Hardshell, or “shell” jackets are a versatile option for any outdoor adventure seeker. There are different types of shells depending on preference, but each is made with the intention of layering based on weather conditions. A shell jacket is made from a two- or three-layer fabric that is weather resistant. It will provide protection from wind, snow and rain, and is meant to be worn with multiple layers underneath pending on the conditions. This will likely be the most waterproof and breathable option you’ll find.
A softshell jacket is lighter and stretchier than a hardshell technical jacket. You’ll find a softshell is typically more breathable, but also less waterproof than a shell jacket. This is a great option for drier days, but you don’t want to get caught in a wet blizzard in a softshell. A key factor to consider when choosing a shell jacket is the fit and room to allow for layers. A shell jacket can be used on its own in warmer weather, but in the dead of winter, additional layers (base layers and midlayers) are needed for maximum warmth. Shop Bob’s Sports Chalet for a great selection of shell jackets from all the top Brands including Patagonia, The North Face, Marmot, and Mountain Hardwear among others.