"Softshell" refers to a number of fabrics and styles of clothing, but generally means a garment which is light and breathable, often water-resistant or windproof. Softshell jackets can be used as midlayers if required but can be worn all year around as a technical layer for keeping the wind out whilst keeping you light and active when walking.
Our collection of Softshell jackets are from some very well known brands like Mountain Equipment, The North Face and Arcteryx. This type of jacket is excellent for cold, dry day adventures on the hill or mountain on foot or bike, and make good layering pieces too.
To help you get your head around some of the technologies used by these brands we have written here a short guide to help you out.
Mountain Equipment: Exolite.
This is a double weave fabric with a smooth outer for abrasion resistance and a soft inner for next to skin comfort.
The North Face: Ventrix
This is a combination of soft, stretchy insulation and durable, air permeable fabrics that breath inside and out, keeping the body warm without overheating.
Jack Wolfskin: Stormlock Hi-Loft
A two way stretchy fabric with wind and water resistance and a hi loft reverse side for skin comfort.
A 100% polyester softshell fabric with DWR (durable water repellent finish) which repels wind and resists moisture. It has a textured backer fabric for next to the skin comfort.
Items that use the Matrix fabric have a high degree of stretch, wind resistance and breathability. These are used in one and two layer variations. The two layer usually has a fleece backer for extra warmth for cooler activities.
Pertex Equilibrium: A light, packable outer fabric which is tough, highly breathable with excellent moisture management.
This is a light, non membrane softshell that is breathable, abrasion resistant, wicks moisture away from the body efficiently and has a DWR finish.
Sprayway: Gore Windstopper
A well known fabric that uses a combination of ultra thin Gore Windstopper membrane and a lightweight textile. It is water resistant, extremely breathable and totally windproof.