The Facewest Midweight Softshell Test – Intro

Since we have quite a few midweight softshells, I thought we could have a series of reviews and comparisons for midweight softshell jackets. At Facewest we have softshells from Mountain Equipment, Marmot, Arcteryx and Rab. Most use a Polartec Powerstretch fabric of some sort, except the vapour-rise piece from Rab. If you read the blog you may know already that I am a real fan of this type of softshell.

Midweight softshells do not attempt to be waterproof or suggest not carrying a shell, they are wind blocking and weather resistant so shell use is less frequent and the shell pretty minimal. For me a base layer, softshell and light waterproof suffice just about all year round in the UK. I have found that less expensive membrane free softshells were actually LESS breathable than Powerstretch or Vapour-rise because to achieve the wind block without a membrane or a lining means a really tight outer weave and this also traps in the moisture. So although less expensive I found that the drop in performance meant they were not better value.

Below are links to the pages for garments on test and to the blog review done by me about each garment. Only the first link is live yet but I will get them tested over the next few months and update the links accordingly. See all in the series so far here. If anyone has their own experiences then we would love to hear from you via the blog comments or review the actual jacket on it’s page and earn some website credit.

The Great Midweight Softshell Test

ME Astron Hooded Jacket

Arcteryx Gamma MX Hoody

Rab Vapour rise Lite Tour
Product Page Product Page Product Page
Blog Post Blog Post Blog Post

Marmot Pro Tour

Rab Baltoro Alpine
Product Page Product Page
Blog Post

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