Finding the perfect softshell or hardshell jacket
The transition between seasons brings changeable weather, which is why it’s good to know your hardshell from your softshell. Softshell jackets offer the advantage of a lightweight design for weather protection and insulation you can easily stow away in a bag, whereas hardshell designs provide enhanced waterproof protection when you need it most. Use the guide below to pick the best softshell jacket or hardshell piece for you and read some unique insights from Annaleigh Hockaday, the Musto designer who made them.
What is a hardshell jacket?
Hardshell jackets are more protective than their softshell counterparts, with technical features and fabrics that make them waterproof and windproof. These can include a GORE-TEX® and/or a WINDSTOPPER® membrane, or a hood for enhanced protection.
BR2 OFFSHORE JACKET
Made for foul weather conditions, the BR2 Offshore Jacket has been engineered to reach the waterproof and breathability ratings of Musto’s extraordinary BR2 standard - a benchmark in quality that exceeds industry standards (read more about Musto’s BR2 technology here). Its fluorescent 2-way, adjustable hood rolls away after protecting you in a downpour. To keep you comfortably warm, the jacket features a durable grid fleece lined collar that traps your body heat while a mesh lining encourages airflow for total breathability.
“Offshore sailing requires another level of apparel protection, and that is what we have engineered into the BR2 Offshore Jacket. All areas of the jackets have been considered to provide a technical barrier that stops the elements in their tracks. From the ergonomic shaping of the collar to the prismatic reflectors strategically placed for maximum visibility, this jacket was designed with ultimate weather protection in mind”.
WOMEN’S SARDINIA JACKET
The Sardinia Jacket’s lightweight, unrestrictive fit is ideal for women on the go. Whether you’re working on the boat or on a day trip around town, the Sardinia’s fully seam taped, 2-layer construction, and its detachable, adjustable hood with a stiffened peak, will keep you protected when clouds gather. A mesh lining keeps you comfortable when the temperature climbs or you start to work up a sweat by encouraging airflow throughout the garment. Made to Musto’s exacting BR1 standard – read more about it here.
“The Sardinia Jacket has fast become a Musto classic and is loved by the Design Team for its versatility and understated style. We have worked hard on the fit to ensure it is flattering and unrestrictive. The Sardinia strikes a great balance between functionality and form”.
What is a softshell jacket?
If a high level of activity is likely or you don’t need as much weatherproof protection, opt for a softshell jacket. Highly breathable, water-resistant and heat retentive, these jackets ensure warmth that doesn’t slow you down. Greater of freedom of movement is also a bonus of softshells, as they are generally constructed from stretchier fabrics.
MEN’S AND WOMEN’S CREW SOFTSHELL
Made for dynamic movement, this Crew Softshell features articulated sleeves in a highly ergonomic design. To protect you in bad weather, the fabric’s surface has been treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating to speed up drying times when you’re caught short. Made from breathable and comfortable softshell fabric.
“The Crew Softshell is a multifunctional, all-rounder. We selected a high-performance membrane to cut out wind chill then sandwiched it between a 4-way stretch outer fabric and soft grid backer. This construction provides outstanding freedom of movement throughout the garment, and maximum wicking capabilities to keep you comfortable, dry and looking great. The sleeve stash pocket and carefully considered cut strike an impressive aesthetic that is simultaneously functional”.
So when considering your options, whether you choose hardshell or softshell, there are there are three main factors to bear in mind: what your level of activity will be like, what the weather conditions are and how much freedom of movement you’ll need. A hardshell provides an enhanced level of all-weather protection and durability, so look for this type of jacket when safeguarding yourself from the elements is key. For a high level of activity where freedom of movement is essential and the weather is fair, a softshell is a better option. Usually made from fabric that supplies ample stretch and a high level of breathability, this option will provide all the comfort you need to focus on the task at hand.