Rating: 4 / 5
*Somebody on staff, would you change the name of this post to reflect the new title?*
Everyone knows good things about Cloudveil Inertia already, I presume. Briefly, it's a lightly-lined proprietary soft shell fabric with a bit of mechanical stretch, lots of breathability, fair-to-good water resistance and quite low weight for what it amounts to.
My usage of my Inertia garments mainly highlights its comfortable temperature range and suitability as a primary action layer or something, as the BPL article mentioned a few years back. On two separate rounds of Big Bend's Outer Mountain Loop, a route that blazes through pretty thorny desert thickets, I "armored" myself with the Prospector Pullover (over a light merino tee) and the Peak Pant (as a stand-alone layer). I wore this arrangement all day and very rarely felt uncomfortable, taking advantage of the Pullover's deep zip and the pant's roll-up snaps to ventilate. What's remarkable to me is the temperature range these two hikes covered. The first was in December, and so during the day (in the shade), often times it was in the 40s and windy. The second was in March, at which point the daytime highs in the desert were in the upper 70s. And I was comfortable the whole time!
In addition to the temperature range, the pants and pullover did okay handling the thorns. They have a few snags here and there but generally came out of the two encounters unscathed. If I did that to my Inertia garments on all my trips, well . . . they probably wouldn't last too long. But that's perhaps the price we must pay for a stretch-woven that's so light.
About sizing: both of these items are closely-fit, but not unreasonably so. Where I usually am fine with a size small base layer (as long as it's not "trim fit"), I think I probably should have gone with a medium for the Pullover because as it stands now (with a small) I can't really layer it over anything but merino or capilene.
Oh yeah, my rating. Eh, after using these pieces for awhile, I would recommend Inertia to anybody who wants a fairly inexpensive, versatile summer-weight soft shell. I don't have any big problems with these garments. I'm just not convinced that they are the best, lightest, or most durable option for the niche they fill.