Best Softshell Jackets For The Outdoors For Men And Women

Best Softshell Jackets For The Outdoors For Men And Women

In the world of outdoor sports and recreation, especially in hiking and mountain-climbing scenarios, a normal run-of-the-mill jacket or hoodie just won’t cut it. This is where softshell jackets come in and they come in swinging hard. They can be used as a mid-layer, outer-layer, and, in hotter conditions, can be used as a stand-alone piece of outdoor clothing. They’re known for their warmth, sketchiness, breathability, and their unparalleled success at insulating.

That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you discover the best softshell jackets for men and women. Let’s take a closer look at the criteria we used to make the suggestions we’ve recommended in this guide:

Our Criteria

For this guide, we spent hundreds of hours of research to ensure that we’re only recommending the highest quality softshell jackets to you. All of the jackets we chose in this guide were chosen based on:

  • Pricing – We made sure to recommend affordable jackets and softshell jackets that require a bit of an investment. No matter what type of budget you’re working with, you’re certain to find the perfect softshell jacket for you.
  • Comfort – We wanted to ensure that we’re only recommending the highest quality materials to our readers. You’ll find all of the jackets on this list are not only affordable but super comfortable too.
  • Easy to find – We understand how frustrating it can be to spend hours looking around for a jacket a friend recommended. That’s why we only recommended jackets to you that are easy to find with a quick search. Plus, we’ve also included links for your convenience too!
  • Customer reviews – Before recommending any products in this guide, we made sure the majority of the customers who bought the products we recommended were very happy with the jackets they bought. Also, we looked through the most common complaints so that way, we could make you aware of any negative parts of purchasing a specific jacket. That way, you can be completely prepared for whatever comes your way!

Best Softshell Jackets For Men

Arc’teryx Gamma LT Hoody

arc'teryx gamma lt hoodie

Design

The design of the Arc’teryx Gamma LT is one consumer might find packed with significant attention to detail and with the customer in mind. It is both breathable and versatile, as well as more than adequate in the areas of stretch and weather resistance. The outside of the hoodie is also highly abrasion-resistant while also maintaining a lightweight look and feel.

Features

What is a good hoody without great features? It isn’t but there isn’t much to worry about when talking about features on the Gamma LT because they are plentiful. Built with British Columbia’s backcountry in mind, the Gamma LT works as both a tough and weather-resistant outer layer and can also perform well as a mid-layer in colder conditions.

It is important to note that despite battling some elements well, including light rain, the Gamma LT is not waterproof but water-resistant, a fact that might turn off some customers.

The hood on the Gamma LT, a helmet-compatible storm hood with three adjustable sizes, will offer plenty of protection from the elements and will attract customers who hike such routes that a helmet is required or at least recommended. Another feature that might attract this crowd is the longer cut hem, which allows better protection when a climbing harness needs to be worn.

Comfort

Similar to the appeal of a hoody packed with multiple and alluring features, all the features in the world can’t make an uncomfortable hoody any more comfortable. Arc’teryx battles this potential problem from the very beginning by first establishing a design that fits to form for multiple outdoor activities.

Durability

With a Stormhood that is designed to fit a helmet one might guess that the durability of the Gamma LT ranks high and they wouldn’t be wrong. This is made possible by the four-way stretch of the air permeable Wee Burly fabric that has a hard, tight weave.

The durable water repellent that this hoodie is treated with makes beading off water a breeze. It is also resistant to abrasions and wind. As mentioned before this hoodie is not waterproof but if sunny weather or even light rain or snow is on the horizon one shouldn’t worry much. This is especially true when using the Gamma LT as a mid-layer, where outside elements have less of an impact on the shell.

Weight

The Gamma LT by Arc’teryx weighs in at a modest seventeen ounces, a weight most consumers might call lightweight, and it meets that label because of the lightweight Wee Burly fabric and also because it is unlined, adding to its breathability while cutting weight.

Affordability

This hoody, costing $249, is not cheap but is well made and deserving of its price point.

