If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you know the importance of packing the right clothes and gear for the trip based on climate. When it comes to apparel, there are certain materials which are better suited to your winter travels than others. While these materials are all great for winter, it is important to remember that effective cold weather wear is all about layering. It is also about combining those layers in a way that keeps you dry from moisture since moisture can quickly leave you vulnerable to the cold temperature. When you combine layering with the right materials, you achieve the best resulting insulation and protection from the elements. Here are the top choices for cold weather materials to consider for your next adventure.
It would be impossible to list cold weather materials and not start with wool. This material is known for being super absorbent against moisture and sweat which helps to keep you dry. It is also great for insulating body heat. When choosing your layers for a cold climate trip, wool works well as both an interior layer close to the body because its soft and also has a middle layer because of the insulation properties.
This material is a specially woven fiber that is exceptionally well suited to keeping you dry and warm. In cold weather, there is a lot of moisture and that moisture can easily penetrate your layers to the skin and make you colder. With Gore-Tex, the water simply rolls right off so it is best suited as an outer layer such as pants and jacket or vest. This material is pricier, but it is also rip and tear resistant which means it will last for years of use without wear and tear.
When looking for cold weather materials to help with wind protection, it is hard to beat polyester. This material is great for insulation and protecting you from wind while also being lightweight, so you won’t feel like you are carrying extra weight. Polyester is also great because it can have different levels of fill, so you can wear as heavy or light of a jacket or vest as needed for your particular excursion and climate.
When looking for something lightweight and waterproof without the higher cost of Gore-Tex, this is a suitable option. It is waterproof so the water rolls right off and it is also helps to wick moisture away from the body making it ideal as a base layer. This type of material is best when used during certain outdoor activities such as winter sports when sweating is a concern.
One of the lesser talked about but still useful cold weather materials is nylon. This material is well suited as an outer layer because it is resistant to wind and water. It is more commonly seen as ponchos but there are other options on the market with this material as well.