Polartec Neoshell Review

Polartec Neoshell Review

You might have heard about the Polartec NeoShell fabric before, and if you haven’t, you might be wondering what this thing is. Is it a hard shell? Perhaps it’s a softshell? Or could it be a hybrid hiking jacket set to take the world by storm?

Well, to be frank, Polartec is just one of the many other fabrics out there set to test the well-known Gore-Tex that most of us came to love. For the uninitiated: Gore-Tex was the pioneer, the first brand that brought us waterproof, breathable outdoor gear. But now it seems like its game on, and the race to see who wins the public vote has never been fiercer.

A lot of manufacturers are using Polartec Neoshell fabric in the design and manufacturing of their hiking jackets, and here’s why…

In Depth Polartec NeoShell Review


Polartec NeoShell fabrics are said to be 99.9% windproof. Not only that, but it also stretches, keeps you warm without weighing you down, is 5-times more breathable than most other top weatherproof materials, and it isn’t nearly as noisy as any other hiking jacket materials we’re used to. The fabric has a waterproof-breathable membrane, and in case you’re wondering, it IS more breathable than Gore-Tex.


Polartec NeoShell has a 10,000 H/H waterproof rating, which is pretty standard actually, but if it had been more, breathability would have been severely compromised. This material will resist anything from the lightest of sprays to the heaviest of downpours, and amazingly still stays super breathable!

Wind Proofing

With its “dynamic two-way air exchange”, we totally back Polartec’s claims about NeoShell being kickass when it comes to wind proofing. What’s really cool is the fact that air will pass right out through the jacket (which carries moisture out), unlike jackets made with Gore-Tex, which sees sweat turning into vapor before being let out.

As stated earlier, Polartec NeoShell is said to be 99% windproof, and with the physical tests we put it through, this jacket is basically impenetrable, but it also allows for some fresh air to pass through at just the right key spots. Don’t expect this jacket to keep you warm like down would, but it’ll keep you dry and it’s going to keep the wind out!


  • Highly Breathable
  • Comfortable Stretch
  • Easy to Care for
  • Comes in an Array of Styles and Weights

The Drawbacks

  • It’s not the warmest material out there
  • Not all brands manufacturer top quality jackets, even though all of them incorporate the use of Polartec NeoShell, so you have to be sure you’re investing in a top brand.

A Few Words from Polartec

Polartec® NeoShell® is an engineering breakthrough for waterproof breathable fabric technologies. Dynamic air exchange at the surface provides the unrivaled ability to stop water and wind permeation without restricting the release of excess body heat and moisture vapor. This highly aerobic air permeability provides the unique benefit to function as a durable protective shell with advanced wicking capabilities to keep moisture vapor moving away from your core.

Polartec Team

Polartec NeoShell Features

  • Weight: 136g/m
  • Composition: 100% nylon face and 100% Polyester back
  • Warp: 50 Denier
  • Weft: 50 Denier
  • DWR/Spray: 80/20
  • HH in mm: 10,000
  • Air Perm: 0.5CFM

Polartec NeoShell Final Verdict

You should know by now that we’re just not into promoted reviews, but we have to say that Polartec NeoShell gives all Gore-Tex jackets a pretty impressive run for their money!

Is it the best hiking jacket material out there? That depends on your application. But what it definitely is is a kickass outdoor jacket material that’ll see you through many happy miles to come!

If you’re looking for a material that’s super air permeable, then Polartec NeoShell just might be the best answer for keeping the rain, snow and the wind out, while allowing you to get down and dirty in the coldest and windiest outdoor activities you can imagine.

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