Pros

  • Unlined to increase breathability and to allow moisture to not build-up
  • Great freedom of movement
  • Can be used as either a mid-layer or outer layer
  • The underarm area is gusseted to allow freedom when moving arms

Cons

  • No adjustable wrist-straps
  • Non-Waterproof
  • Cannot be packed into itself
  • Hoodie draw-strings are on the inside
    Ultra-light

Not every hiking trail or outdoor activity is created equal. A hoodie that works well in one condition might quickly fail in another. Trail conditions, weather, and many other factors including personal preference have called for the need for hoodies of all shapes and sizes, not to forget for a multitude of weather conditions and different types of trails.

One of the most popular and ever-growing outdoor communities is the Ultra-light community, where people set out on a trail with as little weight in gear as possible. This is true even for their clothes which lead right into ultra-light hoodies.

Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell Hoody

Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell Hoody

Design

The Kor Preshell hoody by Mountain Hardwear is one of the lightest jackets on the market making it a possible dream for potential customers who engage in the ultra-light lifestyle. Created with lightweight use in mind but not skimping on quality, the Kor Preshell is perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities, including hiking and trail-running.

The material used to create this light hoody is suitable for situations where mild weather is expected, as well if the wearer is planning to sweat. The pockets feature zippers to keep valuable items secure and the logos on the hoody, reflective in nature, will help keep safe those who wear the hoodie while walking or running their local neighborhood streets.

Features

The Kor Preshell already impresses with its weight but that is not the only feature to pay attention to. The hoody is designed using Lightweight Pertex Quantum Air with Stretch Ripstop nylon, a material that allows it to be extremely breathable while not sacrificing resistance to wind. It is, however, not waterproof nor water-resistant.

It also comes equipped with zippered hand pockets which are compatible with a harness and a front zip closure. The lightweight aspect of the hoodie also allows it to pack right into its own pocket and the Shell fabric is Bluesign approved. Perhaps one of the most distinct and attractive features the Kor Preshell has to offer is how slim-fitting it is, not hindering mobility when even on the toughest trail runs or mountain bike trails.

Comfort

As mentioned before, a hoodie is really only as good as it is comfortable. After all, who is going to continue to wear a hoodie that is uncomfortable? There’s no need to worry with the Kor Preshell, where comfort might just reign supreme.

Perhaps one of the most distinct and attractive features of this hoodie is how slim-fitting it is, not hindering mobility when even on the toughest trail runs or mountain bike trails. Climbing, even, will not put too much strain on the hoody, making it a perfect mid-layer for those who like to get vertical. If climbing or hiking in hotter climates this hoodie can be more than the adequate outer layer.

Durability

Sure, the Kor Preshell is comfortable but comfortability and durability do not always go hand in hand, even though they probably should. This is only said as a precaution, though, as the Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell offers both comfort and durability.

Some hoodies in the ultra-light realm, unfortunately, perform well in one area but lack in another but thanks to Mountain Hardwear’s Stretch Ripstop Nylon, the fabric that can take a beating while maintaining proper breathability and sweat and moisture beading.

Weight

This hoodie is designed to be lightweight and weighing in at 4.9 ounces, it has achieved that goal.

Affordability

The Kor Preshell can be bought for around $130, a price we feel is fair.

Pros:

  • Front zip closure
  • Lightweight
  • Bluesign approved

Cons

  • Not water-proof
  • Could be more durable
  • Can be a slim fit for some

Black Diamond Alpine Start Hoody

Black Diamond Alpine Start Hoody

Design

Like the hoodies previously listed, the Black Diamond Alpine Start is clothing that can protect against light elements while retaining its breathability and wind-resistant properties. This hoodie is designed to stand up to all sorts of conditions, including climbing conditions, but will not fare well in heavy rain. That’s okay.

Not all softshells are going to stand up against one of nature’s strongest factors, precipitation. The gussets, however, aimed at being climbing-specific, are perfect for freedom of movement even in the harshest of winds. It is also breathable, perfect for those expecting to break a sweat, and is resistant to both dirt and water, something most hikers can expect to encounter.

Features

Potential consumers, like always, will always look for additional features, especially when it comes to protection from the elements. Those consumers, when analyzing the features of the Alpine Start by Black Diamond, might just be more than satisfied.

The stretch of the material, a feature in and of itself, will make the wearer comfortable even when reaching for the farthest rocks or stepping up or down the most treacherous slopes. The pocket on the chest is designed with a double-sided zipper to enable the jacket to be folded into itself, much like other ultra-light options. This makes carrying easy and can get an unwanted layer out of the way when the sweat really starts pouring.

