Eddie Bauer High Season WindShell
Published on 05/29/2012
By Billy Brown
You don’t have to spend a lot of time in the mountains before you figure out that mountain weather is fickle, even in the spring and summer months. It can be sunny and bright one minute, then overcast, drizzly, and breezy the next. That said, it makes sense to rock a spring/summer jacket that can adapt to varying weather conditions, as well as your varying energy output. First Ascent’s High Season WindShell appears to answer the call.
It’s got a dual-textured design: windproof material in the torso, shoulders and hood, and stretch-woven material in the back that vents heat when the sun pokes out or if you decide to pick up the pace. The back makes it ideal for high-output activities, while the windproof material keeps the breeze from getting to you. StormRepel DWR treatment helps keep light rain at bay as well. The jacket’s stretch material kept the jacket from feeling restrictive, which is good news because the jacket sports a slim fit. Huskier folks or people who want a bit more room for layering underneath the High Season may want to size up.
“I’m usually a medium with my jackets, but the large actually fits me pretty well,” one tester noted.
It’s clear that Eddie Bauer wants this to be your go-to jacket, because it’s designed for just about every activity you can dream up. The stretchy material and breathable panels keep hikers cool and mobile, reflective accents make runners and cyclists visible to motorists, and the hood can stretch over a climbing helmet.
On a recent climbing trip, the High Season was a godsend when the wind picked up and blew a cool breeze off of the nearby snowcaps, and the softshell material held up to abrasion while climbing up sharp limestone faces. It fared just as well on brisk morning runs, with one tester noting that the jacket maintained a comfortable temperature and the interior never felt clammy.
And at 10 ounces, there’s pretty much no reason to leave this jacket at home. If you’re going on a warm-weather trip that will entail multiple sports or a big question mark when it comes to the weather, the High Season will deliver no matter where you’re going or what you’re doing. Unless you’re scuba diving.