nitpicky question: I'm going hiking around Mt. Washington in New Hampshire in a few weeks. my normal hiking clothes would be some sort of insulating layer or layers under shell pants and jacket, depending on weather of course.
i'm going to test-drive soft shells this time around. I already understand that the soft shell jacket and pants may be a pretty good option if the winds are manageable, unless it gets obscenely cold. also, i already know that high winds, 60 mph or more, probably warrant hard shell pants.
what i'm not so clear about is where the tipping point lies. if i wake up on a particular morning and the forecast is winds steady at 30-40 but gusting to 50, am i going to be OK with soft shell pants? or am i likely to be happier with a base layer and a hard shell?
a second/related question: if the soft shell jacket i have isn't just a straight soft shell because it has a neoshell membrane, how does that change the tipping point? i think (but don't know from experience) that the neoshell jacket might be fine in higher winds, but if we're getting battered (steady 70-80 mph or higher), it's hard shell land in all likelihood.