Comfort

Because of its lightweight design and induction of Schoeller stretch-woven softshell into the fabric, the Black Diamond Alpine Start is a hoody where comfort is one of its strong suits.

This fabric will allow ultimate breathability, even on the hottest days, and keep you dry on some wet ones, although not recommended for heavy rain or snow. To keep the head comfortable, because a hoodie is meant for much more than just a torso, the Alpine Start comes with a helmet-secure hood that can be cinched down with one adjustment cord.

Durability

Because of its extremely lightweight design, the durability on the Black Diamond Alpine Start won’t hold up like others on this list but it is far from fragile.

The first thing that might cause alarm is some exposed stitching throughout the hoodie but, like most products from this brand, it holds up through most weather conditions and doesn’t demonstrate a lot of visible wear and tear, or even internal wear and tear. Basically, like a lot of other ultra-light options, what may feel quite flimsy is really just premium light-grade material that can stand up to a lot of tough situations.

Weight

This hoodie is obviously ultra-light, given the many facts stated above, but the exact weight comes in at a surprisingly low 7.4 ounces. That is plenty low enough for most ultra-light enthusiasts and, with the help of the ultra-thin material it is designed with, can be packed down into small packs or bags.

There is also a non-hooded variant, something that will cut weight by 0.9 ounces. That may not seem like a lot to those unfamiliar with the ultra-light lifestyle but almost a whole ounce will be worth ditching the hood for some people.

Affordability

For its weight and design features it definitely holds up but the price of $165 might be a bit steep for some.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Superior stretch
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Could be cheaper
  • Can fit a little too large for some
  • Heavy duty

Marmot ROM

marmot rom

Design

Lightweight and even moderate hoodies can be great, even going as far as being perfect for some people, but for those who venture into colder and more extreme climates and temperatures need more rugged gear that can perform against the harsh elements these hikers tend to face. A perfect candidate for those extremes, when paired with the proper layers, is the Marmot ROM.

Features

The Marmot ROM comes with plenty of features to try and sway potential customers but these are not parlor tricks, instead real dedicated features to help outdoors people of all experience levels. One feature that will likely appeal to most is that this hoodie has four pockets, two hand pockets, a chest pocket, and an interior zippered pocket.

The former of which can be used for both storage or to warm up hands in colder climates. It also comes with a layer of water resistance that can hold up to light rain and even snow and can stop very high winds thanks to its Gore-tex Windstopper softshell.

Comfort

With Velcro cuffs to keep sleeves secured and an elastic waist with a drawcord for multiple body types, the Marmot ROM has plenty going for it in the department of comfort. Also built with Marmot M2 material in the softshell, this hoodie can stand up to even the most finicky of hikers and still have more stretch to spare.

As far as comfort goes for the hood and its adjustable cord, this hoody does well trying to incorporate a design that will fit all head and helmet sizes. It does a decent job but could be better with additional cords.

Durability

Like with any hoody made with Gore-Tex Windstopper softshell the durability of the Marmot ROM, especially against heavy winds, is second to none on this list. Gore-tex just has that stopping power, especially when the only combatant is wind.

However, this hoodie is water-resistant enough to venture into a steady rain as long as it isn’t pouring. The seams will hold up in strenuous activities and, because of the stretch of the Marmot M2, even climbing-specific activities won’t easily tear this hoody.

Weight

The Marmot ROM hits the scale at 1 pound, 2.6 ounces, meaning it’s one of the heaviest hoodies on our list. That doesn’t amount to a bad thing necessarily, unless of course the customer is an ultra-light enthusiast, but should instead be looked at as a plus. More options are always good for the consumer and a lot of those consumers will be wanting something heavier.

Affordability

For only around $130 we feel this is one of the best-priced hoodies on this list. The design features are just too good for this price point.

Pros

  • Gore-tex
  • Wind and water-resistant
  • Durable

Cons

  • Inside can be itchy for some
  • Could be warmer
  • Affordable

The North Face Men’s Apex Canyonwall

The North Face Men’s Apex Canyonwall jacket

Design

A list recommending softshell hoodies for the outdoors would not be complete without at least one recommendation from North Face. That hoody is the Apex Canyonwall. Designed to meet the needs of most outdoors people but excelling at springtime, the Apex Canyonwall keeps users warm in slightly chilly climates and is exceptionally adept at wind resistance.

