5 Best Softshell Jackets: Our Top Picks and Buying Guide

Best Softshell Jackets

As outdoor enthusiasts, we understand the importance of having the right gear when heading out into the wilderness. One essential item for any outdoor excursion is a reliable soft-shell jacket. A high-quality softshell jacket can provide warmth, protection from the elements, and freedom of movement, making it an essential piece of clothing for any outdoor adventurer.

At our company, we have tested and reviewed a wide variety of softshell jackets to bring you our top picks. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive buying guide to help you make an informed decision when choosing the best soft-shell jacket for your next adventure.

5 Best Softshell Jackets

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Arc’teryx Gamma MX Hoody

Our top pick for the best overall softshell jacket. The Arc’teryx Gamma MX Hoody is a versatile and durable jacket that provides exceptional protection from the wind and rain. It is made with a breathable, stretchy fabric that allows for a full range of motion, making it perfect for activities like climbing and hiking.

Patagonia Adze Hoody

Our runner-up for the best overall softshell jacket. The Patagonia Adze Hoody is a reliable and sturdy jacket that offers excellent protection from the elements. It is made with a breathable and stretchy fabric that provides great comfort and mobility during outdoor activities.

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The North Face Apex Flex GTX 2.0

Our top pick for the best waterproof softshell jacket. The North Face Apex Flex GTX 2.0 is a reliable and durable jacket that provides exceptional waterproofing and breathability. It is made with a Gore-Tex membrane that ensures you stay dry in wet conditions.

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Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hooded Jacket

Our top pick for the best lightweight softshell jacket. The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hooded Jacket is a lightweight and breathable jacket that is perfect for outdoor activities like climbing and hiking. It is made with a stretchy and durable fabric that provides excellent freedom of movement.

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Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Shell

Our top pick for the best softshell jacket for skiing. The Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Shell is a reliable and durable jacket that provides exceptional protection from the wind and snow. It is made with a breathable and stretchy fabric that allows for a full range of motion, making it perfect for skiing and other winter activities.

Softshell Jackets: A Comprehensive Buying Guide

When choosing a soft-shell jacket, there are several factors to consider. In this section, we will discuss the different features to look for when selecting the best soft-shell jacket for your needs.

  1. Material
    Softshell jackets are typically made from a combination of materials, including polyester, spandex, and nylon. These materials provide a balance of breathability, durability, and weather resistance. Look for jackets made with high-quality materials that can withstand the wear and tear of outdoor activities.
  2. Breathability
    Breathability is an essential factor to consider when selecting a soft-shell jacket. You want a jacket that allows moisture to escape while also keeping you warm and protected from the elements. Look for jackets made with breathable materials that have ventilation features like pit zips.
  3. Weather Resistance
    Softshell jackets are designed to provide some level of weather resistance, but the degree of protection can vary. Look for jackets made with water-resistant or waterproof materials that can keep you dry in wet conditions. Also, consider jackets with windproof features to protect you from cold, windy weather.
  4. Comfort
    A soft-shell jacket should be comfortable to wear for extended periods. Look for jackets with a soft interior lining that provides warmth and a smooth exterior that allows for easy movement. Look for jackets with adjustable hoods, cuffs, and waistbands to provide a custom fit and maximum comfort.
  5. Mobility
    Softshell jackets are designed to provide freedom of movement during outdoor activities. Look for jackets made with stretchy materials that allow for a full range of motion. Jackets with articulated elbows and gusseted underarms also provide increased mobility.
  6. Durability
    A good soft-shell jacket should be durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of outdoor activities. Look for jackets made with high-quality materials and reinforced seams. Jackets with a DWR (durable water-repellent) coating can also increase their longevity.
  7. Style
    While functionality is the most important factor when choosing a softshell jacket, style is also a consideration. Look for jackets with a style and color that suits your preferences.

Conclusion


When it comes to outdoor gear, a high-quality softshell jacket is a must-have. The right softshell jacket can provide warmth, protection from the elements, and freedom of movement, making it an essential piece of clothing for any outdoor adventurer. We hope our top picks and buying guide have helped you choose the best soft-shell jacket for your needs. Remember to consider the factors we discussed, including material, breathability, weather resistance, comfort, mobility, durability, and style, when making your selection.

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