An affordable and warm softshell jacket

The Arec is a reasonably wind-resistant though not fully windproof softshell with a smooth outer and a fleecy inner, which makes it quite warm compared to the other softshells reviewed. A DWR finish means it’ll resist drizzle and light rain. The fabric only stretches a little though and the Medium is a close-fit on me. To wear it over more than a T-shirt I’d need at least a size bigger.

There’s a stiff flap behind the zip that rolls over to form a chinguard at the top, though this could be bigger. The hood is close-fitting – it won’t go over more than a thin hat – and has adjustable drawcords so it can be cinched down to stop it blowing off in the wind. The pockets are roomy but cut off by a hipbelt. Accessible pockets would be useful on a jacket that can be worn as the outer layer much of the time. The cuffs are close-fitting – no ventilation here – and the sleeves can only be pulled up a little way. The sleeves do ride up a little when I stretch.

The weight is reasonable and the price low, making this worth considering as a warm softshell for most of the year. I found it a bit warm on cool summer days.