I have a small frame weighing in at 135 lb and standing at 56. Naturally, all of my winter jackets are in size small. My own rule of thumb for a cold weather shell that fits well must be able to accommodate a regular base layer along with a puffy down jacket like the TNF Nutpse as a mid layer, and have a snug fit but not overly tight. I had acquired a small Marmot Alpinist recently and was totally disappointed with it even though I am a big fan of Marmot. The Alpinist had excessively long sleeves and it fit extremely tight with a TNF Nutpse down jacket on. It was sized completely different than a small Marmot Pallisades Gore-TEX Performance Shell that I have been wearing. I did try a size medium and the body was perfect but by golly the sleeves were even longer, making it extremely uncomfortable in the arms. I know you can lock them down but still there is a lot of extra material there to roll up. This problem was made even worst by the small opening of the sleeves. I have a slender build for my weight class so I dont think my arms are too short for my size. Why the heck in the world did Marmot make such long sleeves for this technical piece? Had they used the Pallisades size template, the Alpinist would have been great. My small Pallisades Gore-TEX Performance Shell has plenty long sleeves too for my arms but they are not too excessive like the Alpinists. I am not a technical climber (I am a runner, cyclist, skier, and hiker for now) but I would think if the sleeves were too long, they would interface with the functioning of your hands when climbing. I can see the sleeves may be 1 or so longer than the normal length to accommodate a climber to reach up but the sleeves of the 2010 Alpinist were definitely way beyond the normal extended length, at least for my arms. With that said, everything else on this jacket was right on. I especially like all the front pockets. The chest pockets had a protective hood even though zippers were the PU coated water resistant type. The same thing goes for the pit zips. The removable powder skirt is definitely a plus for skiing, as there are very few Alpine style technical pieces have one. The stretch fabric can be felt a bit if you pull on it but this shell definitely did not feel like a soft shell at all, as I was hearing that nylon creaking sound when moving around. It is definitely a hard shell with a more compliance fabric.