Last updated: August 12, 2021

Basically three layers, at least that's how much you needed in the past to arm yourself against the adversities of winter. The sweat-wicking vest was followed by a heat-insulating middle layer to prevent the body from losing heat too quickly. In addition, the whole clothing system had to be protected against wind and rain from the outside with a hardshell.

With the invention of the softshell jacket for men, however, these problems are now a thing of the past, as the two outer layers are now fused together. Softshell textiles are usually not only much more comfortable and closer to the body than the often bulky rain or wind jackets, they are also usually much more breathable and transport more moisture away from the body. This is especially important in winter, as otherwise the body quickly loses its warmth.




The Best Mens Softshell Jacket: Our Picks

Buying criteria: What you should look for when buying softshell jackets for men.

Softshell jackets for men are true all-rounders when it comes to weather. They are lightweight, elastic, protect against wind, are warm and water-repellent. To help you find the right softshell jacket for men, we have listed the most important buying criteria below:

  • Breathability
  • Thermal insulation
  • Waterproof
  • Freedom of movement

In the following sections, we explain what is important for each criterion.

Breathability

Breathability is one of the most important criteria for a men's softshell jacket. Practically all outdoor activities involve more or less intensive movement, which heats up the body and makes you sweat. For this very reason, it is especially important that your softshell jacket does not collect moisture under the jacket and allows the skin to breathe.

In this respect, double-layer softshell jackets for men score points due to the presence of double weave with air-permeable materials. The combination possibilities of the materials are highest in double-woven softshells. The result is highly functional jackets with excellent properties that specifically improve breathability.

How breathable your men's jacket needs to be ultimately depends on how windproof you want it to be. The higher the windproofness, the lower the breathability.

Thermal insulation

How insulated your men's jacket is depends largely on the material used on the back. In particularly warm softshell jackets for men, you will find a fleece on the back. With double fabric, the back is roughened to provide an insulating effect.

Three-layer softshell jackets for men are usually the best insulated, as they are designed for colder weather. A softshell jacket with good insulation is therefore recommended for outdoor activities in late autumn, winter and early spring.

Waterproof

Basically, a men's softshell jacket is anything but waterproof when it comes to its ability to be worn in the rain. Consequently, there is no such thing as a waterproof softshell jacket for men. However, among all softshell types, a three-layer softshell jacket will protect you best from moisture or wetness.

Freedom of movement

Compared to other functional jackets, softshell jackets for men are much more elastic. The comparatively tight-fitting men's jacket follows your movements and does not hinder you. Basically, it is properties such as weight, fit and elasticity that determine your freedom of movement.

That's why men's softshell jackets made of double fabric are particularly well suited for movement-intensive activities. They score with low weight, stretchy fabric fibres and a close cut.

When trying on a men's softshell jacket, make sure that it fits properly. If you choose a men's jacket one or even several sizes too big, the excess fabric could also restrict your movements.

Softshell jackets for men: The most important questions answered

In this section, we will introduce you to the most important questions on the topic of softshell jackets for men. We have listed the most important questions for you below and will answer them shortly.

What types of softshell jackets are there for men?

Essentially, men can distinguish between more urban models for use in the city and technical models designed for robustness and lightness for outdoor use on a tour:

  • Urbanmodels: With urban models, weight plays a subordinate role because you don't have to stow the men's jacket in a backpack if the weather changes. Consequently, urban models leave more room for unusual designs. Consequently, there are thin as well as thick softshell jackets or unlined as well as lined (fleece) ones.
  • Outdoor models: Compared to urban models, men's softshell jackets for outdoor use obviously differ in terms of features and weight. Softshell jackets for hiking, for example, often have high pockets so that they can be used with the waist belt closed.

With regard to a purchase decision, you should accordingly ask yourself at what time or for what activity you want to use your softshell jacket for men.

How do I know if my men's softshell jacket fits well?

To ensure an optimal fit of your men's softshell jacket, the most important criteria are shown in the following table:

Property Description
Adjustable hood with weather shield The body loses a lot of heat through the head. This makes it all the more important to have a well-fitting hood that follows head movements one-to-one.
Elastic material Good softshell jackets are made of elastic material and are cut so that they do not slip over the belt when reaching up. Furthermore, the pulse at the wrist should not be exposed by stretching the arms.
Practically positioned pockets Even the best pockets are no use if you can't reach them because they are covered by a strapped backpack hip belt. Jackets that have chest and push pockets are ideal.
Adjustable velcro straps on the sleeves sleeves that open wide are practical, for example, to be able to wear a thick functional watch underneath or also to let cooling fresh air into the interior.

How do I clean my men's softshell jacket?

To clean your men's softshell jacket properly, we have listed some tips below:

  1. Pay attention to washing symbols: Look on the inside label of the men's jacket for the care instructions available. Men's softshell jackets usually contain different materials, which can be more or less sensitive. In any case, take the instructions seriously!
  2. Protect the outer layer: Close all zips of the softshell jacket and turn your men's jacket inside out.
  3. Choice of detergent: There are detergents that have been specially developed for functional clothing. This way you can be sure that the sensitive membranes and bondings are not attacked.
  4. Alternative: You can also use conventional liquid detergent. Under no circumstances should you use washing powder or fabric softener.
  5. Washing programme: Decide on the right washing programme. The wool wash cycle at a maximum of 30 degrees is the gentlest for functional clothing.

Using the tips above, cleaning your men's softshell jacket will be a breeze.

To what extent does a men's softshell jacket need to be impregnated?

Especially after washing, the outer coating of the softshell is somewhat affected. To remedy this, it is recommended to impregnate the men's jacket.

Even if the beading effect of your men's jacket has diminished, you should re-impregnate the jacket. To do this, you should first wash your jacket, because residues of dirt or sweat will hinder the even application of the impregnation spray.

How do you properly impregnate your men's softshell jacket?

If you feel that your men's softshell jacket is no longer as water-repellent as it was at the beginning, then you should impregnate your jacket. Below we explain what you should look out for:

  • Waterproofing spray: Check your waterproofing spray to see if it should be applied to dry or wet textiles. If necessary, allow the men's jacket to dry completely.
  • The right place: Place the men's jacket on a clean and easy-to-clean surface such as tiles.
  • Spraying: Spray the men's jacket as evenly as possible from a distance of approx. 15-20 cm. Make sure that you do not leave out any spots (hood, fabric folds, ...).
  • Back: Then wait a short time before turning the men's jacket over and spraying the back again evenly.

After a certain reaction time, which is indicated on the spray, your men's jacket is ready and once again armed against the rain.

Conclusion

Men who wear a good softshell jacket can leave fleece and functional jackets at home in many cases. Which softshell jacket is the most suitable for men again depends largely on your intended use.

If the men's softshell jacket is to be used for outdoor activities, it is worth paying attention to the weight and the available pockets. Urban use leaves more room for stylish elements and colours.

(Image source: Toa Heftiba / unsplash.com)

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