How to Choose the Perfect Hiking Jacket
If you are thinking that men’s hiking jacket is nothing but some roughly shaped sweater with ugly prints, it is the right time to consider your opinion. Nowadays, these kinds of jackets comes in so many varieties and forms that people get confused with some of the terms likes ‘hard shell’ and ‘soft shell’. When you hear the term ‘hard shell’ for the first time, you think something waterproof, wicks moisture and breathable; on the other hand, to think of ‘soft shell’, people get an idea of warm, elastic breathable shell which serves good for athletic performances but will fail to perform well, if the weather turns out to be wet.
In an overall overview, they may be right to identify the fabrics. With the fusion of technologies, you may get hiking pants and jackets that may feel like soft shells but are totally waterproof. You will also get combination hiking jacket, which is both of soft shell material and at the same time waterproof.
Now coming to the actual definition of soft shell and hard shell, there is nothing as formal difference. The soft shell came in to limelight when few manufacturers started to weave a fabric that comprises of soft and elastic material that can safeguard against winds but not entirely waterproof. In chilly weather conditions, this fabric works well and mainly forms an outer layer.
On the contrary, the material used in hard shell acts as a sandwich. It comprises of a membrane that is breathable and owing to this feature, the perspiration moves away from the main body. One of the most widely known membranes, used in this shell is Gore-tex, which further comprises of PTFE (mixture of many materials). The Gore-tex is the main membrane which makes hiking jacket waterproof.
Another type of jackets are available that are mostly suited for rough and cold climatic conditions. They are known as mountaineering or down jackets. They look like a sleeping bag and comes equipped with a down filling to keep you warm in the chilliest winter winds. This bag acts as an insulator, so this can be of great use if you are planning a trip to the snow-capped soaring mountains.
Apart from jackets, you will also need good and reliable hiking pants that won’t fail you in your much awaited hiking trip. Before going on purchasing a hiking pant, you must be sure how are you going to use it; will you roll it up into capris or zip it up to become shorts or just in favor of traditional long pants? The opinions differ widely, after all maximum hikers like versatility in fashion. The hikers also prefer convertible pants that can be used in various ways without occupying much space in the backpack. Sometimes the bottom part of the pants get dirty and need to be washed, in such scenarios, you can easily zip open the part that needs to be washed, without opening the full pant.
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