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A softshell buying guide

17:15 16th September 2013 By Andrew Cremin
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Arc'Teryx Gamma LT Hoody Zips

One of the finest softshells we’ve seen in a while

Softshell, previously the confused and misunderstood member of the outdoor kit family, is now welcomed as a useful and worthwhile companion. If you’re still a bit confused and don’t really understand it though, let us explain…

The key to softshell garments is versatility: they’re a sort of jack-of-all-trades. For a while, they suffered from the fact that the layering system was so well established (baselayers wick moisture, midlayers insulate, shell layers keep the wind and rain off) that this newcomer was seen in terms of what it wouldn’t do. “Not quite waterproof”, “not quite as warm as a fleece”, that sort of thing, which wasn’t really fair. Softshell is an all-rounder, not a specialist, and that makes it a very useful idea.

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