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Softshells for the Whole Family

Softshells for the Whole Family

We love our softshells. They are durable, great for a wide range of activities and a wide range of weather. We especially love softshells in the shoulder seasons. They are not too bulky and are often wind and water resistant or waterproof.

Softshells are great for hiking, bike riding, XC skiing, and any other outdoor adventure. I really love the durability they offer. They can take a lot more abuse that a regular hard shell so they are a great fit for school and outdoor play. They aren’t going to get too damaged when climbing trees or falling off a bike.

Softshells are typically made of 2 layer construction. The outer layer is often a woven synthetic material, sometimes with elastane woven in for more flexibility. The outer layer may also be treated with a DWR or contain other technologies like GoreTex or Gore Windstopper. The inner layer may be soft brushed fleece, brushed cotton, merino wool, or even down or synthetic insulation.

Two girls with helmets riding bikes while wearing softshell jackets and pants.
Mountain Warehouse softshell jackets and Reima softshell pants

Soft shells are great for activities where your would like some weather protection, good movement, breathability, and quiet material. Softshells are our go-to in the spring and fall when a little protection is needed but we don’t quite need full waterproof or insulated shell.

Softshells can also be used as a mid-layer. Just put a waterproof shell over top and head outside.

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Best Softshell Jackets for Kids

Mountain Warehouse – Best Budget Pick

We have been using Mountain Warehouse softshell jackets for the last 3 years and have been impressed with the quality for the price. We will also be using them for the next several years since I stocked up on next sizes with a good sale last year.

Available in lots of solid colors and fun prints, they do a decent job of blocking wind and are water resistant. The Mountain Warehouse jackets are our go to for fall biking and hiking!

Mountain Warehouse Exodus Printed Softshell Jacket

Mountain Warehouse Exodus Softshell Jacket

  • Sizes: 2T – Kids 13-16
  • Features: Water and wind resistant outer with a fleece lining
  • Price: $29.99, however they are often on sale for around $20 or less.
  • Where to Buy: Mountainwarehouse.com

Reima Softshell Jackets for Kids

Reima always impresses our team with their gear and softshells are no different. Quality gear for kids that’s built to last. TMM Team Members Amelia and Kristin both have Reima softshells for their kids and love them!

Use code MTNMAMA to save 20% on Reima gear.

Little girl wearing a yellow Reima softshell jacket looking at moss on a tree.

Reima Vantti

  • Sizes: 12-18M – Kids 10
  • Features: Water and dirt-repellent finish with a detachable hood. Fleece interior.
  • Price: $59.95
  • Where to Buy: Reima.com

>>Use code “MTNMAMA” for 20% off<<

Reima Nurmes Jumpsuit

  • Sizes: 2T – Kids 6
  • Features: Water resistant and wind resistant one-piece with a fleece lining.
  • Price: $79.95
  • Where to Buy: Reima.com

>>Use code “MTNMAMA” for 20% off<<

We also love their softshell one pieces, which are marketed as “water resistant” but I would call them waterproof personally. They run large, and my tall 6.5yo is able to wear the largest size they make (6T) comfortably. She loves it for spring skiing and puddle play, and it’s a great spring piece. The thicker panels on the knees and butt are great also! I wish they made this suit in bigger sizes!

TMM Team Member Kristin
Young girl in a pink softshell suit laying in a puddle on the road.
The Reima Nurmes Jumpsuit is a great soft shell for toddlers

Softshell Pants for Kids

Reima Softshell Pants:

We love using the Reima softshell pants. They are worn almost daily in the spring and fall for outdoor play. They are a great way to add a waterproof and wind proof barrier without adding a whole snowsuit. Easily protect your kiddos school clothes and just slide these over top when they get home and send them out to play.

We love that all the Reima pants have an inner adjustable waist for getting the best fit, even on skinny waists.

The Mighty are built like pants with regular leg opening, zipper and button fly. Fleece lined for added warmth.

The Oikote has an elastic waist and cuff with a fleece lining for added warmth. We also have a pair of the Kuori (currently not in stock), which is the same as the Oikote, just without the fleece lining.

The Idole pants are a softshell trouser. Blocks wind. We use these pants for bird hunting in the fall when the Mighty are too warm. They are good at helping keep the “pokies” off the legs.

Reima Oikotie

  • Sizes: 2T – Kids 10
  • Features: Wind-blocking finish with an adjustable, elasticated waist. Fleece interior for extra warmth and comfort. Easy to pull on.
  • Price: $59.95
  • Where to Buy: Reima.com

>>Use code “MTNMAMA” for 20% off<<

Swix

The Swix UnviversalX pant is great softshell pant for your junior Nordic skier! Softshell on the front, breathable back and a full zip for easy on and off.

Swix UniversalX Junior Pant

  • Sizes: Kids 6 – Kids 14
  • Features: All around XC ski pant with stretch back, wind resistant back and full length opening down the side.
  • Price: $79.95
  • Where to Buy: Backcountry.com

We love that they are water resistant but not stuffy. My son wears them to every XC ski practice and while backcountry touring. They zip off completely, making them easy to remove even if he is wearing ski boots.

