The most critical piece of clothing you grab when heading out the door for a winter activity is your jacket. Outdoor coats come in a variety of styles and designs, each designed to fulfill a specific function. How do you decide which jacket to bring on your next outdoor adventure? To discover out, read our guide to outdoor coats!
A softshell jacket is appropriate if you want something that is weather-resistant and breathable, making it suitable for high-output sports like hiking or jogging. Softshell jackets are designed to protect you from the elements while offering less warmth than other types of coats.
While this style can be used in a number of different circumstances, a softshell jacket is primarily intended to be worn in dry climates. Though it will protect you in a light drizzle, softshell jackets are not usually waterproof and will not keep you dry in a substantial rainstorm.
A hardshell jacket is an important layering piece for any outdoor enthusiast. A hardshell jacket's objective is to provide long-lasting protection from the elements. Most hardshells are completely waterproof, windproof, and breathable, making them excellent for wet or snowy conditions.
A genuine shell is often not insulated, allowing you to wear it over a tee in warmer, stormy weather or layer it with an insulated jacket for cold-weather storm protection. Hardshell jackets are lightweight and packable due to their simplicity and lack of insulation, making them an excellent choice for travel.
Fleece is designed to resemble pile wool in appearance and feel, resulting in a warm, extremely breathable, and flexible textile. Fleece material wicks moisture away from your skin and dries quickly, making it ideal for fast-paced outings.
Lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight fleece are the three varieties. Heavyweight fleece provides the greatest warmth, whilst lightweight fleece is a more breathable, adaptable alternative that is commonly found in next-to-skin garments such as shirts and hoodies.
An insulated jacket, often known as a puffy or puffer, is designed to trap your body heat and keep you warm. An insulated jacket is a must-have for every cold-weather excursion, from skiing to winter trekking.
Down and synthetic insulation are the two most common forms. Down provides the most warmth while taking up the least amount of space. It's highly lightweight and packable, but it doesn't insulate effectively when wet.
Synthetic insulation retains heat even when wet and dries rapidly, but it lacks the lightweight, packable warmth of down.
Overall, if you’re looking for packability and you’ll be adventuring in drier climates, opt for down. If packability isn’t a priority or you live in a wetter climate, synthetic insulation is a great choice.
Whether you choose down or synthetic insulation, puffer jackets provide lightweight warmth that pairs perfectly under a shell to create a robust, versatile cold-weather kit.
Casual jackets are intended for daily use, although many contain outdoor-worthy qualities such as strong waterproofing and lightweight insulation. There are casual rain coats, insulated jackets, softshells, and so on with an emphasis on style above technical performance.
There's a jacket to match any adventure-packed journey, whether it's a climb in the mountains, a ski trip, or a walk around the city. Consider which jacket styles will best fit your outdoor activities plan and stock up!