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Description

The Backcountry.com Shift Softshell Jacket—super-breathable performance for aerobic winter adventures at an incredible price.

We pushed Backcountry.com's exclusive Men's Shift Softshell Jacket through near-endless iterations of development and testing, refusing to apply the Goat logo until it was something we'd depend on for our own backcountry adventures. Whether you love to ski tour, alpine climb, or hike, this lightweight softshell will quickly become one of the most versatile and favored pieces in your outerwear arsenal. The Shift's Polartec Power Shield softshell fabric blocks 98% of the wind, wraps you in hyper-breathable warmth that never approaches too hot, and features a water-repellent surface that blocks everything short of a downpour. The performance cut creates an unrestrictive, form-fitting jacket that stretches with your movements — ideal for highly aerobic activities. Tote your tunes in the Shift's interior MP3 pocket, stash your small stuff in the laminated left wrist pocket, and reserve the interior security pocket for keys and phone. At a price that's 50-80% less than comparable jackets, honestly, we'll question your sanity if you don't snag this thing.

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Backcountry.com Shift Softshell Jacket - Men's

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

setting the bar

This is what all other soft shells are trying to be. All the hype around the polartec power shield fabric is well deserved, and backcountry did not do it injustice in their design and application. I worried about there not being any wrist closure, not even an elastic cuff, but it has been a non issue. Performs top notch for breathability and flexibility but it's also durable. This thing is also surprisingly really comfortable - as much so as a fleece but performs like a shell.

5 5

F'n Awesome

This is a GREAT jacket !! hands down. It is super water-shedding and warm, even though it is NOT insulated in anyway. It does have a light fuzzy fleece inside which is great. I wear this jacket all the time. I got the carrot color and love it. I wear it out under my TNF jacket as an extra layer, and around the office as an over coat. It blocks the $hiT out of the wind too. It does have an athletic fit. I got a small I usually wear a small so it is a tight fit. If you plan on layering under it go a size up. The pockets are great too, the front hand pockets are lined, and for some reason go all the way up to the collar in the inside. Get this jacket!! Get it, Get it, Get it... NOW.

Is there any real difference between the...

Posted on

Is there any real difference between the Shift and Shift Element softshells?

Responded on

The real difference is that this jacket is the newer version of the Shift Element jacket, other then that they are basically the same

Any plans to add pit zips?

Posted on

Any plans to add pit zips?

Responded on

Backcountry.com's products are now branded as Stoic and not backcountry.com, so there will not be a new version of the Shift Softshell jacket per se. There's a couple different Stoic Welder softshell jackets with varying amounts of insulation - search for them and you will find the newest offerings. I think the Stoic Welder Lo Softshell is the closest to this and it does not have pit zips.

No pit zips? Love my Marmot soft shell...

Posted on

No pit zips? Love my Marmot soft shell because of the pit zips.

Responded on

Most strech woven shoftshells, such as those using Polartec Power Shield won't have pit-zips. These are very breathable as they are.

You will see more pit-zips in pieces featuring laminated softshell materials (Polartec Windbloc or Gore-Tex Windstopper); these are generally not as breathable and added ventilation is a nice feature.

Responded on

It's late, but I thought it was worth correcting @Cory - Polartec Power Shield is a laminate, not unlike Polartec Windbloc or Gore Windstopper. Power Shield soft shells aren't as breathable as stretch-woven soft shells like the Patagonia Guide or Arc'teryx Gamma LT. Just FYI!

Responded on

I know this is super super late, but...

There aren't any polartech powershield jackets with pit zips. The fabric is super breathable. Although it's similar in construction to windstopper, the membrane used is different (some windstopper jackets have pitzips, some don't). Pit zips not included because they aren't necessary.

5 5

Excellent jacket. Nice cut and materials.

