Technical Glossary

Technical Glossary

Technical outerwear comes with its own technical vocabulary. You don't need to be an expert to appreciate the world-class comfort and protection offered by our fabrics, but understanding how we define their properties and characteristics can help you make an informed choice.

air permeability

The amount of air that flows through a fabric. When this happens, cold air is exchanged for warm air, lowering the temperature inside the clothing. Air permeability is the opposite of windproof and is not the same thing as breathability.

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body core

Your head and torso.

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body microclimate

The 0.04-inch thick layer of air next to our skin. We are most comfortable with a body microclimate of about 90°F and relative humidity of less than 30%. Even the smallest changes to this microclimate will affect our level of comfort.

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Breathability

Breathable fabric allows internal sources of moisture to escape the fabric. This movement is determined by the difference in concentration of water vapor (or humidity) between the surface of the skin and the air outside the garment, as well as the physical resistance of the fabric layers. The humidity difference is determined by your activity level, which drives sweating, and the climate around you. The fabric resistance is a property of the materials used in the garment and their thickness. Thicker layers offer more resistance and breathe less.

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conductive heat loss

The heat loss that occurs when sweat is allowed to stay trapped against the skin. Eventually, the sweat turns cold and discomfort results.

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DWR

An ultra-thin treatment of durable water repellent polymer applied to the outermost fabric layer of Gore laminates. This coating penetrates the fibers and lowers the surface tension of the fabric, causing water to bead up and roll off the garment instead of being absorbed. DWR significantly improves your comfort in the rain by reducing the heat loss through wet fabric.

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ePTFE

Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, the microporous structure in the WINDSTOPPER® membrane that blocks out cold wind while allowing sweat to escape freely.

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insulating layer

The mid-layer in a clothing layering system consisting of a base (or wicking) layer, insulating later and weather protection layer. The insulating layer is worn over the base layer. Its role is to trap in warm air to prevent heat loss.

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laminate

A 'sandwich' created by bonding ePTFE membrane to different fabrics. A 2-layer laminate is made by bonding a shell fabric to the membrane for use on the outside of a garment; a 3-layer laminate is made by bonding a shell fabric to the outside of the membrane and a knit to the inside.

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layering system

A clothing system in which several layers are worn in order to better protect the body against the elements and keep its temperature stable. Modern clothing systems usually consist of three basic layers: an inner wicking layer, a mid insulating layer and an outer weather protection layer.

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microclimate

The very thin layer of warm air that exists next to the body's skin. People are most comfortable with a tropical microclimate of about 90°F and a relative humidity of less than 30%.

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moisture management

The process of keeping the body dry - and therefore warm. Clothes that manage moisture effectively allow sweat to escape rather than staying on the skin and turning cold.

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moisture vapor

In the context of perspiration, moisture vapor is sweat in gas form.

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Next to skin technology

A revolutionary fabric engineered to minimize layers and bulk, WINDSTOPPER® products with next to skin technology combine a base and wind protection layer into a single garment. These extremely versatile and protective garments can be worn directly next to your skin.

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SCENT-LOK® technology

Designed specifically for hunting at close range, WINDSTOPPER® SCENT-LOK® technology controls human scent while offering complete all-weather protection.

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shell

Also referred to as a weather protection layer, this is the outer fabric layer of a garment, or the outermost layer in a layered clothing system.

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ventilation heat loss

The heat loss that occurs when the warm air trapped inside clothing is replaced by cold air typically through movement or the opening of ventilation zippers under the arm.

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waterproof fabric

A truly waterproof fabric must be able to withstand water entry pressure resulting from active use in extended wet weather, including activities like walking in wind-driven rain or kneeling or sitting on a wet surface.

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water-repellent fabric

Not to be confused with "waterproof." A water-repellent fabric uses a DWR coating or a dense weave to prevent saturation of a garment's shell layer. Water-repellent fabrics shed or repel water; however, they are not waterproof.

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water-resistant fabric

"Water-resistant" describes the fabric's ability to provide protection in wet weather. A water-resistant fabric can durably withstand up to 0.1 bar of water pressure and offers reliable protection against light rain and snow.

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weather protection layer

Also referred to as a shell, this is the outer fabric layer of a garment, or the outermost layer in a layered clothing system.

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wet out

A condition that occurs when the exterior fabric of a waterproof garment becomes saturated with water, thereby increasing its ability to transmit heat from the body and creating clamminess or a cooling sensation often confused with water entry or garment leakage.

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wicking

A term often used with technical clothing. Clothes said to have good wicking abilities physically move liquid moisture away from your body. This prevents sweat from remaining on your skin and turning cold, which can lead to conductive heat loss.

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wicking layer

The innermost - or base - layer of clothing, or the layer of clothing worn directly next to the skin. Its role is to convey liquid moisture away from the skin to prevent you from feeling clammy and cold.

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windchill factor

A measurement of the cooling effect of moving air and wind on the body. Often expressed as an equivalent temperature in still air that would create the same heat-loss effect.

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windproof fabric

A fabric that has an air permeability of 1 cfm (cubic feet per minute) or less in a 30 mph wind. A truly windproof garment will prevent heat loss from convection.

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WINDSTOPPER® fabric

Fabric engineered to provide total windproofness, maximum breathability and water-resistance . This functional fabric consists of the WINDSTOPPER® membrane laminated into 2- and 3-layer fabric constructions.

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WINDSTOPPER® membrane

WINDSTOPPER® products are based on WINDSTOPPER® ePTFE membrane technology. The membrane provides a thin, uniform barrier that can provide properties like total windproofness and maximum breathability. A single square inch of the WINDSTOPPER® membrane contains 1.4 billion microscopic pores. Wind can't pass through the fabric, but perspiration can. Integrated into the ePTFE structure is a hydrophobic, or water-hating, substance to keep external moisture away from your skin.

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