Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Beginners guide to layered clothing

So, You made up your mind for your first trek and immediate thing you get strikeup with is about what to buy and what not especially about layered clothing. Here is a quick guide on how to choose your layered clothing.

Layering solves the problem of being too hot wearing those bulky jackets and too cold taking them off. It is the best option which allows you to make quick changes based on changes in weather and exertion level.

Each layer has a distinctive function:
·         First layer (base layer right next to the skin which manages moisture)
·         Second layer (insulating layer which provides protection from cold)
·         Third layer (outer shell layer which acts as a shield from rain and wind)

First layer: (Moisture transfer)
Main feature of base layer is it moves sweat away from yo

your body and keeps you dry even when you are sweating.  Being dry helps you both in summer and winter seasons. It wicks away the moisture from your skin to the top of fabric from where it evaporates. 

For high activity level, base layer should be made of either Merino wool or polyester and for low activity level , Silk.

Note: Cotton is a big no no as a base layer as it absorbs sweat , takes longer to dry leaving you chilled.

Second Layer: (Insulation)

This works by trapping dead air space by maintaining warm air in and cold air out. It manages the moisture from base layer.

·         Wool: Wool is a good natural insulator, it keeps you warm even when if it gets wet but it’s a little heavy. rough and takes time to get dry. Merino wool  is soft, warm enough.

·         Fleece: This is a better option than wool as these are half as heavy as wool and is fast drying.
Few fleece garments comes with wind proof membrane.

·         Down: This gives you maximum warmth for its weight but the main drawback is that it loses its insulating power when it is wet. This is the best option for very cold and dry weather.

Third Layer: (Protection from weather)

The primary function of this layer is to protect you when conditions get worst(rain, snow and wind). These are offered in two types soft shell and hard shell.

·         Soft shell: These gives you more freedom of movement, more breathable, may be water resistant but not water proof. Few come with windproof membrane.

·         Hard shell: These are both waterproof and windproof but not as breathable as soft shells. The best jacket will offer adjustable openings (cuffs, collar and waist), vents( for breath-ability), hood(that can be rolled up under the collar when not in use) and waterproof zippers.

Note: As hard shells are less breathable look for something which got more vents, under the arms would be preferable as more the vents more the chance for a leak.

Pics Courtesy : decathlon
Writeup - Imroz

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