Shown here is the lead tester making the rounds through the models. For active pursuits in cold weather, consider a softshell with additional lining for warmth, while warmer weather or in dryer conditions an unlined softshell will work better. Softshell jackets fill a much-needed void between lightweight insulating pieces and waterproof hardshells. A stretchy fit and good temperature regulation make softshells plenty comfortable for a day at the crag Fit and Comfort The fit of a softshell will most often correlate with its category, with casual jackets having a more generous, relaxed cut than tailored performance pieces. Making the jacket so tough yet foregoing the waterproof membrane does strike us as an odd choice, but what you lose in moisture and wind resistance you gain in breathability.
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From knitted cardigans to down jackets: Designer jackets in the Marc Cain online shop Women's jackets have to meet exacting standards and expectations. Marc Cain women's jackets are always top quality Here at Marc Cain, we select only the best materials and, by processing them with our trademark attention to detail, we create first-class products of the highest quality. Even if a waterproof jacket helps you stay dry from the rain, during high activity our bodies can perspire two liters per hour!
If you sweat that much while wearing a hardshell rain jacket, you probably feel wet and clammy. If you sweat that much in a lightweight softshell, you feel much drier and much happier. When being active in marginal conditions, you often need to choose whether you want to be wet on the inside or wet on the outside. Staying dry is also one of the biggest keys to staying comfortable and warm in cold climates since water transmits heat much faster than air. This fact is of critical importance in cold climates.
You might be surprised that most cases of hypothermia occur in temperatures above freezing. When temperatures are lower, water freezes and it becomes harder for us to get wet and subsequently chilled. One great way to get chilled in the snow, however, is to get soaked in sweat by wearing too many clothes or clothes that aren't breathable enough.
Once your cardio output declines, you will chill rapidly. After every outing, we gathered breathability feedback from each tester. These scores are subjective and reflect our testers' personal opinions about the level of breathability of each jacket. The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Jacket received a score of 10 and is the most breathable jacket that we tested. It also, however, earned a weather resistance rating of 3. The Rab Torque received a score of 9 but did much better at providing some protection from the wind and falling snow.
The Patagonia Adze was much less breathable, but in turn, offer more weather protection. Our mobility metric assesses each product's overall comfort during aerobic activities. We took into consideration whether it rode up when lifting our arms if the shoulders allow for full rotation and whether we could layer underneath it without feeling restricted. During our testing, we not only studied the design of each product's arms and shoulders but also how they performed during all our day-to-day outdoor activities.
Some jackets were mobile enough in the body for activities like skiing, but when we took them ice climbing, the jackets either pulled out of our harnesses when reaching up, or our cuff fell below our gloves exposing our wrists to the cold and snow.
Longer wrists and underarm gussets are both designed to help counter this problem. Overall, the Outdoor Research Ferrosi was the most mobile contender. It was the only model that allowed full mobility without the cuffs falling or hem rising.
Surprisingly, it even beat out models made with stretchier materials. The North Face Apex Bionic 2 scored lowest in this category. Weight and packed size can be essential attributes especially on long trips or anytime you have to put the jacket in your pack. We don't place as much of an emphasis on the weight of these products as we do on many other types of outdoor gear.
The reason for this is that these products are designed to be breathable enough that they can be worn all day without having to throw them into your pack. Weight carried on your body isn't as noticeable as weight in a backpack.
For this reason, we do not think that weight and packed size are the most important factors when choosing a softshell jacket. Pocket design is also essential. For climbing and backpacking, Napolean style chest pockets are best, like the Rab Torque, since they won't get in the way of your harness or hip belt. Meanwhile, hand warmer pockets are best for around town and general use, like found on the sweatshirt styled pockets of the Patagonia Adze. Fleece-lined pockets can add extra comfort and coziness, but can also add unnecessary weight and warmth.
All of the pockets in this review have zippered closures; without this, snow and water can enter the pocket and make you wet. If you plan on using your jacket with big gloves on, you'll want to look for big zipper pulls that can be easily manipulated. In our opinion, simple exteriors look better than complex multi-color patterns. For around town, our testers prefer basic, handsome jackets like the Arcteryx Gamma MX and The North Face Apex Bionic 2 over models like the Rab Torque , which has offset colored zippers and duo color fabric designs.
It's also important here to consider the fit of your jacket. Softshells, especially uninsulated models, are great to pair with other layers, like a fleece, to increase the warmth. As we've mentioned multiple times in our review, we recommend purchasing a hardshell or rain jacket and an insulated jacket before you invest in a softshell.
Softshell jackets have become a staple in the closet of most outdoor enthusiasts, for the reason that they can repel wind and light precipitation while still allowing you to move freely and expel perspiration, something the average hardshell jacket is not designed to do. For active pursuits in cold weather, consider a softshell with additional lining for warmth, while warmer weather or in dryer conditions an unlined softshell will work better.
The sheer number of jackets available may be daunting, but we hope this review sets you up to choose the right one for your needs. The 12 Best Softshell Jackets for Men. Displaying 1 - 5 of Updated March Softshell jackets are now one of the most popular layers in the closet of an outdoor recreationist. They provide a blend of weather protection and breathability that hardshell jackets do not, but there are so many on the market now that it can be tough to figure out which one is best.
For this updated review we added models from Arcteryx and Rab , which took home top awards for their alpine climbing prowess, as well as from Outdoor Research which garnered high scores for price and performance. See all prices 3 found. Combines exceptional breathability with water resistance. Our lead tester while out on a fast-paced jaunt, testing breathability. Although we tested these jackets to the limit of water resistance, these jackets are by no means waterproof and are not suited for conditions that demand that attribute.
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