Freecountry.com Softshell jacket review

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.

Sizing
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.

womens softshell jacket Features..
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.

My experience…
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.

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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.

pocket on back of softshell jacket 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.


About the author: Article by Claire Walters CEO Outdoortrailgear
FB: @Clairewalters / Twitter: @Clairewalters / Claire on Google+ / ClaireTWalters on Instagram / YouTube

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