Summer softshells are less warm and windproof than their winter counterparts, but smoother and lighter. But can they still offer enough wind and wet weather? You can. Four of the ten candidates even keep drizzle down for hours, as the outdoor spray blizzard shows. The best way to achieve this is the Marmot Rom Jacket, whose hood and shoulders are made of seam-sealed Gore Windstopper, the rest of slightly breathable, but well-impregnated stretch nylon.
A similar concept – above wind and rainproof, otherwise rather airy – can be found in the jackets of Schöffel and Vaude. However, the two have to do without taped seams and with a less effective impregnation. “Nevertheless, in the duo – as in most test softshells – you stay dry in the drizzle for up to an hour,” says Frank Wacker.
Half an hour, however, Arc’teryx and Salewa. Annoying: In the case of the Arc’teryx Gamma LT Jacket, wetness comes in through the embroidered logo on the chest; in the case of the Salewa Agner Engineered, hooded seams wick moisture inwards.
Softshell jackets & climate
Softshell jackets play even more of a role than wet weather protection against wind chill. For this they need a wind-repellent material on the one hand, tight cuffs, tight-fitting hoods and a high collar that reaches best to the tip of the nose. As with Marmot and Outdoor Research, whose collar-hood unit leaves only the eye area from the face. The Rab, on the other hand, offers relatively little protection, which is mainly due to the jacket fabric, which allows the most wind to pass through from all models.
“When you’re warm or at a high tempo, you do not sweat that fast,” says outdoor tester Katleen Richter. She has compared the climate comfort of all candidates in trail running and comes – as well as test professional Wacker, who determined the cooling effect when hiking – to a completely positive result: »Sweaty, no model wears. Patagonia and Rab steam off best, followed by Arc’teryx, Mountain Equipment and Outdoor Research, “concludes the two climate researchers.