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The differences between fleece, softshell and down-insulated jackets

Thermal jackets are your outer layer protection. Protecting you from the elements, thermal jackets are key to fully enjoying your favourite outdoor activity.

Whether you are a hiker, climber, snowboarder, skier or biker, your thermal jacket is an important piece of your kit.

There is a huge variety of jackets to choose from. The main three are fleeces, softshell and down-insulated jackets.

So, what are the differences between these jackets and which one is perfect for you?

 

Fleece

Fleeces are made from a soft, lightweight and warm polyester material that mimics wool.

Available in a variety of weights, fleeces are great at keeping you warm. The jackets can maintain their warmth when wet, and dry very quickly.

The fabric is highly-breathable, is comfortable, doesn’t itch and can be produced in a variety of colours and styles.

Some fleeces are even windproof and water-repellent, protecting you from the elements. However, being water-resistant makes them more prone to odours.

Soft, lightweight and warm, fleeces are most commonly worn as layering pieces.

 

Softshell

Softshell jackets are perhaps the most versatile of all jackets.

Although a fleece is great for warmth, a softshell jacket has the best of both worlds. Not only will it provide warmth, it also offers more protection from the elements. Highly comfortable, these jackets are a popular choice for everyday wear.

Softshell jackets were initially created for activities like climbing and mountaineering. The fabric is incredibly breathable and has a great deal of stretch, made to keep you moving, dry and warm.

Soft and flexible, softshell jackets are best for keeping active. They also work great as a mid-layer in severe weather or as an outer layer in moderate conditions, and are great to protect you from windy conditions.

 

Down-insulated jackets

Down insulated jackets are filled with the best insulator in the world.

Made from feather by-products of geese, ducks, or other waterfowl, the down insulation will keep you warm without weighing you down.

Insulated down jackets and body warmers are ideal pieces of technical clothing for adding an extra layer of insulation without adding much weight. The lightweight jackets have a small pack size so they can fit easily into walking trouser pockets or the smallest of free spaces in your backpack.

However, down-insulated jackets are weak to moisture and provide less protection against the elements. Although some jackets use water-resistant treated down, the jacket is best suited to drier conditions.

 

Conclusion

Choosing the right jacket for you will depend on your activities and weather conditions.

If you are going to be active, the flexible softshell jackets are the best. The lightweight down-insulated jacket is great to carry to keep you warm in cold and dry conditions. In wet conditions, the fleece will keep you warm and dry quickly.

All the jackets work best when worn in layers.

Ready to choose your perfect jacket? Browse our range today.

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This entry was posted on Monday, April 3rd, 2017 at 11:48 am and is filed under Down Products. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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