Full-weight softshells are of relatively little use in the UK unless you are winter climbing, in my opinion. Softshells are awesome for UK use, though, as long as you get the right one. I own 4 softshells - a Ventile jacket, an Outdoor Research Ferrosi, a Macpac Stealth and a Patagonia Knifeblade. The Ventile is a tough-as-nails windproof, ideal for long walks in high winds. The Outdoor Research thing is ideal for cragging as it's pretty-much windproof, light, and works with a harness. The Macpac is shredded and has been used for anything and everything (it's Powershield with microfleece underarms and that's a pretty amazing fabric combination). The Knifeblade is my only super burly softshell and despite being unlined it is quite thick. I only ever use it if I'm winter climbing, as it is extremely good for that, but it's too warm and basically too protective (without being waterproof) for anything else in the UK.
The above 'vintage' links from CP are well worth a read. Interesting to see that nothing has changed and that marketting is still pedalling things like Windstopper.
This coming Saturday there is a sponsored walk taking place on Blencathra to commemorate the life of a hillwalker who died in February and to raise money for Mountain Rescue. Approximately 100 people will be attending. Groups will be spread out over different routes, and all efforts will be made to minimise disruption and to avoid getting in people's ways. However, it might be worth choosing a different mountain on Saturday if you're looking for peace and solitude! Thanks.
Yeah, I hadn't noticed the zip thing, but it is strange, particularly considering that the Das Parka has a two-way zip. Unlike Arc'teryx's Atom SV, this is supposed to be a full-blooded over-the-top jacket, so it does seem a bit odd.
I'm not sure, I suppose it might be. With waterproof jacket prices now hitting £500 it's not impossible, even if it is the cost of a two week trip to the Alps!
I had assumed this jacket were a flagship model for their sponsored athletes and a way of demonstrating innovation, not a product that was designed to be sold to consumers. Then again, some people really will pay for the best, as shown by the climbers who use Grivel's Reparto Corse axes.