What is the point of wearing a softshell hunting jacket? Some people can’t see the point of wearing these jackets that are not waterproof when the more traditional layering system looks more appropriate.
There are some good reasons why you should include a softshell jacket among your clothing plans.
These jackets provide the technology that is designed to give the insulation you’re looking for against harsh weather conditions in a lightweight fabric. They also give you the wind and weather protection that a hard shell might be able to provide.
The way in which they give you the benefits of a heavier garment is through the tightness of the weave. This tightly woven fabric gives breathability while keeping the fabric quiet. These two qualities alone makes it the perfect type of jacket to use for stealthy hunting conditions.
The list below features 12 of the most highly regarded softshell hunting jackets currently available. They have all been positively praised by hunters when discussing which might be the best softshell hunting jackets. Price is not taken into account when these ratings were made but the recommended prices have been included in the table as a guide.
Following the comparison listing of the jackets is a more detailed overview of each jacket that should provide you with additional information to help decide which one will best suit your needs.
Softshell Hunting Jackets
Make / Model
|Condor Summit Softshell Jacket||XS-XXL||Olive Drab|
|First Lite North Branch Softshell Jacket||S-XXL||Dry Earth|
First Lite Fusion
|Sitka Gear Optifade Jetstream Jacket||S-XXXL||Optifade||250.00|
|Sitka Gear 90% Softshell Jacket||S-XXXL||289.00|
|Sitka Gear Early Season Whitetail Softshell Jacket||S-XXXL||269.00|
|Merrell Transcend Softshell Jacket||S-XXL||Manganese|
|Kryptek Einar Windsheer Jacket||M-XXL||199.99|
|Badlands Hybrid Jacket||M-XXL||Realtree Xtra||239.95|
|Kryptek Cadog Shield Jacket||S-XXXXL||229.95|
|Scent-Lok Head Hunter Jacket||M-XXL||Realtree AP|
|Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Ridge Reaper Jacket||S-XXXL||Mossy Oak Break Up Infinity||199.90|
|Scentblocker Super Freak Jacket||M-XXL||Mossy Oak Break Up Infinity|
There are lots of different makes and models when it comes to hunting jackets and the softshell section is just as crowded. The list below compares the various types of softshell jackets to help you decide which one might suit your hunting needs best.
Condor Summit Softshell Jacket
This is a jacket that has been designed to provide maximum comfort while still providing movable parts in good proportions. This is a three layer shell that contains water resistant fabric to keep you dry while keeping you warm. Temperature control is provided through underarm venting. There are plenty of pockets both internally and externally and they are zippered closures that are easy to access. The jacket is available in sizes from XS to XXXL and you can get them in one of three colors: olive drab, black or tan.
First Lite North Branch Softshell Jacket
This is a versatile jacket that has been designed to be used in many different conditions. The fabric used in this jacket uses Active Particle technology to move perspiration to the outside of the garment. It is a lightweight and durable fabric that is meant for use in all but the most extreme of conditions. Pockets and zippers are designed to be as quiet as possible when being used. The forearms are tapered for a streamlined profile that will not catch or get in the way when drawing a bow. It is a slim fit jacket that will immediately feel comfortable and functional.
Sitka Gear Optifade Jetstream Jacket
The Jetstream jacket has been made using Gore-Tex Windstopper Soft-Shell fabric that offers both breathability as well as wind stopping protection. The jacket has a smooth finish that will also help protect against light rain with good water resistance. The multi-layer design means it is a good jacket for use in all types of conditions. It will keep you comfortable while allowing plenty of freedom of movement.
Sitka Gear 90% Softshell Jacket
The new 90% jacket introduces a new lightweight jacket that uses a new fabric that has some enhanced properties. It is three times more wind resistant than earlier versions and avoids overheating through the development of a concept known as the body-mapped microgrid fleece that insulates only where you need it. It is a channel system that works to draw heat away from the body to keep you cool when you’re exerting yourself. The jacket consists of 2 chest pockets, 2 hand pockets and 1 sleeve pocket. Sizes range from Small to XXX Large.
Sitka Gear Early Season Whitetail Softshell Jacket
The Early Season Whitetail jacket is the lightest jacket in the Sitka Gear range that is both suitable for hunting during the times when the temperatures are rising. It is an incredibly soft and quiet jacket and uses 4-way stretch fabric that allows you to sit, stand, pivot and draw your bow without bunching or pulling. It has been designed, through its low-loft fleece lining, with extreme breathability so that any heat generated by the body will be expelled. The jacket has two chest pockets and two hand pockets. Sizes range from Small to XXX Large.
