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surly inbred
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see some good deals popping up now. Windstopper has become a necessity for my next purchase. Any thoughts on fleece vs. softshells? How do the softshells hold up fighting moisture?

For example: @ LL Bean

This isn't so much a deal, but the type of jacket I've been browsing.
 

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Try a Fox Stormblock jacket. Wind proof, light weight, zippered armpit vents, zippered back vents, velcro at the wrist, coated to be waterproof. I've had one for the last 3 winters and it served me well. With a polyp turtleneck and a polyp jersey I'm good down to the upper teens. If I start to sweat, I start un-zipping zippers. Not cheap(about $110), but much better than an oldfashion windbreaker. If you ride alot in the winter, look into a good GorTex jacket. -Bob
 

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surly inbred
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
XCBob said:
Try a Fox Stormblock jacket... Not cheap(about $110)
Thanks for the feedback, although I'd prefer to go the non-cycling specific route and save a few bucks. After borrowing a friend's tech jacket I'm sold on new threads.
 

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Crunchatize me Capn'
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If you're absolutely set on WindStopper branded material then I would also suggest CRAFT. However I've used a $15 jacket that I got from JC Penney for two years now. I wear a cold wear equivalent Underarmor baselayer underneath and a plypro compression shirt underneath that. I usually get hot and have to slide the sleeves up and unzip the front a little when I wear the jacket. I ridden this combo down into the teens and have been fine. I think the brand name is "Simply For Sports". No pit zips but there is a back ventilation. Sleeves are velcro and plenty long enough.
 

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Five is right out
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Windstopper is Gores attempt to hijack teh 'softshell' concept by layering a laminate against a nylon shell. It's not very breathable compared to 'true' softshells as the laminate stops sweat evaporating. It's like a cutdown version of standard Goretex (i.e. still a sweat magnet).

Look into either shelled microfibre jackets like the Marmot Driclime series (REI does a much cheaper version) or the stretch woven versions made by everyone else (Mountain Hardware, Cloudviel, etc). They are much more breathable and still just as windproof.

I've had very good experiences with my Marmot Driclime. Not only is it windproof and easy to pack, but once I washed it in Nikwax waterproofing agent, and it withstands some pretty heavy downpours too.
 

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womble said:
Windstopper is Gores attempt to hijack teh 'softshell' concept by layering a laminate against a nylon shell. It's not very breathable compared to 'true' softshells as the laminate stops sweat evaporating. It's like a cutdown version of standard Goretex (i.e. still a sweat magnet).
I have a set of North Face gloves... sort of fleecy on the outside. Anyway, they say "Windstopper" right on them.

I have to laugh when I ride in the morning in cold weather. If I wear those gloves, I can FEEL the wind blowing right through them.

Always made me shake my head and wonder what the heck they meant with the "Windstopper" part. Sure makes me wonder about the product's effectiveness in jackets and such.

:confused:
 

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Try Columbia

They make soft shell jackets that are very windproof yet breathable. I purchased an Ice Ax jacket recently and have been very happy with it. Other jackets left me cold and clammy when sweat didn't evaporate.

As for the windstopper gloves, I have to agree that there are times when they seem to allow the wind to pass right through.
 

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Five is right out
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> Always made me shake my head and wonder what the heck they meant with the "Windstopper" part.

The reason the North Face gloves don't work is because they don't have sealed seams, so it's more of a design fault. But yeah, WL Gore has been much better at marketing than actual product innovation over the last 10 years. The softshell revolution caught them napping, and they scrambled to cram their outdated laminate products into this new category.

To the OP: Softshells are much better than fleeces at moisture management. They tend to have better wicking capabilities (specially the shelled-microfibre stuff). Fleeces tend to be either too hot under exertion, or too cold when the wind blows through them (unless paired with windstopper, when they just stay too hot). Fleece is very inefficient to pack- it don't compress well and takes up too much space when you're not using it.

Check mgear.com, sierratradingpost.com and summithut.com- they often have good sales going.
 

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over 50 years of cycling
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REI Ultra light jacket...maybe?

I just went through a similar search. I debated between some of the "wind/water RESISTANT" jackets that pack into the size of a candybar, versus a SLIGHTLY bulkier "waterproof" jacket. Wish I could afford to get both.

It was a VERY close toss of the coin but I found the REI "ultra light" jacket on sale marked down from $130 to $60. That was too good to pass up. I just checked and noticed on REI.com they still have some of the larger sizes of that jacket on sale.

REI Ultra light is double layer, VERY waterproof and TOASTY. MODERATELY breathable, and does get a bit "slimey" inside under HEAVY exertion although it seems to work well with a polypro base layer. Long pit zips give it pretty good ventilation. I like the fact the hood is removable and its a more "ample" cut which doesn't make me look like the clothes are painted on me....I am past that age and physique. :rolleyes:

It crunches down to pretty darn small, but at 13 ounces (with hood) its more for a small camelbak than a hip pocket.

