You know the principle of the three layers in the mountains? Softshell jackets have a simple and complicated at the same time objective: replace the 2 ° and 3 ° layers when the conditions are not “extreme”.
The literal translation of “Softshell” is “soft shell”. Everything is said. You will have a good protection against the wind and a sense of comfort (you do not have this rough aspect with the hardshell jackets-but high maneuverability due to the stretch fabrics).
You leave for the day and you are knowledgeable about the weather? No heavy rain to predict? A good Sofshell jacket will do. Choose a model with hood, allowing you to have total protection in case of strong wind or rain.
Benefits of softshell jackets:
- Light, comfortable,.
- Manageable in the movements (stretch)
- Save space in the bag from the duo “polar + hardshell jacket”.
- Will have a waterproof effect during a fine and intermittent rain.
- The low price (between 100 and 200 euros against 300 to €700 for the Hardshell mountain jacket)
Disadvantages of softshell jackets:
- Cannot withstand heavy rains.The qualities of impermeability are often limited in time (30 minutes)
- Much cooler than the duo “polar + hardshell jacket”.
- Much less efficient than a hardshell jacket windbreaker effect.
Beware of sellers that are approximate! A so-called ‘water-repellent’ jacket is not waterproof (a fabric water repellent does not withstand heavy rains).
Use of the softshell jacket
- Hike to the day spring / summer / fall.
- Trek in altitude with dry weather or occasional light rain.
- Ski touring spring with good climatic conditions.
- Mountaineering committed
- Hike to the day with a wet weather
- Trek in a wet/rainy country
- Winter trek with cold temperature.
A jacket that is ideal for treks in altitude with dry weather or occasional light rain.
The details should not be overlooked on a softshell jacket:
- The tightness around the waist: essential to ensure an optimal isolation. Finish the cool breeze in the back.(photo1)
- Wrist tightening: essential especially in winter.You loosen, you put on your gloves and you tighten. Guaranteed insulation. (photo2)
- Careful not to take a jacket with azipper difficult to grasp. The closure is often extended by a piece of string for a better grip (with gloves)-(photo3)
- The Chin protection: to not irritate your Chin on the zipper, it should be protected by a soft aspect (photo5)
- “The grips ‘ protection on the back: stabilize your backpack and avoid wear pronounced the jacket at the level of the shoulders. Some manufacturers offer.
- The hood: essential when there is a cool breeze or a little rain > protection of the head but also the neck, very sensitive to changes in temperatures.
Maintenance of trek softshell jacket:
Maintenance of a sofshell jacket is quite simple: wash at very low temperatures (avoid absolutely the softeners) and preferably in the Sun to dry (and besides it’s more eco-friendly).
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