*This is a collaborative guest post
Winter is quickly approaching and it’s that time of year when we rush to the shopping mall for some winter socks, winter tyres, and anything else that we’re going to need over Christmas. However, it is possibly the softshell jacket that could cover most of our winter needs, offering versatility, warmth, and style to our wardrobe.
What is a softshell jacket?
A wind resistant softshell Jacket from Engebert Strauss looks a little bit like a typical outdoor jacket. But upon closer inspection, they’re softer and more malleable, making them a little bit more comfortable and ventilating. They’re termed softshell to point out their difference from a hardshell jacket, which is generally less stretchy and made with a woven outer fabric. Softshell, on the other hand, is usually a knitted fabric.
Are softshell jackets waterproof?
You may be under the impression that softshell isn’t waterproof due to it being a knitted fabric, soft, and ventilating. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, as softshell jackets very much are waterproof. The outer fabric is usually treated with a water-repellent material, offering protection from rain and snow. However, some are not just water resistant, but totally waterproof even in heavy downpours.
Softshell jackets are also windproof, which often surprises people because of the good ventilation that they offer. The porous nature of them allows enough air to flow for breathability, but not enough to feel a cold wind, thus getting the best of both worlds.
What are softshell jackets used for?
The entire purpose of a softshell jacket is essentially to keep you warm and dry when you’re being active. This may sound obvious but it isn’t, as a hardshell jacket is significantly less comfortable when doing exercise as it lacks elasticity and breathability.
Therefore, a softshell jacket is perfect for hiking, climbing, working outside, and many other activities – even things like dog walking, skiing, and cycling. Due to the high breathability, they’re not necessarily something to wear in very, very harsh conditions, like a North Canadian winter, unless you’re being very active.
However, in such harsh conditions, it is possible to layer with a softshell jacket. They’re great to wear under a hardshell, which would essentially prepare you for any kind of conditions providing the rest of the outfit was appropriate. If you’re looking to layer, it’s best to get a softshell jacket with either no hood or a detachable hood. However, for those looking to use it as an outer layer, a permanent hood is a good idea as it can then be used to protect against the rain without relying on an outer layer.
Ideal for a cyclist
There is perhaps no better use case for a softshell jacket than the lifestyle of a cyclist or runner. This kind of fast movement can mean pushing against the air, even if there is no wind, making you feel cold. The quality of softshell jackets protects from this all whilst allowing for a wide range of bodily movements, such as hopping on and off the bike and indicating.