Haglöfs Viper II Softshell

This arrived just to late to use last winter, but I’ve had it out on a few cooler and drizzly days and now that the skies are getting grey it’ll be oot and aboot more regularly.
The Viper !! is one of Haglöfsmany softshells, and sits in the middle of the range in weight, protection and features.
It’s cut from Haglöfs own Flexable fabric which I’ve been using various versions of in tops and pants over the past few years and it in no way suffers from not having an mass-appeal logo attached. It’s membrane-free, and in this lighter weight takes out most of the wind and stays super-breathable with a healthy amount of stretch. The DWR is outstanding on it, I’ve worn it in showers without a shell and I’ve stayed perfectly dry. The inner face is soft and fuzzy, the outer is smooth with a slick face which snags neither pack not shell jacket.
The fit is as you’d expect, long and slim, and the articulation is good so wearer comfort is high.
There’s two mesh chest pockets which are half way between low and high and are good for hands and stashing kit, the cuffs are powerstretch and the hem is adjustable.
The hood is a plain type, no visor. It has a soft binding around the face for comfort and is multi adjustable meaning a close fit if you need it and it’ll move with your head. This plainer hood works better with a shell hood, and the lighter fabric means that you’re more likely to wear a shell than you would with a heavier softshell, so I can see the reasoning. At first I was bitching about it until it clicked.
I’ll get this on some proper hills now and seehow it does.

32 thoughts on “Haglöfs Viper II Softshell

  1. hi,

    first time user.

    is the interior of this jacket a wicking face or fleece, namely, is it like the soon to be released montane dyno?

  2. Hi!

    The inner face is wicking, it’s very slightly fuzzy, enough to catch moisture but not give too much insulation.
    The Dyno is very similar in fabric and style, it’s that “classic” softshell layout.
    It’s the detailing and fit that’ll separate them.

  3. hi pete,

    thanks for the quick response.

    speaking of the dyno, do you know when it’s scheduled for release? what’s the fit of the dyno? do you know if it’s the dynamo just with a hood? and the weight?

  4. The Dyno will be out around March next year. The fit seems to be along the current Montane lines of quite slim, I was trying a medium rather than my usual large though.
    Weight is quoted at 375g, but I won’t be expecting to see that on the scales for a large!

  5. Aye, I’ve come around to softshells now, the less full-on ones anyway. It’s a good option, and it definitely helps when they sex them up a bit in the looks department!

  6. does that mean that you now prefer the softshell option vs the fleece? or is fleece still an option due to its breathability?

  7. I haven’t worn more than 100weight microfleece or powerstretch for years, thick fleece is bulky to carry and the latest generation of sythetic-filled tops are warmer for the weight.
    But on really cold day with light winds thicker fleece was always great, I stayed warm and dry.
    I’ve dug out a bunch of old stuff, so this winter I’ll be using fleece again to see if I’ve been hoodwinked by flash new gear and marketing.

  8. think you’ll notice a difference between the softshells and fleeces, with softshells having greather weather resistance; however, it’s at the expense of breathability.

    ps.wish i could get haglofs in australia

  9. do you know if there’s a lighter version of the viper II, pete? i’m trying to find a lightweight, weather resistant softshell, with wicking inner, rather than fleece.

  10. I don’t think you’ll get much lighter without losing the hood. I’ve got hoodless Haglofs and Montane softshells, they’re light, comfy and neither goes near a hill!

    Haglofs have that pull-on softshell coming out in march, again hoodless, but a pull-on is basic anyway so I’ll let it away with it.

    The othe version is to go for something like a Marmot Driclime shirt or Rab Vapour-rise. Lots of folk love them, and it’s still softshell, just a different soloution.

  11. holycow: if you’re willing to stump up stupid amounts of cash, Norrona’s falketind flex 1 is non-membrane, single-layer (so no fleece backing), has a hood, and has reinforced shoulders and hips. Plus pit zips. Quite a bizarre package but tempting – until you see the price tag. If you can get one for cheaper though…

  12. i’ve heard norrona’s prices are heart-stopping.

    unfortunately, i’m but a poor student with a penchant for gear…. *gear*

    is the viper II discontinued? have been looking for the viper online but seems that very few shops seem to offer it; unfortunately the continental shops don’t ship to australia

  13. I was talking over you there holycow, I think the Viper II might well be rested from the range this winter. I’m sure it was still in the range for next year though.
    It arrived too late to test last winter, so I left it until now so I would use it more and not have to fake a review update :o)

  14. It is worth trying Haglofs directly though, because every now and then they do have stuff hanging around from the spring and summer. Not often, but sometimes. I remember finding out in late Autumn they still had a Cobra or two hanging around, which was a surprise. If they do, contact some retailer to see if they will special order and then ship to Australia.

    The other place to try is Japan. Haglofs is apparently big business there, and a Japanese retailer might well have a Viper or 2. Or 20.

  15. What, the falketind flex? That sounds about right, but the hood is wired, plus the sleeves will probably be slightly longer. Plus you have the reinforcements on the shoulder. If there’s a weight difference I suspect that’s where it’s coming from.

  16. Part of the weight of the viper II seems to be down to durability? Tiso have it online still and it seems to be 76% Cordura.

    Norrona’s prices more believable now everyone else has caught up with the exchange rate. The fjora flex 1 seems likely to end up at a relatively similar price (and spec) to that pending Lizard pull on for instance.

    Still seemingly given to the odd outright terrifying thing mind – 250 Euro for a simple primaloft jacket?!

  17. Yes its pretty absurdly priced that! Even compared to their other stuff in the same fabric its 100 euro more for well, a hood and a few frills….

    I’d wait for the dyno/that RAB Alpine pull on :)

  18. i’ve got the ME astron hoody, which i like very much, but i tend to run warm, and it’s fleece lining, despite how thin it might be, still causes me to heat up really quickly. And i think the porous membrane tends to add to the retention of heat.

    also, residing in australia, there’s no way that this jacket could be consider a spring/summer time option!!!

  19. Well it confuses me when people call it a ‘summer’ option for the UK, so for Australia…. Summer soft shell == windshirt :) Well or a minimalist, light single layer non membrane thing so not too bad when carrying it.

  20. found the viper II on a french website. was 91 euros. however, p&h was 34 euros!!!!! won’t tell you how much that is in $AUS as it will cause me to have a minor conniption. what a rort!!!

    unfortunately, think that’s the cheapest i’m going to get the jacket.

  21. well, finally received the viper II on friday. quite weighty and fits superbly – closer than any jacket that i own. now am waiting for the southern hemisphere autumn/winter to return; temperature for tomorrow us an expected 31 degree C!

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