knowing the right jacket that works for you requires efforts but saves your health and money

Complete Guide to Buying Jackets

This guide contains everything you need to know about jackets. Having the perfect jacket adds value to your adventures

Everyone agrees on the fact that jackets are highly necessary items in the closet. Whether it’s for hiking, adventure sports, working out, or just for a walk on the beach, you will need a good and suitable jacket. Buying the jacket is not the issues, but knowing which one is more suitable for you in different circumstances and environment. That’s why we’ve put up this article as your go-to guide that will undoubtedly assist you in finding the ideal jacket for each occasion and season.

Table of Contents:

  1. How to find the right jacket
  2. Jacket Parts
  3. Types of Jackets
  4. Different Jacket Fabrics 
  5. Jackets you need in your closet
  6. Jackets to avoid and why
  7. Precautions to note

How to Find the Right Jacket

knowing the right jacket that works for you requires efforts but saves your health and money

In a nutshell, you have to consider brand, style, and fabric when you shop for jackets. Also, the critical features and accessories it includes to make it waterproof, windproof and more, depending on what sort of adventurer you are and what type of activity you are doing, such as climbing or even just walking. 

Jacket Parts

Get to know the different parts of any jacket and what to consider when to shop for it.

Hood

Your head will be protected from the wind and water by an adjustable hood with a brim, neck flap, and sturdy drawstrings. When the draw cords are pulled tight, the hood should snugly enclose your face, leaving no space beneath the chin. If it is wintertime then you most definitely need warm hoods. Fur-lined hoods for instance reduce the amount of heat loss, keeping you and your face warmer. Your face will feel warmer depending on the size, type, and naturalness of the fur.

Underarm vents

When your level of exertion increases, underarm zippers can come in helpful for ventilation. However, if you have to use only one hand to zip or unzip the vent while moving, it might be challenging, especially if your other hand is occupied. Such a feature is frequently found in waterproof, breathable jackets.

Zippers 

An essential component of good and practical outerwear is a high-quality zipper. Strong with broad, resilient teeth and sturdy flaps, they protect the jacket from moisture without obstructing airflow or ventilation.

Jacket Pockets 

A high-quality insulated jacket must also have accessible pockets. They may include cover flaps to provide additional rain protection. Alternatively, they might only have zip closures that are water-resistant. Pockets are helpful for holding tiny objects like hats, gloves, compasses, maps, and other small items. When shopping, consider whether you prefer hand-warming pockets often found in fleece jackets or large side entry pockets that work best with hiking, as you can safely store necessary buy valuable goods in your pockets. 

Deep Collars

If you are considering outdoor adventures in winter weathers, then make sure you go for the deep collars to keep your neck warm. 

Types of Jackets

There are numerous designs of jackets for both men and women. Getting to know different types of jackets can be considered the very first step to choose the perfect fit for you. 

every different jacket type works best for a certain sport

3-in-1 Jacket

For those who need a reminder, the 3-in-1 is a winter jacket that has an additional insulating layer that zips in. Typically, this layer is a fleece or hoodless puffy.

Snowsports 

Snowy weathers and ski-specific clothes must include improved breathability, movement flexibility, and weather resistance. They are found in snowsports jackets and coats. These coats are useful for less hectic activities like morning strolls and walks, and such coats also aim to keep you utterly warm.

Softshell

For running and hiking in cold weather, softshell jackets are utilized to keep you protected against the elements yet not too insulated. They serve the primary function of preserving your comfort while you are active, eliminating the need for you to layer up excessively. They provide superior weather protection than a typical jacket, while also being stretchy for movement and breathable. A stretch-woven soft shell jacket is coated with water resistance. A performance softshell offers an excellent range of motion thanks to its 4-way stretch outer fabric, which can expand both horizontally and vertically. Softshells work best in dry, clear weather. To put it another way, a softshell will keep you dry and comfortable in light rain, but not in a storm. Instead of being waterproof, they are water-resistant.

Fleece 

A fleece jacket is a thin, casual jacket made of polar fleece, a type of polyester synthetic wool. They are best used in hikes or daily jogging in temperate climate or cold.

Fabrics of Different Jackets

No matter how fashionable and comfortable a jacket is, it is the materials that will keep you warm, cozy, and comfortable. That is why it is vital to get to know different fabrics used for various jackets. There are tons of fabrics used for jackets’ making. However, below you shall find the most common ones for winter breaks, hikes, skiing, and summer vacations.

Waterproof Membrane

A layer of water-tight material called a waterproofing membrane is placed on a surface to stop leaks or damage from water. Typically, liquid-applied or pre-formed sheet membranes are used in the procedure. When talking about waterproof fabrics, we should definitely mention its components such as Gore-Tex, water-resistant and waterproof jackets. Gore-Tex jackets are made to keep out snow and mild rain. A water-resistant material or item will only partially block water penetration, whereas a waterproof item of clothing will provide the wearer with water protection for an extended length of time.

Polar Fleece

Polar fleece is a polyester insulating fabric. It is a silky, napped synthetic cloth that has good thermal insulation. Although much lighter than wool, polar fleece (also known as microfleece) possesses some of the same characteristics as wool. It is supple, light, warm, and cozy. It is hydrophobic, meaning it doesn’t absorb water, and even when wet, it maintains its heat insulation. The cloth also breathes wonderfully. 

