Samuel from out Epsom store, gives us the ins and outs of two of our Outdoor Softshell Jackets.
After so much work in the outdoors, foreign travel and strange adventures I have a wide array of all sorts of equipment. So which do I choose? What do I do if I want to cycle somewhere and I have two highly breathable softshell jackets to choose from? Well let’s find out.
I have the Vickan Softshell, from the Mountain Warehouse Extreme range and the mens Peaks Softshell from their active range. On first impression the Peaks is much lighter and thinner, and they both have chest pockets. The Vickan then has two waist pockets whereas the Peaks has a single back pocket. The Peaks has thumb hoops to stop the jacket riding up your arms and while the Vickan doesn’t have this, it does have Velcro straps to tighten it around your wrists.
Both jackets are showerproof. Waterproof softshells exist, but they are rare. For my purposes, this doesn’t bother me, I’m cycling to work and even if the rain is torrential and the wind is strong, I won’t be out in it for more than 35 minutes.
I will say that my vickan is almost a year old, the Peaks brand new. There seems to be next to no difference in water resistance, but the Vickan was recently treated with a proofing spray, restoring it to nearly new condition.
Jackets in Action:
When I run or cycle in them, I find the Peaks more comfortable and lighter. I rarely ever use the hood on the Vickan, but when I do, it’s adjustable cords mean it moves with my head, letting me easily look over my shoulder with no obstruction and the small peak keeps the rain out of my eyes for the most part. I feel no difference in breathability or water resistance.
The question is, which is better to live with. I prefer the feel and fit of the Peaks, it’s lighter and the elasticated waistband works better than the cord tightened Vickan waistband. I never ever use back pockets myself, I always cycle with a rucksack, so a back pocket would be inaccessible. And if I cycle into town, having waist pockets is just comfortable to keep my hands warm and practical if I’m shopping. Both jackets are great for cycling or
running. Both are brilliant jackets, just a matter of choosing which is right for you. I think I choose the Vickan, but it’s a very close decision, made purely because I prefer the pocket.