• This topic has 29 replies, 23 voices, and was last updated 9 months ago by NS.
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  • The ‘Goldilocks’ winter softshell?
  • Premier Icon hardtailonly
    Full Member

    I’m looking for a winter softshell that’ll be warm (with a baselayer or two) down to just under 0°c, and water resistant (not necessarily full-on waterproof).

    It will be used for gravel, MTB, and (the very occasional) road-riding I do.

    I’d like a fit that is slim rather than baggy or road-race tight, and which is reasonably long on the torso rather than a very short front.

    So, the ‘just right’, the ‘Goldilocks’ of softshells.

    I’ve recently tried the Endura Pro Waterproof Softshell, which was technically an excellent bit of kit, but not very cosy (emphasis on the ‘shell’ rather than the ‘soft’), and which had an odd fit.

    Have also tried both the Galibier Mistral offerings; the Foul Weather Jacket and the new Mistral Pro. Both lovely bits of kit at excellent value, but too short at the front, and when trying to size up to a large to compensate (I’m a small/medium ordinarily), was then too baggy and still not long enough.

    I don’t think I’m oddly shaped or proportioned, for example my Aussie Grit thermal gilet in medium is exactly the fit I’m after …

    So, any recommendations?

    Cheers

    Premier Icon djflexure
    Free Member

    7mesh synergy? Like mine. Have the AG thermal gilet too

    Premier Icon razorrazoo
    Full Member

    Rapha Men’s Classic Winter Jacket

    It’s pricey, but I picked up the previous version used on ebay for about £100 (the new one linked uses Goretex now).  It’s not race cut, so a little more movement in it.  The only thing I’m not sure on is how it will size for you at the front.

    I use mine for the cold / bad weather rides and only need it with a l/s merino baselayer, bibs and a neck warmer.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Full Member

    I’m just about to put a Madison Zenith softshell on the classifieds. It’s ideal for what you say, I reckon. Same as this.
    Size M, worn probably 3 times max. Difference to most softshells I’ve seen is it’s lined, so good breathablility.
    PM, if interested.

    Premier Icon hardtailonly
    Full Member

    7mesh synergy? Like mine. Have the AG thermal gilet too

    Is that a Jersey rather than jacket?

    @razorrazzoo … yes, looked at the Rapha one, but its 3x the price of the Galibier one! Did follow some on ebay. What size have you got, and what is the zip/torso measurement at the front?

    Premier Icon dawson
    Full Member

    Gore phantom – latest version is quite a slim fit – I had to go up to XL from the large I had in previous version to get a bit of room in the shoulders and I wouldn’t class myself as that broad.

    Premier Icon ben
    Free Member

    Following. I need to replace an ancient Gore Phantom which was the Goldilocks for me, but the new model has removable arms instead of the pit zips that my old one has. Problem is the old one is falling apart at the seams (after over a decade of heavy use, it owes me absolutely nothing).

    I should add, I have the Galiber Mistral but it’s nowhere near as warm as my old Phantom.

    Premier Icon bigginge
    Full Member

    Not a lot of stock left now but I have an older model of the decathlon one linked below which is pretty much bang on for me.

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/st500-winter-softshell-mtb-cycling-jacket/_/R-p-193432

    Premier Icon DougD
    Full Member

    I’ve had a Gore Phantom for about 6/7yrs and it’s absolutely brilliant. Being able to remove the arms is really useful too when it warms up.

    Premier Icon dawson
    Full Member

    @ben my current Gore Phantom infinieum still has pit Zips which can be used for ventilation

    Premier Icon razorrazoo
    Full Member

    @razorrazzoo … yes, looked at the Rapha one, but its 3x the price of the Galibier one! Did follow some on ebay. What size have you got, and what is the zip/torso measurement at the front?

    Large – about 52cm to the neck seam, 59cm inc the neck.

    I’d not have bought it at RRP and probably have gone Gablier or similar, got lucky on a BiN offer at the start of winter.  I do really like it though, I run hot, so the big armpit vents are great.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Just bought an Endura FS 260 Jetstream Pro 2 and it’s outstanding. Really thin but really warm – actually a little too warm for what I wanted it for, but amazingly good as a winter jacket outer layer. I ordered two Castelli jackets at the same time and both went back, despite being 50% more expensive.

    The reason it’s awesome is that it’s very windproof and really stretchy. So it’s cut really well for whatever shape you are, and you can comfortably put a slim fitting fleece on under it as well as the base layer at which point it’s really warm. First ride out was in cold 3C rain and my top half was toasty – my legs were freezing in the gear I normally use so that highlighted how cold it really was. An instant favourite. Detailed review of all three jackets on the previous thread I made.

    Premier Icon bensales
    Free Member

    That Gore Phantom looks great, but honestly, XXXL being a 44-46in chest? What planet are they on?

    Premier Icon stumpy01
    Full Member

    I recently bought one of these:

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/rcr-winter-softshell-road-cycling-jacket/_/R-p-311996?mc=8596782&c=GREEN_KHAKI

    in the fluo yellow.

    Very impressed so far. I wore it out on Sun morning in 1 deg C wit heavy fog with a long sleeve jersey underneath & lovely & warm. Well, my toes were bloody freezing, but can’t really blame that on the softshell!

    It sizes up quite small and perhaps the front is not particularly long, but fine for me.

    The moisture in the air while riding in the fog beaded up nicely on it, although I haven’t been out in proper rain with it yet.
    It’s got loads of pockets on the back – the normal ones & then some mesh ones on top, which actually work really well; I use the normal ones for keys, phone, food etc. & then there is plenty of room in the mesh pockets for arm warmers etc.

