One of, if not the best technical softshells we've used, the Sharkfin Hood matches highly weather-resistant fabric with a capable hood for maximum weather protection and it looks great too.
Haglofs Sharkfin Hood Tested
Weight: 663 grammes (men's
softshell jacket using Gore Windstopper Shell fabric with
fleece backing, reinforced shoulders, sleeves, hood and hem.
Fully adjustable helmet-compatible hood, full-length front
water-resistant zipper, articulated sleeves,
Velcro-adjustable cuffs, twin zippered chest pockets with
laminated reinforcement patches, two long, zipped torso
pockets / vents with water-resistant zippers, laminated,
stretch sleeve pocket, cord adjustable hem, DWR treatment.
Also available in women's-specific Sharkfin Hood Q
What's It For?
Technical softshells are highly
weather-resistant garments designed to be used instead of a full
waterproof in all but the worst conditions. The idea is that
increased breathability and a softer feel gives greater comfort,
while the garment is still protective enough to cope with wind and
The Sharkfin Hood is a development of Haglofs unhooded standard
Sharkfin jacket and a full-on technical garment designed to be used
by winter walkers and mountaineers in conjunction with a lightweight
waterproof when things get really wet. It would also work well for
skiing with a thoughtful sleeve pocket thrown in to make the point.
The Techy Bits
Haglofs has used Gore's Windstopper Soft Shell
fabric, a fully windproof membrane with a soft, lightweight fleece
backing for the jacket. This version has a bit of stretch in it and
is effectively waterproof, bar the seams which are not taped.
Elsewhere there's typically high tec construction with
water-resistant, urethane-coated YKK zips, fully adjustable hood,
cuffs and hem. The two really important features that set the
Sharkfin apart from most softshells on the market are the humungous
side vents and the proper, fully-specced hood.
How It Performs
We've never understood why so many softshells
don't have hoods. It seems pretty obvious that a shell garment
designed to withstand harsh conditions should also allow you to
protect your head - if you designed a waterproof without a hood,
you'd be laughed at, so why are so many softshells specced without
Thankfully the Sharkfin Hood - as the name suggests, has a fully
specced technical and adjustable helmet-compatible hood complete with
stiffened peak. That's good in itself and significantly improves the
useability of the jacket, but it's the whole package that really
We've never been huge fans of Gore's Windstopper fabric, it works
well in high mountain environments where it's very cold and dry, but
in the UK we've never found it breathable enough.
Strangely enough though, the soft fleece-backed fabric really
impressed us here. The tightly-knitted polyamide face feels tough and
abrasion resistant and the thin fleece layer gives a bit of extra
warmth and a nice protective feel despite a relatively low weight,
around the same as a waterproof shell.
The fabric's breathability is the same as ever, but two huge side
vents come pocket openings with double-ended zips make for effective
ventilation even wearing a pack or harness. It's also fully windproof
and effectively waterproof in anything except really wet conditons
when water eventually seeps through the seams. The DWR works well too
and we found it ideal for cold and dry through to cold and damp
The cut's neat too, quite snug on a medium frame, but not
restrictive, even when scrambling or climbing with no hem lift for
us. It's also long enough for reasonable frontal protection and a
modest drop tail gives okay butt coverage... We also found we had
just enough room to add a microfleece or Powerstretch top underneath
for really cold conditions, though the built-in insulation means that
the fabric is warmer than a waterproof equivalent anyway.
The hood is proper too. Not a skimpy 'emergency' version, but a
fully-featured, multi-adjustable helmet jobby that also moves with
your head and is a real boon when things get hectic. And yes, it will
accommodate a lid.
One of the best technical mountain softshells we've tried,
nicely made and well cut, with an effective hood, it offers windproof
and very water-resistant protection until the point where things get
The well-designed torso vents help keep you cool when the going
gets hot and the thin fleece insulation layer adds just the right
level of extra protection when things get good and cold. The hood is
effective and really extends the versatility of the garment. It looks great too, not that you'll be very bothered about that...
At £200 it's not cheap, but if you compare it to a waterproof
mountain shell, which it replaces most of the time, rather than a
hoodless windproof, it doesn't seem quite so outrageous. You'll still
need a simple lightweight waterproof for wet days, but in dry through
to medium wet conditions, you can usually manage without.
Another very nice bit of kit from Haglofs and also available in a
Well-specced, protective, great build quality.
Not cheap, though it's all relative...
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