What Does ‘Breathability’ Mean in Outdoor Clothes?
What does ‘breathability’ mean?
Why is breathability important?
“Evaporative cooling is the body’s natural mechanism of cooling,” Beckham explained. “This is necessary for comfort because it balances the heat generated by metabolism and activity. Anything that impedes evaporation of moisture from the skin, such as fabrics with low or no breathability, can impede cooling.”
In addition to the cooling factor, wearing non-breathable clothing can lead to odor problems. If your gear can’t breathe, it can start to stink, especially if you’re participating in cardio-based activities like hiking or trail running. When it comes to waterproof apparel, look for options like OutDry or other similar technologies—these block the rain from coming in while still letting the moisture from sweat out.
What are the most breathable fabrics?
- OutDry: Often used in shoes, boots, and gloves, this is a highly breathable material that’s also waterproof. It’s great for things like hiking boots, gloves, and outdoor accessories.
- OutDry Extreme (ODX): Designed for ultra-wet, rainy climates, this is an extra waterproof fabric that features a breathable membrane on the outside, giving it ultra-performance capabilities. Some of the best raincoats feature ODX fabric.
- OutDry Extreme Mesh: This is an enhanced version of ODX made with a waterproof membrane laminated to a mesh fabric, which reduces the resistance to moisture evaporation, making it even more breathable.
To Learn more about the OutDry Extreme technology watch the video below or check out our OutDry Extreme technology guide.