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How to Choose a Softshell Jacket

Softshell jackets are a lightweight, breathable solution for skiers, climbers, and runners. Softshell is a synthetic material that offers weather protection, ample warmth, high breathability, and good range of motion. A fleece jacket will usually provide more warmth and a shell jacket more weather protection, but a softshell strikes a good balance between the two.

The more active you are, the more breathable you want your jacket to be. A single-layer softshell offers plenty of breathability, but it sacrifices some weather protection. On the other hand, a two or three-layer softshell jacket will sacrifice a bit of breathability for the sake of more weather protection. Shop Single-Layer Softshell Jackets Shop 2-Layer Softshell Jackets Shop 3-Layer Softshell Jackets
With the exception of a couple of pockets, most softshells are relatively bare-bones when it comes to features. Carefully consider what you plan to do in the mountains to determine the exact features you need. Underarm zips or a helmet-compatible hood may be necessary for one activity and unnecessary for another.
Related Content What the Hell is Softshell?
A loose fitting softshell is fine for skiing, but if you're climbing or backpacking, you'll want a jacket with a slim or athletic fit. A more contoured fit keeps the jacket close to your body, gives you room to layer underneath, and it'll feel comfortable when you're wearing a backpack or climbing harness. Shop Slim Fit Softshell Jackets Shop Regular Fit Softshell Jackets

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