As with all of our apparel, the development of our first softshell jacket (the Big Four jacket) began with our core belief that technical clothing for climbing should be simple and functional. There are many options available on the market for softshell jackets, but not many that remove all of the extraneous stuff that adds weight and hassle to a garment. We wanted a jacket that fully took advantage of the best parts of softshell fabrics and left out anything that wasn't necessary. Our first generation was extremely minimalist, with just a chest pocket, two inside stretch pockets and a hood with a fixed elastic cord.
For Fall 2013 we made some changes to our initial design to create the Fast/Light Jacket. We started with the fabric. We searched far and wide, through hundreds of different softshell fabrics before deciding on one from the Tweave Durastretch family of fabrics. The fabric is created by a non-conventional process for wrapping yarn called air entanglement. This process gives the fabric a softer hand, while improving the stretch. An eight percent spandex content also allows for awesome mobility in the fabric.
We spent many hours with our fit model and designers (and went through many samples) to get the fit just right. The jacket is athletically cut. The length and stretch of the fabric allows the jacket to easily stay under a harness, and the sleeves are long enough to not get annoying when swinging ice tools or rock climbing. The hood is also helmet compatible.
For features we kept things minimal with hook and loop adjustable cuffs, a zippered chest pocket (on the opposite side as our Black Spider Hoody for layering purposes), inside stretch pockets, and we added adjustment to the hood.
Essentially we created the non-compromising softshell jacket that we wanted to wear.
Our women's version is also great, utilizing the same Durastretch fabric and design concept as the men's. You can check out this video for more information:
The Fast/Light jacket is available at many of these fine retailers. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.