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Help with Jacket choice! Softshell or not!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
HI, haven't posted much on this forum but my head is wrecked trying to pick a softshell (or more appropriate) jacket, that will do me for years to come!
My background, try to spend as much time as possible side piste when without a guide, off piste with a guide, am capable on pistes.
I am doing a UCPA off piste course shortly so need to get the proper gear.
I have two hard shell jackets that will do the job (not at the same time, but both are ok), but trying to pick what to wear under them (or on its own if weather is warm).
I like Rab, and was flirting with the alpha direct jacket, but not sure how well it would work under a hard shell, my guess is not that well.
What do people here use for off piste/boot packing/skinning wear?
I apologise for the rambling nature of above, but I just want to get the right jacket!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Do your hard shell jackets have ventilation (zips under arms)? If so, I’d layer - long sleeve merino, mid layer, thin insulating layer, then hard shell - rather than buy a new jacket...
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Thanks, that is the way i was thinking of going, really wanted to buy a new jacket though!! Jacket had to be good for piste, ski touring, hiking and going to the pub, wishful thinking!
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@coflatharta, I use a marmot randonee jacket, its a goretex stretch hardshell, with pit zips, its bombproof but really easy to wear. Underneath I wear different layers depending on the conditions, so as the masterpeice has said, I will layer up, sometimes I'll ski with just a t-shirt under my jacket, sometimes a thicker layer, but hardly ever down, as I don't get that cold.

My go to warm jacket is a patagonia nano air, which is similar to the polartec alpha used in the rab jacket. I will wear it if its really cold, but the reality is that this jacket works best without a layer over it, as its really breathable - wearing a hardshell over it will help trap all that heat in, but you might need that if its really cold.

If you are going to be skining up slopes then you probably don't want a thick jacket on you anyway, keep that one in your backpack, anmd layer down snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've been mightily impressed with the Black Crows Ventus jacket, especially if you can get hold of last seasons colours at a heavy discount. The jacket stays the same, just a different couple of colour options each season.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
coflatharta wrote:
really wanted to buy a new jacket though!! Jacket had to be good for piste, ski touring, hiking and going to the pub, wishful thinking!


I know the feeling of looking for that perfect jacket Smile I do the same with bags for travel, trying to find that perfect bag for 3 nights away
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Themasterpiece wrote:
coflatharta wrote:
really wanted to buy a new jacket though!! Jacket had to be good for piste, ski touring, hiking and going to the pub, wishful thinking!


I know the feeling of looking for that perfect jacket Smile I do the same with bags for travel, trying to find that perfect bag for 3 nights away
Timbuk2 jetpack, it opens like a clamshell and fits everything I need for 3 or 4 days travel (unless I'm going skiing like), but fits even the smallest travel bag restrictions so its easy to travel with.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I’d look for something made from Schoeller WB400 - premier amongst soft shell materials:

https://www.schoeller-textiles.com/en/textiles/outdoor
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
that schoeller stuff is so good you can only buy it by the metre!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Wearing softshell under hardshell doesn't make much sense.

I use these combos, depending on temperature/what's clean:

- merino/hybrid base layer + hardshell
- heavyweight base layer + hardshell
- merino base layer + thicker or thinner fleece + hardshell
- below -°20C and windy I might a primaloft jacket, but that's v rare

I very very rarely wear a shell of any variety while skinning/hiking. Only when it's REALLY cold. If I'm skinning during snow, I'll usually just be using the heavyweight baselayer (Sweet Protection Saviour top/bottoms), which I also use for kayaking and are perfectly fine/warm when wet, and have a kind of brushed surface that most snow falls off rather than melts into.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Thanks to all, jacket purchasing is postponed for another year. I'll hit shops,/interweb for a good base layer or two, my current ones owe me nothing
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