Mountain Sports Apparel
Cold Weather Protection
When you’re involved in outdoor sports, keeping your core body temperature even is very important. Breathable materials with effective insulation help keep your body dry and while also ensuring that you don’t cool down too far in cold and windy conditions.
Requirements: When it gets really cold, normal layering of your clothing isn’t enough to keep your body’s temperature constant. An additional layer of insulation functions like a thermal air barrier that protects your body from the cold. Good insulation materials to choose from include down, synthetic fibers and fleece, each of which has its own unique properties. They all have a good weight to warmth ratio, can be packed down small and are robust, but they dry at different speeds. Different fills are used for different types and levels of activity.
When it comes to insulation, nothing beats down as a fill material. A high-quality down jacket filled with fluffy duck down guarantees cozy warmth and high level of comfort at a low weight.
Down is an ingenious natural product that combines lightness with outstanding thermal properties. The finely branched structures are similar to the form of a snowflake and entrap a large amount of air. Body heat is maintained, so that nothing comes between you and your adventures in the great outdoors, even in the coldest temperatures. Down is a great choice for mid and outer layers of clothing. It’s soft and comfortable to wear, and it’s also antistatic. Because of its elasticity, down retains its shape and is more compressible than synthetic fibers – ideal if you don’t have much space for your gear.
The insulation performance of down, however, is negatively affected by water. Moisture from sweat or from the air can cause down to clump and lose its insulating effect. Airing out and drying your down items regularly will help prevent clumping. If a down jacket ever gets soaked, for example, let it dry and then shake it out well. Drying in a tumble dryer with the addition of some tennis balls is optimal, as these will redistribute the fine down filaments. In addition, down has its own natural smell which can be eliminated by washing.
Fill power, or loft, is an important quality feature of down and describes its capacity to store air. This value is given in “cuin” (cubic inches) and indicates the volume (loft) to which an ounce (~ 28 grams) of down expands after compression. The higher this value, the better the insulation capacity in relation to volume. Down fill with high loft is lighter and more compressible than an equally warm fill with lower quality down.
Down to Feather Ratio
Depending on the activity that a jacket is designed for, different down blends are used in our products. Fill ratios refer to the percentage of down plumes to support feathers in terms of overall fill weight. The higher the ratio of down plumes, the higher the loft.
90/10 down ratio
90/10 down fill ensures optimum insulation at a minimum weight. For some of our sleeping bags and apparel we use a high quality down with a fill ratio of 90 % down to 10 % feathers. We rely on down with a loft of 700+ cu in and 800+ cu in fill power to achieve this excellent ratio of insulation performance to weight.
70/30 down ratio
During transitional seasons, down fill with a ratio of 70/30 is often used. This contains high-quality and durable grey duck down. Fill power: 500 cuin
We use 100 % recycled down in some of our products. In cooperation with a textile recycler, the fill is taken from post consumer bedding and clothing, and is then recycled. It is first washed, sterilized and then sorted into its individual components. Broken feathers and down plumes are removed so that only the best down ends up in VAUDE products. This valuable natural product is thus sensibly reused.
Synthetic fill is made from microfibers – chemical compounds such as polyester or polyamide. It’s a man-made product, which makes it possible to reinforce specific properties. This provides many advantages for functional clothing. Synthetic fibers are characterized by very low moisture absorption and increased breathability. Even when wet, they retain their thermal properties, in contrast to natural fibers such as goose down. This makes them a great choice for humid areas or for activities that involve sweating. Synthetic fibers are wafer-thin and extremely lightweight, resilient and compressible. Textiles made with them dry quickly, are very robust and easy to care for, offer high heat retention and wearing comfort, and maintain their shape. However, synthetic fill doesn’t match goose down in terms of loft, comfort level and compressibility.
Primaloft® Black Insulation
PrimaLoft® Black Insulation is an insulation made of fine microfibers which is characterized by a particularly high loft, excellent thermal performance and excellent compressibility.
Primaloft® Black Insulation Eco
PrimaLoft® Black Insulation Eco is an insulation made of fine microfibers which is characterized by a particularly high loft, excellent thermal performance and excellent compressibility. This combination of 70 % recycled material and state-of-the-art fiber technology is a powerful and environmentally friendly solution for maximum thermal comfort.
Polartec® Alpha® is the latest achievement in synthetic thermal insulation: body heat is stored in air chambers. Polartec® Alpha® is especially lightweight, more durable and more robust than comparable insulation materials, and is a great choice for motion-intensive activities. Jackets made with Polartec® Alpha® look like thin down jackets, and are also referred to in Germany as a “puffy”.
Sensolfil is a microfiber specially developed by VAUDE that reflects your body heat inward when you wear it. It’s characterized by good moisture transport and provides insulation even when wet. Sensolfil dries quickly, is durable, robust and easy to take care of.
In fleece fabrics, multi-fiber threads are integrated into an elastic knitted fabric, cut open (see figs. 1, 2, 3) and napped. This results in a dense surface that’s referred to as pile. The higher the fleece’s pile, the more air that can be stored in the spaces between the fibers and the higher its thermal insulation.
High-quality fleece materials are generally used as a thermal mid-layer, which is worn under the wind and weather protection of the outer layer. Fleece materials are lightweight and offer high thermal performance. They’re breathable and quick to dry. VAUDE fleece is tear-resistant and resistant to pilling (formation of lint or knots).
Polartec® Thermal Pro®
Polartec® Thermal Pro® fabrics are made from durable polyester. They’re lightweight, breathable and quick to dry. They also retain air and offer excellent heat retention. Many fabrics are also outfitted with a water-repellent finish that causes rain and snow to bead up and roll off.
Natural fibers are divided into two groups: plant fibers (such as cotton) and animal fibers (such as wool). The natural properties of these fibers make them truly comfortable to wear.
All natural fibers are particularly soft, skin-friendly and help regulate your body’s temperature in a natural way. In addition, they’re antistatic. Since these materials retain moisture, they’re more suitable for everyday use than for intensive sporting activities.
VVAUDE uses the fine wool of merino sheep for its products. Merino wool is strongly crimped, elastic and produces very fluffy yarns.
Wool products absorb moisture, are pleasantly soft, and remain warm and cozy even when wet, due to the air trapped in the fibers for natural heat retention. Wool has a high natural fat content (lanolin). The less the wool is treated, the higher the natural water repellency effect of the clothing. Pure virgin wool is usually used for clothing. This is sheared from healthy, living sheep, then washed, sorted and either directly processed into felt fabric (boiled wool) or spun into yarn, and then knitted or woven. Any knots you might find in the fabric are completely normal and can be easily removed. Find out more about wool here in our sustainablility report.
Some products includes wood fiber, a fiber that is made from 100 % FSC-certified wood and that is 100 % biodegradable. Fabric made from wood fibers is moisture regulating, as soft as silk, and keeps you cool and comfortable. The fiber production from cellulose is extremely environmentally friendly thanks to a resource-conserving closed loop system. Wood you wear it?