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Merrell Ridgeline soft shell jacket : Warm and Light

Merrell's Ridgeline soft shell jacket is definitely geared toward technical use, but I've been enjoying it for a whole slew of activities.

In fact, what I've come to dig most about this Soft shell is its versatility.  I can throw it over a sweatshirt and take the kids for a walk to the park or upgrade my underlayers and it's a great shell for XC skiing. When the time comes to shed some layers it compacts nicely into the spaces between other stuff in my pack.  

The Ridgeline is made of Merrell's proprietary Aeroblock material.   It's cool... er... um... I mean warm stuff.   It's warmer than I thought it would be when I first felt how light this jacket is. This seems to be partly because it blocks the wind chill.   It also has a slight amount of stretch, which lets the streamlined fit move with me and not impede my motion.         

I got the Rust color. It's a little more orange than I typically would wear around town, but it's perfect for the woods. I make it a point to have at least one easily visible item when I'm hiking or camping especially during hunting season. One of the other colors (Dark Olive, Red, or Black) might be better choices for more inconspicuous use around town.

Available in men's size S-XXL.  

The Ridgeline is not available in women's sizes but the Stowe appears to be the women's equivalent.   

Bottom Line: This jacket is a steal for under $100.--A.S. (Dec 09)

BUY ONLINE : $99, shop at icon

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When hiking or camping, always carry the "10 Essentials":

Extra clothing, extra food and water, lighter or water-proof matches and fire starter, map in waterproof envelope, compass, pocket knife, sunscreen and sunglasses, flashlight or headlamp, first aid kit, emergency shelter.

Source: Seattle Mountain Rescue and Seattle Mountaineers.



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