In outdoor activities, a suitable jacket is essential, which can provide effective protection when faced with extreme environments. However, there are many classifications of jackets to deal with different application environments. How to choose jackets correctly is very important, so here to talk to us about the focus when choosing jackets.
The concept of the jacket is a broad concept. The word jacket is unique to our country. The earliest time is mainly used to call the "hard shell" clothes for wind and rain, and following the product breakdown, the soft shell clothes are also divided. In the field of jackets, it is called "soft shell jackets". In order to facilitate the description in the article, the following chapters will uniformly use "hard shell" and "soft shell" to describe.
First of all, let’s talk about soft shells. Soft shells are called “SoftShell Jacket” in English, so the name is “soft jackets”. Generally, the softness of fabrics is much better than that of hard shells, and some fabrics have certain elasticity. Wind resistance is an essential function of all soft shells. Secondly, some soft shells are compounded with a certain thickness of fleece layer to have a moderate warmth retention function. There are also some soft shells, which have been pressed with waterproof and breathable membranes and turned into waterproof soft shells, which can generally reach the level of moderate rain.
The version requirements of soft shell and hard shell are quite different. The soft shell was originally used as rock climbing and ice climbing clothing. Later, it has been adopted by other types of outdoor activities. It is characterized by softness and fit, and the tops are mostly short jackets. The soft shell is generally used as a two-layer wear, regardless of the existence of middle-layer insulation clothing.
The fabric windproof soft shell relies on the tight arrangement of fabric fibers to play a windproof function. The advantage is good breathability, some fabrics have good elasticity, and good wearing comfort. But the disadvantage is that the windproof function is slightly inferior to the membrane windproof soft shell. Patagonia and Outdoor Research are among the manufacturers that favor fabric windproof soft shells.
However, fabric windproof cannot completely block the invasion of wind, and it cannot completely prevent the wind chill effect in an outdoor environment with poor weather. The onset of the wind chill effect will greatly reduce the body's sense of temperature, causing heat loss, and under severe conditions, it will cause hypothermia symptoms.
This is why the membrane windproof soft shell was born. The membrane windproof soft shell is pressed against the windproof and breathable membrane on the surface, which can well block the onset of the air-cooling effect. The largest and most excellent windproof breathable membrane on the market is Gore WindStopper. Under the premise of ensuring good breathability, it achieves the most perfect windproof effect together, and has many different sub-models for customers to choose from for different sports. However, the air permeability of the membrane windproof soft shell is slightly lower than that of the fabric windproof soft shell due to its structure.
In the actual purchase, if the weather is fine, the temperature is high, there is no wind or the wind is small, you can consider choosing the soft shell of the fabric windproof type to get the best breathability. However, if you choose to use Gore WindStopper technology membrane windproof soft shell in an environment with high wind or low temperature, in order to obtain the best windproof function and eliminate the occurrence of wind cooling effect.
If you are in an extremely cold, rainy and snowy outdoor environment, it is recommended to choose a hard shell jacket. In order to get more protection. The waterproof function of hard shell jackets is stronger than that of soft shell jackets. Some hard shell jackets are equipped with windproof skirts at the waist to improve the windproof function of the trunk and further prevent the onset of air-cooling effects. Some hard shell jackets have "snow/mud covers" built into the legs and feet, which are more suitable for use in messy environments. Some hard shell jackets that deal with extreme environments and high wear resistance planning requirements are very durable and durable. However, the softness of hard shell assault pants is generally poor, and the air permeability is slightly inferior to that of the membrane windproof soft shell, and the wearing comfort is relatively poor.
Hard shell clothing is divided into two categories from the nature of the waterproof membrane material. One is a waterproof and breathable membrane composed of EPTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) microporous membrane, and the other is composed of a hydrophilic and moisture-permeable principle. PU waterproof and moisture-conducting coating, the functions of these two waterproof membranes are quite different. PU coated waterproof fabric is limited by its own physical function, waterproof function is limited, air permeability is poor, low temperature function and durability are generally poor. The EPTFE microporous membrane fabric has excellent performance in these aspects. The top representative among them, as the GORE-TEX? Pro products fabric, has a waterproof function of 28000mm and an air permeability index of 25000gr, which is very dazzling data.
Because of the huge difference in manufacturing costs, the price of hard shells using EPTFE fabrics is often higher than that of PU fabrics, but the functions of the two are very different. When economic conditions permit, try to choose hard shells with EPTFE fabric technology. Especially for activities in high altitude and extreme cold environments, the use of PU fabric hard shells should be avoided as much as possible.
Due to the different needs of users, the operating environment is different. The hard shell fabric structure is thus subdivided into three types: three-layer glue structure, two-layer glue structure, and two-layer and half-laminated structure.
three-layer rubber structural fabric: the surface layer, waterproof and breathable membrane and warp knitted inner lining are tightly pressed into the overall fabric. The three-layer rubber structural fabric has better wear resistance and durability. However, according to the different characteristics of the application environment, GORE has subdivided and announced three different fabrics for the three-layer adhesive structure fabric: GORE-TEX? Pro products, GORE-TEX? products, GORE-TEX? Active products.
has a high degree of air permeability and water resistance, generally cooperate with a tough surface layer to bring stronger abrasion resistance and durability. It is suitable for wearing in extreme climates of rain, snow and freezing, and outdoor activities for many days or weeks.