Softshell vs Fleece: Which One Is Best?

Softshell vs. fleece – a dilemma that many have pondered! You’re not alone in this consideration.

In essence, one offers more protection, while the other boasts versatility. Softshell and fleece aren’t suited for the same situations. Unfortunately, the perfect garment suitable for every scenario doesn’t exist. Fear not, as we’re here to guide you in making the right choice between the snug warmth of a softshell and the comforting fluffiness of a fleece, based on the specific requirements of your activity.

The Softshell

In recent years, the popularity of softshell jackets has surged, and for good reason! These jackets prove ideal for a range of outdoor activities, including hiking and walking. Internally, they feature a fleece lining, while the exterior is crafted from a fabric with windproof and water-repellent properties to tackle rainy conditions.

However, is an “improved fleece” necessarily superior? Not so fast! We’ll provide you with all the information you need to make an informed choice when it comes to selecting a soft-shell jacket.

The Fleece

Fleece is of course known as a wonderfully soft material, which is also very comfortable! The properties of a fleece jacket stem from its commonly used synthetic fabric, polyester, frequently employed in sportswear. Fleece excels at retaining heat while remaining lightweight, water-repellent, and breathable. This makes it an excellent choice for vests or sweaters during various outdoor activities.

In winter sports, individuals often don fleece clothing, typically beneath their ski jackets. It’s worth noting that the warmth of fleece is often inversely proportional to its breathability—a classic compromise, much like in many partnerships.

So Fleece or Softshell?

We help you decide.

Softshell Jacket: Advantages and Disadvantages

If it’s a little crazy with its American name, it’s because it’s more elaborate. The softshell provides (almost) as much warmth as a fleece, plus protection against the wind and minor bad weather. Indispensable if you go out in light rain without a third layer. On the other hand, it will take up more space in your bag and breathe a little less… Thanks to its water-repellent and windproof fabric, the softshell wins the weather protection match! It also knocks out fleece if you don’t have a third layer. In short, if you take it with you, it’s to use it!

Fleece Jacket: Advantages and Disadvantages

It is very cute and simple, and therefore lighter than the softshell! If you don’t have a lot of space, know that its footprint is smaller than the Softshell. It is more versatile because it can be worn as an intermediate layer under a waterproof and windproof jacket or as an outer layer without rain or wind. It will breathe better than the softshell.

In summary, in terms of weight, versatility and breathability, victory for the fleece! But you will see its limits when the wind or the rain comes to tease you.


Which is warmer: softshell or fleece?

If you are purely concerned about the heat, then you should opt for fleece! A softshell jacket has many additional features to retain as much heat as possible, such as Velcro around the cuffs, so that as little wind as possible can enter the jacket. Some softshell jackets are also lined with fleece on the inside, which makes the jacket a bit warmer, but unfortunately also a bit heavier.

Is the softshell waterproof?

Weather resistance is of course an important aspect of jackets. Many softshell jackets are water-repellent, but there are also waterproof softshells! Additionally, many softshell jackets have a water-repellent coating which naturally benefits water resistance. Another nice feature of softshell is that the material is breathable, some softshell jackets even come with additional ventilation zippers to let even more fresh air into the jacket.

Tip: Check the product description of the respective softshell jacket to check how waterproof the jacket is. A softshell jacket with a water column of 2000 mm can withstand longer downpours.

Is the fleece waterproof?

A fleece jacket is water-repellent and quick-drying, but not waterproof. If you walk outside with your fleece jacket on when it’s raining a bit, there’s little chance you’ll get wet! But if it rains a lot, there is a good chance that the moisture will seep through the fleece jacket… An advantage of this is of course that the fleece jacket has greater breathability than the softshell jacket.

Who is the most popular? The softshell or the fleece?

Softshell jackets and fleece jackets are available in endless models, colors, and sizes! So there will always be a nice softshell jacket or a nice fleece jacket that suits you. These jackets are not only designed for sports activities but can also be worn in everyday life! Both softshells and fleeces retain their shape and properties perfectly.

Can you layer softshell and fleece jackets together?

Yes, layering softshell and fleece jackets is a common practice, especially in colder conditions. The softshell protects against wind and light precipitation, while the fleece adds insulation for warmth. This combination offers versatility in adapting to changing weather conditions.


Softshell or fleece – which one tugs at your heartstrings? Both the softshell jacket and the fleece jacket boast excellent properties; they keep you dry in light showers, provide warmth, and ensure your body remains dry and cool through effective breathability.

A softshell jacket is highly versatile and suitable for wearing in almost any weather condition. On the other hand, a fleece jacket offers a touch more comfort, ideal as an underlayer or outermost layer during dry and windless outings. Opt for the softshell for more unstable weather, offering protection against the wind and light rain.

In the end, there’s no right or wrong choice. The decision between a softshell jacket and a fleece depends entirely on your personal preferences!

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