2-layer jacket, 3-layer jacket, Gore-Tex jacket, DWR coating, Hardshell jacket, softshell jacket… You hear a lot of buzz words thrown around when it comes to foul weather gear and technical outdoor clothing in general, but what does it all mean?!
Today we’re going to talk specifically about Softshell Jackets. What are they? What are they not? ‘Softshell’ is a type of material that used most often to make jackets, but also shorts, vests and pants.
What is a Softshell Jacket?
Softshell Jackets are typically soft and smooth to the touch on the outside and has a thin fuzzy fleece lining on the inside. Some Softshells will have a wind-stopper layer and many will have a durable-water-repellent coating on the exterior of the jacket allowing it to bead off light rain or spray.
The material is stretchy and breathable making it comfortable to wear on its own in dryer conditions or as a great middle layer for warmth and insulation without trapping all the moisture your body puts off when working hard.
It is also a great looking stand-alone outer layer. Because the exterior material looks crisp and presentable you’ll probably still want wear it after sailing, to the regatta party or bar, which is a big reason why softshells are such a popular Crugear decoration piece for us.
What is it not?
A Softshell Jacket is not foul weather gear. Nine time out of ten the seams will not be taped and the material itself is not waterproof so it will not perform well when the going gets rough.