Soft shell jacket for a 6'5" guy
February 22, 2013 9:21 AM   Subscribe

Soft shell jacket for a slender 6'5" guy that doesn't fit like a garbage bag?

I lost my favorite jacket, an REI One soft shell that I had for six or seven years. It was an XL and fit pretty well for not being a tall size; the sleeves were long enough and it wasn't too baggy in the torso, though I did have to use the drawcords a bit at the hem. I used it with layers for hiking and as my daily jacket around town during chilly, drizzly Central Valley winter days. No hood, and a breast pocket is a bonus.

Any recommendations for a good soft shell that fits tall, slender fellas and isn't baggy? Do any companies even make tall soft shells? I'd like to not spend more than $150, but can if it's worth it. (I hear Arc'teryx is probably worth it, but it's too rich for my blood.) Thanks!
posted by DakotaPaul to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Came here to say that I'm the same height and build and that my jacket of choice is by REI - and probably just as old as yours was. Nothing in their current selection compares?
posted by komara at 9:30 AM on February 22, 2013

Oh man, what a timely question. I'm your size and shape, and am in the market for something very similar, albeit with a hood (and ideally waterproof).
posted by saladin at 9:37 AM on February 22, 2013

My husband is super tall and skinny, and his jacket from North Face fits well. Their stuff seems to err on the side of slim fit rather than baggy, so I think that helps.
posted by joan_holloway at 9:43 AM on February 22, 2013

I'll admit I haven't been to REI since I lost it, but I plan to go this weekend and check some out. I'm also looking at Sierra Trading Post and other sites, and was hoping to get some recommendations on jackets I can't necessarily try on.

And to add: it doesn't need to be waterproof, just water resistant, as I do have a rain jacket.
posted by DakotaPaul at 9:44 AM on February 22, 2013

Arc'Teryx tends to size on the slim side.

Good news: they make some of the best outdoor gear around.
Bad news: it is priced accordingly.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:45 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

You can get a custom one from Beyond Clothing for the same price of a high end off the rack. Or check out Nordic ski oriented companies like Swix and Craft who cater to tall lanky dudes.
posted by fshgrl at 9:48 AM on February 22, 2013

My husband has this Tall soft shell from Columbia Sportswear. He is also 6'5", and although probably a bigger frame than you it has a fairly fitted....uh, fit. He's had it a few years and it's held up well with quite a bit of use (we live in Portland and stuff like this is practically a uniform!)
posted by DrGirlfriend at 9:50 AM on February 22, 2013

Also Eddie Bauer has tall jackets (really tall!)and their First Ascent stuff is really nice gear. Their regular stuff isn't bad either. And it's all on sale right now.
posted by fshgrl at 9:54 AM on February 22, 2013

Your body type is very common in Scandinavia. Consider buying from a Swedish brand like Fjällräven.
posted by halogen at 10:07 AM on February 22, 2013

Yeah, I would point you toward Craft. I'm 6'3" and skinny and just tried on Craft softshell that was some insane size- like XXL or XXL, and it fit me perfectly. Basically, in Craft sizing land, larger sizes = taller people.
posted by rockindata at 10:26 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Arc'Teryx is bombproof gear - it will last forever, which it better for the price. As craven says, they tend to run slim and long.

Outdoor Research may have some options as well -- they tend toward a "climber's build", aka slim waist and lean overall. I'm 5'9, so I can't speak to how well their larger stuff fits, but they're cheaper than Arc.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 10:27 AM on February 22, 2013


My tall (not as tall as you but still tall) skinny brother-in-law has a couple-three of their jackets and they fit him well, so consider this another vote.
posted by rtha at 10:49 AM on February 22, 2013

Outdoor Research is definitely not for very tall people, neither is Arcteryx really although some models may fit. The sleeves are what get you. I'm tall so I've tested this extensively!
posted by fshgrl at 11:11 AM on February 22, 2013

I'm 6'2", long torso, and love my REI "Paradiso" softshell; I'm on my 2nd after losing one. Nicely tailored, good pockets. It's fairly lightweight.

Problem is: they don't stock it year-round, and it's not there right now. Last year it came back in the summer months.
posted by mvd at 12:59 PM on February 22, 2013

I'm a bit over sis feet tall, and LLBean's "Tall" clothes are always good WRT arms, torso, etc, without being too big through the body. Do they have anything your style?
posted by wenestvedt at 1:27 PM on February 22, 2013

I have a Lands End coat. Sleeves are long, so is the torso. Not bulky, fits true to size. I like it.
posted by sanka at 3:55 PM on February 22, 2013

Patagonia. Their alpine jackets come in several fits, one of which is slim fitting athletic.
posted by Phoenix42 at 7:01 AM on February 23, 2013

Thanks for the suggestions, all! I'm off to shop.
posted by DakotaPaul at 1:04 PM on February 23, 2013

I love Go-Lite. I'm 6'4" and their jackets fit me. Bonus: their gear is far cheaper than most but is hard to find in stores - you might have to order from their website unless you happen to live somewhere where they have a retail store. I can't imagine that arcteryx is worth the premium, I don't care what anyone says. Full disclosure, I'm partial to GoLite because they are a Colorado company but my girlfriend and I have purchased numerous pieces from them over the years and have always been thrilled.
posted by fieldtrip at 11:07 PM on February 23, 2013

Thanks, fieldtrip. My brother recommended GoLite as well. I'm having a hard time finding anything online outside of their website, which has limited sizes and colors.
posted by DakotaPaul at 8:37 AM on February 25, 2013

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