The Procline Hybrid Hoody is the product I’ve been waiting for Arc’teryx to make for years. I went ahead and bought myself one pretty much as soon as possible and am looking forward to getting out in the mountains with it this winter. It looks like it could be an amazing softshell / mid layer for splitboarding.
So, just a few images and general info for now but stay tuned as I’ll update this review as and when with thoughts as to whether this thing is the perfect layer for touring.
The Procline Hybrid Hoody uses a combination of 3 materials in 2 layers. The shell is made from Tyono 20, the same fabric used on the popular Atom LT Hoody. It’s light, wind resistant, air permeable and water-resistant thanks to a DWR treatment. It also has a little stretch. This is gained by crimping the fibres in production, rather than by using Lycra which tends to soak up water and can be heavy when wet.
Down the side of the torso and under the entire length of the arms is a panel of Polartec Powerstretch with Hardface which is designed to aid fit and breathability. It’s a feature that Arc’teryx employ on many garments in their range.The Hardface treatment adds durability and a little weather resistance to the fibres.
Aside from where the Powerstretch is placed, the Procline is lined with Polartec Micro Grid fabric. It’s warm and comfortable next to the skin and should breathe and wick moisture well.
The whole thing comes in some way between a basic mountain wind shirt like the Squamish Hoody which is lighter and less insulated than the Procline and a lightweight synthetic piece like the Atom LT Hoody which is warmer and less breathable.
The Procline weighs in at around 400g. It has a fairly simple design with just a couple of pockets, placed high above a pack hip belt. They are lined with a thin microfleece and feel good against cold hands.
I love the hood design; it’s part lined and fits really well. It has a small peak and a rear draw cord to adjust the volume. It fits well with or without a hat underneath and moves with the head. A good, thin hood that blocks the wind but doesn’t add too much warmth is just what’s needed to regulate temperature on cold days in the skintrack – the Procline’s hood seems to fit the bill perfectly.
The cuffs are typically sleek and unobtrusive and you can pull them up to vent too. Overall the fit is pretty close to aid in moisture movement and temperature regulation but with a good length at the rear. I can move freely in it thanks to the soft, stretchy fabrics and the articulated cut.
In short then the Procline Hybrid Hoody is designed to block some wind and moisture yet also remain breathable and mobile; just what a good softshell should do. On paper the combination of materials should make for a great softshell / mid layer to use for splitboarding when some weather resistance is often required but comfort and breathability is super important too. The smooth outer fabric should also slide nice and easy when worn under an outer shell too.
Any bad points? Well, I usually like a chest pocket and / or an inside pocket and the Procline has neither. As with all fleece lined garments, the lining can snag on under layers a little too, especially in the forearms. I don’t expect either of these issues to be a big deal but we’ll see. Stay tuned and check back for review updates.
UPDATE – MAY 2016
As promised – an update on my thoughts of how the Procline fairs as a layer for splitboarding and ski touring. As expected, the Procline is a pretty awesome garment. It treads a really nice line between offering good protection and warmth, yet remaining breathable enough for high output use. The thing I particularly like about the Procline is simply how soft and comfortable it is to wear. Often softshells can feel a little stiff when worn under a hardshell, windshells can be cold and flappy, fleeces not great in the wet. The Procline kinda takes the best qualities of the three and rolls it into one garment. It you do get it wet through rain / snow or sweat it dries really quickly too – especially under a shell or insulation.
In still conditions I found the Procline warm at times. The fleece lining does trap quite a lot of air so on mild days just an un-insulated windshell over a baselayer might be more appropriate for me. The fleece lining becomes a bonus on cooler days though and acts to move moisture and warm the core once a shell is put on over the top. The lightweight fabrics also means the Procline packs down small (I roll it into its hood for storage) so it doesn’t take up too much room in a pack. Similar to a powerstretch hoody in fact and overall it’s probably a more versatile garment for backcountry use.
I still wish it had either an external or internal chest pocket, though the fact it doesn’t does give the front of the hoody a more streamlined look and feel which is cool. The pockets it does have are just big enough to stuff a thin pair of gloves in and the soft pocket lining is a nice place to warm hands.
As mentioned the fit is pretty close, which is important for moisture management. The whole thing has the usual Arc’teryx ‘3d’ shaping though which makes a big difference to the fit. With an avalanche beacon underneath there’s really only enough room for a thin baselayer for me, although that’s all I’d ever wear under it anyway. I guess I’d prefer a touch more length if I had the choice too.
All things considered, the Procline is a pretty awesome thing to wear for touring. I like items of clothing that manage to combine both protection and breathability as they are the two crucial qualities for self powered backcountry use. Throw in soft, comfortable, lightweight packability too, along with well design features, and you’ve got yourself a winner.