Choosing your ski outfit, your hiking gore tex, a breathable trail tee shirt... an important choice to guarantee you the practice of your sport in the best conditions. Lightness, breathability, moisture wicking, waterproofing, comfort, warmth... so many questions that we can ask ourselves before buying a product.
In recent years, outdoor brands have made significant progress to enable you to acquire quality products that meet increasingly demanding specifications.
Below are the criteria to be taken into account before choosing a product:
Breathability: when doing active sports such as trail running, ski touring, climbing, it is important to have breathable clothing that quickly evacuates perspiration.
Waterproofing: protective membranes have been developed in recent years. Gore Tex remains the reference but brands are innovating on the resistance of products with membranes up to 30 000 mm.
Insulation: An insulating jacket resists the penetration of cold. A wind at 30 km/h with 5°c gives a feeling of -7°c. The higher you ski at altitude, the more a windproof membrane becomes mandatory.
Comfort: it is important to look at the material and that it is adapted to what you are looking for. Merino wool is anti-odour and breathable, regulates the heat according to the outside temperature. A lightweight synthetic is ideal for trail running to allow perspiration to not remain.
This is often referred to as the 3-layer system:
- the first layer wicks away per spiration and keeps you dry. A long or short sleeve tee shirt depending on the season and the activity.
- the second: brings you warmth. A fleece for example
- the third: protects you against external elements such as wind / snow / rain / cold.
It is necessary to adapt your protection according to your practice and the outside temperature.
Active sports :
For these practices we advise to use several layers:
- a first merino layer
- a technical jacket or jacket / sweatshirt for the trail
- a waterproof / windproof protective jacket
- light pants and possibly tights
- It is important to cover the extremities: gloves / neck cover / caps
In ski touring, we leave rather light and we cover ourselves on the descent or we are less active.
More passive activities :
It's cold, you spend the day with your feet in the snow, or you'll spend a few hours on the chairlifts, it's important to have what you need to avoid catching cold:
- Warm waterproof gloves + hat and neck cover.
- Warm and waterproof jacket
- Ski boots or warm boots
- Warm and waterproof winter trousers
Sport in summer :
In summer we also look for comfortable clothes to adapt to the heat:
- For the trail running we will rather opt for tee shirt, shorts, light breathable bras...
- The hiker will prefer clothes that will adapt to the climate: half-zip trousers / light shirts that protect against the sun, large hat, mosquito net... so many products adapted to the practice.
The labels :
In recent years more and more labels have appeared to guarantee the quality of the products:
- Technical labels: these are all labels that guarantee a certain technicality of the product: waterproofing / breathability / drying.
- eco-responsible labels: they guarantee that your product uses recycled products with a low impact on the environment.
- Fair trade labels: they guarantee that the working conditions of workers in the country of manufacture are respected.
All these criteria are not exhaustive but are intended to guide you in your choice of clothing, necessary for the practice of your activity.