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Ask Kristin

How Should My Shell Fit?

How should a shell fit ? I can't decide between L or XL. Is it best to have ample layering room or should it be tight and form fitting. I can't decide whether to go up or down.

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Question:

How should a shell fit? I can’t decide between a large or an extra large. Is it best to have ample layering room or should it be tight and form fitting? I can’t decide whether to go up or down.

Submitted by – Don, Denver, CO

Answer:

My advice is to size up, especially if it’s a shell that you’d wear in the winter months. You want enough room under the shell to accommodate a puffy, insulated jacket for skiing, mountaineering, or just cold weather camping.

There’s really no downside to having a little extra room–except that you won’t look as svelte in your hero shots.

The only exception is if you’re looking at soft shells that have a little stretch built into the fabric. With these jackets, a snugger fit is okay, because they won’t bind you up as you reach for a handhold or swing a trekking or ski pole.

–Kristin