Freecountry.com Softshell jacket reviewPosted by Claire Walters on Dec 10, 2013 in Clothing, Gear Reviews | 0 comments
Hi Everyone! Today I’m going to talk about a softshell jacket from FreeCountry.com.
Back a couple of months ago I was asked to try a product from the Free Country clothing line. The most logical item for me was a softshell jacket. Being I live in north GA (usually no snow) this type of outer jacket I know would see a lot of use during our winter/fall months.
The jacket that was chosen was the women’s Spire softshell jacket. http://www.freecountry.com/products/womens-spire-softshell-jacket
Product description from Manufacturer web site:
The Free Country ladies Spire softshell is a simple, solid color design with secret style weapons in its ombre zippers, reflective tape inlays on chest seams, hidden storage pocket in back and lycra thumb-hole cuffs. Solid color body yes, ordinary look no! Both water and wind resistant.
According to their size guide I choose a size medium. I’m 5’ 3” approx 115lbs. The medium was shipped to me very quickly.
As soon as it arrived I put on the jacket. Turns out it was snug on the body & in the shoulders. At the time I was wearing a tank top. When I extended my arms the sleeves went up my arms quite high.
Since I would typically wear a shirt layer that would take up more space than a tank top – I immediately went back on their web site to look at their size guide & I admit my sizing is somewhat on the border of the numbers they have listed. My advice with this particular product is – if you are on the border of their sizing go to the next size than what you usually wear. (I can’t say this applies to their other products)
I communicated that the size medium was too small/ tight for me. Free Country promptly got a women’s size large shipped to me.
Their process of returning an item was very easy. The company sent me an email with a link to print a shipping label so I can drop the package at a UPS store or in a UPS drop box.
The size large arrived & fits me perfect! I have worn short & long sleeve cotton shirts under it. sweatshirts, fleece pullovers & medium weight sweaters. There’s still room for me to move & extend my arms when wearing any of the mentioned layers under the softshell jacket.
This jacket has narrow reflective strips on the front & back seams. It has a pocket in the lower back area. Thumb holes in the sleeves. The holes are a stretchy type material that is sewn on the inside of the sleeves in the wrist area. Front pockets are on left & right sides and a hood.
Since it got cooler in my area – if I’m going to wear a jacket this has been my go to jacket. We’ve been getting our share of rain for the past few weeks & the jacket has been great to keep me dry. The video below shows a great demo of water rolling off this material.
I’ve been able to wear it over any other layers or even multiple layers. (IE; long sleeve shirt & sweatshirt)
During wet days or dry cooler days I’ve been happy it has a hood. The hood fits tapered to my head where it doesn’t seem to float around – it moves with me. Instead of having a mind of its own like some hoods I’ve had. The hood acts as a good wind blocker, as well as the rest of the jacket protecting my torso & arms.
During those windy or cooler days I find myself slipping my hands into the thumb holes to add extra warmth to my hands. I’m not one to always have gloves with me. When I lived up north – gloves were for making snowballs!
Temps have been in the mid 40’s & 50’s as well as freezing temps for the lows at night. With added layers this jacket has done its job.
However, on warmer days I have found that I can wear it over a lighter weight shirt to use as a barrier to block wet / damp weather / wind.
Weight of the jacket doesn’t feel bulky or hinder activity.
The Spire softshell jacket also worked well as a underlayer. I put on a down jacket over this softshell as a quick test. In the event I think I’d be in a situation where I would need multiple layers. IE: warmer day time temps & very cold night time temps. This system would work well. The down jacket went over the softshell with no problem.
Horizontal pocket on back.
At first I thought it would be awkward putting items in this pocket. I thought anything I put in there I would sit on or when trying to reach for the items wouldn’t work so well. So I put it to the test. I added a few folded up paper towels, small flashlight, chapstick & keys. When going for walks a few times I reached for the flashlight, have used the chapstick & at some point I would need my keys. The zipper pull is smaller than what I normally see for example on the front of a jacket. It may be helpful to tie a small string to the zipper pull. Otherwise this was a successful test!
Overall I have had an enjoyable experience wearing this jacket. During the fall & winter months in north Georgia I find myself dressing in layers since its not unusual to have warmer temps during the day – then freezing temps at night. This jacket will work for fluctuating weather temps in various situations.
Freecountry.com also carries men’s softshell jackets which you can find here http://www.freecountry.com/categories/mens/softshell-jackets and then here’s the link for women’s softshell jackets. http://www.freecountry.com/categories/womens/soft-shell-jackets
Thank you for reading. Hope this has been helpful to anyone thinking about getting a softshell jacket.
Here’s a video from the manufacturer doing a demo & explaining more technical info about the softshell jacket.