At $65 it was an easy decision. At $130.....I might have ended up with something else. There are some VERY good options around $80-$100, especially if you are happy with a more breathable "water RESISTANT" material.

Check out some of the backpacking sources in addition to the usual biking sources. Consider if you want to deal with a non-removable hood on some of them. Some you can stow or remove the hood, others you end up with a drag chute. And the pit zips can be a very good feature to have.
 

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Last few cold snaps I have been experimenting.

Totally given up on pit vents and windshells.

I bought a M and XL, generic breathable running jackets from MEC. $50/ea.

I wear them over top of each other, good to -15 C. Below that I put my wool sweater on the outside, it frosts up nice with the breathing and doesn't get wet. good to at least -33 C.

Also tried my fleece on the outside and it works quite well.

The highly breathable non wind proof outside is good cause when you stop or slow down the whole system gets warmer automatically casue the wind slows down.

The other way around its just gets to hot riding.

Yes the weather means a lot, I ride in snowy and cold, but basically dry.
No sleety crap.
 

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It depends on what the weather is doing. I have a North Face Apex Bionic softshell I wear for just about everything. I haven't tried it for mountain biking yet but will soon.

That and it was the only brand I that fit my body comfortably.

-Rob
 

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keepin' it rural
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fox tempest

i just picked up the fox tempest jacket at a fox outlet for $36 bucks. it normally runs $119.00 but i see they have it on their site for $79.00. its windproof and water repellent and looks cool.
so i'd check to see of there are any outlets in your neck of the woods...kind of a longshot but hey who knows, before yesterday i didnt know there was one in my town either.
 

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I have had 2 windstopper jackets for over 10 years now. And they work great. Softshell fabrice are a lot newer. Poor construction can ruin a good material. I also have a Marmot Evolution shirt with Gore N2S which works fantastic.
Softshell fabrics vary in their wind resistance measured in CFM. I usually see them used in conjunction with a microfleece or thicker fleece liner or other inner liner.
Here's some NorthFace examples:
http://www.thenorthface.com/opencms/opencms/tnf/gear.jsp?site=NA&model=AA4L

http://www.thenorthface.com/opencms/opencms/tnf/gear.jsp?site=NA&model=AUD2

This one is great and has Gore Windstopper:
http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Product.aspx?top=1&prod=814&cat=8&viewAll=False
 

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over 50 years of cycling
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Price range?

wormvine said:
I have had 2 windstopper jackets for over 10 years now. And they work great. Softshell fabrice are a lot newer. Poor construction can ruin a good material. I also have a Marmot Evolution shirt with Gore N2S which works fantastic.
Softshell fabrics vary in their wind resistance measured in CFM. I usually see them used in conjunction with a microfleece or thicker fleece liner or other inner liner.
Here's some NorthFace examples:
http://www.thenorthface.com/opencms/opencms/tnf/gear.jsp?site=NA&model=AA4L

http://www.thenorthface.com/opencms/opencms/tnf/gear.jsp?site=NA&model=AUD2

This one is great and has Gore Windstopper:
http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Product.aspx?top=1&prod=814&cat=8&viewAll=False
At $250-$300 they BETTER be good jackets! And its great if you can afford a jacket like that. I am probably not the only person who would hestitate to sink that into a mtn bike jacket that is likely to get shredded in a crash at some point?

This is a good point though. What was the price range the original poster is considering? That could make a HUGE difference in recommendations.

Mountain Hardware and North Face are certainly EXCELLENT brands.
 

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I hear ya!

I usually try to find my gear at closeout prices. I got my MountainHardware Alchemy jacket for $100.00. I usually google a product I want to find the cheapest price.
 

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over 50 years of cycling
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closeouts, YES!

wormvine said:
I hear ya!

I usually try to find my gear at closeout prices. I got my MountainHardware Alchemy jacket for $100.00. I usually google a product I want to find the cheapest price.
even better then! Definitely the way to go.

Problem I find with mail order closeouts in something like a jacket is the sizes vary dramatically, even within a brand and sometimes even from one shipment to the next. I was definitely checking out the hardwear and the north face options, until I found a super sale on something I could try on locally.
 

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Problem I find with mail order closeouts in something like a jacket is the sizes vary dramatically, even within a brand and sometimes even from one shipment to the next. I was definitely checking out the hardwear and the north face options, until I found a super sale on something I could try on locally

Yeah You definitely run that risk with mail order. It's the price you pay for a bargain.
I get a prodeal with Northface through my job and I was able to try on some jackets at a store before I ordered. After the first one was way off. Arms were like 2 inches too long.
Since I couldn't return the jacket I sold it on Ebay. I definitely recommend trying the product on before you order anything. I do now.

One thing to note is that MountainHardwear and Northface have lifetime warranties. A benefit you definitely pay for. But food for thought.
 
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