A relative newcomer to the world of outdoor clothing, it can be difficult to choose the right soft shell for you, but making the choice could make all the difference to your summer hike!

Allow Mountain Warehouse to guide you to your perfect purchase by answering some of your questions.

What is a soft shell jacket?

To keep warm and dry, most hikers and walkers wear a waterproof jacket over insulating layers made up of a base layer and a fleece jacket. This three layer system is highly effective, and is one of the best ways of keeping warm and dry even in very trying conditions. However, some people find that for certain pursuits, waterproof jackets are not necessarily the perfect choice, as in some cases you may need something with a little more ease of use and flexibility. This is where a soft shell jacket comes in. Soft shells are soft, malleable jackets that have the feel of a jumper, are generally more breathable than a waterproof jacket but still retain the waterproofing quality that an ordinary fleece jacket would not be able to provide. Although they won't provide the same waterproofing in heavy rain that our 3 in 1 waterproof jackets would, in showers they are highly effective and feel very comfortable on the body. Soft shell jackets bridge the gap between a fleece and a waterproof jacket.

What soft shell jacket should I choose?

At Mountain Warehouse we have a number of different items soft shells for you to choose from.

For hiking in more extreme conditions where light rain is likely: try the Extreme Soft Shell Jacket. This is lightweight, windproof, breathable and showerproof, with waterproof zips and an adjustable hood. This is the closest to a waterproof jacket that you will get with a soft shell, and whilst it will not provide the same level of waterproofing that a waterproof jacket might, it still gives you excellent protection against the elements and their force. Our Napier Soft Shell Jacket would also be a fantastic choice.

For active use: Our Adrenaline Soft Shell Jacket is ideal for this purpose. Whether you're cycling or biking, this jacket will keep you cool and dry; with a breathable and windproof membrane and a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating for shower proofness, it is ideal for when you're on the go.

For hiking or relaxing in dry weather:

Our Alaska Soft Shell Jacket can be used for running, cycling, hiking, walking or just relaxing - just about anything! This is the most 'casual' of our soft shell styles; that is to say that it is very soft and comfortable and whilst it cannot provide the same level of waterproofing that a jacket like our Extreme Soft Shell could, it is perfect for providing warmth and keeping you protected from the whims of nature.

Should I buy a soft shell jacket?

If you regularly hike in generally dry or cold weather then a soft shell jacket is the perfect choice for you. Whilst some of our designs offer shower-proofing, they should not be relied upon to keep you dry in very wet weather. Its flexibility makes it ideal for active use and it can be used for cycling, skiing, walking, climbing or any other activity you might choose to throw at it! Take a look at our entire range of soft shell jackets.