I own a few softshell jackets from REI, OR , TNF. This jacket is one of my favorites. I'm 6,1" 220lbs and the XL fits great. Fairly lightweight, good fabric and worth every penny. S&C price was a no brainer. Think they sold out in 30secs or less. :)

5 5

little cottonwood carbon

this is my softshell, and now its hard to imagine how I skied without it. I just returned from 4 days in Alta, and it was great. I never used more than a base layer, a vest and the shift softshell in temps from 15 to 30 degrees, shade and sun. I don't mind being a little cold on a lift, but others might not find it warm enough in colder weather. I was worried that I might need more coverage in the powder, but the slim fitting jacket keeps snow out and the flexibility of the fabric does not make it cumbersome. It also breathes very well when you heat up hiking. I am glad I read a review about the arms being a little long, but I am 6' and have a 35"-36" arm length, and the large is a perfect fit. this is my first "backcountry" brand product, but I will be looking for more after my experience with this jacket.

5 5

Fantastic

I bought this jacket last Fall and it has been my number one jacket consistently since then. It's fairly water resistant, HIGHLY wind resistant. Walking around on campus, I'm never bothered by the wind tunnels created by the buildings. And I have worn it through the winter. I just wear a wickable baselayer, a fleece quarter zip and this and with a warm hat I'm set, and this is down to as little as 15 degree weather. And I could fit more layers if I wanted to (got a small, 5'6, 138). The fit is also pretty great, arms are on the longer side but not so much that it gets in the way. The collar is nice and stiff as well which is crucial to block the wind. Oh, and it looks pretty snazzy too.

4 5

Better...second time around

I bought it, liked it, but returned it. I posted a review late last year and said it was a good jacket but not a keeper. The Marmot Leadville I bought to replace it got returned as well (I'm very critical of my gear). I thought I'd give it another try (killer deal on SAC, couldn't pass up). The second time around has changed my view on this jacket. First of all, it's a great jacket for runs, which is what I intended on using it for. For overall warmth, buy something heavier, this will not keep you warm. It is insulated (very thin lining) but by now means meant for the winter chill. It's tight, I ended up getting a small this time as opposed to a medium (5'6 135lbs 36in chest). It's SNUG!!! Can only get a baselayer underneath (forget a sweater). If you want room to layer, size up. I got a small cause it moves better (hence I use it for running). It breathes very well (better than the Marmot) and is pretty water resistant (better than the Marmot). I actually liked the fact that it was lighter, especially for running. It is nearly windproof, but again it won't keep you warm unless you're moving around. It's stylish, the Carrot isn't bad (it's bright for running at night). Again, it's very snug, lightweight, breathable, great water resistancy. The best winter running jacket I own.

5 5

Super High Quality Jacket

I absolutely love the feel and performance of Polartec Power Shield. Kudos to BC for making such high quality jackets at such competitive prices. A few more comments:

1. sizing - I'm 6', 185 and could wear either the L or XL. The L is nice because it fits my waist better. However, it is a little snug in the shoulders/pits for me, and doesn't allow a lot of layering. The XL fits great everywhere except the waist, where it is a little baggy. This wasn't a problem with the original, as it seemed to have a more tapered fit?? Too bad.
2. despite what the specs say, there is no wrist stash - that's the old model. this has the obvious outer chest pocket.
3. Highly water resistant is accurate. I've worn all of my Polartec Power Shield jackets (i have 3) in downpours, and they will let water through...not just the seams or zippers...the actual material. But it does take a pretty heavy rain.
4. A general comment - I am really disappointed to find out that BC.com is transferring their product line over to the 'Stoic' name. Same stuff, I know, but:
a.) the goat logo is way cooler than the stoic one, in my opinion
b.) the colors of the Stoic stuff are just awful. I don't know what they are thinking. Even some of the BC.com stuff was starting to get a little silly looking due to color choices, but the Stoic color combos are just ridiculous. Please don't discontinue the goat brand. And by the way, the original Shift softshell was the greatest jacket you guys ever made...why change such a good thing???

Responded on

I have the original Shift in the Sangria Red and defintiely agree with your comments regarding colour - see my comments on the Stoic Welder Insulated webpage. I also agree that the goat logo is definitely cooler too. I'm guessing that they changed the original jacket cause it was a quality product manufactured in Canada and with the high Canadian dollar BC.com probably decided to go with Chinese products that aren't manufactured from Polartec Powershield for their Stoic line. The almighty dollar always determines a business's bottom line - regardless of what some "marketing knob" will try to shovel in your direction.

