There are plenty of soft shell jackets out there, and plenty of different options available when it comes to picking out a soft shell jacket. Which means that the best soft shell jackets for you will depend, to a large extent, on what kind of a soft shell jacket you need. You need to figure out what kinds of weather conditions you expect your soft shell jacket to handle, and then do your research on soft shell jackets based on what you decide about what you need from a soft shell jacket.
Best Soft Shell JacketsWhat to look for when reviewing the best soft shell jackets.
- Water Resistant – One of the more useful features to have on a soft shell jackets is a water resistant exterior. Most months that you would be using a soft shell jacket in are wetter months, after all, and a water resistant soft shell jacket will allow you to survive a few rain showers without getting wet.
- Hood – If you want to stay as warm as possible, another good option to be aware of is a hood. A hood is useful because the head leaks a lot of body heat, and capturing all that body heat can boost your temperature quite a bit, and with relatively little effort. And then when you’re too hot, the hood comes down.
Best Soft Shell Jackets ReviewsReviews of a few of the best soft shell jackets for both men and women.
Best Soft Shell Jackets for Men
- Arc'teryx Hyllus Fleece Hooded Jacket - The Hyllus is a thick, warm soft shell jacket perfect for cold conditions. Inside it's heavy 300 weight fleece, to keep you well insulated. Outside it's a water resistant and wind resistant shell, to help keep the weather at bay. It has a good, warm hood to keep your head warm, and a couple zippered hand pockets to keep your hands warm too, when the weather gets bad. It's the kind of soft shell jacket you want for ascending peaks and winter hiking.
- Marmot ROM Jacket - If you're looking for something lighter, though not lacking in functionality, the ROM is another excellent soft shell jacket. It's much thinner, but crucially, uses Gore Windstopper fabric to keep the wind chill out. It's also water resistant, and because it's not heavily insulated, will breath very well. It has two zippered hand pockets and a hood to keep extremities warm, and one zippered chest pocket for storing a few essentials.
Best Soft Shell Jackets for Women
- Arc'teryx Hyllus Fleece Hooded Jacket - For those truly cold days outside, the best soft shell jacket is something like the Hyllus. It uses heavy 300 weight fleece to keep you warm and insulated. The outer, soft shell exterior does the job of keeping water and wind out, while still allowing the jacket to breath. It comes with a few other standard features to keep you warm, including zippered hand pockets and a nice, thick hood. This is the kind of jacket you want for trekking in the snow, or cold, cloudy days outdoors.
- Marmot ROM Jacket - The ROM is a much thinner soft shell jacket more targeted at warmer conditions and those who like to stay active. Which is not to say that it wont keep you warm. The jacket is thin, but uses Gore Windstopp fabric, which does an excellent job of cutting down on wind chill. And the soft shell exterior makes it water resistant, so that you get good protection from the elements, even if the jacket isn't especially thick. So a good soft shell jacket if you want something more breathable, that can still keep you warm when it counts.