Softshell, what the hell!?

At this time of year, brands like to throw the word 'Softshell' around, but does anyone really know what it means?

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To put it simply, Softshell bridges the gap between waterproof hardshell and comfortable fleece

To put it simply, Softshell bridges the gap between waterproof hardshell and comfortable fleece. It was first created for the likes of outdoor sports enthusiasts such as Mountaineers, who required a kit to suit aerobic activity in areas of fast-changing extreme weather conditions.

Often training intensively in very harsh conditions for long hours, they requested a suitable kit from our R&D team

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Road cycling certainly falls under the category of ‘aerobic activity’ and depending on the time of year and where you’re riding, fast-changing extreme weather conditions can be common place. Marco Haller and Alexander Kristoff, based in Austria and Norway respectively, know this too well! Often training intensively in very harsh conditions for long hours, they requested a suitable kit from our R&D team.

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With their background in the Outdoor Sports industry, our R&D team instinctively suggested Softshell. Why? In general, Softshell is a warm, breathable, flexible and durable fabric, offering a good level of water and wind resistance. It is not as water and wind resistant as hardshell, however it’s breathability means it does not trap water vapour inside like a hardshell. It is not as comfortable as fleece, but it offers a far higher level of protection than fleece. Bridging the gap between these two products, quite nicely.

The challenge for our R&D team was to find something really quite special, that ticked all of the boxes, without compromise

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Softshell fabrics can vary quite significantly, from their structure, to the technology used, to the weight and so on. Therefore the challenge for our R&D team was to find something really quite special, that ticked all of the boxes, without compromise. Uh huh!


Introducing Schoeller WB-400: The all in one Softshell. Two textile surfaces are bonded with a highly breathable coating in a special process. The coating in the middle ensures additional protection from wind and water.

The all in one Softshell

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Basic properties

  • Perfect weather protection
  • Wind and water resistant
  • Good breathability
  • Highly elastic
  • Cosy and comfortable inside

Construction

  • Layer 1, on the outside: Hardwearing against the harsh elements, elastic, water and wind repelling, woven fabric consisting of synthetic fibres
  • Layer 2, in the middle: A functional coating, for insulation and a high level of wind protection
  • Layer 3, next to your skin: Extremely breathable, soft and cosy fleece

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Everything from the Jacket to the Gloves is built with Schoeller WB-400 Softshell fabric

Our Product and Design teams have created a full winter kit using this clever Swiss fabric technology. The kit is used by Team KATUSHA ALPECIN Pro riders who require it to continue training through harsh winter conditions, and it is also available for you… Hardy cyclists who embrace the cooler months of the year:

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Everything from the Jacket to the Gloves is built with Schoeller WB-400 Softshell fabric. For a close skin fit without rustling, with excellent flexibility for freedom of movement, high breathability to manage your sweat during times of intense activity, water and wind repelling qualities for protection during extreme weather conditions and a very soft and cosy skin-friendly fleece on the inside.

Ticking all boxes, without compromise.


Photo credits:

  • Majority JoJo Harper
  • Marco Haller and Alexander Kristoff by Josh Hayes