Outdoor jackets are a crucial piece of clothing for taking part in outdoor or mountain sports. They protect us from the wind, cold and rain, keeping us warm and ensuring sweat is wicked away effectively. They can be used as second or third layers, depending on the features and material technologies.
How to choose outdoor jackets?
Depending on the intensity of the activity and the weather, you can choose between certain jackets.
Waterproof jackets are designed to be used in wet climates or in high mountains with frequent or consistent rainfall. If the jacket is light and compact, we can fold it up and pack it away when we don’t need it. They are made of waterproof material, which is more or less breathable (it does not let raindrops get in but does evacuate sweat) depending on their quality, since if you sweat a lot it will remain on the inside. These shells are, generally speaking, very resistant to abrasion and tearing. The seams and zips must be thermosealed, to prevent water from getting inside. If you are looking for high moisture wicking capacities, we recommend Gore-Tex This expanded teflon shell is made of micropores, which are smaller than raindrops, but at the same time, bigger than water vapour molecules (sweat), which allows sweat to be wicked away quickly from your body. They can be used for hill walking, trekking, hiking or trail running.
Windproof jackets are made of a mixture of water and wind resistant fabrics. Windproof jackets work to block out wind and keep us warm. These fabrics are not waterproof although some of them have been treated with water repellent and usually offer better breathability than waterproof fabrics. The most well-known of these fabrics is Windstopper, although more and more manufacturers are working to design their own windproof fabrics.
Soft shell jackets came into fashion a while ago. They are a mix between a fleece and windproof jacket. The idea was to reduce the number of layers worn. They are not waterproof although, like windproof jackets, they are treated to repel water, therefore making them somewhat water resistant. They are ideal for hiking, trekking and mountaineering.
We also have down jackets (goose or synthetic Primaloft) that are usually used for breaks or when doing very light activities. The down retains moisture and does not let it out. These jackets are more lightweight and compact and are also water repellent. They can be used alone or as a second layer under a soft shell or waterproof jacket.
Insulated jackets combine different materials at the same time, not only protecting you from the wind, cold and rain, but they also offer thermal insulation thanks to their inner lining. They are heavier than other jackets, since they are usually made with more robust, rigid and resistant materials. They are usually intended to be used for activities in extremely cold conditions, such as mountaineering, winter trekking, skiing, etc.
Popular Outdoor Jackets brands: