THE MULTI-LAYER SYSTEM, THE KEY TO ENJOY YOUR HIVERNAL ACTIVITIES
I don’t know about you, but when I see the first frost on the ground in October and the first sub-zero temperatures, I start to get anxious! I hate being cold! So, that got me thinking… What are the reasons why, every year, I feel like hibernating? The answer is quite simple! I didn’t know, like many people, how to properly equip myself to face winter.
So here are my tips for dressing well this season.
The first rule to remember: Moisture is the sworn enemy of chills. So, if you think that the more layers you put on, the warmer you’ll stay, you’re wrong. The only thing you’ll get is a sauna effect. And then you’ll get sweaty and humid. A little bit of fresh air and you’ll freeze.
Your three new playmates will be the three layers you can mix and match to insulate you from the cold. These three allies will keep you dry (as much as possible) and warm. All this, while aiming for optimal comfort and ease, and giving you enough courage to enjoy the sub-zero fun!
1. The diffusion layer: The layer that will keep you dry.
Its role is essentially to evacuate moisture from the body to the surface of the material. So, you’ll need to choose a garment with a quick-drying fabric to keep your skin dry. The secret lies in the fabric that will envelop you during your winter adventure. Wool, cotton and natural fibers should be avoided because their fibers retain humidity. Merino wool, which makes up the majority of under layers, is slower to dry but retains heat better when not humid. It is up to you to evaluate your propensity to sweat. Synthetic fibers (polyester/polypropylene) are still the ideal choice. You will have to make your decision according to the intensity of the physical activity you plan to do and the temperatures provided by your favorite weather application. In addition, this layer must be sufficiently tight not to impede your movements and thus avoid irritation due to friction.
2. The middle layer: The meat in the sandwich !
It looks a bit like the under layer, but its role is a heat keeper. Even if it must allow the transfer of moisture to the outside, its main task is to keep you warm. We often refer to it as a “micro down jacket”. It will be light, thin and compressible. It is important for the layer, often insulated with synthetic down, not to be tight. The space between the layers must retain your body heat so if they are too tight, no air will circulate and you will get cold.
3. The outer layer: The Shield
It will be your protection against bad weather. A small coat with breathable fabric that can let moisture out of the inner layers while still having a high enough level of waterproofing to protect you from the elements. Again, think comfort! You don’t have to look like a model! What you need to remember is ease without too much bulk.
To conclude, we must not forget that when it is cold, our body must work harder to warm us up, thus neglecting our extremities. This is why, more often, it is our hands, our head and our feet that suffers first. In order not to exhaust your body prematurely, remember to cover these parts of your anatomy with gloves or mittens, a good toque, a neck warmer and efficient socks. This way, you will save energy and be able to play outside longer.