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Best Soft Shell Ski Jacket Reviewed

Skiing outfits have many options that provide different levels of comfort and protection. These outfits are designed to facilitate movements that are involved in skiing and also keep you safe from harm to some extent.

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Among the huge wave of apparel, skiers both men and women prefer softshell clothes. Softshell clothes are smooth, soft, warm, flexible, and everything that a skier would want to make sure he or she has a pleasant skiing experience.
Just like every other snow outfit, softshell clothes come in different parts i.e. jackets and pants. While choosing pants is much simpler, you might need some guidance with jackets. To help you out we have combined a list of the best softshell ski jackets that you can find on the internet. 

Best softshell ski jacket:

Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Hoody:

The unrivaled quality offered by Outdoor Research has helped the brand earn a special place among skiers. There is a wide range of products created by the company that includes the Ferrosi Hoody.

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It’s not just the comfort but the numerous features that make the Ferrosi Hoody a top pick. The product is a result of intelligent design and a thoughtful approach. It is fitted and detailed to ensure maximum comfort to the wearer. It is designed to make you look stylish while sliding down the slope. There are many options that you can choose from. 
To make the product durable and slope friendly the company has used a combination of nylon and spandex. The fabric of the material adjusts to the rigorous movement that skiers perform while skiing. 
Even though the jacket only weighs about ¾ pounds, its effectiveness against the cold weather is unparalleled. The jacket can withstand heavy winds and rain which is a common phenomenon in the hilly regions.
It has various utility functions that make it unique. There are thumb loops in the jacket that give you the freedom to move the thumb. It has zipper pockets that you can use to carry the essentials. 
Pros: 

  • Adjustable hood
  • Napoleon pocket stuff sack
  • Abrasion-resistant shoulders
  • Highly stretchy

Cons: 

  • None

The North Face Apex Bionic Softshell Jacket:

The North Face has a global reputation for creating superior quality winter and snow apparel. It is the quality and richness of the products manufactured by the company that attracts the audiences. The company has also created the North Face Apex Bionic Softshell Jacket for skiers which can be a great alternative for softshell clothes. 

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It comes with some impressive features that make it special and enables it to withstand the tough challenges of the rough weather. The jacket features a heavy insulating fleece liner that keeps you warm which also adds weight to it. 
Owing to the ‘Windwall’ polyester fabric, the jacket can protect you from the strongest winds that flow over the hills. The fabric also features water-resistant sports DWR coating.
While the entire jacket is made from polyester it lacks elasticity, but this is due to the Hem cinch-cord that compensates for it by making the jacket roomier. The jacket comes in free-sizes but gives the wearer a perfect fit. 
The high-quality polyester used in the construction of the jacket adds to the durability and also maintains a stylish appeal. There are three zippered pockets in the jacket that are deep enough to hold your essentials and accessories. 
Pros: 

  • Windproof
  • Water-resistant
  • Relaxed fit
  • Fleece insulation

Cons: 

  • Less breathability 

Marmot Gravity Jacket:

If you are looking for some serious weather protection, then this jacket will answer all your needs. The Marmot Gravity is lined with light fleece that works well in cold weather. Owing to the construction of the jacket, you might have to compromise on breathability and mobility.

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The warm M1 softshell material provides incredible wind resistance and good bulk. It can also provide sufficient protection from water and keeps it from entering the jacket. To make the pockets of the jacket the company has used the DriClime fabric which is extremely cozy and breathable. 
To make the jacket special, it comes with hand warmers that can be of great help when outdoors. The chest pocket is fairly sizable and can hold a phone or snacks. However, the ones on the sleeves may not be satisfying. 
The company has put a lot of effort into designing the seams of the jackets as most of the seams on the inside are sewn flat and make the jacket comfortable. It has hem adjustments that are located in handwarmer pockets. 
You will love the wrist closures on this jacket as they are insulated and come with velcro that can be fastened for a tighter grip. 
Pros: 

  • Stylish
  • Warm
  • Resists moisture quite well
  • Good wrist closures

Cons:

  • Fit night feel too tight 
  • Lacks flexibility
  • Poor breathability
  • Hem adjustments can be difficult to use with gloves

Arc’teryx Gamma LT Hoody:

The Arc’teryx Gamma LT Hoody is one of the unique options on this list. It is inspired by the terrains, environment, and conditions of British Columbia. Therefore it has features that are crucial for skiers who are looking to experiment in new places. 

