> Also, I find the statement "[it] doesn't really hurt
> pack weight either, since it's a 'worn' item" absolutely
In my experience, having the weight of something distributed over your entire body is a HUGE difference from having that weight in your pack.
> I don't think much of the insulating power of the soft
> shells I have tried. You get a thick slab of smith faced
> polyester that protects from abrasion, wind and light
> precip, but when it's cold and the shell is in contact
> with your base layer, it is cold. I really do find a
> 100w fleece and a windshirt to be warmer and have better
> moisture transport, plus the ability to wear them in
> combination and with my rain shell and even for sleep.
Hmm, I've never been too cold in just a baselayer and a thin softshell when working hard, even in temperatures around 0 degrees F. I do use a variety of baselayer weights, though, including powerstretch in sub-zero temperatures. When are you actually wearing both your 100w fleece and windshirt during activity?
> There are windshirts available with air permeability
> near hard shells to those equal to the air permeability
> of typical summer shirts. Soft-shells also fall in this
> exact same air permeability range.
According to the above review, both are heavier stretch-woven garments. In my opinion, this puts them in the softshell category. Rab also even calls the Boreas a softshell. They're certainly VERY lightweight softshells, and perhaps more accurately described as a windshirt-softshell crossover? They're quite heavy if you were to consider them as a 'windshirt', at least compared to the rest of the windshirt market. They're about twice the weight, if not more. They also take up much more space in your pack.