to top 10 table

Our Favorite Soft Shell Jackets Tested & Fully Reviewed

last updated Mar 25, 2019
No one enjoys the crinkling, swishing sound and stifling insulation that comes with waterproof hard shell jackets. Particularly for running and other outdoor activity, we are seeking apparel that breathes easily, has a good stretch and moves silently with us along the path. If that sounds good to you, you may want to consider a soft shell jacket as more breathable protection from the wind and rain.

This guide has been designed to provide you with all the information you need to know to select the best softshell jacket that will keep you warm and protected from the elements when you hit the trails or the track!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research

icon
 Arc’teryx Gamma MX
97.5/100 our score
Water Resistance
98
Size
98
Features
97
Style
97
Arc’teryx Gamma MX
Why is it better?

DWR coating

Good wind resistance

Lightweight

Breathable

Regular fit works great for layering

Hood fits with a hat

Stretch panels for unrestricted range of motion

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
 Arc’teryx Gamma MX
Test Winner: Arc’teryx Gamma MX
Reviews Considered
15k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
15
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Water Resistance Size Features Style Water Capacity By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.5
Water Resistance
98%
Size
98%
Features
97%
Style
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$348.98
$349.00
See Deal
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Water Resistance
97%
Size
97%
Features
95%
Style
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$104.30
See Deal
$149.00
See Deal
$228.95
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Water Resistance
97%
Size
95%
Features
95%
Style
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Water Capacity
95%
Size
95%
Features
93%
Style
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$35.00
See Deal
$51.97
See Deal
$69.99
See Deal
$99.00
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Water Capacity
90%
Size
93%
Features
90%
Style
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$111.30
See Deal
$159.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Water Capacity
88%
Size
87%
Features
88%
Style
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$100.00
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.8
Water Capacity
85%
Size
86%
Features
85%
Style
83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$98.96
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.3
Water Capacity
83%
Size
82%
Features
80%
Style
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$118.26
See Deal
$142.97
See Deal
$144.71
$149.00
See Deal
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78
Water Capacity
80%
Size
78%
Features
77%
Style
77%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$92.32
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
74.3
Water Capacity
75%
Size
77%
Features
75%
Style
70%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Arc’teryx Gamma MX
  • Patagonia Adze
  • Outdoor Research Ferrosi
  • Columbia Ascender
  • Arc’teryx Squamish
  • Marmot Tempo
  • Under Armour Storm Dobson
  • The North Face Apex Bionic
  • Columbia Prime Peak
  • Marmot Gravity
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources
Click here to see more

Our Favorite Soft Shell Jackets

1. Arc’teryx Gamma MX

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.5
 Arc’teryx Gamma MX
Water Resistance
98
Size
98
Features
97
Style
97
best offer for today
more shops
$348.98
$349.00
See Deal
Pros:

DWR coating

Good wind resistance

Lightweight

Breathable

Regular fit works great for layering

Hood fits with a hat

Stretch panels for unrestricted range of motion

Cons:

Cuffs are a bit tight

Expensive

The versatile Gamma MX Hoody has a performance fit and stylish look that makes it ideal for outdoor activity as well as city wear. Stretch panels and ergonomic seams allow for an unrestricted range of motion. Solid windproofing and water resistance provide excellent warmth in wind and light rain and the regular fit is designed to accommodate extra base layers for added warmth when needed. The cuffs are a bit tight and the price tag is high but this high-quality jacket is an attractive performance option.

Read more

Warmth & Weatherproofing

The Arc’teryx Gamma MX provides excellent warmth in windy conditions. It blocks wind very effectively and has a durable water-resistant coating to keep you dry in light rain and snow. Despite the wind resistance, this jacket remains lightweight and breathable making it ideal for a variety of activities.

Fit

This jacket has a regular fit that allows more room for layering items underneath. Users love the larger hood that can be worn comfortably over a beanie and the ample room in the chest that allows you to tuck in a scarf. There is just enough room for layering without leaving excess material to get in your way. Stretch fabric, underarm gussets and a dropped rear hem create a comfortable fit that does not restrict range of motion. The only downfall is the tighter cuffs on the sleeves which reviewers find a bit too constricting and difficult to pull on over gloves or a watch.

