Monday, 12 July 2010

So what's so great about Soft Shell?

We’ve just taken delivery of some soft shell jackets for children. Soft shell has been taking the walking and hiking world by storm over the last couple of years and people we have spoken to that wear soft shell love it (I bought a Marmot Soft Shell Jacket before our hiking trip to the Brecon Beacons and I can confirm that I am a big fan of soft shell).

The fabric is windproof, rainproof, warm and lightweight. But isn’t a kagool 3/4 of these things? Well yes, but…. no. If you consider your waterproof to be your “hard shell” (bear with me here) nothing is going to get in and nothing is going to get out. You’re protected from the elements and if the sun comes out it can feel a bit like being wrapped in baco-foil. Soft shell trades off some of the waterproofing with breathability. Think of it as general weatherproof rather than totally waterproof. A soft shell will perform well in strong wind, light rain and snow (and from my Brecon experience I can say pretty heavy snow at that) but for heavy rainfall you will still need that waterproof.

I like to think of my softshell as being the gap between a fleece and a waterproof. It has proven particularly useful when hill walking with my son - the softshell has replaced my fleece and waterproof on shorter walks and with a quliaty base layer under it is perfect for winter hiking.

Many kids waterproofs are cut with a loose fit for heavy winter cothing underneath, which is great for a waterproof but not great for a spring/autumn jacket. Which is where soft shell comes in. Lightweight yet warm, making it ideal for cooler days. Breathable yet weatherproof, making it ideal for outdoor play or even PE. The soft fabric is nice to touch, it lacks the hardness of some waterproofs, and in the case of our Kozi Kidz jackets the fleece lining makes them ultra snuggly. Thankfully the designers at Kozi Kidz have ignored the rule that states “all softshell must be black” and have produced a kids walking jacket worthy of any catwalk. (Marmot also decided to ignore that for their ladies range, thank you Marmot!)

The soft, stretchy material allows full freedom of movement and the 3-layer construction of the Kozi Kidz Soft Shell, including a waterproof inner membrane means it is a very versatile and practical item to have in the wardrobe.

We are stocking the boys dark/light grey jacket and the girls cerise/lime jacket both of which retail at £38.

At the time of writing only the girls jacket is listed on our website but the boys jacket will be available online ( from Wednesday July 14th.

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