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Thread: soft shell Q

  1. #1
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    soft shell Q

    Never thought much about soft shells, until now - got one for birthday, and am curious as how use it.

    It's a NF 'ninble zip-shirt'. smooth outside, softer inside, but only 1 layer material. Doesn't say what material is, or how to clean. water-resistant (not w-proof), so not an outer layer layer if weather heads south. Very stretchy - feels like an elastic band, so good for wind breaker, ... and rock climbing? Not tight, but not loose either - never get a sweater/etc on under it.(is this the right size of should I larger?), but given the material, doesn't seem like an inner layer. or a comfy summer pull-over for cool night in woods either.

    So how do I use it? With an upper base layer for hikes / walks this time of year in non-threatening weather?

    What am I missing?
    Last edited by rup; 11-08-2017 at 12:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brambor's Avatar
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    I would say, use it for anything when it gets too cold for single wool layer and when it's not pouring rain. For rain or extreme winds you carry a hard shell in Your backpack and a spare wool layer in the backpack in case you got too sweaty and needed a dry layer.

    It washes better than hardshell - I'd throw it into the washer every time it got too saturated with sweat or every 10 trips...





    Quote Originally Posted by rup View Post
    Never thought much about soft shells, until now - got one for birthday, and am curious as how use it.

    It's a NF 'ninble zip-shirt'. smooth outside, softer inside, but only 1 layer material. Doesn't say what material is, or how to clean. water-resistant (not w-proof), so not an outer layer layer if weather heads south. Very stretchy - feels like an elastic band, so good for wind breaker, ... and rock climbing? Not tight, but not loose either - never get a sweater/etc on under it.(is this the right size of should I larger?), but given the material, doesn't seem like an inner layer. or a comfy summer pull-over for cool night in woods either.

    So how do I use it? With an upper base layer for hikes / walks this time of year in non-threatening weather?

    What am I missing?
    Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I'll offer some input. The idea behind a softshell is that it will protect against wind and water, but still breath very well. It will not compete with Gore-Tex, but it will out breath Gore-Tex, all day long. I bought my first softshell item 5 years ago, in the form of winter pants. They are the best upgrade I've ever made for winter. They are moisture resistant to the point, I can be out in snowfall or light rain, but breath incredibly well. I use them in my layering system. If it's above say 25, nothing under them, below 25, I'll add a base layer. All that being said, how you plan to incorporate it in your clothing system should dictate the size. If your just going to wear a base layer under it, you should be good, if you want to wear a heavier layer under it, you might go up a size. Look at all you carry and see where you want to fit it in. I pack clothes that can compliment each other throughout the day and through various conditions.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rup View Post

    So how do I use it? With an upper base layer for hikes / walks this time of year in non-threatening weather?
    That's how I use mine. Wouldn't go hiking without it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    Use it as a light windbreaker. It's far more breathable, so on cool days you can leave it on while exercising moderately. It should be sized so that you can easily throw a down jacket (or a hard shell) on top of it when you stop or when the weather gets severe.

    I use my softshell stuff rather less than I expected - it's a little too warming for many non-winter uses, and I miss having pockets (I got the ultralight stuff since I'm usually also carrying truly waterproof gear). But there are times when it's absolutely perfect.

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