Why do I feel sweattier in a softshell?

Discussion in 'Softgoods: Clothing, Helmets, Goggles, and More' started by Cheizz, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. Cheizz

    Cheizz Craving camber Skier

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2016
    Posts:
    579
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    I know that the numbers and theory suggest a softshell fabric has higher/better breathability than a hardshell fabric. Then why is it that I sweat more (or rather: feel more sweatty) while wearing my softshell jacket in the same cricumstances, doing the same thing? Can anyone explain?
     
  2. Prickly Jones

    Prickly Jones Jetsetting Curmudgeon Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2015
    Posts:
    160
    Location:
    Italy
    Depends on the soft shell, what you're wearing under it vs. what you wear under a hard shell. Plus, do you use pit zips on hard shell?
     
    Tricia likes this.
  3. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Posts:
    7,369
    I'm guessing you're more smushed in a softshell - it has a tighter fit against your midlayer and less air exchange above your midlayer between your sweaty bits and your not-so-sweaty bits so all the sweat vapor has to air out directly through a smaller area of fabric. 20sq. inches at 2-5CFM is a lot less venting than 900sq. inches at 0.3-0.7CFM?

    (There is also a second-order argument to be made in that the constrained area has less overall heat supplied to it and therefore will be less effective at transporting vapor across the fabric at any given temperature difference.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  4. Thread Starter
    TS
    Cheizz

    Cheizz Craving camber Skier

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2016
    Posts:
    579
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    The layers underneath were the same, no use of venting zips. So: comparable conditions I think.

    @cantunamunch that could be the explenation. The softshell is slightly tighter in fit.
     
  5. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Posts:
    7,369
    Do you have a waffle-print midlayer like Patagonia do for their midweight fleeces? You can test my notion by seeing if the waffle print reduces the sweaty feeling.
     


  6. crgildart

    crgildart Gravity Slave Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    6,280
    Location:
    The Bull City
    I've found the cool wind, though it doesn't blow through a hard shell, makes the material cool. Soft shells are a little thicker and don't transfer that cool surface through to the inside of the garment. On a warm day I like the cool touch of the hard shell against the mid layer, especially the base later to cool things down a touch. On a cool day it is a detriment where a thicker, softshell has a tad more insulation.
     
  7. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Posts:
    7,369
    Rain does this much much more than wind.
     
    ScotsSkier likes this.
  8. ScotsSkier

    ScotsSkier USSA Coach Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    2,121
    Location:
    North Lake Tahoe, NV
    a bit less of the Fetish talk! :roflmao:
     
    green26 and tromano like this.
  9. pais alto

    pais alto me encanta el país alto Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Posts:
    1,026
    Location:
    Soft shells aren't all the same. What soft shell are you wearing? Some soft shells have a wind proof layer, which is actually a membrane that prevents wind from coming in but also, surprise!, prevents water vapor from your body from freely exiting. The buildup of water vapor that is blocked by the so-called wind proof membrane can be what's causing the sweaty feeling.
     
    Monique likes this.
  10. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    9,576
    Location:
    Colorado
    Arc'teryx has a softshell material that feels like hardshell to me. :huh:
     
  11. neonorchid

    neonorchid Out on the slopes Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Posts:
    3,331
  12. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Posts:
    2,462
    This is 100% opposite of my experience.

    Agree. I've got one so-called soft shell that looks great, but breathes about as well as a plastic trash bag.

    Do the breath test on your soft shell: Can you blow and/or inhale through it? If not, you've got your answer.
     
    pais alto likes this.

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice