Mountain Hardwear discontinued the Alchemy Jacket, but you can check out our top-ranked Women's Softshell Jackets to see which ones we're currently fawning over!
Of all the uses for a softshell jacket, ice climbing is one of the most specialized applications. This activity requires bouts of moving fast, working hard, and building up body heat. Then those periods of activity are alternated with periods stillness, leaving the climber vulnerable to weather and cold. A climber simultaneously requires breathability and protection from wind and wetness, which is essentially the definition of a softshell. However, manufacturers are always developing ways to improve upon this and are creating products that strive to achieve both goals better. Mountain Hardwear attempts to do this by designing a jacket that is highly weather resistant and breathable at the same time. The Alchemy is a jacket for climbers that sits somewhere between a hardshell and softshell jacket without being a hybrid piece.