Outdoor jackets

Whether it's a big trekking expedition, a fishing trip or simply a hike in the mountains, an outdoor jacket will protect you from wind, rain and cold.

Basically, when buying an outdoor jacket, also called
trekking jacket or hiking jacket, the following aspects are important:
- Membrane and coating: to make the outer fabric waterproof and breathable, it must be provided with an additional layer. This is either a plastic film (membrane) or a coating. A membrane is a semi-permeable, thin separating layer that is applied to the material. Water drops cannot pass through the structure, but water vapor can be carried out through it. Brands like Salomon, Mammut, Salewa and The North Face use Goretex, an official membrane manufacturer. Columbia and Vaude have developed their own membranes with OutDry and Ceplex, respectively.
- Layers/Layers: Two-layer jackets have a tough outer fabric bonded to the membrane to protect it from wear and tear. Inside, there is often only a thin mesh lining. In jackets with 2.5 layers, another coating protects the inside of the membrane. Three-layer jackets also have their own inner lining and are therefore more robust and more comfortable to wear.
- Water column: The water column indicates how high the waterproofness and breathability of the jacket is: the higher this value is, the more waterproof and breathable the jacket is. A water column of 1000mm means that the jacket can withstand the pressure of about 1 liter of water. Functional rain jackets usually have a water column between 10000 and 30000mm.
- Ventilation: Under the armpits of some outdoor jackets are zippers, which create air circulation and prevent excessive sweating.
- Hood: The hood can be fixed, removable or rollable. Depending on your needs, you should also make sure that the hood fits over your head even with a helmet on.
- Covering the zippers: Another feature for a very well-made trekking jacket is the coverage of the zippers. Not only the front zipper but also the side pockets should be protected by at least one cover against rainwater.

In addition to the various features, it is basically necessary to distinguish between different types of jackets.
- Softshell: Softshell jackets combine insulation and weather protection. They are breathable, windproof and water repellent, but not waterproof. They have a softer and warmer material than hardshell jackets, making them the perfect all-rounder.
- Hardshell: Hardshell jackets are used in wet and demanding conditions. They are equipped with a membrane or coating that protects the outer material from wear and tear and makes the jacket waterproof, windproof and breathable. They consist of 2, 2.5 or 3 layers.
- Rain jackets: Rain jackets satisfy the basic requirements: they provide rain and weather protection, are thin and light. However, they are less resistant to wear and tear than hardshells.
- Down jackets/Primaloft: Down or Primaloft (synthetic padding) come into their own in cold conditions. They serve as an extra layer of insulation and create a warming cushion of air around the body. They are light and can be packed small, but are very sensitive to moisture. Their field of application is therefore in dry cold conditions.