Well, Eddie Bauer’s First Ascent line is not only top tier in terms quality, I have to admit that I am smitten with the First Ascent Sandstone Soft Shell jacket that they sent over for us to give a look-see.
The Sandstone is FA’s lightest and most breathable softshell in their mountain training line. It has four-way stretch, double-weave nylon/spandex/polyester fabric with our StormRepel™ DWR (durable water-repellent) finish for wind and water resistance.
The slight dropped hem provides additional coverage in the back with and offers a low-profile drawcord to seal in heat. The collar is tricot-lined making it very soft and comfortable fit, even for guys with fat necks like I have. The sneaky left breast pocket had a pleasant surprise for me–a great hole in the inside that I can put my headphone cord through that allows me to put my phone or iPod in there while I am out and about.
The realities of this jacket for me are that I will for sure be using it to ride my bike in the spring, since it has such a great snug fit. I wear it to the office and for day-to-day use, as it is VERY comfortable. The Ascent Blue color that our friends at Eddie Bauer sent us is a GREAT one IMHO. My second choice of color might be the Bright Lime as, in 2011, I am becoming more splashy.
Deets: The First Ascent Sandstone Soft Shell Jacket is a must. It makes for a great layering mechanism or a stand alone light jacket. The design and function are stellar and comfort is off the charts. It retails for $79.95 and you can grab one at your local Eddie Bauer retail store or on their site.
EB also sent their great Mistral lined wind shell, Sirocco minimalist shell, and gave us access to Chad Peele, a guide and gear testers for First Ascent. Be sure to check out our articles on these others, too, because all three of these new First Ascent jackets are worth looking into!