How to Choose a Softshell JacketSoftshell 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.
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.
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.
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