Review by Anna
Bottom Line: I would buy this jacket at full price
Manufacturer's intended purpose: Hiking, Backpacking, Backcountry Skiing
Actual Weight: 1 lb 3.6 oz / 557 g
Mfg Retail: $260
This is a super cozy soft shell jacket that has kept me dry in some of the wettest conditions I have seen-even after some of my companions’ hard shells had wetted out.
I ordered a medium in this jacket and it fit great. I am 5’6, 150ish pounds, atheleticish and usually wear a M in women’s outdoor jackets. It is not baggy but has room for a few layers. I have worn it comfortably over a base layer, vest, and light puffy coat.
I have worn this jacket skiing, ice climbing, hiking, bushwhacking through alders, and trekking Kilimanjaro. It shows very little wear in three years of heavy use. The fabric has held up splendidly-there is no staining or tearing anywhere on this jacket. The waterproofed zippers almost look brand new. The cuffs, which often show wear first, still have solid elastic, no fraying, and the velcro closure is still going strong. The worst I can say about it is there are a few places where the glue on the taped seams is starting to peel at the edges.
This jacket strikes an excellent balance of weather proofness and warmth. As a soft shell, it has no insulation. However, the inside is a soft, fleece-like fabric that feels great and captures some warmth. Slipping this jacket on over a base layer while working hard in temperatures down to freezing has kept me warm and protected from the elements. I have comfortably ski toured in a base layer and this jacket in 10 degree weather with a light, but noticeable wind.
This is not the lightest or most compact-able jacket. But for a bomber softshell, what do you expect? Its function is keeping you comfortably protected and maybe a little warm too, not being featherweight.
I have been truly amazed at how water/windproof this jacket is. I took it out in an overnight search and rescue course. It poured the entire 36 hours we were out. I was shockingly dry with the exception of where the water started to seep up my cuffs. I might have been the driest person in the group. The material is also surprisingly breathable. I end up with wet spots where my pack sits but I can’t entirely blame the qualities of this coat for this problem.
There are not a lot of frills on this jacket. There are the standard two hand pockets (not harness compatible though I have worn this with a harness countless times) and one inner pocket. The cinching system on the hood is straightforward and keeps it from blowing off in the wind. The bottom also has a cinching system built in, which I adjusted once when I got the coat and have not touched again in three years.
My only complaint is the lack of pit zips or other ventilation methods. Once you get hot and unjzip the front, the coat has to come off, which is unfortunate if there is a light wind/rain you are trying to ward off.
Manufacturer Warranty (8)
I have not felt compelled to submit this jacket to OR for any repairs. However, considering my past experiences with this company, I would imagine that they would take care of any problems I may have.
This was my go to jacket for any wet weather for several years; it never let me down however shitty the weather got. My only real complaint about this jacket is the lack of pit zips for dumping heat. I like this coat so much that I convinced my mom she needed one too. Three years after purchasing mine, I bought her the updated version in 2015. Now we have not-quite-matching OR Mithril Jackets.