To enable mountaineers to actively regulate their body temperature, they need to wear different layers of clothing. The thinner these layers, the more precise the regulation. If the layers are properly coordinated, they can work interactively with each other.
Fast-drying, rapid transport of moisture away from the body, forwarding to the next layer
|2. Layer||Insulation||Warming layer for cold temperatures
|3. Layer||Protection||Provides reliable protection from wind and water
(e.g. hard shell)
Five basic rules for an effective layering system
- Several thin layers work better than one thick layer.
- The most important layers are worn on the skin: the faster moisture is transported away from the skin, the better body temperature regulation works.
- Never wear clothing that is too warm, this will make you sweat too much.
- Wet clothing is uncomfortable and you will soon start to feel cold when the physical activity slows down. Materials such as cotton should therefore be avoided, because they absorb moisture which they are very slow to release and dry again.
- Tight fitting or too short jackets do not accelerate water vapour resistance. The bigger the outer jacket, the better the system works.
Soft shell revolution
Soft shells are revolutionising the classic "onion layering" or multiple layer principle by combining the second and third layers - creating a garment that offers both temperature regulation and weather protection. Soft shell garments are highly abrasion-resistant, elastic and wind-resistant, as well as offering enduring water and dirt repellent properties. They provide sufficient protection from wind and weather to cope with around 90% of all weather conditions.