Post subject: Looking for opinions, experiences using softshell pants...
Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:43 pm
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:47 pm Posts: 83 Location: Salt Lake City
Taking advantage of the warm months to send stuff back for warranty checks. Marmot won't replace my old 3 ply pants where the Goretex is starting to break down but will give me less than wholesale pricing on any pair in their lineup. $225 pant = $75 pant.
Decisions, decision, hard shell or soft? Thoughts, opinions...
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:26 pm Posts: 351 Location: bozeman
I haven't used softshell pants, however one of my touring partners got a pair(patagonia) last season and loves them. He was skeptical about using them in colder snowier conditions(he bought them for spring mostly) but after using them is those conditions he doesn't think he'll break out the old ones much this season.
Just my .02 but I think for any overnight action where camp chores are being done nothing beats a rugged pair of pants.
I haven't worn hardshell pants in over two years. There is a lot of gimmicky stuff out there, including most 'softshell' jackets. But softshell pants are the real effing deal. I have a pair of original patagucci guide pants (discontinued), the upgraded superguides (the current mod, with built in gator), and a pair of REI mistrals that have zip off pantlegs and just fricken RULE for spring skiing. I have worn the same Patagonia guide pants in freezing temps with (no kidding) 70+mph winds, and on hot spring days where real temps on the glacier probably exceeded 75 degrees. In both environments I was totally comfortable -- no long johns required. And don't get me started on the comfort. I'll hike all day in these things, ski deep pow in them, work around camp in them, and then climb into the sleeping bag wearing them. They are VER-SI-TILE. Seriously, if there is any item of gear I think rules more than my ipod (or bcrider's safety equipment ), it is the softshell pant.
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:43 am Posts: 17 Location: Truckee
This past season I used softshell pants and shell on all my backcountry trips as well as for ice climbing. I will only go back to hardshells for full on downpours, but chances are I will not be riding or climbing in weather such as that. My softshell jacket is more of a hybrid with a goretex hood and shoulders. The last ice climb of the year I belayed from a cave in 45 degree weather and neither the jacket or the pants wetted out in the constant stream of water. Both of my shells are Arc'teryxs and weight less then a pound, if I had to choose one over the other I would take the softshell.
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:26 pm Posts: 411 Location: S.F. Bay Area
I'd have to vote softshell again... I switched my main jacket over to a Patagonia Stretch Ascent jacket and have loved it from 50+ degrees down to low teens without more than a t-shirt underneath.. love it.. In heavy winds I can feel it breathing a little too well down in the teens, but what's to be expected...
For pants I picked up some Patagonia softshells last year and played a bit with them, and have had REI's Mistrals for a few years now and loved both. The one thing on the pants is it still helps to make sure you get ziped/vented ones, as my legs put out a ton of heat skinning on even the coldest days.
Anyway, yah, I like soft shells in all but major rainstorms or waterfall action. Even then they do okay for a while...
i have found that soft shell stuff is more waterproof than "worn out" hard shell stuff. so if you are replacing a leaky old hardshell thing (like i did, with patagonia softshell), you will be better off in the wet.
"take it easy, if its easy take it twice..."