A Guide To Outdoor Clothing
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Outdoor clothing is not only about warmth, cover and protection. The right apparel allows you to pursue your adventure goals. The pants, jackets, gloves and shirts you choose for outdoor activities often divulge more about your goals and lifestyle than your personal style. Today, outdoor clothing comes in various styles and designs, so you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics to achieve excellent functionality and performance.
Things To Consider
There are several things you should consider before purchasing any outdoor clothing item. Determining the intended use of the item is the first important step in making a successful purchase. Think about the activity and what features are important to you. Are you looking for something very comfortable and lightweight, or is durability essential? Do you want protection from the elements, or do you need something practical for travel?
Second, think about the range of temperatures and weather conditions of your activity. Naturally, winter and cold weather gear require insulation and weather protection, while warm weather gear should be lightweight and highly breathable. High exertion activities require less insulation, while less strenuous efforts necessitate more.While the level of insulation varies, rain and wind protection should always be paramount in winter and cold weather gear.
Third, consider the versatility of the garment. It’s great to have several different types of clothing, but items that can be used for different activities or conditions are incredibly useful. When traveling or adventuring, you rarely have access to your entire wardrobe, so the pieces you pack must serve several functions.
Familiarize yourself with the layering principle for outdoor clothing – pick and combine pieces of clothing to suit various weather conditions and activities.
Key Pieces Of Outdoor Clothing
Insulating mid-layer - Unless you’re venturing to the tropics, you’ll need a warm layer. Choose garments made from wool and synthetic materials; they dry fast and provide warmth, even when wet. For multiple layers, combine different materials to maximize warmth and insulation. For example, pair an athletic-fitting merino long-sleeve shirt with a fleece pullover or a dense wool and synthetic blend like the: KÜHL Brazen Jacket
Comfortable shorts or pants - Whether you pack a pair of pants or shorts depends on the climate and activity, but freedom of motion is essential for either.
Neck warmer - Possibly one of the most versatile items, a quality merino or synthetic neck warmer like the KÜHL NECK GAITER serves as a comfortable scarf, hat, headband, or even handwarmer. It doesn’t take much space and is a must-have for any adventurer.
Gloves - A pair of gloves are essential in many situations, especially if you have poor circulation.
Socks – Not enough attention is given to the importance of comfortable socks. Technical socks provide insulation and cushioning, prevent blisters, and support your ankles.
Underwear – Choosing the right women's underwear can make or break your trip. Always choose the correct size and pick styles suitable for an active lifestyle. More importantly, choose quick dry materials and avoid cotton for longer days or multi-day trips. When wet, cotton ceases to insulate and can cause chafing.
A high-quality jacket protects you from the elements and is an essential item in any outdoor kit.
There are several different types of outdoor jackets that serve various functions. The main types are: hardshells, insulating jackets, softshells and lightweight, wind-resistant jackets.
Hardshells – Thin, waterproof and windproof, hardshells are designed to protect you from rain, wind and snow. They vary in technology, weight, and waterproof rating. Running and other active sport hardshells are usually more lightweight and flexible, while mountaineering jackets are built to withstand harsher conditions.
Insulating jackets – Used in combination with a hardshell or as a standalone insulating layer, down jackets pack small, making them ideal for cold weather travel and adventure.
Softshells – Perfect for active sports, such as skiing, climbing and cycling, softshell jackets provide some insulation, as well as water and wind resistance. Softshells are comfortable, form-fitting and stylish.
Lightweight windbreakers – Widely varying from thin membranes for running (often lower than 100g in weight) to moderately waterproof jackets, lightweight windbreakers provide protection from the wind and rain, and offer light insulation. Many runners, cyclists and hikers use lightweight styles like the KÜHL JETSTREAM JACKET in inclement weather.
Take time to select the outdoor apparel best suited for the activities and conditions you’ll encounter. With plentiful options, you can ensure the best protection, comfort and style wherever your next adventure takes you.
By Kristina Aluzaite