Navigating the world of outdoor apparel can seem like a challenge, especially when faced with choices that may seem similar upon first glance. Two such items that are often compared with one another are the softshell jacket and the fleece jacket. Both offer unique benefits and cater to specific needs but when it comes to the details, let's take a look at similarities and differences.
What is a softshell?
Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or daily urban commuter, chances are you've probably worn a softshell jacket at some point before. Softshell jackets are renowned for their breathability, versatility, and comfort. Constructed using durable and lightweight fabrics like nylon or polyester, softshells offer flexibility and can be used for a range of activities like cycling, hiking, skiing as well as your daily activities. Here at Cortazu, we offer a range of men’s softshell jackets and women’s softshell jackets so you can find one best suited for you.
What is a fleece?
Another essential for outdoor enthusiasts is the fleece jacket. From hiking to skiing to your everyday commute, a fleece jacket is a warm and functional option. Cosy enough to wear as a standalone piece between seasons and light enough to layer under a hardshell in the colder months, the trusty fleece jacket is a popular choice. Check out Cortazu’s selection of lightweight, zippered mens fleece jackets and womens fleece jackets to accompany you on your adventures.
What are the differences between softshell and fleece?
Both fleece jackets and softshell jackets are trustworthy garments but they offer unique features that differentiate them. The major difference is their functionality. The fleece jacket is generally constructed using durable fabrics that offer cosy and soft textures for insulation and warmth making it the perfect jacket for layering in colder conditions. Although not as water resistant as a softshell jacket, the fleece jacket remains insulating when wet and is fast drying. The softshell jacket offers more of a balance between warmth, wind and water resistance. It incorporates stretch for mobility and is lightweight making it perfect for high-intense and dynamic activities.
When it comes to construction, both jackets are constructed using durable fabrics that make them suitable for many different activities. Softshell jackets are frequently constructed using woven fibres making them more flexible and fleece jackets are constructed using more of a soft and cosy fabric, and offering more warmth.
Both the fleece jacket and the softshell jacket offer degrees of water resistance however if you are seeking a jacket that offers more water resistance, then a waterproof softshell jacket is the most practical choice. Softshell jackets are designed to perform better against the elements, whereas fleece jackets serve well as a midlayer, providing insulation.
A key component of any jacket is breathability. If breathability is important, then a softshell jacket will be better suited. As opposed to fleece jackets, softshell jackets are better designed to be used when doing intense outdoor activities. Their technical construction allows vapour to pass through the jacket, facilitating temperature regulation while also offering protection from the elements.
Insulation and Warmth
When it comes to warmth, the fleece jacket is crafted using Hi-Tech microfleece fabric that is soft, comfortable and very warm. In contrast, softshell jackets are designed to be weatherproof and breathable meaning they do not retain as much heat as a fleece jacket. In terms of insulation, a fleece jacket traps more heat and offers more insulation than a softshell jacket, making it a wiser choice if you are seeking a warmer layer. Check out Cortazu’s hybrid fleece jackets that will keep you warm on your adventures.
Type of activity
If you are looking for something light that will offer more protection from the elements year-round, then a softshell jacket with a hood could be a versatile choice for you. Worn as a standalone piece or used as a midlayer in the winter, the softshell jacket is a good all-rounder for day-to-day use, serving as a perfect jacket for hiking, cycling and walking. If you are specifically looking more for a layering piece then a thin fleece jacket serves as a better choice. In colder conditions, they do not provide as much protection from the elements in comparison to a softshell jacket however, when paired with a hardshell jacket, they can provide a further layer of protection.
Which jacket is the best for my situation?
The best choice depends on a variety of factors. A fleece jacket may be ideal for you if you are looking for more of a layering piece. It provides more warmth for the colder months, and it can be layered with a softshell or hardshell jacket. It can also be used as a standalone piece in the warmer month making it an extremely versatile jacket. In contrast to the fleece jacket, softshell jackets offer more weatherproof protection, more breathability, and can also be layered in the colder months. No matter what you decide to go for, Cortazu offers the softshell, hybrid fleece jackets for men and hybrid fleece jackets for women, so make sure to check them out!