Features

The Gamma MX features four pockets with mesh lining and watertight zippers. Two side hand pockets are perfect for your cell phone or just warming your hands. The right chest and right arm pocket allow for easy access when wearing a backpack or a harness. A draw cord hem can be drawn in for more effective water sealing while skiing.

Style

The clean look of this jacket is right at home on the mountain or in the city. The neat seams and smooth fabric look expensive and show off the high-quality design. It is available in 7 attractive colors.

Value

This jacket retails around 300 dollars and like all Arc’teryx gear should be viewed as an investment. The high-quality design and performance features make this a great versatile layer for any outdoors enthusiast or weekend warrior.

2. Patagonia Adze

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
 Patagonia Adze
Water Resistance
97
Size
97
Features
95
Style
95
best offer for today
more shops
$228.95
$104.30
See Deal
$149.00
See Deal
Pros:

Warm enough for sub-freezing temps

Good for layering

Microfleece lining insulates and provides comfortable next-to-skin feel

Wind resistant Polartec shell

Works well for cold weather climbing or skiing

Breathable

Cons:

May be too warm for casual performance

Heavier

The Patagonia Adze is a serious winter jacket with the streamlined appearance and flexibility of a softshell. The signature Polartec shell and insulating fleece lining keep reviewers warm in subfreezing temperatures. The micro-fleece lining creates a great next-to-skin feel that is comfortable to wear with short sleeves but can easily be layered with warmer layers when the temperature drops. Stretch material allows for unrestricted range of motion and breathability that is ideal for skiing and climbing.

Read more

Warmth & Weatherproofing

The Patagonia Adze is one of the warmer options on this list. With Patagonia’s signature Polartec shell and durable water-resistant coating, this jacket protects well from the elements while the soft microgrid fleece lining provides excellent insulation and great next-to-skin feel. Users find this coat is adequate for wear in sub-freezing temperatures, down to the single digits when layered appropriately. Despite the heavy nature of this jacket, it remains breathable during vigorous activity.

Fit

The athletic fit of this jacket strikes the perfect balance for athletic performance. The fit is relaxed enough to accommodate a fleece base layer but remains streamlined enough to stay out of your way while climbing or skiing. Strategically placed seams on the arms allow for unlimited range of motion so you can reach that next hold while climbing.

Features

Hook and loop cuff closures and a draw cord hem add improved weather sealing for this jacket. The Adze features two zippered hand pockets as well as an interior chest pocket.

Style

With its low profile appearance and significant warmth, this jacket offers an attractive alternative to puffy down when running around in cold weather.

Value

Retailing at around 200 dollars, Patagonia provides a good value for a reliable and versatile winter jacket.

3. Outdoor Research Ferrosi

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
 Outdoor Research Ferrosi
Water Resistance
97
Size
95
Features
95
Style
94
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Breathable

Packable

Lightweight

Abrasion resistant

Wind resistant

Good for activity

Cons:

Not very water resistant

Does not double as well for city wear

Pockets are not harness compatible

The Ferrosi Hoody has everything you need in a softshell jacket. Users are impressed with the durability of the abrasion resistant sleeves and solid wind protection that still remains flexible and breathable through activity. The athletic fit and stretch make this jacket a go-to for cyclists, hikers, and climbers. The best part is that the lightweight jacket packs down into its own pocket and is available at a bargain price. It falls just short of number one because it has less effective water resistance than some of the heavier weight softshell and the style does not double as well as a city jacket.

Read more

Warmth & Weatherproofing

This jacket strikes the perfect balance between warmth and breathability. The abrasion resistant sleeves provide good weather protection while the softer body provides ample stretch and cool breathability. Users are very impressed with its ability to maintain warmth without ever causing you to overheat.

Fit

The athletic fit of this jacket is snug like a performance jacket but still leaves adequate room for layering.

