Softshell: The North Face Zeitgeist
Softshells: some people hate 'em, some love 'em. I recently had a fairly heated discussion with a friend who maintained that they are a pointless garment and a superb marketing con. I on the other-hand disagree. I see them as a jack of all trades, master of none. The Zeitgeist falls nicely within this category. It is not fully waterproof, but keeps off showers (of which we have been having plenty of lately despite that tomorrow is June!). It isn’t fully windproof, but keeps out enough to be thankful that you are wearing it. It's very breathable, but not enough to run in without retaining some sweat, but then what jacket is? It is very lightweight, somewhere in between a windproof and a waterproof, at 377g (It's part of The North Face Flight series of lightweight kit). It looks good enough to wear for most occasions, but wouldn't do at a wedding!
It has a half length zip, with two pockets, the right hand one low, and the left hand one high. I find this a little frustrating in that I can't slip both hands into a pair of low pockets. It has an elasticated waist which is operable by one hand if you are not wearing gloves (the toggle is discretely small which makes operation with gloves or mitts pretty tricky. The collar is fleece lined which is comfortable, and slows rain-creep down your neck with its wicking properties. No inside pockets or pit-zips. The fabric is comfortably stretchy and the various 'panels' are shaped and interlocked well to give a very well fitted feel, which means you can buy it relatively small for a snug fit without feeling claustophobic.
All in all a very nice jacket, but would be better with a second pocket low down.