Workwear Softshell Jacket

A soft-shell jacket is your greatest friend while traversing unpredictable terrain and weather. Soft-shell jackets are a great compromise between ultralight insulation and rugged rainwear. They are more protective than a regular fleece or synthetic jacket while yet being flexible and breathable. Below, we’ll go through what makes a workwear softshell jacket, from its woven structure to its expected level of weather protection. We’ve laid out the main factors to consider since softshells are sometimes misinterpreted as warm, insulating items (at worst, they give mild warmth) or entirely waterproof (typically aren’t). Don’t be put off because softshells are “not”  anything else. Their versatility and well-rounded construction make them a year-round staple.

What materials do workwear soft-shell jackets contain?

The woven synthetic fabrics that are the norm for soft-shell jacket construction render them soft, lightweight, and adaptable. Fabrics with elastane weaved into them are elastic and won’t restrict your motion. Depending on the manufacturer, a soft-shell jacket may be lined with fleece, brushed cotton, down, or synthetic insulation.

Can you get wet or windblown in a soft-shell jacket?

While not entirely waterproof, soft-shell jackets may keep you dry in moderate precipitation and snowfall thanks to their water-repellent coated face or outer fabric. Softshells are wind-resistant, if not windproof, because of their densely woven structure or fabric technology. Soft-shell jackets are built with breathability in mind since they are often worn during physical activity. At The North Face, this is guaranteed via tiny holes and wicking technology, which allow excess heat and sweat to exit the body. Waterproof and windproof softshells with added flexibility and decreased exterior air permeability are the most adaptable outerwear for outdoor activities and climates.

For what purpose do soft-shell jackets serve?

Hikers, climbers, and mountaineers use soft-shell jackets when the weather is unpredictable. Their primary function is to protect you from overheating or cooling down while you’re on the go, negating the need for a Hardshell Jacket and a T-Shirt or base layer. However, they are a necessary component of any layered garment setup.

Do we wear soft-shell jackets in the winter?

That’s debatable. A soft-shell jacket is essential if you will be active in conditions where the temperature is likely to change. Wearing under hardshell and additional layers may keep you warm and dry in wintry conditions. You can get away with an insulated jacket or a mid-layer jumper or sweatshirt under a hardshell if you plan on being less active and the temperature will be reasonably constant.


Softshells, being technological mid-layers, are quite useful. They weigh next to nothing, won’t restrict your motion, and provide some protection from the elements. This makes them far more practical than a bulky insulated jacket, which lacks the same breathability and stretch capability while on the go. 

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