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Gamma LT Hoody has several interesting and essential features that make it among the top picks. It is designed to resist water and weather efficiently to keep you warm and dry at all times. The softshell fabric also stretches to a great extent which accommodates easy movements. 
With this jacket, you don’t have to worry about getting sweaty inside as it has been designed to eliminate moisture while you ski. The streamlined fit of this jacket gives you enough space for light layers and does not restrict movement.
The company has added its signature ‘StormHood’ that gives you full coverage without impacting peripheral vision. It has laminated brims that keep the water from entering the jacket while the adjustable drawcords can be used to fasten the hood. 
Arc’teryx Gamma LT Hoody has been treated with the Arc’teryx Nu water repellent system. It has a full-length Vislon No Slip Zip™ front zipper with a wind flap that keeps the jacket fastened.
Pros: 

  • Durable fabric
  • Great fit
  • All-around usefulness

Cons: 

  • Limited water resistance
  • Fitted cuffs can be annoying 

Columbia Men’s Ascender Softshell:

Who said softshell jackets can’t be affordable while offering superior quality? Columbia Ascender is one such specimen that keeps you warm and does not burn a hole in your pocket. It comes with limited features and can be used in considerable temperatures. 

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It features fleece backing that makes it cozy and warm. To get a good look you can pair it with jeans, hiking pants, or even slacks. The jacket comes with a sports DWR coating that offers protection from water and snow. 
The jacket has a hemstitch on the waist which keeps the wind from entering inside. It offers adequate breathability to the wearer. Due to the fabric used in the construction of the Columbia Ascender, you get minimum stretch and the movements might feel a little stiff. 
There are zippered pockets included in the jacket to hold essentials like phones and power bars. The fleece lining around the pockets can be used to keep the hands warm in the absence of gloves.
Columbia Ascender comes in different colors and sizes that you can choose from. To get the best results for this jacket, you can wear it over a thick t-shirt or a hoodie. 
Pros: 

  • Warm
  • Stylish 
  • Inexpensive 
  • Durable

Cons: 

  • Heavy 
  • Doesn’t stretch 
  • Few pockets
  • Boxy fit
  • Wrist closures are bulky

Mountain Hardwear Touren Hooded Softshell Jacket:

Get familiar with the workhorse of softshell jackets that are designed to provide excellent protection that one might face when out in the snow. The Mountain Hardwear Touren hooded softshell jacket is versatile and offers better performance as compared to the other options on this list. 

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The jacket is heavier as compared to the other softshell jackets. It has an extended hip-length cut that creates room for the additional layer and comes with incredibly long sleeves. Owing to the unique construction, the wearer gets exceptional mobility. It has a large hood that keeps the head protected in all conditions.
Its heavy construction reduces breathability but compensates for it with exceptional warmth and comfort. Touren is popular not only for its warmth and comfort but its amazing ability to repel water. 
The company has added the Polartec Power Shield Fabric that adds a layer between you and the elements. It can withstand snow, rain, and heavy winds. The comfortable hood comes with a long hemstitch and prevents water from entering the jacket. It can accommodate helmets too. 
Touren has been designed for hardcore skiers, due to which it has features like two hand warmers along with a single chest pocket that enables one to store your belongings with ease. 
Pros: 

  • Cut for rapid movement
  • Comes with numerous features

Cons: 

  • Fitted Cuffs
  • Expensive

Arctix men’s Men’s Maverick Softshell Jacket:

Get yourself the comfort of an engineered winter jacket that is tested to provide maximum protection against the chilled weather. Every garment made by Arctix is designed to offer a comfortable fit and give the wearer the comfort of snug fit clothes. The company’s Maverick Softshell jacket is one of the carefully engineered jackets. 