Merrell Transcend Softshell Jacket
This jacket is a trail jacket that will function equally well for the hunter. It is a protective jacket that has been designed with M-Select DRY technology to keep out the wind and also provide water resistance. It has a durable water repellent (DWR) finish that sheds moisture. Venting in the jacket is provided at the back yoke for better air circulation and cooling. The cuffs, hem and hood are all elastic bound to stop drafts from getting in. The most amazing thing about this jacket is that the price starts at a very affordable $39.00. Size ranges from small to XX Large.
Kryptek Einar Windsheer Jacket
The Einar Windsheer Jacket is an outstanding layering option giving both protection from the elements while also ensuring the internal temperature is balanced. The material has durable water repellent (DWR) qualities meaning you will be kept dry and well protected when bumping into sharp objects in the field. It is equipped with plenty of zippered pockets at the chest, hands and sleeves. The criticism made about this jacket comes around the fact that the forearm sleeves are particularly tight which restricts movement. The size ranges from Medium to XX Large.
Badlands Hybrid Jacket
Badlands has created an industry first with the concept behind the Hybrid jacket. In this case they have created a jacket that combines fleece and softshell along with scent management all in the one jacket. As a good softshell jacket should it provides lightweight breathability on the inside and a durable windproof outer layer. This outer layer is the Badlands Biothermic outer layer and it is also designed to keep out the cold. Also importantly is the fact that the jacket is waterproof thanks to the inclusion of DuPont Teflon in the design. Sizes range from Medium to XX Large.
Kryptek Cadog Shield Jacket
This jacket features mechanical stretch woven soft shell bonded 100% polyester to provide protection form the elements. Not only the wind but moisture and cool temperatures are countered by the durable water repellent (DWR) material Importantly, the jacket is also adept at releasing trapped heat with a ventilation system that will keep the body at a comfortable temperature. Pockets for the hands, at the chest and on the sleeves are all zippered and sit flat to the exterior panels. Jacket sizes range from Medium to 4X Large.
Scent-Lok Head Hunter Jacket
The head Hunter features a durable and breathable soft shell outer layer that will help protect you from the weather elements. Fit is optimized thanks to the inclusion of strategically placed articulation and gussets making it an extremely comfortable jacket that provides plenty of freedom of movement. The jacket is lined internally with polyester to help it glide straight over other clothing layers. It also features Scent-Lok odor absorbing technology to keep you undetected. It has a removable hood that is also adjustable and zippered sleeves that will both give you scent control and ventilation. Sizes are available from Medium to XX Large.
Under Armour ColdGear Infrared Ridge Reaper Jacket
The Under Armour Infrared Ridge Reaper jacket features a bonded 2-layer softshell material with a warm inner layer to keep you comfortable when it gets cold. It is extremely light yet it has been equipped with everything a hunter on the move can want. It uses UA Scent Control technology, has a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish and is still breathable. The jacket is protected by an outer layer that provides wind resistance and sweat is wicked away from the body though the Signature Moisture Transport System. Hand and chest pockets on either side as well as zippered side vents completes a very functional hunting jacket.
Scentblocker Super Freak Jacket
This has been designed as an extremely lightweight and breathable outer garment for warmer weather conditions. The construction is notable for the multi-layering that helps with both the breathability and the quiet nature of the fabric. Being a Scentblocker jacket it has also been treated with the patented Trinity scent barrier between the inner and outer layers to contain any traces of scent.
All of the jackets listed above have been given glowing reviews by hunters and outdoorsmen who have worn them when out in the field. They each have benefits that make them stand out and they are also slightly different in the various features they provide. Although every person's needs are going to be slightly different you can be confident with any of the lightweight hunting jackets that have been displayed above.
Staying warm is certainly an important part of keeping comfortable when out in the field. But if the weather were to suddenly deteriorate you are going to need a jacket that will give you waterproof protection. We have examined a selection of Waterproof Hunting Jackets that give you a full range of outstanding options.
For the late winter chill you will also need to make sure you are as warm as possible and this is where a good quality insulated jacket will prove invaluable. We have examined a diverse list of the Warmest Insulated Hunting Jackets for you as well.