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One of the reasons behind the boom in popularity of softshell jackets has been their extreme versatility, and the Mountain Hardwear Women's Principia Softshell Jacket is no exception. Wind-resistant, breathable and quiet, the Principia delivers wearable warmth and protection on your next hike, cross-country ski, or snowshoeing expedition.

  • Motivity Softshell fabric features a DWR finish that sheds light precipitation
  • Fleecy inner face offers light insulation
  • Relaxed fit allows room for layers under the shell
  • Close-fitting, adjustable hood traps heat on cold, blustery days
  • One-handed drawcord and hook-and loop cuff tabs seal out cold air
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

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Not made for the long and lanky...

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I ordered a slew of jackets for a shopping comparison in search of a soft shell jacket. MH is unfortunately just not designed to fit my body type. I have really long arms, a small waist, and kind of wide shoulders, but am on the thin side, and this just didn't work for me at all...too short in the back, far too wide so I had a huge hip gap, and sleeves that were way too short. I ended up going with a Northface, which, while I don't think hold up that well over time, do fit my body best since they have the "monkey arm" length that works for me :) It seemed well made, however, and I know this is my brother's first choice in brand because, ironically, it is tailored almost exactly to his body type. Go figure!

Strange fit, flimsy material

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I should have trusted the reviews before buying this product. I was looking for a standard hooded soft-shell, wind and water resistant. This is more like a hoody/fleece weight than a soft-shell. And the fit was very odd. I'm consistently a S in MH gear (5'5", 130#) and this was very baggy in the chest and small in the arms. Not what I was looking for, nor did it fit well enough to keep for warmer weather wear. I ended up w/ a Patagonia Adze soft-shell instead.

Great Jacket - Long Arms

  • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
  • Fit: True to size

I bought this jacket in black (medium) for my girlfriend. She's 5'8" and its a good length and has a feminine cut (her words). It's lightweight but still warm. The arms run pretty long but that is what she was looking for. The all black is pretty boring but to each his own. Overall great fit, great material, great jacket.

Doesn't fit right

    As a 5' 3" 120lb female, this (small) jacket just did not fit right. I was looking for a water/wind proof jacket for spring skiing.This did not fit the bill. The jacket's arm length was too long for me, while the chest area was too narrow. The side pockets as mentioned in another review extended from the hip to the chest (apparently it was designed for climbing where it wouldn't interfere with a hipbelt). I wanted a spring snowboarding/city jacket, and even the fleece inside wasn't warm enough for the Upstate NY winds.

    Bought for my girlfriend.

    • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

    My girlfriend never owned a jacket that was meant for outdoor activities, so I got a gist of what she wanted in a jacket. 1) A hood, 2) water resistant, 3) light, 4) soft shell, 5) warm, 6) looks good, 7) cheap in $. This Principia jacket matched all of the above criteria and I found a good deal for it. After checking the jacket out up close, the quality was good, fleece material wasn't as soft as I thought it would be, but the girlfriend loved the jacket. I have some complaints though about the design of the jacket. No pit vents--- after wearing it out, my girlfriend told me she was baking. No inside chest pocket--- a real oversight in my opinion. The two pockets in the front extend all the way up to the chest, why do pockets need to extend all the way to the chest from the waist? Could've added inside chest pocket instead of wasting all that space. Overall, she liked the jacket, I bought a small and there's enough room for her to layer inside, the sleeves are a little long just enough for her to slip her hands in.

    Size Issue

      My wife is 5'5", 133 lbs., 31 in. sleeve, 34 in. bust. The MH size chart and True Fit both said a small would work for her. The arm length is one full inch too long and the jacket is bulky in the chest and waist. This jacket runs quite big so order a size smaller and the size chart is funky. We're sending it back. Pretty nice jacket otherwise.

      Love it!

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      I love this jacket! I've had it for a few weeks now and have worn it around town, out hiking, camping, and rock climbing. I'm 5'6", about 126lbs, and the small fits great. There is enough room to layer a thick fleece underneath, but it doesn't look boxy at all if I only wear a thin shirt with it. I tried on several other soft shells and they were all either way too big, very fitted, or looked super boxy. This also runs a bit longer in the back than some of the other ones, which I really like. Sleeves are a tad long, but the velcro makes it easy to have them stay up if they're in the way.

      The inner fleece material is super comfy, and overall the jacket is very warm for its weight. If worn it in light rain and it seems like it keeps the water out really well, but is still breathable. The soft shell material is very flexible and stretchy, great for climbing and other active sports. I love the hood and that it's adjustable. It fits over my climbing helmet, but it does feel a bit constricted. Only thing I miss are pit zips, but I never felt too sweaty in the jacket so far, just warm!

      New favorite all-around jacket

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      This is replacing my ten-year-old North Face Apex Bionic. The Principia is much thinner, but is still warm and the thin fleece lining is very comfy. I love the hood and am beyond stoked that the sleeves are long enough for my monkey arms in a size small. I only wish that the cut was a bit more fitted in the torso; it's roomy enough for layering, but the sleeves are a bit tight with anything more than a light mid-layer. It definitely sheds light rain like a champ.

      tried on at Columbia store

        Pretty. Form fitted but not tight. Feminine cut. I'm looking for a jacket that is technical, but will look good around town, or even for a nice night out. This might be it. Didn't buy it yet, so haven't worn it out, and can't attest to it's tech specs. Comfortable and the sleeves were long enough for my long arms. I'm 5'7" and about 160, and the medium fit perfect.