When buying field clothing, you often see these two words soft shell and hard shell. What is a soft shell and hard shell?
What is a soft shell?
Soft shell comes from English (Soft Shell). It is not a specific material, but a general term for a breathable, windproof, water-repellent, abrasion-resistant, soft and elastic outerwear made of elastic materials; the term "soft" is Compared to hard shell clothing.
Compared with hard shell, soft shell has the following better characteristics:
Comfort: The fabric of the soft shell is softer and more elastic, so it is more comfortable to wear than the hard shell, and it will not make a rustling noise when rubbed.
Air permeability: soft shell clothing is more than twice as high as hard shell clothing, but because of its breathability, it sacrifices water resistance and can only resist water repellency. In other words, soft shell clothing can only withstand a few hours of light rain. The heavy rain will get soaked.
When is the soft shell garment worn?
Even in a cool and humid climate, soft shell clothing can maintain breathability and comfort with the skin. In mild climate conditions, you can easily go out by adding a soft shell clothing to the sweat-wicking clothing without worrying about warmth. But if in a cold climate, just wearing a soft shell is not enough, you still have to add a layer of warmth to keep it warm.
Although the soft shell has a certain water repellent function, it is not completely waterproof, so if you want to withstand heavy rain, it is better to wear a hard shell.
What is a hard shell suit?
General GORE-TEX jackets or waterproof and breathable jackets made of eVent and other materials are collectively called Hard Shell. This kind of jacket is like an outer shell and provides more complete maintenance than soft shells. This type of jacket is windproof, waterproof, and wear-resistant, and has a hat to protect the head. The ideal hard shell clothing should also have excellent breathability, but because of the waterproof material, no matter how breathable, it is not as good as the soft shell clothing.
Compared with soft shell, hard shell has the following better characteristics:
Waterproof: Using waterproof materials such as GORE-TEX or eVent, there will be no water seepage in the case of heavy rain for a period of time, and waterproof stickers are usually attached to the seams of the fabric, so the waterproofness is very good.
Wind resistance: Hard shell clothing also has better wind resistance than soft shell clothing, but it also sacrifices better breathability.
Abrasion resistance: The fabric used is harder than the soft shell and has better abrasion resistance.
When is the hard shell suit to be worn?
Hard shell clothing is not as soft and comfortable as soft shell clothing. It is more suitable for extreme climates, such as heavy rain, snow, or terrain requiring climbing; if the climate is cold, it is still recommended to add a middle layer to the outer clothing Keep warm, so when choosing hard shell clothing, consider the space that may be worn inside.