If you’re a fan of fast, light hiking; trail running or just like to keep weight to a minimum when you set off on an adventure then these innovative fabrics will be right up your street. They offer the very best when it comes to weather protection and breathability, and are extremely compressible, allowing convenient transportation in a pack or pocket.
Active Shell is a super lightweight, super breathable, weatherproof fabric designed for highly aerobic activities. It incorporates a lighter, thinner Gore-Tex membrane into a 3-layer construction, bonding it to the outer and liner fabrics to prevent movement between the layers and keep bulk to a minimum. It allows athletes to enjoy durable protection from the elements, coupled with advanced moisture management and next-to-skin comfort .
Omni-Freeze Zero is a fantastic piece of innovation courtesy of the boffins at Columbia. The blue rings contain a cooling agent, which is activated by your sweat to increase wicking and lower the temperature of the fabric, keeping you cool so you can push yourself harder for longer.
3. Polartec NeoShell
Polartec® Neoshell is one of the most advanced fabrics to grace the outdoor scene for a number of years. Combining the comfort of a softshell with the durable weather protection of a hardshell, this supple, flexible fabric gives you the performance you need without holding you back. The fabric’s ground breaking membrane provides incredible breathability, creating constant airflow that allows moisture to escape efficiently without reducing wind resistance. It is ideal for a wide range of high exertion activities from climbing to cycling and allows you to work hard, without steaming up.
Although not a specific fabric, we still thought that compression garments deserved a mention. Compression garments help to boost your performance and aid your recovery. Breathable, moisture wicking and quick drying, they support your muscles, improving blood flow and reducing the effect of the vibrations caused by impact. Brands like Salomon, Skinz and Odlo have been working with compression at the highest level to allow athletes to challenge themselves, while eliminating the discomfort that can pull their focus.
Check out the video below to see how Skins explain compression technology.
ClimaWind fabrics provide the ideal balance of breathability and windproofing making them ideal for aerobic activity. They are utilised throughout the brand’s high performance S-Lab range, to create feather-light outer layers that bring an end to the ‘boil in the bag’ effect and can pack into the palm of your hand. Have a look at the video below to see just how involved the development process gets.