Simond Alpine Softshell (2015)

Features

Simond clothing is available through Decathlon and carries extremely impressive price tags. This jacket uses a stretch abrasion-resistant material with a water-repellent membrane inside. The brushed polyester finish on the inside provides some warmth

and comfort. There are two main pockets plus a third smaller chest pocket. 4/5

Fit

Available in men’s S-XXL and women’s XS-XL, the fit is close and slightly restrictive (and particularly under the arms, I found) so you might want a size up from usual. But there was good movement in the sleeves without the hem or cuffs riding up. Cuff Velcro tabs allowed a close fit and the collar fitted well, although a drawcord collar could fit closer. 4/5

Comfort

The Simond Alpine Softshell was a little stiff due to the close fit, so I felt I was in a straitjacket to some degree, but a larger size may overcome that. The brushed inside finish of the fabric is comfy and this extends to the chinguard area of the collar. The body totally blocks wind and all but the heaviest of rain. It is fairly warm too, but it isn’t as breathable as a soft shell without a membrane. 4/5

In use

The material is nice and abrasion-resistant, making this great for scrambling over rock. The two main pockets are easily accessed above a harness and ideal for hands or a map, but the smaller chest pocket is a little too small really. It takes a phone or GPS receiver but it would be great if it could take a map, leaving the others free for the hands. The lack of a hood is a drawback. 4/5

Value

The price is outstanding and cannot be challenged. The jacket may not be perfect, but the price is. 5/5

Verdict

An outstanding price for a soft shell that is very, very good. Hard to find a better one than the Simond Alpine Softshell unless you choose very carefully. 4.2/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine September 2015

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