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Thread: Softshell... what did I miss?

  1. #1
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    Softshell... what did I miss?

    Trying to get a better grasp on what softshell textile/ garnment really is.

    Here it was heralded as the biggest textile revolution this century. I don't get it, isn't it windproof fleece with a slicker surface? Warm but gets wet?
    Is it too warm or does it replace cotton or what?

  2. #2
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    Never even heard of it.

  3. #3
    By Popular Demand gimp's Avatar
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    I think it's supposed to be superbreathable while being fairly windproof and showerproof?

  4. #4
    I caught my smelly armpits from Cowboy Tone's Avatar
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    Recklessly stolen from an unnamed source that is freely available

    A hard look at softshells
    New apparel technology put to the test
    Do you imagine a world so advanced that you no longer need to take a waterproof/breathable shell jacket with you into the backcountry? “Maybe in a hundred lifetimes and with the help of alien technology,” you think. You’re in luck: That futuristic world is the here and now — it’s called softshell.
    A softshell is loosely defined as a garment that offers a high degree of weather protection and durability while maintaining excellent breathability and luxurious comfort. A difficult mix, for sure. The combination of these key performance attributes gives softshells a broad utility range in terms of both activity and environment. Their stretch can handle the most contorted figure-four or hip-hop dance move, and they make layering easier thanks to their breathable nature. (Don’t expect your typical waterproof/breathable shell to perform half these functions.)
    With only a few blown-out jackets in my closet, it seemed like a perfect time to test and review the market’s offering of unhooded softshell jackets. Once the boxes stopped arriving on our stoop, we realized what we were in for. Not only did we have to examine the fit, function, and intended purpose of each entry, we had to understand the particulars of the various fabrics from which each jacket was made. We soon learned that the most important thing to keep in mind when comparing fabrics is the relationship between breathability and wind protection. If a fabric is designed with an emphasis on breathability (great for mild temps and aerobic hikes), it will not stop a strong, penetrating wind. Conversely, a fabric designed to turn back even the most stubborn gale will transform into a sweat box when you’re working hard in mild temps.
    Gore Windstopper Trango is the only 100-percent windproof fabric in the review thanks to an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane laminated between thefabric’s outer and inner layers. The result is warm, windproof, extremely weather resistant, and durable. It’s great for cold temps and can be worn with confidence in all but the worst weather. However, it has very little stretch and was the least breathable fabric tested.
    Gore Windstopper N2S uses the same windproof membrane as Windstopper Trango, but the light nature of the outer and inner fabrics means that N2S is more breathable and stretchier, sacrificing warmth and durability. It’s well suited for high aerobic output in cool to cold temps.
    Polartec Power Shield offers great warmth, stretch, and durability. It easily fights off the elements and is nearly windproof due to a discontinuous stretch-polyurethane membrane sandwiched inside the fabric. Power Shield does breathe a bit, but with its warm, inner fleece layer it is best suited for cold-weather use. Polartec Power Shield Lightweight is a scaled down version of Power Shield. It has the same weather protection, wind resistance, stretch, and durability of its beefier sibling, but is not as warm due to a more conservative inner fleece layer. It is great for cool- to cold-weather use and was the most versatile fabric tested.
    Schoeller Dryskin Extreme 3Xdry is a single-layer, double-weave fabric with a membrane-free design that made it the most breathable fabric we tested. Dryskin Extreme 3Xdry is great for highly aerobic, cool-to cold-weather use. The fabric’s breathable nature means that in high winds some air will sneak through, reducing the heat in your layering system.
    Schoeller WB-400 is warmer, more wind resistant, and slightly heavier than its Dryskin cousin. An acrylate coating inside the fabric increases wind resistance, and a thick fleece layer provides additional warmth. WB-400 shines in cold weather and its breathability is welcome when working hard while wearing a pack.
    TNF Apex Fabric has a tightly woven surface for weather resistance and durability, four-way stretch for comfort and ease of movement, and a brushed inside layer for warmth. It is very similar to Dryskin Extreme 3Xdry in feel and function, with a bit more wind protection and less breathability. It works best in cool temps and can be worn under a shell.
    Understanding fit is also an integral component in a softshell purchase. The combination of warmth, weather resistance, and stretch in softshell fabrics means that manufacturers can make garments with a more athletic, form-fitting cut than hardshells. A well-made softshell jacket will closely match the silhouette of your torso, shoulders, and arms, providing ample wrist coverage when you reach overhead, but not riding up from your waist.
    Fit and durability were determined by grovelling up pitch after pitch of scraggy alpine rock. We compared fabric performance on long approaches into Rocky Mountain National Park climbs, where we frequently encountered high winds, snow, and light rain. A jacket’s versatility was determined by its ability to be used throughout the year and stand up to whatever the weather gods cooked up on a given day.

  5. #5
    I caught my smelly armpits from Cowboy Tone's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Member Meathunta's Avatar
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    It's good stuff. Climbers use them a lot, so it seemed a good idea to give them a go for tahr hunting. I got some softshell pants. They are fantastic in the snow (and at the footy). They are very flexible, windproof, quiet, and the snow doesn't stick to them. On the strength of that I've got a softshell jacket now - very happy

  7. #7
    Member Raging Bull's Avatar
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    I've got one of these, love it. Warm - windproof/showerproof.

    Link: 6S Sabre Hoody Men's - Softshell - Men's Clothing - Shop for Gear and Clothing

  8. #8
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raging Bull View Post
    I've got one of these, love it. Warm - windproof/showerproof.

    Link: 6S Sabre Hoody Men's - Softshell - Men's Clothing - Shop for Gear and Clothing
    Water resistant? how long before it soaks threw pushing threw wet bush? is it in the ten minute region or more like ten hours?
    "Hunting and fishing" fucking over licenced firearms owners since ages ago.

  9. #9
    Member gadgetman's Avatar
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    Almost sounds like we're back to Swannies.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadgetman View Post
    Almost sounds like we're back to Swannies.


    One shouldn't underestimate this comment.
    Over here we've gone full circle in base layers and are back to good ol' fashioned wool again.

  11. #11
    Village Idjit Barefoot's Avatar
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    Ditto
    After twenty odd years have ended up back with merino thermals. But then, they are made a hell of a lot better these days.

  12. #12
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    And the price reflects that.

  13. #13
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    soft shell are great in my opinion, picked a mountain hardware one up in oz for just over $200 bucks, overall great all round jacket for outdoor stuff not a hunting jacket but is somewhat waterproof in light showers and windproof. often use mine when fishing or putting cray pots out on the kayak and i never get wet. also can wear it to town etc..
    great purchase, just wish i could find a good camo pattern one and id prob wear it for most of my other activites duck shooting etc..
    cheers

  14. #14
    Member Meathunta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadgetman View Post
    Almost sounds like we're back to Swannies.
    Nothing like it Mr Gadget. There is absolutely no prospect of my swannie moving off its nail on the garage wall. It's not windproof, it's heavy when it's dry, it's unbelievably heavy when its wet, it takes ages to dry, and it's extremely bulky. Definitely quiet in the bush though.

    Norway, like you I went back to merino. It's good, but it is also a completely different product to the old lpups (long pink under pants). The base layer stuff from Under Armour is better than modern merino IMHO (expensive though).

  15. #15
    Member sneeze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meathunta View Post
    Nothing like it Mr Gadget. There is absolutely no prospect of my swannie moving off its nail on the garage wall. It's not windproof, it's heavy when it's dry, it's unbelievably heavy when its wet, it takes ages to dry, and it's extremely bulky. Definitely quiet in the bush though.

    Norway, like you I went back to merino. It's good, but it is also a completely different product to the old lpups (long pink under pants). The base layer stuff from Under Armour is better than modern merino IMHO (expensive though).
    Well said that man.I use some merino but the under armour base layer is better.
    Rules are for the obedience of fools
    and the guidance of wise men” Sir Douglas Bader.

 

 

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