Features

This lightweight jacket packs down into one of the two hand pockets. Reviewers using this jacket for climbing and backpacking do find the pockets are a bit low for easy access when wearing a harness or a backpack but the jacket does feature a chest pocket that is more accessible. The hood is comfortable and easy to adjust but is not ideal for wearing with a helmet.

Style

This jacket has a more athletic style and color options than some of the higher end performance options. It is not the most stylish for city wear but looks good during activity.

Value

The Ferrosi hoody is one of the best values around for a softshell jacket. For under 150 dollars you are getting a durable jacket that performs well.

4. Columbia Ascender

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
 Columbia Ascender
Water Capacity
95
Size
95
Features
93
Style
92
best offer for today
more shops
$99.00
$35.00
See Deal
$51.97
See Deal
$69.99
See Deal
Pros:

Flattering athletic fit

Better for light layers and commuting

Good movement for light activity

Wind and water resistant

Quick drying

Lower price

Cons:

Not much room for heavy layers

This casual softshell from Columbia is frequently compared to the North Face Apex. While the North Face provides slightly more warmth and more room for layering, many users prefer the Ascendant for its lower cost and more flattering fit. The soft polyester shell does its job when it comes to protecting from wind and rain. Like all softshells, it is not waterproof but it will dry quickly if you do get caught in a storm. Although it does not have the same mobility features as performance jackets, it does have a comfortable fit that allows for light activity.

Read more

Warmth & Weatherproofing

The light fleece lining provides some insulation while the soft polyester shell protects from rain and wind. Users report it repels light rain and snow very well and takes a while to soak through if you are a caught in a heavier downpour. Moisture-wicking polyester dries quickly and keeps you warm.

Fit

This jacket has a more athletic fit that provides more room in the shoulders but tapers in at the waist. It will be snug over heavy layers but has a more flattering fit when worn over a light base layer of T-shirt.

Features

Adjustable draw cord hem and sleeves are great when you do want to take this jacket out for some weekend activity. The jacket features 2 zippered hand pockets and a zippered chest pocket that are great for activity as well as running around town.

Style

Available in 28 color options you are bound to find a color that works well for you. The clean lines on this jacket are suitable for commuting to work and most users prefer the more flattering fitted appearance of this jacket to other larger casual soft shells.

Value

This jacket is flattering, versatile and has a price point well below 150 dollars, helping us to definitively set it above the North Face Apex and Marmot Gravity when it comes to casual wear.

5. Arc’teryx Squamish

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
 Arc’teryx Squamish
Water Capacity
90
Size
93
Features
90
Style
92
best offer for today
more shops
$159.00
$111.30
See Deal
Pros:

Packs into its own pocket

Lightweight

Very breathable

Great for biking, running and hiking

Allows for good range of motion

Cons:

Pricey

Not the best wind resistance

Not too much stretch

The Squamish hoody blurs the line between a softshell jacket and a windbreaker. At first look, it appears more like a hard shell but it is not waterproof and has the breathability and stretch definitive of a softshell jacket. It is a lightweight and packable layer that offers good wind and water resistance while remaining very breathable and flexible during activity. Users love having this layer on hand for tough hikes, bike rides, and climbing.

Read more

Warmth & Weatherproofing

This lightweight wind layer focuses more on breathability than warmth. It is ideal for high-intensity outdoor activity as it offers some protection from the elements without trapping too much heat.

Fit

The regular fit of this jacket allows for layering while the gusseted arms and articulated elbows provide unrestricted range of motion. These design elements make it a great, lightweight option for any activity.

Features

This jacket features Arc’teryx’s StormHood which is helmet compatible, has a soft brim and adjustable drawcords to maximize visibility. Velcro cuffs and a drawcord drop hem keep this jacket close to your body and out of the way when it comes to activity. It does not have any hand pockets but it does come with a zippered chest pocket that it packs down into.

Style

The Squamish Hoody appears more like a rain jacket than a softshell but does not have the glossy finish or loud crinkling material. The bright color options are ideal for helping you be seen on the trail.