When it comes to fleece jackets, it is a good choice for athletes. Lighter-weight fleeces work well as practical autumn jackets and winter base layers. It’s also important to think about whether a hood is required. While a hood gives warmth on the coldest of days, if worn during high-intensity activities, it can cause overheating. Because of where the material comes from, fleece has a propensity to dry quickly. The fleece gets all the medals for drying quickly despite the fact that textiles like wool, cotton, and corduroy take a while. You may wear them virtually every day thanks to the microfibers made of polyester that swiftly and easily wick away water.

Merino Wool

Wool, or specifically Merino wool is a natural fiber that originates from the Merino sheep. It is softer and thinner than the average wool, making it much nicer and easier to wear next to the skin. Its a popular choice for outdoor use in cool climates.

It is believed that wearing wool has enormous natural health benefits. In addition to being quite warm, most people agree that it can also enhance sleep, treat skin ailments, have antibacterial characteristics, and be helpful for asthma.

Denim

The world’s most recognizable fabric is denim. When you mention “denim jeans,” everyone in the room immediately understands what you’re referring to. The denim jean has become a global representation of American culture because denim is appealing beyond national and cultural boundaries. Denim jackets are sturdy, long-lasting, and durable since they are made of the same fabric as denim pants. If you take good care of your denim jacket, it can actually endure more than ten years while still providing you with the utmost in comfort and style. You can never go wrong with a fashionable denim jacket in summer. 

Jackets You Need in Your Closet:

Fleece Jackets

Also referred to as your best companion during hikes or camping trips. It is a thin, casual jacket constructed of polar fleece-like polyester synthetic wool, and most notably a favorite item among athletes as it keeps them cool. It wicks sweat and moisture away from the body while allowing air to pass between the fibers.

Purpose: For outdoor activities, a fleece jacket is intended to serve as a mid-layer that is both breathable and light. Generally speaking, fleece can keep you warm, but it is not wind or water-resistant. Because of this, fleece is a popular choice for a mid-layer to add another layer of insulation. Fleece jackets are usually worn during jogging and light workouts, or even morning walks. 

Waterproof Jackets 

For dewy and rainy days. You never know when exactly you’ll need a waterproof jacket until you’re in the outdoors having the best camping of your life, and it suddenly rains heavily. Aside from packing your waterproof tent, you absolutely require a waterproof jacket or two. Water cannot enter the materials used in waterproof jackets because of the numerous, minimal holes that enable to allow for breathability but definitely not water.

Purpose: The purpose of a waterproof jacket is to keep the rain off of it. A waterproof jacket provides the best level of defense against snow and rain, to put it simply. Waterproof jackets are best worn during humid and rainy weathers to keep you warm and comfortable. 

Hardshell Jackets

Hardshell jackets are unyielding and stiff, as the name suggests. After all, they are intended to serve as your first line of defense against strong winds and heavy rains. A hardshell jacket is your best buddy on days when nothing can keep you warm enough. Think of cruel snowy days. It is definitely the jacket you need during your campervanning

Purpose: Hard shell jackets are worn to defend against snow and rain. They are essential for any activity that might include going out in the rain or a lot of snow, such as hiking, camping, backpacking, and powder days. When mountaineering, skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and climbing, hardshell jackets are best worn.

Wool Coats

Wool coats often have 2 to 4 small, shallow pockets and a button-up front. The extra-large collar on wool jackets may be worn up or pulled down to create a large neck opening that is ideal for showcasing your favorite winter scarf. They offer a classy look to both men and women during formal occasions. 

Purpose: When chosen carefully, a wool coat can give you further warmth. Building your outfit around tops for cold weather layers that keep your core warm will be a crucial step as you get ready for the day. Additionally, you will need to wear at least a winter hat and scarf with your wool coat. Wool coats are frequently worn in leisure walks during cool weathers, business meetings, or dates! 

Jackets to Avoid and Why:

Full Leather Jackets

There are many reasons why leather is bad on human skin. In terms of deforestation, biodiversity loss, and greenhouse gas emissions, the manufacturing of leather, is disastrous. Due to the numerous chemicals used in the leather processing, it is quite energy-consuming and water-demanding to create. Leather industries typically in the long run affects human health as well as the environment’s. 

when shopping for jackets make sure you put extra factors into consideration such as weather and activity

100% Cotton Jackets 

Perhaps some of the coziest jackets, but it is not recommended to wear them during sports activities as it is not the most ideal material that allows breathability to your skin during HIIT cardio.

Puffer Coats

These jackets might look stylish to wear, but the fabrication process isn’t the most environment-friendly. The chemicals used during the making of puffer coats must be rid of. As a result, they are carried out to sea and land on coastal shorelines, posing a threat to several unwary species.

Precautions to Note:

Undoubtedly, everyone goes with the quote that says “to each their own”. This article just aims to highlight different types of jackets and what are the best recommendations for different purposes. The choice of what to wear and what not to always goes back to you. Make sure you wear something you’re perfectly comfortable in.

Lydia Yang

Lydia Yang

Lydia Yang is a Singaporean city girl who decided to ditch her high heels for hiking boots and become a full-time traveller and digital nomad. She has been to almost 60 countries to date! She has a knack for adventure travel, especially rock climbing, and always hunts down the best climbing spots around the world. Check out her expert advice on the best outdoor crags to climb at or what workouts to improve your climbing performance.

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