Softshell Riding Jackets Buying Guide

Softshell Riding Jackets Buying Guide

Have you heard that Softshell Jackets are now becoming increasingly popular with horse riders? Read on to find out why...

What is ‘Softshell?’

‘Soft shell’ is a term that is used to describe a new kind of outdoor wear. As its name suggests, it’s primarily a ‘shell’ that combines many of the benefits of waterproof hard shells with more comfortable garments like fleece. Yet soft shells are neither.

So what’s the problem with ‘hard shells’?

‘Hard shells’ are those stiff, often noisy riding jackets of old that most of us have worn at some stage. Here’s a reminder of what they were like: you’d be outside in wet and/or cold, wintry conditions, working up a sweat and the moisture remained trapped inside your hard shell jacket. This left you with an unpleasant clamminess that chilled you to the bone when you stopped to rest. Besides this moisture problem, riders have just become sick of the noise from hard shell fabrics, as well as the constant zipping/unzipping, and simply wanted more comfortable jackets that you didn’t have to constantly take on and off all day. Sound familiar?

Enter Softshell Jackets

Made from fabrics with a tight layered weave, they are durable, water repellent, and they shield you from the wind, rain and snow. In other words, a Softshell keeps weather out like a hard shell jacket, but breathes like fleece. Besides great breathability, they have amazing flexibility in comparison to hard shells, fitting your body without constricting it and stretching naturally when you move.

Our favourites

We've hand-picked some of our favourite Softshell jackets below to show you why we love them so much!

First up is the Shires Aubrion Finchley Softshell Jacket. Breathable, windproof and lightweight, this smart jacket has it all. The detachable hood offers extra protection when required, the zip pockets keep your essentials safe, and it has zip pleats at the back to make it extra comfortable to ride in. It's available in Navy or this gorgeous Olive colour. 

Shires Aubrion Finchley Softshel Jacket

For a hint of style, check out the Dublin Zoe Softshell Jacket. Benefiting from all the natural abilities of softshell fabric to keep you warm and protected from the weather, this jacket also includes not one, not two, but FOUR zip pockets for your belongings and an elliptical rear hem for extra protection from the wind. Available in timeless Black, with quilting detail at the shoulder. 

Dublin Zoe Softshell Jacket

Designed with hard-working riders in mind, the Mark Todd Perforated Softshell Jacket features perforated panels to keep you cool and prevent over-heating, whether you're in the saddle or conducting stable duties. It's simply designed and smart, with hidden zip pockets for your things. Available in classic Black. 

Mark Todd Perforated Softshell Jacket

Softshell vs fleece

A Softshell jacket does not:

  • pill like a fleece
  • look like a terry cloth rag after it’s been washed
  • absorb water like a sponge in rain and snow
  • allow the wind to cut through in the way that fleeces do
  • And the big one – it doesn’t attract hay, sawdust or horse hair!

Take-home message

Softshell jackets are perfect for riders as they’re specifically designed to be used during physical exertion in conditions that do not require full wet weather protection or significant insulation. This highly versatile garment can be worn on its own or with other layers. A ‘must have’ for any rider’s wardrobe.

We have a wide range of Softshell Riding Jackets to suits all tastes. And remember, at EQUUS it's free UK delivery on all orders, regardless of how much you spend!

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