As the weather changes and the cold starts creeping closer, so do your body’s requirements for staying warm. And with so many options for outer layers, it can sometimes be hard to decide which one is right for you. Here at Tactical Distributors, we want to take away the guesswork and make it easier for you to figure out which protective outer layer options you should look for. In this blog post, we’ll be talking about all things layering: how to layer, the different types of layering, and the difference between warm outer layers or insulated outer layers and waterproof or shielding outer layers. When it comes to layering, there’s a lot to learn. So let’s get started!

How To Layer

Let's look at the different types of layers and their functions. There are three types of layers: the base layer, the middle layer, and the outer layer. The base layer’s purpose is to wick sweat and moisture off your skin. This is also known as the underwear layer. The middle layer (or insulating layer) works to protect you from the cold by retaining body heat. Finally, the outer layer (or shell layer) acts as a shield from wind, rain, and other elements.

Choosing The Right Outer Layer

Since outer layers protect you from rain, wind, snow, or other elements, they’re a pretty important piece of your wardrobe. There are a ton of options when it comes to shells, and they can range dramatically in price depending on their purpose. But how do you know which outer layer is right for you? It all depends on your situation and environment.
In general, there are four categories of outer shells:
  1. Waterproof/breathable shells: These shells are both the most expensive and most functional options available. These durable shells are perfect for protection in vigorous conditions, such as rainstorms or snowstorms.

  2. Water-resistant/breathable shells: If you’re dealing with breezy, misty weather, but not a full-on rainstorm, then this type of shell might be the one for you. This option is more affordable in comparison to waterproof/breathable shells. They’re typically made of woven polyester or nylon fabrics, which work to block against lighter rain and wind.

  3. Soft shells: These shells focus heavily on breathability. They’re extremely comfortable due to their stretchy fabric or fabric panels, so they’re great for use while partaking in various outdoor activities. Many people like these jackets because they not only offer protection against light wind and rain but also include a light insulation lining.

  4. Waterproof/nonbreathable shells: If you’re going to be outdoors, but won’t be doing any sort of physical activity (such as fishing or attending a sporting event), then these shells could be a great fit. They’re usually made of coated nylon, so you’ll still be protected against any rain or wind you may encounter.

Protective Outer Layer Jackets

With so many protective outer layer options to choose from, it can be overwhelming at times. How do you know which jackets are the best, and where can you find them? Luckily, we have a pretty extensive collection of outer layers that you can browse through right here at Tactical Distributors! Our selection includes warm outer layers, insulated outer layers and waterproof or shielding outer layers. We have just about any type of jacket you could think of, and they’re available at a wide range of prices, so there’s something for everyone!
If you’re looking for a comfortable yet protective option, then we suggest checking out the Viktos Combonova Softshell Jacket. This water-resistant jacket is a great option because it can be used during multiple different seasons. This jacket is tactically equipped and allows for unrestricted movement, so for those of you in the field, it may be the perfect match!
Another great option that we offer at Tactical Distributors is the MTHD Tundra Polartec NeoShell 3L Anorak L5. This jacket is lightweight, durable, breathable, and has water-resistant features, so it’s kind of an all-in-one type of shell. It can be worn throughout different seasons, but it’s especially good for those who spend a lot of time outdoors during the colder months.

Tips For Staying Warm In The Colder Months

Choosing the right outer layer is an important step toward preparing for the winter months, but it’s not the only one. If you find yourself getting cold easily, or you have to spend extended periods outdoors in the blistering weather, consider testing out some of these tips. They should have you feeling warmer in no time!
  1. Stay Standing
    If you’re feeling cold, one of the best things you can do is to continue standing up. Even if you feel tired, you should try your best not to sit! Once you sit down, your body heat will start to transfer into the cold ground, and, in turn, you’ll get colder much quicker.

  2. Keep Moving
    Since you should already be standing up, the next step is to move around a little bit. You don’t have to go crazy and exert yourself too much, but even just slowly walking around can help your body generate more heat.

  3. Stay Dry
    Even though you’re supposed to keep moving around, you also need to avoid working up a sweat. Since sweat is your body’s way of cooling itself down, it can be especially dangerous when you’re outdoors during the wintertime. You should also steer clear of any water!

  4. Keep Yourself Hydrated
    You might not guess it, but staying hydrated will actually help your body stay warmer for longer. Do your best to keep hydrated throughout the day, and be sure to carry water with you wherever you go, just in case.

  5. Warm Up Your Torso
    If you can add extra layers to your torso area, it will be beneficial. Warming this part of your body first will help the rest of your body warm up quicker!