Best & Worst Tactical Softshell Jacket

While tactical jackets were initially designed keeping the needs of military personnel in mind, these work increasingly well for those of you who want a functional jacket that is also in line with your badass personality without looking like you are trying too hard. If you find yourself on the lookout for the perfect tactical softshell jacket that has the capability of turning into your favorite piece of clothing, this is just the guide you need to get your hands on.

There are hundreds of different tactical softshell jackets manufactured by many different companies across the world. Not all of these, however, are worth your time or money. In order to make an informed decision about how to go about picking the best tactical softshell jacket for yourself, it is important that you are steered in the right direction. Here, I will be going through the details of some of the products that I feel make for fantastic options in your search for the ultimate tactical softshell jacket.

Best Overall Product

The first product on this list of the best tactical softshell jackets is the one that truly stands apart to win the coveted title of the best overall product. Keep reading for a detailed review of this product.

Columbia Men’s Ascender Hooded Softshell Jacket

The Columbia Men’s Ascender Hooded Softshell Jacket is a fantastic option if you lead an active lifestyle and want to enhance your performance with the best product available for purchase. The softshell exterior — Nexgen Contour Soft Shell — is built using 100% polyester, which makes this jacket highly durable, water resistant and wind resistant. The thermal insulation added helps you stay warm but not stuffy.

What’s Included

  • Closed with a zipper
  • Zippered chest pocket
  • Zippered pocket for hands
  • Adjustable cuffs and hem
  • Chin guard

What Do I Think?

While this is a fantastic activewear jacket, I have picked this as the best overall softshell jacket because of how versatile it is. You can wear it for a run or a hike but also come back and change into jeans, which will work just as well with this jacket. The materials used are impressive, making this jacket an investment and not something you’ll throw away after using for a season.

Common Questions
  • Is it comfortable?

This is an extremely comfortable and lightweight jacket. The exterior is water resistant, while the interior is lined to keep you warm.

  • Is the material the best or is it cheap?

The exterior of the Men’s Ascender Hooded Softshell Jacket is 100% polyester and the other materials that go into its construction are also top notch so that you don’t have to worry about stuck zippers or frayed edges.

  • Is it durable?

This is a durable jacket that works increasingly well in the outdoors even when there is slight rain or precipitation.

Has the company been around long /well-known brand?

Based out of Portland, Oregon, Columbia is one of the most well-known manufacturers of outerwear in the country. Founded in 1938, the company has many years of experience backing it.

What I Like
  • The softshell jacket is very lightweight but that doesn’t take away from its durability or functionality.
  • The jacket provides protection against the wind and water, which is something I always look out for in a jacket that is going to be worn in the outdoors.
  • This jacket is relatively affordable and inexpensive, especially in comparison with many tactical softshell jackets in the market.
What I Don’t Like
  • If you are looking for a very sleek, urban-looking jacket, the boxy fit of the Columbia Ascender may not be in line with your expectations.
  • The jacket does not offer much of a stretch, if that is one of your main concerns.

Regardless of a few points of concern, this jacket remains one of the best softshell options for those of you who don’t want to spend too much money but still want to get your hands on a highly durable and feature-laden tactical softshell jacket.

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Best Buy

If you are looking to get the best jacket for the money you are spending, there are a bunch of different factors that need to be brought into consideration. Keep reading for my pick for the best buy.

FREE SOLDIER Men’s Fleece Lined Softshell Tactical Jacket

If you find yourself on a budget and want to get the best product for the money you are spending, the Free Soldier Men’s Fleece Lined Softshell Tactical Jacket is a fantastic option to consider. This heavy-duty tactical jacket has an outer shell made with 95% polyester and 5% spandex, which makes it highly durable. The interior is lined with fleece for warmth.

What’s Included

  • Windproof
  • Water-resistant
  • Vent zippers underarms
  • Seven safety pockets
  • Adjustable hood, cuffs and hem

What Do I Think?

When you compare this product to a wide range of softshell tactical jackets available for purchase, the highly affordable nature of this product stands out. Instead of burning a hole in your pocket with expensive jackets that won’t be as functional, this Free Soldier variant impresses with its versatility, range of safety pockets and comfort.

Common Questions
  • Is it comfortable?

The jacket is very comfortable to wear, especially thanks to the fleece lining that has been added to the mix.

  • Is the material the best or is it cheap?

The softshell exterior of the jacket is made using polyester and spandex, which gives it durability without making it too stiff. The interior is lined with fleece.

  • Has the company been around long /well-known brand?

While this company hasn’t been around for as long as Columbia and others, it does have over 10 years of experience in the field.