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This jacket aims to provide you with maximum comfort with the numerous features that it covers. It comes with a windproof layer that can protect you from the lashes of cold winds. The jacket has lightweight insulation that offers the perfect amount of warmth according to the temperature in your surrounding. 
Due to its sleek and simple design, you can wear the jacket anywhere and anytime during the day. All the important seams of the jacket are sealed to give you wind and water-resistant experience. 
The construction of the jacket offers exceptionally high stretchability which enables smooth motion and unrestricted movements. It has breathable articulated elbows and zippered hand warmer style pockets that can keep you warm.
Maverick has a single-layer bonded construction that helps you stay warm and dry all day long. This fabric gets rid of the moisture and prevents sweat accumulation.  
Pros: 

  • Exceptional high stretch fabric
  • Wind-resistant and water-resistant
  • Soft inner face for warmth
  • Zippered handwarmera  style pockets
  • Machine washable

Cons: 

  • Finding the right size can be challenging. 

Black Diamond Men’s M Alpine Start Hoody:

The Black Diamond Alpine Start is a versatile and the lightest softshell hoodies that you can find in the market. Owing to its unique construction, you can wear it any time of the year over anything. 

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It is made from the company’s signature stretch-woven nylon which is coated with the NanoSphere water repellant. This amalgam keeps out the wind and rain without compromising on ventilation. The jacket can take on all-day snow and rain without leaking a drop inside.
The Alpine Start is designed to offer you the dual benefit of a softshell and windbreaker jacket. It is light, breathable, and has numerous layers. There is no insulation in this jacket apart from the thin fabric and the stretch knit. The cuffs can make it hard to add layers of clothing underneath. 
It comes with a helmet-compatible hood that covers helmets of different sizes with ease. There is a pull cord at the back of the head which is easy to use and gives a secure fit without compromising your vision. Due to the construction of the hood, it does not fall off even against the strongest winds.
The jackets are built true to the size and come with extended gussets under the arm that helps in easy movement. 
Pros: 

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Versatile softshell.

Cons: 

  • The tight-fitting gives very little space for insulation. 

Outdoor Research Men’s San Juan Jacket:

San Juan is another fine creation from Outdoor Research’s product line up that can keep you warm all day with its softshell construction. Its numerous features coupled with a stylish design and unparalleled durability can make you reconsider your decision. 

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The jacket has been constructed using a thin and breathable shell made out of 100% polyester that keeps you warm and keeps you from getting wet. It is also highly elastic and comes with the mirror-movement stretch technology. The jacket is made using the 75D weave which makes the shell even more durable.
To keep you from sweating inside, the jacket offers high breathability and wicks the moisture away with its unique ventilation structure. The jacket is also designed to keep you dry from the outside elements such as rain and snow.
There are Lycra cuff gussets that give you the freedom of adjusting the broadness of the cuff without letting the water in. Meanwhile, the cuffs are made of elastic that gives you a basic fit with little adjustment. 
Another remarkable feature included by the company is the fully adjustable hood that takes the shape of your head. You can also wear it with a helmet as it comes with a hood compatible hood lock. 
Pros: 

  • Water-Resistant
  • Wind Resistant
  • Breathable
  • Movement-Mirroring Stretch

Cons: 

  • None

Mammut – Men’s Ultimate V: 

Looking for a multifunctional jacket to protect you against the snow? You can try the Mammut Men’s Ultimate V hoody. The hoodie comes with innumerable features that make it a premium alternative in this price range. 

