The Westcomb Shift LT Hoodie jacket is the lightest waterproof shell in the Westcomb lineup. It offers ounce-counting minimalists no-compromise wind and water protection in a featherweight design.
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Rated5out of5byBrad from NCfromAwesome Jacket!I highly recommend this jacket. Its made from the new Polartec Neoshell material, so its waterproof but much more breathable than Goretex or eVent, and not quite as "crinkly" feeling. Just know that this is a minimalist jacket, so there is only one pocket total (on the chest). Im 6'2" and 190 lbs, and the Large size fits perfectly. By perfect, I mean a little loose because I hate feeling constricted in the chest. It Length is perfect. A comparable Arcteryx jacket in Large fits more snugly, but I prefer the more relaxed fit of the Westcomb.
Date published: 2014-04-13
Rated5out of5bybillygfromExcellent, essential jacketI've had the Shift for about six months - purchased in prep for a lot of spring/summer adventures (including a major test in Sweden/Norway in a few weeks), as well as cycling and getting wet in the city. The Shift replaced a GoreTex-based jacket that was not performing well for me. I compared this piece in-store with an Arcteryx Theta and really felt that for only a slightly higher price (still a high price!) the Shift is a tier above, especially for a lightweight, breathable piece. So far it has performed to these expectations. The Shift is invincible in a major downpour and very comfortable into 70deg F - in warmer weather it's just tough to wear a jacket like this in active settings. It's extremely light and easy to pack along.
I got the blue which is a good, strong and visible color without being garish. the single napoleon pocket is sizeable, but for most people is gonna be the source of gripes - only one chest pocket, with a somewhat tricky zipper scenario. I didn't get the Shift for pockets. If it's cold, I have gloves (or pants pockets). If i need to stash stuff, I have pants pockets and a backpack. I haven't used the Shift in real cold conditions as a shell (though I expect to) but have used it in ~40-50deg F over a softshell, fleece or sweater and the cut has been perfect for layering. This is not a hip slim cut piece, but relax it looks just fine on me. a medium for my 6'0", 165-170lbs. The sleeves and body are long enough to accommodate movement while keeping you covered.
Yes it's pricey. I think i got a fine, forward thinking and well-constructed piece that will be on years of adventures with me.
Date published: 2013-07-24
Rated5out of5byAltaholicfromTop JacketThis jacket is amazing. All the claims about Neoshell are fullfilled. The main reservation I had about Neoshell were concerning the waterproofness. I was able to use this jacket for 2 weeks in Alaska and experienced quite a bit of rain and wind. Over one two day period, we were outside in pouring rain for a total of about 12 hours. The jacket is completely waterproof. Not one drop got through the jacket.
One of my pet peeves about modern jackets is how overly large the hoods are. The hood on the Shift is perfectly executed. Several quick adjustments and it fits perfectly.
The only area where people might find fault with the Shift is the air permeability of the membrane. The jacket is not totally windproof. In winds over 10 mph, you will feel a little breeze through the fabric. It's not much concern to me because I hate the clammy feeling of most other jackets. This small amount of air circulating allows the jacket to breath. I sweat alot and can hike uphill indefinitely and be comfortable in the Shift. You do still get sweaty, but as soon as you stop, or go downhill, all the sweat magically evaporates away. This actually keeps you warmer, because you don't have alot of sweat on your skin making you cold when you stop moving.
The quality and workmanship is very high and I am impressed with Westcomb. The sizing of the jacket does run a little big in the chest compared to other manufacturers.
All in all, a brilliant jacket.
Date published: 2013-07-08
Rated5out of5byPhilip in AKfromNeoshell = new W/B paradigmI've had the Shift jacket for a few months now so I thought I'd offer some insights on this jacket. First off, I have to admit that I have owned a lot of waterproof breathable jackets over the years: many 3-layer Gore Tex jackets, a couple Gore Paclite models, and a handful of proprietary fabric jackets like Marmot Membrain, OR's in-house flavor, Mammut's Drytech, etc. To date the Gore jackets have been the best performing. Most proprietary fabrics do okay for waterproofing but are seriously lacking in breathability. That said, even the Gore jackets will wet-out in the shell material and get damp linings in prolonged wet weather under any level of exertion. Every waterproof/breathable shell garment I have owned will make you wet inside when hiking in the rain long enough.
I am happy to report that the Shift is the first jacket I have owned that actually seems to live up to the "breathable" half of the waterproof/breathable claim. I have gone on long hikes in constant rain/mist/drizzle and at the end the tricot lining still feels reasonably dry. My layers underneath are slightly damp from the humidity created by my sweat and body heat, but not wetted out like with all other shells. With the Neoshell you can almost feel a bit of air movement though the shell fabric in really windy conditions. Despite this it has never felt chilling to me. Quite the opposite: it has a drying quality to it, even in wind-driven drizzle. Part of what makes the fabric stay breathable is that the DWR treatment is by far the best I have experienced with any shell material. Even under my pack straps and hip belt and even after many miles of use, the outer fabric does not seem to wet out. This allows air and water vapor to keep moving. I was leery of the lack of pit zips in this jacket since most shells need serious ventilation in wet weather to keep you from feeling like you are wearing a plastic bag when working hard. The Shift is the first jacket where I actually don't feel the need for pit zips.
The fit is a tiny bit baggy. Not bad, but not as trim and athletic as some jackets. I'm 5' 10", 190 pounds with wide shoulders and the large fits well, if a little loose in the torso. I can wear any of my synthetic puffy coats underneath and the Shift does not constrict the loft. The sleeves are full cut which is nice, though I think they could make the torso fit a little snugger. The sleeve and body lengths are good. The sleeves don't ride up when you have to reach for something, and the hem extends below the hip belt of your pack. The chest pocket is a little weird with it's recessed zipper, but you can fit a fair amount in there, which is good since it has no other pockets. The hood is one of the best I have used. It fits great over your bare melon or a ballcap/beanie. Not sure how it would work over a helmet though- it may be snug. When not in use the hood fits snugly behind your neck and does not flap around. The hood volume adjustments work great. The brim is stiffened, but does not get crinkled when you stuff the jacket in your pack. You can pull all the bungees from outside the zipped-up hood which is great. The velcro at the wrists is not the stickiest, but it holds pretty well. The jacket is quite light, though not in the superlight category (my size large is 340g or 12oz). The material seems durable and has a nice soft hand. I will definitely consider Neoshell for future outerwear.
All things considered, this is a great jacket. I love the material, and the fit and finish are quite good. I'd buy another in a heartbeat.
Date published: 2013-06-01
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