Value

At under 200 dollars, this jacket is rather expensive for the lightweight layer that it is. However, if you are counting weight and want a high performance, breathable wind layer, this packable jacket is a great option.

6. Marmot Tempo

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
 Marmot Tempo
Water Capacity
88
Size
87
Features
88
Style
85
best offer for today
$100.00
Pros:

Soft, wrinkle-resistant material

Good stretch

Comfortable

Lightweight

Angel-wing movement for good mobility

Breathable

Cons:

Not very water resistant

The Tempo Softshell Jacket is made from Marmot’s M3 softshell material which favors breathability and silky texture over waterproofing. It does offer adequate protection against wind and very light rain but really shines when it comes to comfort and mobility. The relaxed fit, angel wing movement, and good stretch keep this jacket moving with you through any activity.

Read more

Warmth & Weatherproofing

The Marmot Tempo has a 100% Nylon Ripstop shell that offers soft and breathable protection from the wind with limited protection for light rain. Users find that it keeps them warm at the beginning of an activity and allows them to cool off as they get going.

Fit

The regular fit of this jacket has a bit more room in the shoulders and a straight hem. The hem is dropped in the back and can be cinched down with a drawcord. Angel-wing movement in the arms and elastic cuffs at the wrist keep this jacket moving with you through activity.

Features

Zippered handwarmer pockets and a zippered chest pocket are perfect for keeping items close while running or biking. The lightweight, wrinkle-resistant material helps this jacket pack down to a small size, making it ideal for day hikes and cycling.

Style

This lightweight jacket is available in black, gray, bright blue and bright red. The bright colors and a relaxed fit make it better suited for outdoor activity but the clean lines and smooth material will not look out of place in the city.

Value

At around 100 dollars, some users feel this jacket is a bit spendy for its lightweight. However, the breathable performance and comfortable material make it worth the price.

7. Under Armour Storm Dobson

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.8
 Under Armour Storm Dobson
Water Capacity
85
Size
86
Features
85
Style
83
best offer for today
$98.96
Pros:

Casual look and fit

Good insulation

Wind and water resistance

Less bulky

Soft material

Cons:

Expensive for a hoody

The Dobson jacket is part of Under Armour’s ColdGear line which works to keep athletes warm without adding bulk or sacrificing breathability. The cotton and polyester blend helps to establish a balance between weather resistance and light breathability. The slimmer fit of this hoody is not ideal for heavy layers but is a great option for those looking to cut back on bulk and use their own body heat to stay warm.

Read more

Warmth & Weatherproofing

This jacket features UA’s ColdGear Infrared lining that provides soft insulation to maintain body heat. Higher insulation in the core keeps you warm while allowing your arms to breathe and move more freely. The polyester in this fabric blend also helps block wind and repel moisture while cotton remains breathable.

Fit

This jacket has a loose fit like your average zip-up hoody. There is room in the sleeves for adding layers but not too much extra fabric to prevent you from moving around.

Features

2 zippered hand pockets and a zippered chest pocket are great for activity and commuting. The drawstring hood is more casual but can still be tightened for running.

Style

The casual fit, relaxed hood and contrasting zippers give this jacket the classic appearance of a hooded sweatshirt. However, the polyester blend material gives the Dobson Storm a cleaner and more expensive look than your typical cotton zip-up.

Value

This jacket retails for just under 150 dollars but many color options are available at a much lower cost. The price may seem steep for what appears to be a hooded sweatshirt but the effective insulation and improved wind protection make it worth it for many reviewers.

8. The North Face Apex Bionic

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.3
 The North Face Apex Bionic
Water Capacity
83
Size
82
Features
80
Style
80
best offer for today
more shops
$144.71
$118.26
See Deal
$142.97
See Deal
$149.00
See Deal
Pros:

3 zippered pockets

Relaxed fit is good for layering

DWR coating

Effective wind resistance

Classic North Face look

Many color options

Cons:

Not very breathable

Not much stretch

The Apex Bionic from The North Face is a great option for those seeking a casual soft shell jacket. It has a neat and versatile look that fits in well in the city and it blocks wind and rain very effectively. It does not have the same stretch materials and athletic fit of the high-end athletic jackets but it comes in at half the cost and works great for commuters and casual activity.

