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Travel Tips

Layering RULES

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Layering our clothing is the most efficient method to maximise our comfortable in all weathers. It gives us the flexibility to make fast adjustment to our body temperature based on the type of activities we are doing or the weather conditions during that point of time. In total, we look at about 3-4 layers for this function.

LAYER 1: Base layer (Moisture Management)
Base layer is the clothing against our skin. it helps to manage moisture by wicking pespiration away from our skin thus regulating our body temperature. Keeping dry is very critical as wetness can result in hypothermia in the cold climates. We usually shy away from cotton ( though they are really nice & soft to wear in the tropics !) as they rarely dry and retains water like a sponge, leaving your body feeling cold.
Good base layers are usually made of synthetic fabric such as Polartec Power Dry(R)

e.g.) Marmot Thermalclime Pro or Merino Wool (Arc’teryx Rho LTW Zip). These fabric tends to transport moisture away from our skin rather than soak in. By spreading out the moisture, the drying process is faster thus even if we do sweat, we dry off faster and less expose to risk.Base layer can come in forms of briefs, bra, t shirt (long sleeve/short sleeve) or tights. There are usually different thickness thus do choose the one appropriate for the activity you are doing or the weather conditions you will be in. Snug fit is usually preferred but a slightly loose fitting is sometimes applied.

LAYER 2: Mid Layer (Insulation)

This layer is designed to help retain heat given out by our body by air trapping.

There are several options to this layer.

Option 1: Fleece (Classic or Soft-shell)

Option 2: Synthetic Fill

Options 3: Down Fill

Fleece comes in several weights primarily Polartec(R) 100, 200, Thermal Pro. They aim to be breathable hence are more prone to wind penetration  But this can easily be solved by the waterproof jacket which we will be talking about next! Otherwise, you may look at getting a WINDSTOPPER(R) series fleece if you are going very windy places.

Synthetic Fill such as Coreloft(R) by Arcteryx or Thermal(R) used by Marmot is excellent choice for durable warmth as they retain warmth even in humid & wet weather yet dries off fast when it is wet. Similar to Down, it is lightweight & highly compressible.Synthetic Fill such as Coreloft(R) by Arc’teryx or Thermal(R) used by Marmot is excellent choice for durable warmth as they retain warmth even in humid & wet weather yet dries off fast when it is wet. Similar to Down, it is lightweight & highly compressible.

Down jackets has excellent warmth to weight ratio when comes to keeping the cold away. However, do not be misled by the fill power! Fill weight of the jackets is also a determinant on how warm the jacket can be. (Imagine having a more down-filled jacket at 800 fill Goose down could be warmer than a ultralight weight down-filled jacket at 900-fill).

Ultimately, how thick you insulation jacket is will very much be dependent on the intensity of your output as you do warm up on the move thus you will not wish to get overheated and get uncomfortable stuffy or clammy!

LAYER 3: Shell Layer (Protection Against the Wind + Wet)

This is the Outermost Layer. They should keep you out from the rain, snow & wind & must be able to ventilated or breathes well otherwise perspiration cannot escape & you will end up being clammy & cold from the condensation on the inner side of the shell. In the worst case scenario, even your inner layers will get wet, making you more prone to the cold.

These jackets mostly has a Durable Water Repellant (DWR) treatment applied, allowing water to bead and roll of the jacket.Do remember you may have to fit this layer over the other 2 layers.

So do not buy it too tight and have your movement restricted! Neither do you want it too loose that it makes you clumsy and harder to warm up.