Best Softshell Jackets In 2020 - Hardshell vs Softshell

For outdoor enthusiasts, softshell jackets are a savior. They are the most popular garments among them. Their breathable and stretchy fabric offers comfortable fit and shield you from minimal amounts of rain too. According to experts, because of its lightweight, it compliments an active lifestyle; you can move freely and confidently.

What Is Softshell Jacket?

Softshell jackets are often misunderstood as being warm only, however their design makes them a go-to jacket for every season.

Now, of course, when the temperature drops, you feel warm and comfortable. But, it would be right to associate them with the performance. Professional manufacturers specifically design these jackets for versatility, durability, and comfort.

Once you have it, you are always prepared for any outdoor outing.

When do I need a softshell jacket?

If this question is revolving around your mind, the answer is simple. They are intended for high-output activities. From hiking the backwoods to skiing the backcountry, they assist everywhere. They allow enough air in and out to regulate your body heat.

Manufacturers specially use woven material in it.

Besides, unlike other conventional jackets, there isn’t any kind of lining in it. Instead, there is a bonding of two layers of fabric.

This thing makes it more breathable and popular for active pursuits, such as running or cycling. Some manufacturers use the combination of woven nylon and polyester too.

It makes it stretchy and somewhat water resistant too.

Softshell Jacket vs Hardshell Jacket

Lots of people are confused regarding the difference between Softshell Jacket and Hardshell Jacket. If you are going out on an adventure, and also need to know the difference between these two, below is the chart that will help you better understand the difference.

Softshell Jacket

  • Fabric is stretchy and breathable.
  • It is a water resistant jacket.
  • It protects you against heavy winds.
  • Tightly woven hardshell fabric outside.
  • They protect, but not provide shelter.
  • If you love biking, running, rock climbing, or any activity, wear a softshell jacket.

Hardshell Jacket

  • Fabric isn’t very stretchy.
  • It is a waterproof jacket with hood.
  • It is air permeable.
  • Inner fabric comfortable, next to skin.
  • These jackets can be used as shelter too.
  • If you’re planning outdoor adventure & there is ‘Chance of Rain’, get hardshell jacket.

On the whole, if you are going to face constantly wet weather or rough conditions, get a hardshell jacket, as it is not only waterproof, but also can be used as a shelter. For more detail, please check out our best hardshell jacket review.

In case you relish better weather and condition, and just want to relish your favorite activity, get a softshell jacket. It is designed to keep you comfortable.

Best Softshell Jackets Recommendations

Now, allow us to reveal the best softshell jacket models of this year.

These below softshell jackets have been tested by the professional adventurers. Read their pros and cons carefully so that you can pick the right one according to your needs.

1. Arc'teryx Mens Gamma MX Hoodie

Arc’teryx Gamma MX Hoody is a luxury quality product.

It is constructed of Polartec Power Shield and Schoeller Dynamic Fabric. If we say, it is the most popular among the outdoor lovers, it would be 100% correct. According to them, it is the most perfect climbing softshell; stays super comfortable in all high-level activities.

Particularly, its laminated brim prevents moisture accumulation.

Pros & Cons:

  • It’s a bridge between both - softshell and hardshell.
  • It has a good balance between windproofness and breathability.
  • The style lines have been tweaked for better mobility.
  • Fit and finish of this jacket is perfect.
  • The only con in this product is it has tight cuffs.

2. Arc'teryx Gamma LT Hoody

Arc’teryx Gamma LT Hoody is a double-weave softshell jacket.

It offers decent abrasion resistance and durability. However, unlike other softshell jackets and its MX model, it feels tough as it has a substantial 620g weight. Therefore, if you love mountain climbing, this is specifically for you.

Since, it offers light insulation against cold temperature and protects against cold winds too.

Pros & Cons:

  • The jacket itself is 100% pure Arc’teryx.
  • You can warm your hands in its two large pockets.
  • Helmet-compatible StormHood.
  • It also has internal chest pockets.
  • It’s beautiful & perfect; there isn’t any con in it.

3. Mammut Ultimate Men's Jacket

It is a great jacket for almost every outdoor activity.

Mammut manufacturers made it exclusively with GORE WINDSTOPPER fabric. It protects you from the cold. Moreover, the shell material with sporty cut makes it highly breathable and versatile. You feel super comfortable even in high-demanding athletic activities.

The best thing about this jacket is it is fairly lightweight.

Pros & Cons:

  • Excellent mobility for active exercises.
  • It is perfect for climbing and running in cold weather.
  • It keeps you dry in the drizzle.
  • The zipper isn’t always easier to shut.
  • Arms size is a little longer than normal.

4. Marmot Men's Gravity Jacket

I own this jacket; it is the best jacket ever.

Marmot’s Men’s Gravity Jacket is versatile, durable, and more than enough for outdoor activities. From rock climbing to ice climbing, skating to running, it breathes well and keeps you at ease. It can even fight strong icy winds without any trouble.

I highly recommend it if you are opting for a softshell jacket first time.

Pros & Cons:

  • It has polyester material.
  • It is windproof and water resistant.
  • Long sleeves with adjustable cuffs.
  • It is breathable as well.
  • You can even use it for casual business meetings.

5. Black Diamond Men's Dawn Patrol Shell

If you are looking for a light, full-featured softshell jacket, get Black Diamond Men’s Dawn Patrol Shell. Though, it look minimalist, but it has a surprising number of features.

For example, this jacket has a Schoeller material that feels great in all occasions. Besides, the best thing is, on the cuffs and around the neck, manufacturers have used comfortable brushed fleece that doesn’t give any kind of friction.

There is also an adjustable ski-helmet-compatible hood. It protects you against strong winds and light drizzle.

Pros & Cons:

  • It has 4-way stretch fabric.
  • It offers mobility and breathability.
  • It doesn’t have internal zippered pockets.
  • Adjustable, compatible hood.
  • It is a perfect choice for backcountry & resort skiing.

Concluding Thoughts

So, are you ready to relish outdoor adventure with a softshell jacket?

All these softshell jackets are super comfy with a soft fleece interior.

Though, before opting for any jacket, remember, the best softshell jacket isn’t the best for everyone. You need to opt for a jacket that compliments your exact needs and activities.

Reviewer: Michael Craig

Best Softshell Jackets In 2020 - Hardshell vs Softshell

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