Read more

Warmth & Weatherproofing

This polyester softshell jacket has a durable water repellent coating that works very well to block wind and rain. Some users find the solid shell blocks wind too well and wish it was just a bit more breathable for higher intensity activities.

Fit

The relaxed fit appears a bit boxy. There is plenty of room for layering a sweater or hoody underneath but the extra fabric and stiffer material do not provide the same stretch and range of motion as the more athletic performance jackets.

Features

Two zippered hand pockets and a zippered chest pocket provide ample storage for whatever you may need on your commute. A drawstring hem also allows for a snugger fit when needed.

Style

The North Face Apex is available in a wide range of bright and neutral colors. It has a clean and casual look that looks great for running around town or hitting the trail.

Value

This water-resistant shell retails for about half the price of the higher end performance jackets. The clean, versatile look and effective wind resistance make it a great option for the casual wearer.

9. Columbia Prime Peak

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78
 Columbia Prime Peak
Water Capacity
80
Size
78
Features
77
Style
77
best offer for today
more shops
$92.32
Pros:

Good wind and rain protection

Great outer layer

Casual fit with good range of motion

Inexpensive

Cons:

Not the warmest standalone jacket

The Prime Peak Softshell is a popular option for those who prefer to layer as it fits easily over a base layer or two and does a great job of blocking wind and repelling rain. It has a more solid and less breathable construction than some of the lighter weight options but, unlike a hardshell, it remains soft and flexible. It is unlined and does not provide much insulating warmth on its own but for less than 100 dollars, it is a versatile layer for any outdoors wardrobe.

Read more

Warmth & Weatherproofing

Without the fleece lining common to many softshells, this is not the warmest standalone jacket. However, with a solid base layer, it provides excellent warmth and effectively keeps out wind and light rain. It is not the most breathable when the temperatures rise but cold weather hikers and cycling commuters appreciate the break from the wind.

Fit

Columbia calls this fit modern classic. This jacket has ample room for accommodating layers without becoming tight or restricting. The easy fit provides a good range of motion even when paired with heavier sweaters and vests.

Features

The Prime Peak jacket features 2 zippered hand pockets and a zippered chest pocket as well as a drawcord hem and adjustable cuffs.

Style

The color blocked designs gives this jacket a more sporty look.

Value

This jacket tends to run below 100 dollars and is a great piece to have on hand for a variety of outdoor activity and will not look out of place in the city.

10. Marmot Gravity

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
74.3
 Marmot Gravity
Water Capacity
75
Size
77
Features
75
Style
70
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Clean look for city wear

Solid wind resistance

Highly water resistant

Good for layering

Cons:

Hand pockets do not have zippers

Sleeves run long

The Marmot Gravity Jacket is a solid casual softshell that offers very good protection from wind and rain. It is designed more for city wear but users find its breathable nature translates well to casual ventures into the outdoors. The fit is a bit looser so it is ideal for layering over heavier items to keep you warm when the temperatures drop. It is a good value but falls a bit lower on our list because the sleeves run long and the hand pockets lack zippers.

Read more

Warmth & Weatherproofing

Being a bit heavier, this jacket offers solid protection from wind and rain. It is not completely waterproof but it will take a while it in heavy rain to soak through. Fleece lining makes it comfortable for wear with short sleeves but there is plenty of room to accommodate heavier layers. Reviewers report that it remains breathable and is ideal for layering for added warmth.

Fit

This jacket has a regular fit that runs large and has more room in the shoulders and torso to make it easy for layering items under. Some users find the sleeves run a bit long but they do have velcro closures at the cuffs for a better fit. It is more of a casual jacket and although it does not have the performance features for mobility many reviewers love it for light hiking and trekking.

Features

This jacket features 2 slit hand pockets and a zippered sleeve pocket.

Style

The Marmot Gravity has clean lines and dark color options that make it perfect for wearing around town.

