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cp wrote a review of on January 3, 2010

5 5

This is a fantastic soft shell jacket if the specification fits you.
First, here is my take on how to buy a right Soft Shell jacket.
I break it down to two categories.

A) Use for trend – the jacket will be only use for casual wear. These jackets are usually cheaper, heavier, less flexible/stretchable, warmer and most importantly it sports a wider/roomyier cut. This type will fits you fine if you are not built slim and don’t do any strenuous exercise. Try to exercise with one of these and you will quickly overheat. The North Face Apex Bionic fits this category, inexpensive and sporty.

B)Use for outdoor activity – the jacket will be much more expensive, lighter, has greater flexibility/breathability/stretch ability, and most importantly it sports a trim/athletic cut. This jacket will not keep you warm if you expect to lounge around unless you put some quality base layer(s). It will keep you warm and dry during the strenuous exercise and prevent from overheating. Meaning, it will have much more temperature range versus the trendy ones. Because of the high price, it is not likely become trendy. The examples are most of Arc’teryx, some of Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, some of the North Face (like Sentinel/Valhalla jacket) and etc….

Now, let’s talk about this LIGHT jacket. It has the athletic cut with longer back than the front. It has excellent breathability and stretch ability. Also, has the descent windproof/water resistant. I’m 6’ tall with 180lbs with 41 chest/32 waist and the Medium fits me like a tailored jacket. I love the fit and the color (Carbide). The temperature range is around 30F to 50F. Any higher temp, I’d wear a vest on top of a base layer. It can be worn below 30 as long as the wind is not so high and I was able to test it today.
Three day ago, I wore this jacket with an Assos long sleeve base layer for an hour long run in the temp of 31F with light wind and it kept me very comfortable. Today, I went out running with the exact same setup. The temperature was in the mid to upper 20’s but the wind was hauling at 25 to 35 mph (NW direction) with the gust reaching 45+. That’s when this jacket hit its limit. I couldn’t stay warm to save my life. Only when I turned around (always run into the headwind in the winter when I start running) I was little comfortable. It definitely isn’t a jacket for a single digit wind chill. I should’ve worn a Gamma MX, TNF Sentinel or little heavier/wind proof jacket.

Hope it helps you decide on a right soft shell jacket.

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cp

cp wrote a review of on November 15, 2004

4 5

Very nice piece of clothing for running in the cool to cold weather. I can actually feel the re-inforced material around my whole legs for extra support.
However, not very accomodating for cycling. Back of the tight is too low so when you are riding a bike your back part will be exposed. This is why most of the cycling top/bottom have long back than the front.

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cp

cp wrote a review of on September 23, 2004

5 5

I replaced my Nike Storm Shear with XCR and the difference is unbelievable. I had on opportunity to test it out last weekend when Washington DC area was getting slammed with the remains of Hurricane Ivan. Not only did it keep my feet dry,I was able to run at full throttle without worrying about twisting my ankle. I give 5 for Stability,Motion Control,Cushioning,Weather Protection and Traction but 4 for Ventilation(as expected). Can't wait till we get a snow storm so I can go out to run!!! One more thing, if your feet are wide size 1/2 up(Toebox is not too wide).

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