Softshell jacket recommendations?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by beemer007, Dec 30, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. I've have been searching for one of these for a while as my branded fleece just is'nt up to the job (IMO), currently looking at the TNF 'The NorthFace Bionic Apex Jacket' & as my budget is limited to £100, ideally looking for a product which will last for a bit so unaware of the wear & tear aspect of the Bionic Apex, I have looked at haglof's, Mountainhardwear etc but has anyone got any realistic reviews?

    Also for those not sure what a Softshell is:

    The North Face Mens Apex Bionic Jacket - Gaynor Sports
  2. What job do you have in mind?
    Most soft shells I've tested are little more than comfortable, trendy wind jackets. They provide neither warmth or real protection from the rain. I believe Helikon-Tex of Poland have some interesting offerings, one of which was recommended on Arrse (it cost something like 50 pounds).
  3. I got myself a Keela Quantum jacket a few months back which im impressed with it so far plus it has a hood. I think I picked mine up for about £75.

    edited to add: I got caught in the rain in mine too and it didnt leak at all.

    North Face is what all the scallies round Liverpool wear at the minute so I tend to personally stay away from it.
  4. The windproof element is the main thing, I recently visit'd Ellis brigham Covent garden to browse through their range, the keela was something i never thought of to be fair,.
  5. Got a Keela fusion a while back , though without a hood (an older model?).
    Very good, bombproof construction, weatherproof & smart. Worn it on nights out & felt quite well dressed (also looks good on the hills!)
  6. I have one of The North Face's and its excellent, and actually warm. Usually I have the circulation of an old woman so feel the cold, but it actually helps.

    Not even close to wearing down yet a year and a half later
  7. I'll have to admit to being a North Face owner, and I whilst they are very good jackets, you have to be careful. They have 2 ranges, but don't really publicise the second. There are the:
    •*Serious walking jackets which look socially acceptable by not having garish streaks all over them like some brands.
    • Well-paid businessman works-in-the-city jacket which has to be socially acceptable, but can survive heavy rain twice a year.

    Only buy ones from range 1. You should be able to have a touchy feely look and work out which range it's from.

    One great little-known advantage to North Face is they all have lifetime guarantees. So buy a £300 once and it's a bloody expensive jacket, but you're buying a jacket for life. £300 on my main walking jacket got me a nice, hard shell waterproof outer layer with pit zips, pockets everywhere and a hood which is more than a polyester bag and actually offer protection; as well as a Softie-like inner layer that zips out, making it good for field use under my smock. It's a lot warmer than the issue softie which is pretty ace! The main jacket has been re-proofed many times but this year it gave up the chase, to my surprise I took it into Blacks, and 2 weeks later it 'came back from repair' looking particularly similar to it's modern-day equivalent. Methinks North Face jackets are cheaper for NF to replace than repair. No complaints here to that.

    So I'd say North Face is a good buy but just be careful you're buying a NF outdoors jacket, not a NF over-the-suit jacket.

    Also, check out Kathmandu. Not many shops about but they make very good outdoor clothing in New Zealand and it performs extremely well.
  8. Used to work for cotswold outdoors before joining, the north face gear we sold was still pretty good but over the years the quality did go down. (They were always the most popular targets for shop lifters!) Personally I would go for something from Rab, so check out the links, (Vapour rise is a 'softshell' but using differnet fabrics. Softshell is ultimately just branding to sell more jackets!)
    RAB - for the most extreme conditions in the world.

    RAB - for the most extreme conditions in the world.

    This time of year is good for sales in the shops- so worth shopping around. Also you get army discount so make sure you ask for it!


  9. Agreed, but Mountain Equipment stress the new shell fabric is much better at keeping the down dry.
  10. Twenty years ago The North Face were very high quality but STUPIDLY expensive.
    I have a RAB Kinder that I hardly ever use. It sheds down through the lining and drives me nuts after 20 Minutes.
    Apparently this is still a problem with RAB gear.