5 5

Super High Quality Jacket

I absolutely love the feel and performance of Polartec Power Shield. Kudos to BC for making such high quality jackets at such competitive prices. A few more comments:

1. sizing - I'm 6', 185 and could wear either the L or XL. The L is nice because it fits my waist better. However, it is a little snug in the shoulders/pits for me, and doesn't allow a lot of layering. The XL fits great everywhere except the waist, where it is a little baggy. This wasn't a problem with the original, as it seemed to have a more tapered fit?? Too bad.
2. despite what the specs say, there is no wrist stash - that's the old model. this has the obvious outer chest pocket.
3. Highly water resistant is accurate. I've worn all of my Polartec Power Shield jackets (i have 3) in downpours, and they will let water through...not just the seams or zippers...the actual material. But it does take a pretty heavy rain.
4. A general comment - I am really disappointed to find out that BC.com is transferring their product line over to the 'Stoic' name. Same stuff, I know, but:
a.) the goat logo is way cooler than the stoic one, in my opinion
b.) the colors of the Stoic stuff are just awful. I don't know what they are thinking. Even some of the BC.com stuff was starting to get a little silly looking due to color choices, but the Stoic color combos are just ridiculous. Please don't discontinue the goat brand. And by the way, the original Shift softshell was the greatest jacket you guys ever made...why change such a good thing???

BC shift jacket in the snow

BC shift jacket in the snow

Posted on

Great jacket, wateresistant enough to even wear in the snow, minus my doofy face it is very verstatile gear

4 5

Shift Softshell - Pretty Good

Better value than most. The cut is good, true to size and not too tight or too bulky. Construction is okay for the price. Lots of loose threads and sloppy stitching around the wrist cuffs. The front zipper wind flap frays and unravels when you wash the jacket. I use this jacket while climbing and is not as abrasion resistant as some other softshells. Also, the material seems to attract stains for whatever reason. This leads me to my last complaint COLOR. Please make BLACK outdoor jackets. If you are wearing a jacket it is because you are cold, and black warms faster than other colors - black hides the dirt and stains.

That said, it is the most comfortable jacket I have. It blocks the wind, but does not overheat, and allows full unrestricted range of motion. It breaths well and looks good. BUT PLEASE make BLACK for those of us who really use these jackets in the BACKCOUNTRY.

5 5

Im no Gomer Pile, but suprise suprise !

Just received my UPS package from backcountry.com, Initial thoughts. Well, the Carrot color, matches the pic on the webpage. , the logo's are right where they show on the webpage. Fit is athletic, I'm 6'2", 230lbs, built like a clidesdale (mtb stuff). I have an average torso for my size. The fit for me , XL size, is very comfortable, I do like the long sleeves , no need for a hook and loop closure, and keeps the cuffs tucked nicely within your gloves. I have plenty of overhang at the waist, and the cut reminds me of a mtb/ bicycle cut in the back, (offers a lower back than the front when crouched over)so the wind stays off your back. The zippers are nice fabric micro style, but not the h2o proof you see on some. There are 3 nice outside pocket and 1 ipod style inner pocket with the cord hole for earphones. I'm amazed how light this jacket feels, very airy. Back to the fit. My XL allows me enough room to put either my fleese vest or long sleeve under this jacket for layering, but I can also use this jacket as a underlayer for another shell, Its light enough and non restrictive, it can qualify as a base layer (almost). The fabric seems very tough (for a soft shell), the stitching looks A1, mostly double stitching throughout (only single in the neck coller). The inside fleese is butter soft. There is a elastic sinch strap at the waist, very easy to operate. All logo's are stitched in, no laminated graphics (nice) Zipper pulls,are easy to grab with gloves on and the operation is smooth. The windproof quality shows right away, and functions as stated. I'll report back on this item with my real world Skiing report. East coast conditons, aka, damp and cold. So far I'm pleased with this product.

