The Softshell Jacket Awards announced by OutdoorGearLab.com
Best Softshell Jacket Review announced by OurdoorGearLab.com for Editor’s Choice, Best Buy and Top Picks.
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CHEYENNE, WYâ€”OutdoorGearLab.com revealed today the results of the 2011 Editors’ Choice Awards for the Softshell Jacket category, listing this year’s best and best value for soft-shell jackets. The OutdoorGearLab Review Editors chose the following winners after extensive field testing and road trips in the High Sierra, Southeast Utah and Lake Tahoe. We enrolled 16 of the best softshells in an abusive testing regime that involved skiing, rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, showshoeing, and cycling. We lived in these jackets day-in, day-out, using a different one each day, for five months. Some went to the highest point in the continental United States and others to Times Square as we evaluated all on fit, mobility, versatility, warmth, water resistance, and aesthetics. Each underwent extensive side by side tests to evaluate each of these key performance metrics. View the complete
softshell jacket reviews
The winners are:
Arcteryx Venta SV winner of the Editor’s Choice Award for 2011 . According to Gear Editor Max Neale, “The Arcteryx Venta SV is a highly water-resistant, warm, comfortable, and attractive softshell. Its balanced fit, near perfect features, and high performance make it the most versatile softshell we’ve reviewed.”
North Face Apex Bionic winner of the Best Buy award for 2011. This award is given to a product that balances an extremely high score in our tests and a very reasonable price. According to Max Neale, “The North Face Apex Bionic strikes an ideal balance between casual and performance softshells. The jacket is made from Apex Climate Block with a brushed fleece backing; it’s warm and sufficiently stormproof for chilly hikes, spring skiing, and most day use activities.”
Beyond Clothing Cold Fusion Shock winner of the Top Pick award for 2011. This award is given to a product that excels at a specific application. According to Max Neale, “Beyond Clothing’s Cold Fusion Shock is a custom-made, perfect-fitting, highly mobile softshell with custom features. Enter your upper body measurements online, choose a color, choose the features you want, and four weeks later you’ll have a top performing jacket made especially for you.”
Mountain Hardwear Dragon winner of the Top Pick award for 2011. This award is given to a product that excels at a specific application. According to Max Neale, “The Mountain Hardwear Dragon is a lightweight, comfortable, and fully-featured ice and alpine climbing softshell. Uninsulated Gore Windstopper, zWeld watertight seams, pit zips, thumb loops, high hand pockets, and a huge hood make the Dragon ideal for cold, windy, dry days swinging tools or high up in the mountains.”
Flylow Higgins winner of the Top Pick award for 2011. This award is given to a product that excels at a specific application. According to Max Neale,”The Flylow Higgins is our favorite ski-specific softshell. It’s burly, thoroughly waterproof, and very well-featured. It has a large helmet-compatible hood, watertight zippers, 15-inch pit zips (also watertight), a headphone port, and powder guard snaps. All this on top of its three-layer Intuitive â€œsoft-hardshellâ€ fabric. This jacket may be tougher than you are.”