Backcountry.com Shift Softshell Jacket
I really didn't need another jacket, but have wanted…
Fabric: Polartec Power Shield
Price Paid: $49.74
I really didn't need another jacket, but have wanted a softshell for a while. I'm partial to Mountain Hardwear stuff, but when the Backcountry Shift came up on their outlet site for just under $50, I couldn't pass it up.
The Shift has gotten great reviews on their site with many users comparing it favorably to some Arc'teryx softshells for way less cash. Like Arc'teryx, BC uses Polartec Power Shield for the Shift and it's even made in Canada. As this is being written in late June, I can't say much about its cold and wet weather properties, but the Shift is well designed and constructed, good looking (in the "Carbon" color) and (sz. M) fits my 5'9" 170 body nicely. In my case, a 100 wt. fleece fits under the Shift is slightly snug, but not uncomfortably so.
Contrary to the description, this (most recent?) version of the Shift has 2 handwarmer, an interior and exterior chest pocket, but none on the wrist. One little caveat. I suspect that the price paid may have either been a fluke or very temporary "special" sale since I've never seen this version and color sold at such a low price - even on their Steep And Cheap site.
As far as service goes, Backcountry is great. I had to "pad" my order with a small item to receive free shipping and had the Shift waiting on my doorstep via UPS in just 3 days!