This hoodie also comes equipped with not only side pockets but deep ones for those hikers and outdoors people who must hold on to their essentials.

Features

Like most products from The North Face, the Apex Canyonwall boasts plenty of features to help the consumer to make a decision. The cuffs are elastic yet strong, making for a comfortable fit for almost any body type while the fabric is resistant to most outdoor conditions, including water, wind, and light abrasions. It is also bluesign approved, a plus for many customers, and a dedicated media pocket for phones and other electronic devices.

Comfort

The North Face and comfort are something that tends to go hand in hand and the Apex Canyonwall is no exception. First of all, forget about wind, as the wind resistance in this hoody stands up to some pretty tough gusts.

The hoodie is also warm, only helped by a grid fleece backer incorporated into the design, so embarking into the great outdoors on chilly days won’t pose a problem. This will also add to the comfort level, as the backer is soft and micro-gridded, as well as possibly complement the comfort of the lining of the pockets which will also add to the warmth.

Durability

The North Face Apex Canyonwall is plenty durable and it has the design features to prove it. The base material itself, made with a combination of strong WindWall Recycled Polyester and Elastane, is strong enough to be subjected to many abrasions The high wind resistance has a wind permeability rated less than 10 CFM, so even the most average large gusts of wind shouldn’t be a problem.

Weight

The Apex Canyonwall by The North Face weighs 19.4 oz so it isn’t the lightest hoody on this list. Still, for those who don’t follow the ultra-light mentality where reducing weight is the number one goal, this hoodie just might outshine most others in its price range.

Affordability

The Canyonwall comes in at a moderate price of $99, a budget-friendly number especially when considering the features and high wind resistance.

Pros

  • Wind-resistant
  • Affordable
  • Chest pocket

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Could be stretchier
  • Not the warmest

For Women

Patagonia Adze Hoody

Patagonia Adze Hoody

Design

The Adze hoody by Patagonia is just one choice for women’s hiking wear but one that most might find attractive. This is simply because on top of being a well-made hoodie with plenty of features it also looks like a typical, if not fashionable, piece of apparel that most would wear in cold or windy situations ranging from a nice hiking trail to a night out on the town.

Even if those situations call for light rain the Adze hoody can still stand up to the competition, thanks to its water-repellent finish that is both durable and long-lasting. It’s breathable, light-wight, and, as mentioned before, fashionable enough to consider it an option even in non-hiking situations.

Features

The features contained in the Patagonia Adze aren’t as plentiful as some other recommended hoodies but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a decent consideration. After all, Patagonia customer service could be considered a feature in and of itself, always considering the customer when things, unfortunately, go wrong.

These features include a base material made of stretch-woven polyester which will allow plenty of freedom to move while still acting as a protective outer layer.

Another feature of the Patagonia Adze is that although it may not be built for heavy rain or storms, the water-resistant coating will propel light rain effectively. This hoodie comes equipped with a hood that can easily fit over any helmet and can be kept tight and secure via a three-way cord system.

Comfort

Comfort may just be the best thing the Adzea by Patagonia has going for it which isn’t a bad thing. Plenty of hikers and outdoors people put comfort above all else and for good reason. Nobody wants to walk or hike around in an uncomfortable piece of clothing, especially for long periods of time. The stretch-woven polyester/spandex material will keep even the most stubborn consumers satisfied while keeping winds and light rains at bay.

Durability

Like comfort going with The North Face brand, Patagonia goes hand in hand with durability. They’ve simply produced great products consistently with great customer service to back it. But the proof is what’s most important and that lies in the product itself. As stated above, the Adzea is outfitted with a 2-layer stretch woven fabric formed from 90% polyester and a special 10% coming from spandex.

This is where the unique stretch and form-fitting design comes from. As stretchy as it is, one shouldn’t worry too much about abrasions because this hoodie can stand up to some tough conditions. However, using this hoody in alpine and mountain-climbing scenarios is not recommended.

Durability from water, too, deserves mention as the hoodie is coated with DWR(Durable Water Repellent) allowing water to bead off instead of getting inside and potentially causing a hike to be called short.

