by Tom Hill
December 2, 2012
A softshell with a hood (and an unfeasibly long name). Rejoice! For it is warm and cosy...
A softshell with a hood. Rejoice! For it is warm and cosy…
Whether you’re a hood fan or not there’s definitely something extra nice about one that’s lined with a soft, fluffy face fabric and that snugs around your face like, well, a soft fluffy hood… Think Cathy Freeman at the Sydney Olympics. Not flattering, though it does mean that it doesn’t get caught by the wind too much. It’s a nice thing to have handy to pull over your ears when fixing punctures/waiting for mates etc. and it means a close, warm fit around the neck when the hood isn’t up, too. Sort of like a built-in scarf.
The Windstopper 2 fabric does indeed keep the wind out very effectively and light rain beads off nicely, too. Combined with a thin base layer, it covers a nice wide comfort range of temperature, down to near freezing temperatures in the first cold snap of winter. When too warm, the jacket can still get a bit overwhelmed and clammy. It remains warm even when damp though, and dries out quickly.
It is quite a simple jacket, without pit zips and with a minimal two zipped hip pockets. Pack straps tend to get in the way of these and a chest pocket would be more useful. The cut is on the close side of relaxed and slightly short in the body, with plenty of room for a couple of layers underneath. We’d prefer a slightly closer fit though, mainly to stop the odd draft sneaking up under the jacket.
Overall: Nice cosy mid/outer layer but with a slightly undecided cut.