Let’s get this out of the way. I’m a sweater. For as long as I can remember, whenever I start physical activity, my body flips a switch and out comes the sweat. Doesn’t matter if I’m fat or thin. So when I read about jackets with “waterproof/breathable” membranes, I always have to chuckle a bit, because I know that I’m the kind of guy who would sweat jogging bare-chested (sorry for that mental image) on a cool day, and if I have a waterproof jacket on and I start some vigorous movement, I’m quickly going to become a sauna. So I have pretty realistic expectations for how today’s hardshells perform, and I’ve been able to use a number of them with different membranes, designs and technology.
The first thing I noticed wearing Westcomb’s Shift LT Hoody was that I could feel air from outside the jacket cooling my body. This was different from what I’d experienced with other waterproof jackets, and was reminiscent enough of wearing a softshell that I wondered whether the Shift was truly waterproof.