Value

At around 150 dollars, this jacket is a good value for a go-to fall and spring jacket that can be used outdoors as well.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Water Resistance

Finding a waterproof jacket can be a godsend and make all the difference in the world when you are out running.

Here at RunnerClick, we know that you want to be comfortable while you are out enjoying a run and having reliable protection from water is a big part of that. That is why we focused on softshell jackets that have good water resistant properties so you can stay warm and dry while also being comfortable out on the trails or on the roadway!

Soft shell jackets are designed to be more breathable than a rain layer and have better weatherproofing than a fleece or down jacket. Therefore, they are not going to be the warmest layer you have and will not be completely waterproof. We looked for jackets that have reasonable warmth and wind and water resistance without sacrificing their breathability and stretch. We understand that this is important to you as a runner and we kept that in the forefront of our decision process.

Size

Soft shell jackets are made to fit over under layers of clothing so a good fit is essential so make sure you have the right size.

Getting the right size for your jacket is important because you do not want it to be so big that it is flappy and getting in the way as you run, but likewise, you do not want it so tight that it constricts your movement. We made sure to check that the jackets included on our list are fairly accurate when it comes to sizing and fitting specifications.

Most soft shell jackets can be worn as an outer layer or mid layer for outdoor activity. As such, they typically have a roomier fit that can accommodate multiple base layers for added warmth. Jackets intended for performance also have strategically placed seams around the arms to increase range of motion for a variety of activities. When choosing a jacket that is perfect for your activity level size and fit will always be high on the must-have list of features to look for.

Features

Sometimes it is the little features and touches that can make all the difference in the world for your choice of jacket.

There are many features you can look for and find when you are searching for softshell jackets, and each one can have an impact on your performance. We have jackets on our list here that bring many great features with then that can help you get more out of your runs and keep you comfortable and safe while you are out and about.

Zippered hand pockets are standard for most soft shell jackets but many also come with additional chest or sleeve pockets that can be accessed while wearing a harness or backpack. Additional features such as a helmet compatible hood, adjustable wrist cuffs, and a draw cord hem can be of added benefit during certain activities. Consider what you will need your soft shell jacket for to determine what elements are most important for you. We made sure to think about the various features our chosen products.

Style

Some people care a lot about the style of their clothes, even their jackets, so if this is important to you be sure to check out the product details.

You do not have to sacrifice style for the sake of comfort and durability. With the softshell jackets on our list you can get the comfort and protection you expect in a jacket and still get all the style and flare you want as well. We know it is important for many runners to keep their unique look and style so we included styling options here as well.

When shelling out over 100 dollars for an item, you want to make sure it makes you feel and look good. Soft shell jackets are often your outermost layer and many have a sleek style that makes them appropriate for city wear and commutes. Whether you are choosing your jacket primarily for casual wear or active wear, it never hurts to find something with a versatile appearance. You do not have to sacrifice comfort for style and these selected jackets demonstrate that you can have both!

Value

Budgets usually find a way of working into most of the decisions we make today so w took the price and value of these jackets into account.

The final fact we considered with our jacket buying guide selection is the overall value these jackets offer to runners. We included jackets of various price points for those who have a tight budget but we also made sure to include only high-quality jackets that are truly of a good value and that are worth the investment.

Everyone has a limit for what they are willing to pay for their jacket and we made sure we took this into account as we formed our product review list. We looked at the features, design, comfort, durability, and value to calculate the overall price range for these soft shell jackets. If a good price on a great jacket is what you are looking for these jackets will fit the bill and also fit your needs!

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
Water Resistance
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#2
Size
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#3
Features
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#4
Style
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#5
Value
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
Why a Soft Shell

Soft shell jackets are great as a stand alone or they can easily be used in layering, as they are soft, flexible and go well under heavier jackets if needed. They are designed to weather resistant and comfortable.

Light in Weight, Heavy in Protection

Most of the soft shell jackets on this list are very light weight, but due to the materials they are constructed out of, they are extremely effective in protecting you from the elements. Many of them have hoods as well as adjustable sleeve cuffs and draw cords.

