A shell jacket is a practical and versatile garment that can be used all year round – on a ski trip, on a summer hike and on a rainy forest walk in autumn. Shell jackets are available in three different variants; 2-layer, 2.5-layer and 3-layer. Which one is right for you depends on what you will be using the jacket for. Check the water column on each jacket to see how water resistant it is - the higher the water column, the higher the water resistance.
Women's shell jacket – the ultimate garment
Whether you're going out hiking in harsh climates in the mountains or taking a walk to the store when it's drizzling, the shell jacket is the perfect garment. The name shell jacket itself, one could argue that it has two different meanings. First and foremost, the shell jacket is an outer shell that protects you from the elements, both wind and rain. A good shell jacket is both waterproof and windproof, while also being breathable and comfortable enough to move around in – a perfect outer shell. But in addition to being an outer shell, the shell jacket is also very useful. You can wear it on a summer day when it's windy and drizzling as well as on a windy mountain in winter when it's many degrees below zero. The shell jacket can be peeled on and off, depending on what you have underneath. Versatility is due to the garment's breathability and technical membranes that allow moisture to pass through from the inside, but not from the outside in. This allows you to sweat in the garment while protecting you from winds or moisture that cool you down. In the summer, a thin garment under the shell jacket, such as a t-shirt, is enough, while in the winter, you can scale up and have more layers underneath to keep warm – for example, a warm knitted sweater or a fleece.
As if it wasn't enough that the shell jacket makes you "immune" to the elements and can be used all year round, it is also a very light garment that can easily be packed into your backpack or any bag without taking up much space. We at Outnorth recommend everyone to have at least one quality shell jacket on or in your pack on every excursion, trip or really whenever you plan to stay outdoors.
The membrane – the magic of a shell jacket
Shell jackets usually have a special membrane inside the outer fabric. They can consist of different numbers of membranes – the most common being two layers, three layers or two and a half layers.
Two layers means that there is a loosely hanging inner fabric that protects the membrane from wear and tear from the inside. Three layers usually means that the inner fabric is connected to both the membrane and the outer fabric. Two and a half layers means that the jacket has a mesh-like protection that is attached to the inside of the membrane. Simplified, you can say that three-layer jackets usually have stronger quality than two-layer or two-and-a-half-layer jackets. On the other hand, jackets with fewer layers are usually thinner, lighter and more flexible. So which one is best simply depends on what you are going to use the jacket for.
The membrane in the shell jacket is what releases moisture and steam from the inside while protecting against both moisture and wind from the outside. The technology was introduced by Gore-Tex in the 70's and even today Gore-Tex is a very good and popular choice for various shell garments. Today, however, there are many more options that are often just as good. If you don't need a full-so-technical jacket, which is usually a bit more expensive, but still want to be protected from the elements, you can take a look at our large selection of rain jackets.