On Sunday, I went down to Glenelg Beach, and I accidentally left my Arcteryx Solano on a park bench >.> 15 minutes or so when I returned, it was missing >.> Can you say, OUCH!
Adelaide is still in the tail end of winter - supposedly - and I am just too spoilt having a softshell that I went looking for another one. Which turned out to be a good thing, as the last two days have been cold and windy with light drizzles yesterday.
But in any case, I was on the prowl for a replacement softshell, and was actually rather tempted to hunt down a replacement Solano as it is a great piece of gear. The Solano has a great fit, ok-ish water repellency and the insides have a *very* thin layer of insulation. It doesn't look too technical, super breathable, and rolls up into a small lump.
Initially, when I was introduced to it, I was hesitant to pick it up due to this thin insulation, but I've found it to work really well in Singapore or Montreal. The Solano in combination with my 5 year old macpac fleece was perfect down to zero C in montreal, and of course is perfect for the winter weather here in Adelaide.
The new shell I picked up is a hardshell, a Mammut Juho. Several things were going for it: It has a Gore-tex waterproof outer layer, the price was good for a gore-tex kit (end of season sale - so it was cheaper than my Solano!), and the styling was not too "omg I go for long hikes in the mountains on weekend". It was also a hardshell, something I've never tried before and the waterproofing _really_ called out to me.
The weather has not been wet enough to put the water proofing to the test, but tests in the kitchen showed that the waterproofing is amazing, with water just shedding off. My previous two softshells (the solano and a mountain hardwear which name I've forgotten) initially had great water repellency, but degraded rapidly. I've tried Grangers on the Solano and it only helped a little. I hope this Gore tex fabric will hold up longer.
Now the thing about the new jacket is... I think it doesn't keep me as warm as the Solano. I'm guessing it might be the Solano having the thin insulation layer, while the Joho is straight up synthetic material on the inside, so when the jacket gets cold it conducts the coolness straight to the fleece, whilst the Solano has the thin insulating layer. I'm also wondering if the windstopper on the solano is more breathable than goretex, so less moisture is trapped - which would keep warmer.
At the moment, it's fine as the "cold" is still above zero, and not a problem. If it's seriously cold I'll probably need a beanie but it's not that cold yet, and this is the tail end of winter here. Things should get warmer soon. It was crazy warm on Saturday, easily hitting 20C++.
I'd write more but it's bedtime. Photos from glenelg and food to post. What's not helping is my internet connection, on a good day, getting 35kb/s is a good thing. I need to look into switching to another isp.