A soft exterior for harsh environments: softshell jackets
Thanks to their great materials, softshell outdoor clothes are a must-have for mountain and outdoor sports. Softshell jackets and trousers have become increasingly popular for everyday and outdoor use because the elastic fabric can be used for a wide variety of purposes. Softshell jackets, trousers, vests and gloves are made of durable materials that ensure they feel like a second skin, they’re soft, relatively lightweight and they’ll reliably protect you against the wind, rain and cold. From mountaineering and hill walking to climbing and trail running, there’s hardly any sport that doesn't utilize the amazing properties of the softshell material.
A wonderful fabric
Softshell is used in a large variety of outdoor apparel, including jackets, vests, trousers, beanies and gloves. The fabric has varying thicknesses depending on the purpose of the garment, and some models also feature an additional membrane. For example, there are softshell jackets that have an integrated membrane, such as the Gore Windstopper, to protect you against the wind and the cold. As a result, windproof jackets have basically become synonymous with softshell jackets.
Some manufacturers add waterproof membranes, such as NeoShell, to make the softshell fabric impervious to storm and rain. Softshell is the perfect material for warm summer nights, cold and wet autumn days, and winter temperatures alike.
Breathable and weatherproof
All softshell jackets can protect you against freezing winds, and they'll prevent harsh weather conditions from disturbing your fun. The excellent insulating properties of softshell jackets are guaranteed to keep you toasty when you’re out on cold days. Plus, the highly functional fabric is breathable, which means your body temperature won't change even when you exert yourself whilst mountaineering, skiing or hill walking. It ensures that moisture is wicked away from your body and transported to the outside. As a result, your torso will be pleasantly dry and you’ll feel less cold.
The only drawback of softshell in comparison to hardshell is its decreased rain protection.
Softshell jackets are flexible and durable
The great advantage of softshell is its excellent flexibility and extreme durability. A hardshell jacket will reach its limits during certain movements, but a softshell jacket can literally expand the scope by a few centimetres. The stretchy weave and use of elastane make these softshell textiles particularly elastic. This extra flexibility comes in very handy whilst climbing because you’ll need every bit of freedom of movement you can possibly get. In addition, the fabric’s durability is great if you ever come into contact with a rock. Even sharp edges and direct contact with rough surfaces won't faze your softshell jacket because that’s exactly what the material was designed for. All in all, softshell jackets are the perfect companions for any kind of mountain sport.