Softshell Ski Jackets | Ridestore Magazine

The name hints about the main feature. It is a shell jacket, meaning that it does not have insulation. But its high waterproofing, breathability and light weight make it the most versatile ski jacket out there.

The most versatile jacket out there

Why does the softshell make such a versatile jacket? Well, because you can adjust to the weather and outside temperature with layering, therefore, you can use your softshell skiing  jacket on both freezing winter days and sunny spring shred days. Another reason why we love the softshell jacket is because the lightweight fabric allows for a creative crafting process, not to mention, you can shred a hoodie style look without compromising with waterproofing or performance. 

Therefore a softshell jacket is ideal for: hanging out with friends having a BBQ in the slopes and enjoying the long warm spring shredding days in a breezy softshell. On freezing winter days, dress with multiple layers under and preferably a down vest or jacket for heat. While talking about layering, you can also use your softshell ski jacket as a second layer under your outer layer on really cold days or when ski touring. Pretty much, the need for a softshell skiing jackets ends where your imagination does.

In terms of feeling unrestricted freedom of movement, softshells are just great! Because of the construction of the soft, stretchy synthetic fabric, these jackets are very flexible and allows for a feeling of full freedom while shredding the slopes.

The tightly stretched polyester/spandex blend in combination with DWR coating makes them very resistant to water and wind whilst still being super breathable. 

When is a softshell jacket No longer ideal?

Being a super versatile and useful jacket, it goes without saying that there is no perfect skiing jacket for all conditions. And that is also the case here. The waterproofing and windproofing of softshell jackets will last far and perform in most weathers, except for the most challenging and extreme ones.

Softshells are not as waterproof as a hardshell or high end insulated ski jacket for men. So in heavy rain or downfall, or wet snow. You are less likely to stay dry compared to a hardshell jacket or a high end insulated jacket.

Frequently asked questions

 Let’s finish off by answering some of the most common questions we get regarding softshell jackets for activities such as skiing. Ready? Here we go!

What is the difference between hard shell and softshell skiing jackets?

A softshell ski jacket is stretchier, softer, and adds a bit more warmth than a hardshell ski jacket. A hardshell jacket on the other hand usually has higher performance in terms of water resistance and breathability. But you need to be more aware of layering with a hardshell compared to a softshell jacket.

What to put underneath?

You should always use a base layer with a softshell coat, to take advantage of the stretchy fabric and freedom of movement. Two ski base layers can be a good option for colder days since base layers add quite a lot of warmth but without taking up a lot of space. A thin down vest or jacket can also be a good option.

How to wash a softshell?

Always start with looking at the washing instructions, but some general advice is to wash it alone, either in a washing machine or by handwash. Use mild or no detergent, rinse it well and hang it to dry.  Do not use bleach and make sure to close all pockets.

What weather is a softshell for?

Softshells are versatile, but with that said, if it is a day with heavy downfall or rain, softshell jackets are no longer ideal. All other weathers, you can go ahead and have yourself a good time in your softshell jacket.

A softshell jacket can be used as it is, as a casual looking snow jacket. Or it can be used as a second layer between your base layer and outer layer.

How should it fit?

Well, how do you like the jacket to fit? Go with style here. With one note, if you are planning to use your softshell jacket also as a second layer from time to time. Then it can be a good idea to go for a slimmer fit.

How to clean a stain out of my water resistant jacket?

Sad to hear that you stained your jacket! Let’s tidy it up.  The first thing you should try is to wipe it off, with a wet cloth or similar. If that does not do the trick, there are products specifically made to wipe stains out of waterproof and breathable materials.

How to tell if your jacket is hardshell or softshell?

Does it feel soft and stretchy? If yes, you probably have a softshell jacket. Is it non-stretchy, thin and does not add warmth? Then you have a hardshell jacket.