. thanks


It is funny that you referenced a backcountry article that accurately describes what a softshell is and a description of the jacket that indicates it is not a soft shell. The Windstopper material is membrane based making it a hardshell fabric. This jacket uses the two materials together. What they mean by zonally constructed is areas like your shoulders that need little stretch and lots of water proofing get the hardshell material and areas like your armpit that need stretch and breathability get the softshell material.

So no it is not a true soft shell. However it does possibly give you the best of both worlds as it is a hybrid of the two materials.

It's not my opinion that is the difference between hardshell materials and softshell materials. Read the article you referenced.
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Re: Hood or No hood? Softshell

Postby EmmaM » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:29 am

I own this softshell and have been pleased:
http://www.backcountry.com/the-north-face-cipher-hybrid-softshell-jacket-womens

The hood comes in handy when I want extra protection from the wind. I'm pretty sure THF makes a men's version as well.
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Re: Hood or No hood? Softshell

Postby prestone818 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:32 am

CO Native wrote:
prestone818 wrote:http://marmot.com/products/rom_jacket
Marmot M2 Softshell - Water-Repellent, Highly Breathable, Wind-Resistant, Durable and Warm
This zonally constructed jacket uses air permeable Marmot M2 softshell and GORE® WINDSTOPPER® fabrics to create an incredibly comfortable, breathable garment that’s also windproof and highly water-resistant. Marmot’s big mountain heritage shows in every detail of this Swiss army knife of softshells.

http://www.backcountry.com/sc/what-the-heck-is-soft-shell

sorry if it does not live up to your personal definition of a softshell, however it is a softshell. thanks


It is funny that you referenced a backcountry article that accurately describes what a softshell is and a description of the jacket that indicates it is not a soft shell. The Windstopper material is membrane based making it a hardshell fabric. This jacket uses the two materials together. What they mean by zonally constructed is areas like your shoulders that need little stretch and lots of water proofing get the hardshell material and areas like your armpit that need stretch and breathability get the softshell material.

So no it is not a true soft shell. However it does possibly give you the best of both worlds.


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Re: Hood or No hood? Softshell

Postby JB99 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:36 am

EmmaM wrote:I own this softshell and have been pleased:
http://www.backcountry.com/the-north-face-cipher-hybrid-softshell-jacket-womens

The hood comes in handy when I want extra protection from the wind. I'm pretty sure THF makes a men's version as well.


Now we know what happened to Bean I - his head exploded after people refused to accept an accurate definition of soft shell and continued to recommend jackets that are not soft shells in a thread that just explained what a soft shell is within a few posts. Now I guess we're going to get a Bean III.
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Re: Hood or No hood? Softshell

Postby Bean 2 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:49 am

EmmaM wrote:I own this softshell and have been pleased:
http://www.backcountry.com/the-north-face-cipher-hybrid-softshell-jacket-womens


That is not a softshell.
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Bean, you're an idiot 2.

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Re: Hood or No hood? Softshell

Postby CO Native » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:54 am

Well here is a recommendation for an actual softshell with a hood: Mountain Hardwear Principia
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Re: Hood or No hood? Softshell

Postby Dave B » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:02 am

In Bean's defense, I will say there is a world of difference between a true softshell and a hybrid.

The Marmot ROM is a hybrid, it breathes about as well as Goretex (maybe a tad better) but is almost completely windproof while being soft and "supple" compared to a hard shell.

Arc'teryx Gamma MX and OR Ferrosi are both true, tightly woven softshells that are soft and supple. They breathe only slightly less than fleece and block wind only slightly less than a hard shell.

Big difference in my opinion.
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Re: Hood or No hood? Softshell

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:18 am

Some of the new hybrids are truly preferable. But to answer the OP, it depends on the intended use.

For two specific activites: winter mountain biking, and winter 14ering:

1. Alpine peaks: hood is preferable. You'll want it in high winds and cold temps.
2. Winter mountain biking: the hood is quite welcome on nasty winter days.
3. Around town, sub-alpine peaks: hood is often inconvenient.
4. Windstopper: Generally, the underlayers get wet when working hard. But see below.
5. Hybrids: Some of the new hybrids solve the problem. Breathable materials in the sides, Windstopper front and back.
6. What works: Marmot ROM (if it's a good fit.) All Windstopper garments get a little wet, but not much of an issue in the ones that work: dry quickly, and don't get chilled. Venta AR (not the LT) - hoodless jacket that works great. The materials and their distribution iin this jacket is perfect.
7. What doesn't work: The new Gamma MX is too breathable. You chill in the wind. (The old Gamma MX was a different material from a different manufacturer.) The Venta LT doesn't work. The Venta SV, a hooded jacket, is ok, but gets more wet than the other two. Works ok in very cold or windy conditions.
8. Some of the new hybrids are superior to a single-material garment which depends soley on a tight weave for its wind resistance/breathability.

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