March 15, 2010

Foul Weather Gear Garment Design and Breathability

When a jacket or salopette is marked as breathable is that the end of the story or just the beginning?

The fact is, that two different garments made with fabrics of the same "breathability" can have a very different "breathability" result. The design is absolutely critical to the level of breathabiity.

Breathability is affected by the linings and multiple layers of fabric--pockets, flaps over zippers, collars, reflective panels, etc.  No wonder racers want their foul weather gear as pocket free as possible.  That big pouch over the chest can hold a lot of items, but it also holds back vapor from escaping through the fabric.  And when you're burning a lot of calories during an active shift on deck you need all the breathability possible.

The other design component is the cut--how loose fitting is the garment.  Jackets and trousers that are too form fitting don't allow the air to circulate enough under the garment, inhibiting moisture flow and breathability.

So when making a purchase it's not just the fabric but how it's used in the garment--pockets, flaps, and fit--that really determines breathability.  The other part of this discussion is about the layers you wear underneath.  That's for next time.

For a complete selection of foul weather gear and sailing gear we recommend you visit They offer Free Shipping, Free Merchandise, and great Sale Prices, all with outstanding customer service.

We'd also like to thank Gill, for all their knowledge, help, and advice.