Finding the Best Softshell Jacket for You – Your Ultimate Guide

How warm are softshell jackets? Are they waterproof? How do they compare to hardshell jackets? If you’ve been deliberating over your next outdoor wear purchase, or you’re just not quite sure what to go for, we’ve got all the answers you’ll need.

Find out everything you need to know about softshell jackets to help make your decision that little bit easier.

What is a softshell jacket?

Stretchy, breathable and water resistant, softshell jackets are your best friend when it comes to high-exertion activity in varied weather conditions. Crafted to be lightweight but protective in the wind and light rain, softshell jackets can be worn alone or as a base layer dependent on temperatures.

What is a softshell jacket made from?

Softshell jackets are usually made from woven nylon or polyester, giving them the stretchy, comfortable finish they are known for, perfect for aiding movement in more strenuous physical activities. Their construction also means that they can wick sweat from your underlayers before projecting it outside the jacket via evaporation to keep you dry.

Are softshell jackets warm?

The material used for softshell jackets means that they are great at keeping you warm, and should be your go to under a raincoat or hardshell jacket. Sometimes made with an interior lining, softshell jackets can often provide as much warmth as a fleece.

Are softshell jackets waterproof?

Their construction means that the best softshell jackets are water resistant but not waterproof. This makes them suitable for lighter weather conditions, but less so for more torrential downpours. Coupling a softshell jacket with a lightweight waterproof is a good way to keep you both warm and dry if you’re venturing out in less predictable weather.

Pros & Cons: Softshell vs Hardshell jackets

Softshell jackets will keep you warm, and dry to an extent. Hardshell jackets serve a much better purpose in heavier, wetter weather conditions but are not as good for keeping you insulated.

This means that combining the two in harsher weather conditions forms a warm layer with a sturdy, waterproof outer for the ultimate protection. Similarly, if you know it might be a warm day but you’re also expecting heavy downpours, opting for just a hardshell waterproof jacket is a good way to remain dry without overheating.

Knowing how to wash softshell jackets

Though it might look like just another garment, there are steps you can take to give your softshell jacket the best wash possible. Start by making sure all the pockets are empty and then fasten any zips or Velcro fastenings

. Then turn your jacket inside out and place in your washing machine, taking care not to use fabric softener or detergent with softener built in – this can affect some of the functional properties of the jacket over time. Lastly, give your jacket another rinse cycle when washed, and leave to air dry rather than using a tumble dryer.

What are the best softshell jackets for me?

Most softshell jackets share the same characteristics – though some might have increased insulation, so it’s worth considering how warm you want your jacket to be. Other things to consider include amount and size of pockets, whether they are zipped or Velcro, and of course the design!

So, now you’re armed with all the information you need to help you choose and care for your softshell jacket – all you need to do is decide which one you want. Discover softshell jackets from Craghoppers to find the next garment deserving of that all-important rail space in your adventure wardrobe.


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