WOOL FOR SPORTS & OUTDOORS
Wool has been keeping us warm for centuries. Today we are seeing it increasingly used in a wide range of sport and outdoor clothing.
Its breathability and moisture management abilities, and subsequent temperature regulation support, make it a natural choice for activewear. From yoga to cycling and skiing, wool’s qualities provide comfort and style for active lifestyles across all seasons.
LAYERING UP KEY TIPS
When it comes to dressing for outdoor activities with different levels of intensity, layering your garments is considered the general rule of thumb. Whether it’s hiking, climbing or skiing, the wool layering system will help you avoid overheating when working hard, and yet keep you warm and dry when you stop.
TIP #1: CHECK THE WEATHER
Before you head out on your latest adventure, take a look at the weather. If it’s going to be a cold but clear day, you may find that you need fewer layers than if, for example, you’re headed out for a long hike in cloudy, rainy weather. Before you plan your clothing for the day, make sure you know what you can expect to see out there.
The weather report will also give you a good idea of just how many layers you’ll need to take along. Remember, you need to be prepared for time spent sitting around as you enjoy your destination or ride the ski lift back to the top of the mountain as well as the time when you’re moving along, building up heat through exertion.
Regardless of the weather, however, you want to be sure that you’re prepared for potential conditions. A short hike in good weather may still require a windbreaker, and you may find that long sleeves help protect you from wind, sun, and other challenges you’ll face along your hike. You want to be comfortable, especially if you’re staying close to civilization, but you also want to be able to protect yourself if the weather changes quickly. Consider potential changes in the weather for the time of year before you get dressed, and prepare accordingly.
TIP #2: KEEP IT LIGHTWEIGHT
Whether you’re headed out for a day on the slopes or planning to spend the day hiking through the mountains, you know that anything you bring with you, you’re going to have to carry. While puffy coats can help add an extra layer of warmth, they can also be very difficult to haul around with you all day–especially if you’ve already packed your backpack full. When you choose your extra layers, make sure that they’re as lightweight as possible. A good layer should help hold in body heat without a lot of excess fabric.
TIP #3: PICK THE RIGHT LAYERS
You know you need to keep it lightweight, and you’re ready to create the perfect outfit for your adventure–but what layers do you really need? There are three primary layers you should plan to wear if you’re headed out for a cooler weather adventure. If it’s going to be particularly cold, you may want to add a layer or two along the way; however,your layers should incorporate:
The inner layer. This is the layer closest to your skin. Its goal is to wick moisture off of your skin, preventing you from becoming cold and clammy when you stop moving. Wool makes a great inner layer because it can hold up to 30% of its weight in moisture before you’ll even begin to feel cold.
The middle layer. When you think of layering, the middle layer is one of the most important layers. The middle layer traps your body heat inside, keeping you warm and cozy even if you’re out in the elements for long periods of time. Your middle layer may actually consist of multiple pieces of clothing, especially if you expect to encounter large temperature changes during your adventure. Fleece, down, and other synthetic fibers often make great middle layers due to their insulating properties. The colder the temperatures you anticipate on your adventure, the thicker and heavier your middle layer may need to be.
The outer layer. Your outer layer should help trap that heat from the middle layer as it protects you from wind and rain. The outer layer is often a shell or other material that will help keep moisture off, especially if you’re going to be out in the rain.
Keep in mind that your goal, when adding in layers, is to avoid changing layers if at all possible. You want to be comfortable in the temperatures you expect to encounter on your journey, rather than constantly needing to change your clothes.