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It is made from Gore Windstopper that has three layers and comprises qualities like wind resistance, elasticity, and durability. The qualities make it suitable for year-round usage no matter what the weather is. 
The jacket has a zipper closure which makes it easier to open it and wear it. This zipper also provides ventilation to the wearer and keeps them dry. It is made from high-quality plastic to make sure it opens and closes seamlessly. 
For better fit and comfort, the jacket comes with a functional thumb loop that seals the opening near the cuffs. It enables the hoodie to keep any air or water entering from the cuffs. It comes with a partially elastic hem that gives you a better fit. 
To make the hoody waterproof, the fabric has been coated with sports DWR coating on the outside. It features a layer of membrane that makes the jacket breathable that reduces the chances of heat buildup in the clothes.
Apart from having a vapor permeability of RET<6 m² Pa/W, the hoodie comes with lightweight backing and an open 3D structure that gets rid of moisture from the jacket. The jacket is enhanced with a wicking finish that absorbs the moisture from the skin and accelerates the drying process. 
Pros: 
Lightweight
Waterproof
Durable 
Stretchable 
Come with thumb loops 
Athletic fitting
Cons:
Not effective in frigid temperature 
Expensive

Things To Consider When Buying A Softshell Ski Jacket:

Reading about the above jackets and their qualities might have helped you make up your mind to buy one of them. But before you go ahead and get a softshell ski jacket, here are some important things that you need to consider. 

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Waterproofing:

While there are millions of options that you can choose from when it comes to softshell jackets, but thousands of them lack waterproofing ability which can make things worse in the snow. There is no difference in the comfort levels of either option, yet choosing a water-resistant jacket can help you in varying weather conditions. 
Softshell jackets that have little to no water resistance may border on simple mid-layers.

Maintaining DWR: 

Softshell jackets get their water-resistant abilities due to a chemical solution that is applied on the surface of the fibers while manufacturing. The chemical applied to the fibers of the jacket is DWR (durable water resistance). It is essential for the health of your jacket when outdoors. 
However, long exposure to the sun and frequent trips to the washing machine can cause the liquid to wash out and make the jacket less water-resistant. There is a solution to this problem. You can purchase DWR kits that can be applied to the jacket and restore the water resistance. 

Fitment: 

Normally, softshells are made from stretchy fabric that serves the purpose of high exertion activities. You can wear a fitted jacket and move freely without having to bear the weight of baggy hard shells. 
Softshells can be used for many different activities by donning an additional layer of clothing underneath. Remember, this can take some space, so you need to purchase a softshell of higher size. 

Materials:

Softshell jackets are made of many different materials but the quality of the material depends on the manufacturers. Here are some of the materials that are commonly used in the making of a softshell jacket. 

Polyester:

Polyester is the most commonly used material that is used in the construction of a softshell jacket. It is a formulated fiber that is widely known for its excellent wicking abilities when it is used closer to the skin. 
When used in a softshell jacket, the fabric is stitched tightly and placed facing outwards. When combined with high-quality DWR it becomes soft, flexible and makes the fabric resistant to outer materials. 

Fleece: 

Fleece is added inside the softshell jackets and is mostly made from polyester. It serves as a great option to soften the collars and the neckline of the softshells jackets. Fleece can reduce chafing significantly.

Nylon:

Nylon is rarely used in softshell jackets but offers superior wind and water resistance. It is mostly used in hard shell jackets to make them rugged and waterproof. 

Breathability:

Softshell jackets are widely preferred by skiers owing to their breathability. These jackets allow better air circulation as compared to hard shells. For instance, Gore-Tex is one of the widely sought after brands of waterproof breathable materials used in hardshell jackets. 
Even though it is breathable there is very little possibility that it can match the level of breathability offered by a softshell. It is widely preferred for high tension activities like climbing, mountaineering, or running. 

Insulation: 

Insulation is not always a part of softshell jackets, but a lot of them come with minimal fleece lining. If you are planning to get a softshell jacket to protect you against wind and rain, you might have to add some extra layer or look for a lined shell.
It is essential to understand your softshell jacket well before making any changes to your winter outfit. If you are unsure about the level of protection your jacket offers, we recommend you to go for an oversized one. It will give you the freedom to add a warm layer according to the weather conditions. 

Conclusion: 

Softshell jackets can be highly efficient but only under given conditions. Try to keep your requirements in mind as you narrow down your options, as it will make it easier for you to find the right jacket. 
I hope the above information has helped you learn about softshell ski jackets. If you have any queries or suggestions, you can write them in the comments. 

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