What I Like
  • If you are looking for a heavy-duty jacket that will keep you warm as you enjoy the outdoors, this is the jacket to consider.
  • The softshell exterior is built to give you resistance to water and wind so that you can stay comfortable on adventures.
  • The jacket is available in a range of colors — military green, gray and black — that are versatile enough to be pulled over anything that you are wearing.
What I Don’t Like
  • The drawstrings that are in place to adjust the hood are placed inside the jacket, which can be a little inconvenient.
  • If you are going to be facing the bitter cold, you may want to layer the jacket with other warm clothes.

If you don’t want to spend too much money but still want to get your hands on a superior quality tactical softshell jacket, this variant hits that sweet spot with great ease.

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Best Features

If you are looking for a jacket that gives you a range of different features to get impressed with, this is the right one for you.

Condor Summit Soft Shell Jacket

The Condor Summit Soft Shell Jacket is one of my favorites when it comes to feature-laden softshell jackets because of the way it is engineered towards giving you the best wearing experience. This 100% polyester jacket works very well for men who lead an active lifestyle and want to stay stylish while they’re at it.

What’s Included

  • Three-layer integrated shell
  • Underarm vents
  • Utility and storage pockets
  • Adjustable cuffs
  • Full front zipper with double zipper pull

What Do I Think?

The construction of the outer softshell tactical jacket is the main reason why it has made it to this list. Built using three different layers that make it resistant to water, the fabrics wick moisture and maintain your body heat, which sets it apart from others.

Common Questions
  • Is it comfortable?

In terms of comfort, this jacket works very well for people who like a snug feel when it comes to outerwear.

  • Is the material the best or is it cheap?

This tactical softshell jacket is built using 100% polyester, which makes it very versatile and easy to use. This also makes the jacket water resistant and wind resistant.

  • Has the company been around long?

Candor has been known to make some high-quality activewear and outdoors-oriented clothing for years now.

What I Like
  • The outer shell is made with three different layers that provide protection against water.
  • The jacket is designed to prevent you from sweating inside but keeps you adequately warm.
  • The jacket is well priced.
What I Don’t Like
  • There isn’t too much space to layer other warm clothes under this jacket.
  • There is no hood.

This tactical softshell jacket is ideal for people who want tons of features to make their outwear stand out from the other regular jackets.

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Fan Favorite

The final product on this list is the one that has received the most appreciation from other users.

Rothco Special Ops Tactical Soft Shell Jacket

One of the most popular traditional tactical softshell jackets that you can get your hands on, the Rothco Special Ops jacket comes with a waterproof exterior that keeps you dry and comfortable in the nasty outdoors. There are tons of zippered pockets for all your gear as well.

What’s Included

  • Three-layer construction
  • Underarm ventilation
  • Adjustable cuffs
  • Two-way zipper

What Do I Think?

I don’t need to say much when the people have spoken. This particular tactical softshell jacket has an ardent fan following because of its sturdy construction, the hardcore exterior, and the comfort that it allows you to experience.

Common Questions
  • Is it comfortable?

This is an immensely comfortable jacket for people who spend a lot of time engaging in outdoor activities.

  • Is the material the best or is it cheap?

The exterior shell of the jacket is made using three different layers of polyester, which makes it highly durable and easy to use. The fleece lining adds to the comfort and warmth.

What I Like
  • This is a very sturdy and durable softshell jacket.
  • There is a concealable hood for times when you need more cover.
  • There are many different color options available.
What I Don’t Like
  • The jacket can look a little bulky.
  • The fit can run a little small for some people.

With thousands of people bearing testament to the quality of this softshell jacket, it is very difficult to go wrong with this jacket.

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Stay away from Product!

While there are plenty of good tactical softshell jackets available for purchase, there are also some options that may fall short of your expectations. In this section, I will be delving deeper into one such option that I personally consider slightly overrated.

Under Armour Men’s Tactical Softshell 3.0 Jacket

The Under Armour Tactical Softshell 3.0 Jacket is not a bad product from any angle but, in my opinion, it is vastly overrated. For the kind of price that you pay for this jacket, you can get your hands on a better quality product that will make you happier.

Designed more like a windbreaker than something heavy duty, this isn’t the jacket for you if you want to stay warm during your next adventure. Layering something else under the jacket is required if you are going to be out in the cold.

The material used gives it a very flimsy feeling, almost as if you are wearing a slightly thicker shirt with a zipper. This isn’t something that you’d expect if you are paying this much money. Now that you have a better idea about what makes a good tactical softshell jacket and what are the areas that you must avoid to get the best bang for your buck, you will be able to make better decisions when it comes to choosing tactical gear. Not all of these jackets will work just as well for people with different needs, so gauge your individual requirements before zeroing in on one tactical softshell jacket. All in all, the options on this list will help you shortlist some tactical softshell jackets from a pool that can be quite overwhelming. The final decision on how you want to look is on you!

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