Weight

Weighing in at 1.6 pounds this hoodie is a bit bulky but not enough to put into a heavy-duty category. Most won’t notice the bulk and might even appreciate it when unexpected colder weather comes knocking. It is worth mentioning, though, that because of the weight this hoodie is not the best for extreme summer conditions or hiking in desert environments.

Affordability

This hoody sits about middle-shelf as far as this list goes at a price of $199. Not the cheapest nor the priciest, we feel it is a fair price for a fair hoody.

Pros

  • 2-layer stretch-woven fabric
  • Water-resistant
  • Comfortable
  • Great against wind

Cons

  • Not the stretchiest
  • Not the most breathable
  • A bit heavy
  • Affordable

Columbia Kruser Ridge Jacket

columbia kruser ridge

Design

The fashionable but rigid design concept gains another follower with this hoody that can take a beating and look good doing it. Introducing the Kruser Ridge by Columbia, a jacket with all the reputable advantages of an outdoor shell but with a little fashion sense thrown in.

With longer sleeves and hemlines to aid against exposure, this hoodie can excel in cooler weather while not adding much resistance. Because of this, some sacrifices were made, such as not having a hood. The fabric used in the design of the Kruser Ridge will offer plenty of breathability and water resistance, although any rain or snow above a light mist might pose problems because of a lack of a hood.

Features

The features of the Columbia Kruser Ridge include a fabric designed with a 100% polyester Omni-shield material to ensure maximum breathability, something not only the sweat-prone hikers can appreciate but those who hate to feel “sticky” which is pretty much everyone.

There are also two zipper-equipped pockets for storage or hand warmth, the latter of which pairs well with the cool-weather capabilities of this hoody. It is also not too restrictive, allowing for longer hikes or easy movement.

Comfort

One of the highest selling points of the Columbia Kruser Ridge is it’s comfort. A lot of hoodies come with a comfortable design and even with a similar price point but what the Kruser Ridge does is provide comfort while staying true to genuine outdoor equipment. It remains flexible when needing to stretch or climb and will keep the annoyance of wind at bay.

Durability

To get straight to the point, the Kruser Ridge by Columbia offers substantial durability, especially for its price. The fabric is both soft and flexible, allowing for excellent movement, especially when worn alone or with only a light t-shirt.

Weight

With ultra-light mindsets erupting everywhere more and more companies are going the lighter route when it comes to the weight of their hoodies. Columbia may not meet the ultra-light standards with the Kruser Ridge, coming in at just over one pound, but it isn’t heavy and for what it does weigh, potential customers might be surprised that a durable outer layer is worth the extra weight.

Affordability

For only around $75, this hoodie is affordable and some may even consider it a bargain.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Hood

Cons

  • Could be lighter
  • No chest pocket
  • Slim fit for some
  • Ultra-light
  • Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody

Columbia Kruser Ridge

columbia softshell

Design

The fashionable but rigid design concept gains another follower with this hoody that can take a beating and look good doing it. Introducing the Kruser Ridge by Columbia, a jacket with all the reputable advantages of an outdoor shell but with a little fashion sense thrown in.

With longer sleeves and hemlines to aid against exposure, this hoodie can excel in cooler weather while not adding much resistance. Because of this, some sacrifices were made, such as not having a hood. The fabric used in the design of the Kruser Ridge will offer plenty of breathability and water resistance, although any rain or snow above a light mist might pose problems because of a lack of a hood.

Features

The features of the Columbia Kruser Ridge include a fabric designed with a 100% polyester Omni-shield material to ensure maximum breathability, something not only the sweat-prone hikers can appreciate but those who hate to feel “sticky” which is pretty much everyone. There are also two zipper-equipped pockets for storage or hand warmth, the latter of which pairs well with the cool-weather capabilities of this hoody. It is also not too restrictive, allowing for longer hikes or easy movement.

Comfort

One of the highest selling points of the Columbia Kruser Ridge is it’s comfort. A lot of hoodies come with a comfortable design and even with a similar price point but what the Kruser Ridge does is provide comfort while staying true to genuine outdoor equipment. It remains flexible when needing to stretch or climb and will keep the annoyance of wind at bay.

Durability

To get straight to the point, the Kruser Ridge by Columbia offers substantial durability, especially for its price. The fabric is both soft and flexible, allowing for excellent movement, especially when worn alone or with only a light t-shirt.