TMM Team Member Becky

Softshell Jackets for the Ladies

First Lite

Although primarily a hunting brand, I have really been enjoying my First Lite softshell hooded jacket. Chest pocket, brushed fleece lining, and a women’s cut make it a flattering jacket. The neck has a longer zip as well for snuggling in when the wind is roaring.

Only downside for me is that the cuffs are snug, which is tricky for seeing my watch, but easy to get gloves over top. Also limited on colors, two camo choices and a solid green (conifer).

They also have in a men’s version which has more color options.

First Lite Catalyst Softshell Jacket

  • Sizes: Women’s XS – XL
  • Features: Breathable jacket with DWR finish.
  • Price: $230.00
  • Where to Buy: Firstlite.com

Ortovox

TMM Team Member Kristen has two Ortovox softshell jackets that she really enjoys. She loves that these are wool lined for temperature regulation and stink control.

Ortovox Swisswool Piz Palü Jacket

  • Sizes: Women’s XS – XL
  • Features: Breathable, flexible jacket with a merino wool inside.
  • Price: $360.00
  • Where to Buy: Ortovox.com

This jacket is the Ortovox Swisswool Piz Palü Jacket and it’s awesome. Stretchy in all the right places and the right amount of insulation, thumb holes with a soft fabric (wish the sleeves were a tad longer), wool-lined, very adjustable hood, dual-direction zippers.

TMM Team Member Kristin

Ortovox Westalpen Softshell Jacket

  • Sizes: Women’s XS – XL
  • Features: Water and wind resistant durable jacket with a merino interior.
  • Price: $430.00
  • Where to Buy: Ortovox.com

I’ve been wearing the Westalpen a ton and LOVE IT!!

TMM Team Member Kristin

Softshell Pants for the Ladies

Title 9 Cold Killer Pants

These are not a full softshell pant, but they are about 75%. The front, sides, and calf are softshell material and the backs are a breathable stretchy material. I love that these come in different lengths!

These pants are great for aerobic activities where you don’t need a shell on the backside. I love these for XC skiing, winter walking, running on really cold days, or just being outside with my kids on milder winter days.

Title Nine Cold Killer Pants

  • Sizes: Women’s XS – XL in Regular, Short, and Long lengths
  • Features: Softshell front and breathable backside with ankle zippers.
  • Price: $119.00
  • Where to Buy: Titlenine.com
Title nine Cold Killer pants on a person walking in the snow.

First Lite

I really love my softshell pants from First Lite. They are easy to use while camping or hunting, just pull on whatever pants I am wearing for a quick extra layer. They have a brushed fleece lining that keep them cozy.

Downside, the fly closure is backwards and its a bit annoying. Would also love to see an adjustable waist on them. Also limited on colors, only two camo choices.

I am typically a size 4/6 or small in pants, but I did opt for the medium in these after reading the reviews. I am happy I did, I think the Small would have been a little too snug in the waist, especially with layers underneath.

They also have in a men’s version which has more color options.

First Lite Catalyst Softshell Pant

  • Sizes: Women’s XS – XL
  • Features: Breathable pant with DWR finish.
  • Price: $220.00
  • Where to Buy: Firstlite.com
Woman in hunters orange and camo with a backpack hiking in the woods.
TMM Team Member Jami in the First Lite Catalyst Softshell Jacket and Pants

Softshell Gloves, Mittens, Etc.

NorthFace Softshell Gloves for Women

I have smaller hands and when dexterity is important, most unisex “small” gloves are even too big. These women’s smalls fit prefect. Fingers to the end and a nice snug fit. They are touch screen compatible and have a narrow cuff for sliding under jacket cuffs.

The narrower cuff does make them a bit snug to get on, but once they are on, you are all set.

The NorthFace Women’s Apex+ Etip Glove

  • Sizes: Women’s XS – L
  • Features: Lightly insulated windproof glove with touchscreen capability.
  • Price: $55.00
  • Where to Buy: Backcountry.com

Caring for Your Softshells

Don’t Let Stains Set In and Wash As Needed

If your jacket is looking a little dirty, make sure you get it in the wash before the stains really set in. I recommend using Nikwax Tech Wash (you can apply directly for a stain remover). Follow the care label instructions for washing.

If you have noticed the jacket doesn’t seem as water repellent, use the Nikwax Softshell Proof after a wash with the TechWash.

For more gear cleaning tips… Check out this Gear Cleaning Post.

Softshell Love

We LOVE using softshells. Whether we are XC skiing, bike riding, playing at the park, hunting, or just running errands, our softshells never fail us. Softshells are our go-to jacket in the spring and fall and outdoor play pants for the kids.

Have a favorite softshell that we don’t have on here? Drop a comment below so we can check it out!

Two young girls sitting on a tailgate having a snack wearing softshells and blaze orange.

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Softshells for the Whole Family

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