Tech clothing to keep you toasty
From exploring the outdoors, to pottering around the garden on a Sunday afternoon, technical clothing can have multiple purposes and will keep you warm whatever you’re doing.
Technical clothing often works best when layered but it’s more than just throwing on a cardigan when you feel a chill. Technical clothing works not only by increasing warmth, but by bringing together different properties. Here are the basics.
Whether the sun is shining or clouds are gathering, base layers are designed to keep the wearer warm at high altitudes or low temperatures, and to carry sweat away from the body. This is crucial as when sweat cools, it brings down the core temperature of the body. Material options vary from high-tech synthetics to natural merino wool.
You don’t have to hit the slopes every year to get some use out of them. Why not get them out for a wintery walk? Base layers are close fitting so should fit well under most types of clothing and thanks to their breathability, perform well when walking long distances. And should you ever face the misfortune of living with a broken boiler in the middle of winter, you’ll be glad to have them in your wardrobe.
They’ve not been around for too long in the grand scale of the history of clothing, having only been created in 1979. As their popularity grew over the years, so too did the choice of type of fleece available, from the lightest micro fibre to a bulky 300 weight, and from standard texture to a more breathable weave - there’s one to fit every lifestyle.
Most synthetic fleeces are water repellent and a light drizzle can easily be brushed off. The flip side to this is that they can be harder to clean thoroughly, so specialist cleaning products may come in useful.
Don’t forget your extremities. Choosing the right sock or glove makes such a big difference to your comfort and like the items above, material is a major consideration.
Cotton socks don’t offer much warmth, but wool is an alternative natural fibre that’ll keep your feet warm and help keep them dry. If sweating is a bit of a worry for you, synthetic socks might be a better option, as they’re more effective at keeping moisture away from the skin.
The length of the sock is something to consider too, not only for keeping your legs warm but for your comfort. If you’re planning on skiing, a sock that reaches just below the knee is a must. If you’re into walking, the sock length you go for will likely be influenced by whether you wear walking shoes or walking boots.
You might be surprised to know that gloves have a broader technical range to choose from. Gloves that are intended to be used for snow sports are usually water and windproof and high-wristed to stop snow getting in, but don’t they provide much in way of flexibility.
If you need the same level of protection against the cold but a little more movement and lightness, mountaineering gloves will provide just that. On the flip side, if you’re willing to sacrifice dexterity altogether for warmth, you could go for a pair of mittens.
Additionally, if you still find your feet or hands suffering from the cold, liner gloves or socks will take the edge off. Again, synthetic materials are a cost effective and efficient choice but silk is a commonly used natural fabric.
Sometimes you still need to reach for the thermostat, no matter how well wrapped up you are. This winter, double check that you’re on the right energy plan for you by checking our latest plans.
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