Weight

With ultra-light mindsets erupting everywhere more and more companies are going the lighter route when it comes to the weight of their hoodies. Columbia may not meet the ultra-light standards with the Kruser Ridge, coming in at just over one pound, but it isn’t heavy and for what it does weigh, potential customers might be surprised that a durable outer layer is worth the extra weight.

Affordability

For only around $75, this hoodie is affordable and some may even consider it a bargain.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Hood

Cons

  • Could be lighter
  • No chest pocket
  • Slim fit for some
  • Ultra-light

Ferrosi Hoody by Outdoor Research

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody

Design

For another entry in the ultra-light recommendations, another go-to choice might be the Ferrosi Hoody by Outdoor Research. This isn’t just any ultra-light hoody, however, as the Ferrosi is designed with the user in mind. From its super-stretch capabilities and breathable soft fabric to the weather resistance and lightweight properties, just about anybody can probably find a use for this well-designed hoodie.

This includes hikers, climbers, skiers, and many more demographics. Because of its low price point, this hoodie can even work wonders for just a casual stroll through town.

Features

Features were touched on a bit above but here is where details will reign. Outdoor Research, as usual, knew what they were doing when designing the Ferrosi line of hoodies. A rich set of features that can attract the most potential customers is packed tightly into the Ferrosi and these features include a unique base material made with 90D Ripstop on the torso and 120D Cordura on the sleeves and shoulders.

The pockets, located on both the chest and hips, are zippered and not too bulky yet still deep enough to carry certain essentials. More features of this well-thought design are thumb loops, useful for keeping sleeves in place, as well as an adjustable built-in hood with enough stretch to fit over helmets and a drawstring to ensure it stays tight.

Comfort

Mentioned before was the material used to make the base for the Ferrosi but little was said about why a 90D Ripstop torso paired with 120D Cordura sleeves and shoulder is important. This simply ensures abrasion and wind resistance in the right areas to not sacrifice stretch or comfort.

This is important to most potential consumers but essential for customers with a thirst for adrenaline, such as mountain climbers, high-alpine hikers, and skiers, and snowboarders. Nobody wants a potential fun and adrenaline-fueled day ruined by something like comfort.

Speaking of comfort, a lot of hikers love venturing out when the sun is at its highest, but with the Ferrosi and its UPF 50+ protection, the sun won’t pose a threat. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, a sudden storm or burst of rain may put the water-resistance to shame but this hoodie is extremely quick-drying.

Durability

The durability of the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody is one of the strongest of its category. As mentioned before, the unique and strategically placed Ripstop and Cordura provide ample dexterity and stretch while still maintaining its water and wind resistance. The hood too, because of its stretchy material and drawstring, can take a bang or two and still stay strong and snug.

Weight

The Ferrosi Hoody isn’t the lightest out there but definitely falls into lightweight categories. Hitting the scales at just 13 ounces, this hoodie is both a breeze to carry and easy to pack.

Affordability

At just $129 this softshell hoody isn’t overpriced. In fact, we feel it is just right for what it has to offer.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Water and Wind-resistant
  • Packable
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • No good for heavy rain
  • Could be warmer
  • Not insulated as well as others
  • Heavy-duty

Mammut Ultimate V – Women’s

Mammut 1011-00072 Women's Ultimate V SO Hooded Jacket

Design

Many hikers go on many different adventures and ultra-light or even normal hoodies just can’t keep up sometimes. When it comes to the heavy-duty category for hoodies for women, the Mammut ultimate V might just be the best recommendation out there.

With some of the best weather protection a softshell can offer, including being a tough opponent against water and wind, there will be very few conditions in which this hoody won’t reign supreme. Even alpine conditions stand no match when paired with another layer. This hoodie comes with five color options.

Features

A bold hoody should have bold features and the Ultimate V by Mammut lives up to that reputation. One feature that deserves to be brought up first is the three-layer Gore Windstopper material. With how thin, soft, and stretchy this material is it might be hard to believe it is still excellent at stopping the wind.

And on top of that, with its open structure design, it still allows unparalleled breathability while still upholding against the wind. While not being labeled as fully water-proof, the fabric is coated with a top-quality water-resistance coating that will be just fine in light to moderate showers. The hood, which some might call a feature itself, is adjustable with two drawstrings to help further aid with stopping the turbulent wind.

