Windproofing is important in the outdoors, particularly when you are at height. Hill walking or climbing can increase your exposure to winds as oppose to walking in lower areas, such as valleys and dips.
Without windproofing protection, cold vapours can reach you, causing chills and discomfort.
Windproof items typically also have waterproofing capabilities, and tend to be more breathable than a waterproof alternatives. Jackets designed to prevent wind entering for example are designed to be breathable as well as windproof. This makes windproof items ideal for use in typical British weather, when it is cold and drizzly, but not pouring with rain.
As many enthusiasts are keen to point out, you are unlikely to ever be out in the pouring rain (unless you get hit by very unpredicatble weather) so having a breathable windproof layer is of higher importance for general wear.
The use of softshells for active wear with the need for this extra breathability has meant advancements in how clothing is windproofed.
In the case of jackets, hardshells may be waterproof and windproof, but their levels of breathability are lower.
In many cases, for use during active periods, you may need a windproof softshell item, so you stay comfortable.
Although fabric such as standard fleece are not windproof, close knitted fabrics can repel bulk amounts of wind due to the density of the fabric. The higher density the garment, the more closed the knit is, and the more capable it is of resisting wind.
Finished with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) layer on an inner insulating fabric with a close weave, knit based windproofing is generally cheaper than the use of a membrane.
However, a windproof garment may not also be waterproof Membranes are added to the inner of a garment to make them windproof. PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene is applied as a membranes to the inner layer of a fabric to make it waterproof.
PFTE is a synthetic bend of fluoropolymer and tetrafluoroethylene fibers, also known by the brand name of Teflon PTFE is an excellent coating for outdoor wear as it resists shrinkage, whilst retaining strength against both UV rays and general abrasion.
Pertex Equilibrium has a unique ‘denier gradient’ structure that combines two different yarns with different properties. The outer yarn has larger filaments, next to another yarn with smaller filaments. You can actually see the different yarns when comparing the inside and outside of the fabric. Moisture will move from larger filaments to smaller filaments. On the outside the smaller filaments have a relatively high surface area which causes the excessive moisture to evaporate quickly. Through evaporative heat loss Equilibrium reduces overheating.
The raised yarns on the inside of the Equilibrium fabrics create a micro-climate between the skin and fabric. This prevents the fabrics from sticking to the skin during intense activity. It also supports the moisture movement process.
Weather is changeable, especially in the UK, these light and packable layers of clothing are designed to be kept in your rucksack, ready to be pulled out at a moment’s notice. This video is here to help give you the information you need to stay comfortable and dry, whatever the weather.
Páramo® Directional Waterproofs are made with Nikwax Analogy® which mimics the action of mammal fur, directing water away from you whilst protecting your insulation to keep you warm and dry. Conventional breathable waterproofs can only cope with 20% of the sweat you produce.
Páramo® Windproof garments are made from Nikwax® Windproof fabric - it cuts the wind and deflects the rain whilst providing excellent moisture vapour transfer or ‘breathability’.