We are often asked about our softshell baby carrier jacket and have put together some important information and tips for you here. Mums and dads love to take their babies out into the fresh air every day. Softshell has become an indispensable material for outdoor jackets. That’s why Softshell baby wearing jackets are so popular.
What is Softshell?
Softshell is an elastic, soft and at the same time robust fabric, which is breathable as well as windproof and water-repellent. Usually it consists of three layers glued together. The individual properties of the jacket or coat depend on this.
The softshell used for the Viva la Mama jackets also consists of three layers: the first layer is a waterproof and windproof outer layer. The second layer consists of a membrane made of 100% polyurethane. The third layer is a light fleece made of 100% polyester to give you warmth and transport the sweat to the outer layers.
Is Softshell waterproof?
The softshell we use for our jackets and coats is water repellent. We cannot seal the seams and zippers waterproof. Therefore, only a short stay in very heavy rain provides sufficient protection.
For shopping, on the way to kindergarden or school, when walking in the park or walking the dogs, our softshell jackets are ideal. Of course also for the holiday with baby at the seaside or in the forest.
However, if you regularly go hiking with baby and have to endure extreme weather conditions, we recommend that you visit a specialist outdoor shop.
What means Water Column for Jackets?
Water column is a value measured in millimetres for the water density of a fabric. At a water column of 1,000, a 1-meter high pipe filled with water can be placed on a fabric for 24 hours before the water drips through.
The softshell used by Viva la Mama has a water column of 10,000 mmWs/qm/24h. If you are caught by a sudden downpour, you can make it home or to the next café and stay dry.
Can I Wash Softshell?
Yes, Softshell can be washed. However, as the surface is stain-resistant, it does not need to be washed as often. Smaller areas with dried mud can easily be removed with a brush. However, if washing is necessary, there are a few things to keep in mind that usually apply to other items of clothing as well.
- Close zippers and velcro fasteners and turn the jacket inside out.
- Only use liquid detergent or technical detergent.
- Washing powder, fabric softener and bleach will attack the fabric, clog the pores and reduce breathability. Please avoid them at all costs.
- Choose a gentle programme or a programme with low temperatures. 30°C – 40°C washing temperature are completely sufficient.
- If possible, choose an “extra rinse” programme.
- Do not spin-dry or spin-dry briefly at low speed.
- If the dryer symbol is not crossed out on the laundry label, the jacket can be tumble dried. This renews the impregnation.
- If no dryer is available, let the jacket air-dry (avoid direct sunlight) and iron it carefully on the lowest setting and with a cloth. This has the same effect as the dryer. Please be careful not to destroy the fabric.
Do I have to Impregnate Softshell?
The basic impregnation is renewed by drying or careful ironing at low level. If the water on the jacket does not roll off anymore, a re-impregnation is recommended.
The simplest way is to impregnate with a spray. To do this, spray the jacket outdoors from the outside and let it dry in the air. The effect is enhanced by putting the jacket in the dryer or, as mentioned above, ironing it carefully.
Are Softshell Jackets good for Winter?
Yes and no is our straight answer. Because it depends on several factors. Our softshell jackets are all-weather jackets, which means you can use them in most weather conditions. Especially in spring and autumn and also for part of the winter they are ideal for almost any weather.
If you live in an area with regular snowfall from the beginning of November until April, then a softshell jacket is less suitable. For this we warmly recommend our quilted winter jackets.
Softshell jackets are ideal for temperatures between 8 – 18°C. Of course, this also depends very much on your personal perception of temperature. Therefore we recommend wearing layers.
What does Wearing Layers Mean?
With the layer or onion principle, you put on several layers of clothes of different materials and thickness. Breathability is thus maintained and sweating can be better regulated.
You have to leave early with your baby because you’re taking a sibling to the kindergarden or school in drizzle and fog. Then you have an appointment with the doctor. When you come out of the surgery, the sun is shining and it is warm. It is still failry warm in the afternoon whilst walking to the kindergarden or school. But already after shopping or visiting the playground it is cooler again. You surely know these situations.
Therefore you can take off or put on clothes like a cardigan or sweater. This is how you regulate your body temperature.
It Gets warm Carrying the Baby
If you carry your baby regularly, you will notice that you can start to sweat. You have your hot water bottle in front of you, so to speak.
Except for very cold days, a lot of snow and continuous rain, you can survive an average winter with a soft shell jacket and a combination of different layers of clothes.
If you’re generally get cold quickly or live in a cold area, we recommend you wear one of our winter jackets. With them you and your baby are well protected and do not get cold.
Our softshell jackets are suitable for mild winter days. If necessary, you can wear a thicker sweater or cardigan underneath. That way you can also withstand temperatures down to approx. 0°C.
Read our article about what to wear under a baby carrying jacket to get more information and useful tips.
Yours Gunda and Katja