Ideal softshell on the mountain, on the street |

Ideal softshell on the mountain, on the street

There’s really nothing wrong with my school-bus yellow Obermeyer soft-shell ski jacket, which I’ve used for what seems like the last 80 years. And there’s nothing wrong with an upgrade, either.

Suffice it to say, I’m fairly pleased with my upgrade, which came in the form of a Cloudveil FirsTurn hooded jacket.

So far during this relatively mild winter, the FirsTurn has been the ideal soft-shell for my mountain needs – be it snowboarding, uphilling or just walking to work. On the uphills, I found the jacket kept me cozy and warm. But there have been some return descents during which I felt too stuffy, and was forced to tie the jacket around my waist to feel comfortable.

The jacket has not been tested in sub-zero temperatures (at least not by yours truly), but it has handled chilly weather just fine. On several occasions it passed the test of on-mountain white-outs; however, there was one time when I wished I had worn another layer underneath.

At 22 ounces, this loose-fitting jacket comes with a fleece interior, hand-warmer pockets, and a chest pocket, among other features. It’s also good-looking enough that I wear it around town, and not just on the mountain.

The hood is elastic and adjustable, and performed up to the task in gusty winds. One drawback is the front zipper, which can be a bit stifling – by pinching the neck skin – when pulled to the top.

But overall, the Cloudveil FirsTurn is a good investment – it retails for less than $150 – and can be trusted year round.

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