Comfort

Because of the material used in the creation of the Ultimate V, a soft PFC-free 3-layer Gore, the wearer of this hoody might feel vulnerable to wind and/or rain. Not to worry. Even though the Windstopper material feels light and soft, and even extremely breathable, it might be mistaken for a hoodie that can’t keep the user dry or protected from wind gusts.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the wearer will remain comfortable whether in clear conditions, or ones where wind, rain, and even snow are expected. The pockets are also placed with comfort in mind with the zippers placed in an easy-to-reach place and can be opened with most kinds of gloves. The hood itself also brings comfort to the table with its adjustable drawstrings to fit most head shapes and an area to cover the mouth when fully positioned.

Durability

The durability of the Ultimate V by Mammut might at first be questioned by some, mostly due to its lightweight and thin fabric but one shouldn’t worry too much because, as mentioned before, that light fabric is actually a 3-layer Gore Windstopper material designed to keep out extreme wind, light precipitation, and to reduce damage from abrasions.

Also helping to aid in the defense against the wind is a baffle that is full-length, located behind the front zipper. This not only blocks wind but acts as a buffer for the baffle itself protecting it from the elements and thus providing a longer-lasting experience.

Weight

This hoody only weighs 12.5 ounces and that may surprise a lot of people, especially those where durability is important, but because of its smart design and superior fabric, the lightweight is but one of the many nice features of this softshell and maybe the selling point for many.

Affordability

Because of the Ultimate V’s high durability but lightweight design, it doesn’t come cheap. At around $279.00 it is actually one of the more expensive softshells on this list but for what the customers get and in such a lightweight design it isn’t too expensive for what it is.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Hood
  • Highly wind-resistant

Cons

  • No chest pocket
  • Could be more breathable
  • Maybe too expensive for some

FAQs

Question: What is a softshell jacket for?

Answer: Softshell jackets are great for people who like to go mountain climbing, hiking, or exploring in conditions that tend to change a lot. This type of jacket is great to use if you’re planning on being in weather conditions that’ll change a lot. This way, you don’t have to worry about dressing up in layers that you’ll constantly have to fiddle with to keep yourself comfortable while you’re outdoors.

Question: What material is a softshell jacket?

Answer: Softshell jackets are made up of a combination of different materials. Most softshell jackets will at least have a combo of nylon and polyester. By combining these two fabrics together, there’s a certain level of warmth, comfort, and durability achieved. Also, other materials may be added to the fabric to make the softshell jacket waterproof.

Question: What is warmer, fleece, or softshell?

Answer: Fleece jackets are created to keep the person wearing the jacket warm. However, fleece jackets weren’t designed to keep the person wearing the jacket protected from the weather.
Sometimes, softshell jackets are lined with fleece to give them an additional layer of warmth. A lot of the warmest softshell jackets on the market have fleece in them. So, if you’re only looking for warmth and not to have any protection from the weather, a fleece jacket is the way to go.
However, if you’re looking for warmth and protection from the weather, you should invest in a softshell jacket.

Final Thoughts

There are many types of softshell jackets on the market, but not all softshell jackets are made equally. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of companies out there who don’t invest a lot of research, science, and effort into making high-quality softshell jackets. But, that doesn’t mean that all of the softshell jackets on the market aren’t worth your money. The list we’ve included in this guide is filled with outstanding options we’d highly recommend.

For a softshell jacket for a man, we would highly recommend the Marmot ROM jacket. Not only is this jacket affordable, but it comes with a lot of outstanding features too. While it is a bit heavier than other jackets that we’ve included in this list, it’ll keep your body protected in a variety of different elements. Plus, it’s water-resistant, so you’ll stay warm and dry even if you get caught in an unexpected snowstorm.

As for a woman, we would highly recommend the Columbia Kruser Ridge Jacket. This jacket is also the most affordable option on the list but offers unmatched comfort and durability. While the actual jacket may be a bit heavier than what some are used to, the added weight is made up for by the water resistance features this jacket offers. If you do get caught in the snow or rain, we’d recommend putting your hood up so your hood doesn’t get soaked.

There you have it, the best softshell jackets for both men and women! Let us know what your favorite softshell jacket is in the comments!