What is a Hard Shell Jacket?

So you’re in the market for a hard shell jacket but not quite sure what exactly a “hard shell jacket” is? Look no further! The team here at Boathouse has put our heads together to give you the scoop on everything hard shell jacket and more.

What is a Hard Shell Jacket?

A hard shell jacket is any waterproof, windproof jacketed designed to keep you dry in rain. There are a lot of fabrics used to manufacture these weatherproof jackets, ranging from silnylon and PVC raincoats, but here at Boathouse we use the best of the best–Gore-Tex®–but more on that later. Obviously, since this type of jacket is designed specifically as a waterproof, weatherproof barrier to keep the wearer warm and dry, Hard shells also tend to have hoods (any jacket claiming to be a hard shell that doesn’t include a hood so no be considered). The best hard shell jackets are light and packable and are a better choice than a soft shell jacket when weight and space are an issue.

Hard shells jackets are arguably the most versatile jacket for winter weather because it can be used year round. They are typically lightweight and breathable, especially our Gore-Tex performance rain gear, so they are ideal for protection against spring showers and summer thunderstorms as well as winter snowstorms. Also known as “outer shells” during the winter seasons, you can layer a hard shell jacket on top of a warm and water resistant soft shell (like our equinox and elevate jackets) for ultimate warmth and protection when shoveling snow, skiing, snowboarding, or any other outdoor winter activities. 

Gore-Tex Waterproof Hard Shell Fabric

Gore-Tex is the most effective weatherproofing fabric in the industry. Its membrane is completely water-resistant and is guaranteed to keep you dry. The fabric also allows ventilation by letting perspiration pass through from within, giving you an unbeatable combination of waterproof, windproof and breathable weather protection.

Boathouse Gore-Tex jackets can be fully customized from a range of colors to suit your individual needs. Features include roll away hoods for protection from rain, with storm flapped zippers and pockets to ensure the jacket completely seals out the elements.

    Men's Hard Shell Jackets

    Boathouse offers 3 main hard shell jackets for men: the waterproof Gore-Tex Blitz jacket, the waterproof Gore-Tex Barrier Jacket and the Waterproof Gore-Tex Stevenson. These jackets aren’t necessarily for men only, as all of our hard shells are unisex (except the waterproof Dare Jacket which is designed exclusively for a women’s silhouette – more on that in the following paragraph)

    Waterproof Gore-Tex Blitz Jacket

    The waterproof Blitz Jacket is our best selling jacket. In addition to the enhanced features that come standard on Boathouse elite performance outerwear like the orbital shoulder gusset and cape, our customers love the extra waterproofing like sealed seams and storm flapped zippers (most other brands don’t provide this level of waterproofing). The blitz jacket is available retail in 8 in-stock and ready to ship colors OR you can customize it for your team or group.

    Waterproof Gore-Tex Barrier Jacket

    The waterproof Barrier Jacket is the Blitz Jacket with the addition of an upper right front jacket pocket. It offers all the same weatherproof protection as the Blitz with a little extra utility and style.

    Waterproof Gore-Tex Stevenson Jacket

    The waterproof Stevenson Jacket is a hard shell jacket with a “tail”. This jacket design was originally created for rowers who had to sit for hours on very wet seats. To provide some extra cushion and a dry surface to sit on the designers of this jacket extended the back about 8” which kept rowers backsides warmer and drier than any other jacket on the market. This added utility was not just great for rowers, but for athletes of all types who had to sit on clod benches, bleachers, or other surfaces during inclement weather.

    Women's Hard Shell Jackets

    While we offer the same unisex Barrier, Blitz and Stevenson jackets for women as we do men, Boathouse created the waterproof Gore-Tex Dare Jacket specifically with a woman’s body type in mind. While the men’s and unisex jackets are boxy and straight, the women’s Gore-Tex waterproof Dare jacket is produced with a more tapered, curvy fit for a feminine silhouette. The Dare jacket is more appealing in look and style for women with all the same weatherproofing features as our classic unisex Gore-Tex styles.

    Shop our Curated Collection of Hard Shell Jackets Today!

    Our jackets are available to be customized online for your group or team online and produced in our vertically integrated factory. All Boathouse outerwear is American made and ships factory direct from Philadelphia, USA. Shop our curated collection of hard shell jackets today at Boathouse.com.


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