Difference Between Insulated and Shell Jackets 

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Have you seen several advertisements for shell jackets and insulated jackets while surfing the web for good snowmobile jackets? You might be wondering what the differences are between those two and if you feel confused, then you’re on the right page. Keep reading to find out! 

Difference Between Insulated and Shell Jackets

Insulated jackets

So what’s the basic difference between an insulated and shell jacket? It’s the insulation! 

Shell jackets are an outer layer that protects you from wind and moisture, without the need for insulation. But the extent to which it provides warmth depends on the way you add mid and inner layers within. 

Insulated jackets on the other hand give premium warmth due to the extra insulation. Insulated jackets add a little bulk and impact range of motion more than when you layer with a separate mid-layer beneath a shell jacket. 


As far as warmth is concerned, insulated jackets have an edge over shell ones. This is because insulated jackets provide warmth even without adding additional layers beneath. 

 So if you are a person who rides frequently in cold and frigid climatic conditions, then you must consider getting an insulated jacket. 



Waterproofing is better in shell jackets. Most of the shell jackets are waterproof. They have a commonly seam-taped and durable water repellent (DWR) finish on the outer layer to bead up and repel any moisture.

Insulated jackets on the other hand have less waterproofing. Though high-end models offer waterproofing they are very expensive. 

So if you ride in places with dry snow then you can go for insulated jackets. But if you are prone to facing wet snow, then you must go for shell jackets to avoid getting yourself wet and your clothes soggy. 


If you consider this feature, then you must opt for high-end shell jackets. This is because the thin fabric of shell jackets is much more efficient than insulated models at releasing hot air when you’re working hard.

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Thomas Miller
Thomas is an adventurous man from Colorado. He likes to ride snowmobiling in the harsh cold weather. Along with snowmobiling, he is also involved in the combat sports like boxing.