5 5

Review Title

I picked up this jacket for cheap on SAC and am very happy. I'm 6' 180 lbs and the large fits great. It breaths well and works as a wind breaker but rain seems to sneak through if its constant as in the pacific northwest. Its a great jacket for bike riding to and from work and I've worn it on summer treks as well as snowboarding in the winter. As they say, I never seem to be to hot or cold in this jacket.

4 5

Key Lime Pie!!!!!

This has got to be one of the more versatile pieces of gear that i have picked up from back country. Fairly effective in the rain. Good wind resistance. I expecting it to be a bit warmer put its thing enough that i cant throw it under a hardshell and solve that problem for most circumstances. I picked up the special edition Key Lime issue off SAC for 50 bucks. Dont know how i feel about it at 200$ but its definitely a solid piece to add to your arsenal.

Responded on

What's the color like on that one? On geartrade it looks very yellow, but it says "golden lime"; Is it actually green? And a good green or yuck green?

Thanks

5 5

Great Jacket!

Bought one of these a year ago. I wear it almost everyday (in fall/winter). Wind resistance is great and so is the water resistance. I really like the cut. Surprisingly warm for how thin it is, but breathes great once I warm up too! I wear this jacket more than the very similar marmont that I bought at about the same time. Managed to get it for a steal on steepandcheap!

4 5

Good Jacket

Very water resistant, Very wind resistantIf you like very athletic fit this has it. It also has very soft backing throughout.I have a cloudveil serendipity with schoeller dynamic fabric to compare it to.Downsides not as breathable as schoeller dynamic or some other softshells, but as a result it does handle nastier, windy, rainy weather somewhat better.Other downside is it's not as stretchy as some softshells. It has some stretch but not like shoeller fabric in the serendipity. I picked it up at a stellar sale price and am overall very happy with it.

4 5

Best of the light weight and no frills softshells

I am 5'8", 170lb, and chest 40". I bought this in Medium and in carbon. I specifically chose carbon as opposed to the other brighter colours because it's styling when you wear it around town, even though it will get most of its miles on the trails.

Fit: For my height and weight, this jacket is a VERY snug fit. I can definitely not fit anything under this besides a 100-fleece. It is great if just wearing a base layer/t-shirt underneath. If you want to layer it, I highly suggest you size up. BC is known to make clothing tighter than other big brands.

Design: 2 hand pockets by the waist (not compatible with a backpack). One chest pocket. One pocket on the inside of the jacket directly behind the chest pocket. The inside pocket has a little hole for you to feed your MP3 cord allowing for a cleaner setup.

ALL zippers on this jacket are NOT water resistant. They are just regular zippers with a flaps on top to prevent water from getting in.

Arms are NOT articulated. In fact, I don't think any part of this jacket is articulated. But it shouldn't really have to since it is a stretchy softshell.

Material: Jacket is made entirely of Polartech Power Shield except for the chest and inside pocket which is something similar to Schoeller. All seams are just stitched and not taped or welded. So there is a chance that water can get in during bad weather.

The inside is like microfleece keeping you warm in temperatures above 10C. Anything colder, and you'll want to start layering.

I drove my car at 55mph and stuck out my car. Little to no wind gets through this material! They claim 98% which is probably true.

There is a large storm flap behind the main zipper giving you a feeling of comfort and protection from the zipper and the elements.

After two months, the DWR seems to be holding up but again, I have not been under too much precipitation. The DWR around the elbows are wearing down a little bit after two months but that's because that area gets the most wear and pressure. This means that water will not always bead up and some will soak a little into the face fabric, albeit, it's not that bad yet. The same will be true for the shoulders too when wearing a heavy pack.

Cinch cords are located on the bottom only. I never use them because the jacket is already really snug.

Summary: Not worth $200. It is a simple jacket without any bells and whistles. It is a good combination of being light-weight, light warmth, high wind-resistance, and for turning heads when walking around town. It feels good against your skin when you wear it too. Just make sure to size up if you plan on layering.

Give me some thumbs up if you like this review.

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