What is softshell?

Everything you need to know about softshell

Ever heard of softshell? Softshell is a technical fabric that is wind and water resistant, and also warm. It’s super stretchy and that makes it perfect for adding flexibility to ski and snowboard jackets and trousers. Often combined with a slim fit, this type of fabric is a top choice for people who want flexibility and speed (makes you aerodynamic!). Want to learn all there is to know about softshell? We’ll lay that out right here.

What is softshell?
Softshell vs hardshell
Is softshell waterproof?
Is softshell warm?
The advantages of softshell
Normal jackets vs softshell jackets
Normal trousers vs softshell trousers
Conclusion

What is softshell?

Softshell is a woven sportswear fabric. This fabric is made out of three layers. The outer layer is water repellent and stretchy featuring either 2-way or 4-way stretch. The middle layer is both water and wind resistant as well as being breathable. The inner layer that is closest to the body is brushed providing soft and comfortable insulation. So together you have a garment that is comfortable, flexible, wind and water-resistant. Even though it’s made up of several layers, it’s lightweight… Softshell is an ideal choice when you’re looking for a versatile layer that can be worn alone or combined with insulating layers or a hard shell outer layer.

BLACKBIRD jacket | COCO trousers

Blackbird Puffer ski jacket Blue
Price 249.99
Color: Space Blue
Size
Coco Softshell ski trousers with trim White
Price 129.99
Color: Seashell
Size
Blackbird Puffer ski jacket Green
Price 249.99
Color: Swamped
Size
Coco Softshell ski trousers with trim Black
Price 129.99
Color: True Black
Size

What’s the difference between softshell and hardshell?

The big difference between hard shell and softshell outerwear is the breathability. Softshell fabric is extremely breathable, making it perfect for physical activity from hiking to skiing and boarding. Softshell fabric offers more comfort than a traditional hardshell and the softer material makes it much more moveable.

When the jacket is just made up of a layer of hardshell fabric then it is lighter and more packable than a softshell, serving as a water resistant top layer to your insulating layers underneath. Hardshell is generally also wind resistant and more water resistant than softshell. Many ski and snowboard jackets are made up of a combination a hard shell outer layer combined with insulation layers.

Softshell will keep you dry in a light shower or snow flurry but should you be expecting downpours or to be sitting in the snow, then a hardshell is probably a better choice.

The big difference between hard shell and softshell outerwear is the breathability. Softshell fabric is extremely breathable
The difference between hardshell (left) and softshell (right)

Is softshell waterproof?

Firstly let’s talk about the word waterproof! We know what we mean when we want our outerwear to be waterproof. We’re saying we don’t want to get wet! But waterproof literally means that no water would be getting in or out of your outerwear. This would be something like wearing a plastic bag. What we actually want is a happy combination of water resistance and breathability. The water on the outside of the jacket needs to stay on the outside while moisture on the inside needs to be dispersed away from the body.

One of the advantages of softshell is that it is highly breathable while a disadvantage can be that it is less water resistant. Advancements in technology means that we are now creating softshell outerwear with the same 10K water resistance as many of our hard shell jackets, resulting in outerwear that is water resistant, wind resistant, breathable and warm (and flexible and super comfortable….).

Advancements in technology means that we are now creating softshell outerwear with the same 10K water resistance as many of our hard shell jackets
FAITH jacket | LOLE trousers | REBEL beanie

Faith Softshell anorak ski jacket Pink
Price 109.99
Color: Think Pink
Size
Lole Softshell ski trousers Pink
Price 119.99
Color: Think Pink
Size
Rebel Beanie Black
Price 19.99
Color: True Black
Size
Bubble Mid layer Pink
Price 49.99
Color: Think Pink
Size

Is softshell warm?

Yes, softshell fabric adds warmth. For softshell to function as a layer of insulation on the slopes, it should be lined or you can wear extra layers underneath your jacket.  Our ski and snowboard softshell jackets are lined with highly technical insulation, which creates the warmth you need to stay comfortable and focussed while you are skiing or snowboarding.

Our ski and snowboard softshell jackets are lined with highly technical insulation
FAITH jacket | ANN jacket | LOLE trousers | EVE trousers

Faith Softshell anorak ski jacket Purple
Price 109.99
Color: Very Grape
Size
Ann Anorak ski jacket Green
Price 179.99
Color: Swamped
Size
Lole Softshell ski trousers Black
Price 119.99
Color: True Black
Size
Eve Ski trousers White
Price 139.99
Color: Canvas
Size

What are the adventages of softshell?

We’ve probably mentioned the advantages several times already but for the sake of clarity, we’ll write a list. Here come the advanatges of the fantastic softshell.

  • Highly breathable
  • Wind resistant
  • Water resistant
  • Tailored fit
  • Insulating
  • Flexible
  • Super comfortable
  • Exceptionally good looking

What is the difference between a normal jacket and a softshell jacket?

What makes a softshell jacket different from a normal jacket is it’s special properties. A normal jacket is just an extra layer of insulation. Softshell has that extra layer of insulation but is combined with a water and wind resistant layer. It’s super flexible and extremely breathable, making it perfect for physical activity. It’s easy to layer and is a great option for when the weather is cold and not too wet. Softshell is also the perfect transitional outerwear type for the spring and fall. Yep, softshell is amazing.

Luna Softshell ski jacket Black
Price 159.99
Color: True Black
Size
Blackbird Puffer ski jacket Red
Price 249.99
Color
Size
Melton 20 Softshell anorak ski jacket Black
Price 139.99
Color: True Black
Size
Benz Softshell anorak ski jacket Pink
Price 129.99
Color: Mauve
Size

What is the difference between a normal pair of ski trousers and softshell ones?

Insulated trousers consist of a waterproof “shell” outer layer with an inner insulated layer. Most of our ski or snowboard pants fall into this category. These trousers are comfortable, warm and will keep you dry. If a greater freedom of movement is important to you, then consider softshell ski trousers. The softhell fabric is more flexible than hard shell and are highly breathable. So if you are particularly energetic on the slopes, go for softshell. If you want softshell trousers but need more warmth, add layers. Softshell is a great garment to combines with layers. Check out our thermal trousers for women and thermal trousers for men.

ALANA salopette | JULES mid layer | PAISLEY 20 beanie

Alana Softshell salopette Black
Price 159.99
Color: True Black
Size
Angle 20 Softshell ski trousers Black
Price 139.99
Color: True Black
Size
Lole Softshell ski trousers Purple
Price 119.99
Color: Very Grape
Size
Hollow 20 Softshell ski trousers with suspenders Black
Price 159.99
Color: True Black
Size

Conclusion

Softshell is warm, water resistant, windproof, flexible, highly breathable, comfortable and layerable. We love softshell. With a more tailored fit, you’re steamlined as you carve down the mountain. Do you go faster? Maybe. Let us know what you think…

Shop here:
Softshell ski & snowboard wear for women
Softshell ski & snowboard wear for men
Softshell ski & snowboard wear for girls
Softshell ski & snowboard wear for boys