    Premier Icon djflexure
    Free Member

    Apologies my Synergy is actually a Strategy! It is a soft shell jacket with Grid fleece on inside. Quite thin so useful in a range of conditions

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    I’ve got one of those Madison softshells that DezB is selling. It’s pretty much my go-to for this time of year. Reasonably windproof, comfy with a jersey underneath and good for about -4degs Buy that.

    Premier Icon H1ghland3r
    Free Member

    Depending on your style requirements, a more roadie style would be either Castelli Alpha RoS, it seems to be regarded as the standard for winter riding softshell, I certainly love mine, 80km yesterday with just a merino baselayer and temperature was never above 4C not counting windchill.  It’s a looser fit than most everything else Castelli so you can adapt layers underneath but as with everything Castelli, figure out what size you are and then go up 1.

    If you are after something more casual look at Ground Effect, the Frosty Boy or the Draft Dodger would fit your requirements, my Frosty Boy arrived today about a week after ordering all the way from New Zealand which I was impressed with, it’s a more casual fit, 3/4 zip, DWR treated windproof outer with a lightly fleece inside, a napoleon pocket, 2 open rear pockets and a zipped one.

    https://www.groundeffect.co.nz/collections/mens-winter-tops/products/frosty-boy-winter-long-sleeve-bike-top

    Premier Icon bishj
    Full Member

    Unsure on budget but a castelli perfecto is worth a look, though quite a roadie style. The torso zips are great. There are also some castelli gabba’s on discount around the place (sigma sports last time I checked) which people rave about though only short sleeve

    Premier Icon hardtailonly
    Full Member

    @H1ghland3r … that Frosty Boy looks good. How much was delivery from NZ?

    Anyone know the difference between the Gore Phantom and the Infinium Thermo, other than the zip off sleeves of the Phantom?

    Premier Icon dogthomson
    Free Member

    Seconded! (Or thirded!?) In favour of the Zenith softshell.

    It’s a great bit of kit and can occasionally be picked up at Cyclestore for £30 or so.

    I wore mine on a night ride this week with just a LS Merino base layer underneath and it was spot on.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    I don’t think there’s that much to choose between a lot of softshells TBH.

    It’s a great bit of kit and can occasionally be picked up at Cyclestore for £30 or so.

    I tend to just take a punt on whichever are on a big discount (at Cyclestore, Rutland, Evans etc) and I’ve yet to pick a dud.

    Latest “winter” one was a Sugoi Firewall from Evans for about £20. It’s great.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Full Member

    @hardtail only NZ$22 including all taxes (Around £11). I’ve got some of their tights for winter and they are toasty.

    Premier Icon H1ghland3r
    Free Member

    @hardtail only NZ$22 including all taxes (Around £11). I’ve got some of their tights for winter and they are toasty.

    yep, not too pricey, took less than 10 days to arrive, no customs issues either. Oh and I ordered a base layer from them at the same time but as it wasn’t in stock when I ordered they shipped the Frosty Boy straight away on its own and then shipped the base layer 3-4 days later at no extra cost..

    Premier Icon grantyboy
    Free Member

    another for the Gore Phantom. When mine dies (10 years old now) I’ll happily replace like for like. Zip off arms are awesome

    Premier Icon intheborders
    Free Member

    I had an original Gore Phantom, the N2S one, and it was brill.

    Then bought the new one a few years ago, and no where near as good – and certainly not a below 5c jacket.

    I use an Endura Stealth for proper winter weather, but it’s too warm once the temp is much above freezing (and that’s with just a long sleeve, tall neck base). I’ve an Endura Windchill that I use when the weather +5c to +10c, it’s not waterproof, but fine for showers etc.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Full Member

    I got one of the Rapha Classic softshell jackets when they first came out. How long ago was that? Actually, my wife bought it for me as a Christmas present. It seemed like an outrageous extravagance at the time, but other jackets have been and gone since then and now it looks like it was almost a bargain. I’m no Rapha fanboy. I’ve had other stuff from them that has been very disappointing. But that original classic jacket was the nuts.

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Free Member

    I remember when Rapha were selling the original soft shells at a show for £50 – I passed 🤣 I had an original Phantom, but it was more of a heavyweight jersey with zip-off sleeves rather than a winter grade jacket. Far better IMO is the Gore Tool was made from the original Windstopper Soft-shell, has 5 pockets, 2 zipped, pit zips and has taped seams over the shoulders/back – it can withstand a decent downpour. I bought a Castelli Gabba when it first came out, but whilst it was great for CX racing in the cold and wet, it’s not that warm – fine for high intensity riding, but not for longer days in the cold.

    Premier Icon b33k34
    Full Member

    Gore Phantom is a brilliant thing. Mine is the later version – removable arms are good. It does anything from 10-12C (with a non thermal t-shirt base layer) down to sub zero (with a Howies Superfine merino AND a standard weight merino).

    Its’ a bit ‘roadie’ and would love an mtb equivalent but the pockets aren’t too bulky at the back and frankly when it’s that cold who cares what you look like.

    Premier Icon NS
    Free Member

    I bought an Alpinestars Cruise Shell from SportPursuit in December, but then (pretty much immediately) crashed & had to have an op to repair my thumb ligaments, so never even tried it on.
    3 months later & i’m good to go again – but just tried on the shell – doesn’t fit & too late to send back!
    Obviously not tested it, but seems a great jacket & pretty much hits all the points on your wishlist.
    There’s a review here :-
    https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/a26236076/alpinestars-cruise-shell-jacket-review/

    Cost me £68 (RRP £136?) plus postage – yours for £50 (+ postage) if you’re interested.
    It’s the black version (with orange), in size medium – i’m usually between M/L & would put this as M or S/M – arms have plenty of length too. Brand new still packaged with all labels, bags etc.

    Just PM me if you’re interested – I will probably buy in a larger size if I sell this one as it is a very nce shell.

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