Invest in quality upfront

When you are buying new running gear, it is important to get the highest quality gear you can afford. You don’t want to go broke buying your jackets and other items of clothing but you also do not want to grab the cheapest pieces you can find. Quality jackets are durable, comfortable, and useable and they often come with a higher price tag. You get what you pay for, so try to invest as much as you are able to at the very start and invest in good quality softshell jackets today!

Other Factors to Consider

Use

Soft shell jackets are popular among commuters and outdoors enthusiasts alike. Performance jackets are designed with technical activities in mind. Features such as pack-ability, draw cord hoods, and ergonomic arm seams are designed to increase range of motion and stay out of your way when climbing, biking or skiing. Many of these jackets can double for city wear but these features tend to add to the cost. If you are planning only light activity for your soft shell jacket, casual jackets offer similar breath-ability and warmth at a lower price and they still perform well in most situations.

Comfort

No jacket is worth wearing if you are not going to be comfortable. And when it comes to softshell jackets, their added comfort comes from more than just their soft interior material. Many runners love these jackets because they are quite when you run and there is no annoying swooshing and crinkling noise that accommonies traditional hard coated wind breakers and jackets. The comfort on your skin as well as for your ears is a major selling point for the softshell jacket ad it is one we carefully considered during our selection process!

Portability

One factor many people do not think about when they are searching for a good jacket to use on their outdoor runs and workouts is how portable it is. You may start off with the jacket but if temperatures warm up or you get too hot as you run you will need to be able to easily carry the jacket with you for the rest of your run. Likewise, you may not need the jacket at the start of your run but if the weather turns foul you will want to have it ready to go. So portability is important and is something we took into account when we searched for the best softshell jackets for runners.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: When should I wear a softshell jacket?
a:

Soft shell jackets are ideal for moderately cold weather with little precipitation. They are ideal outerwear for fall and winter sports as they offer more stretch and mobility than most hard shell jackets. They are not as effective at sealing wind and water out but they do repel both to a moderate degree and will dry much faster than fleece jackets or other insulating layers.

q: How do I care for my soft shell jacket?
a:

Most soft shell jackets are treated with a durable water resistant (DWR) coating that caused water to bead and roll off the garment rather than soaking into it. The DWR coating does wear off eventually so it can be retreated when the material does not repel water as effectively.

q: How do I make sure I get the right size jacket?
a:

Jackets by their very nature are made to be worn over other clothing. This is important to keep in mind as you shop and it is often best to buy your jacket a little larger than your normal shirt size to ensure you have ample room for multiple layers underneath and that you have enough room to move comfortably.

q: Why is a soft-shell jacket better than a regular insulated waterproof jacket?
a:

It is not so much that one is better than the other. It has more to do with the fact that soft-shell jackets are made to be softer and more comfortable when you are doing a lot of moving or sitting.

q: Wont my regular jacket be good enough for my runs?
a:

Technically yes, it will work to keep you warm and will proved an added layer of protection against the wind and cold. However, normal jackets usually are not water resistant and also are not designed for the extreme environments runners can find themselves in. So, if you want a jacket that is reliable and that is designed for your specific activities and needs then you will want to consider something a little better.

q: Do I need to buy the more expensive jackets on this list?
a:

No, there is no need to buy the more expensive jackets if the cheaper ones on this list will meet your needs. However, it is important to remember that with most running gear, especially clothing, you get what you pay for so investing a little more now into quality gear means you will have less to worry about later on.

q: Are there a lot of different style jackets to choose from?
a:

Yes, there are many, many, many different styles of softshell jackets that you can choose from and we made sure to include a range of styles on our list. You can find the look and styles that you like and that fit best with your current running gear.

Sources

  1. Reeves, Emily, Hard Shell vs. Soft Shell Jackets: What's The Difference, Web Article, Jan 07, 2017
  2. Ellings, John, What Is a Softshell Jacket?, Oct 12, 2016
  3. Kelsey Begg, What is a Softshell?, Blog, Aug 13, 2018