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Gear Care

Caring for your products is essential in getting the most out of each piece. Through the guide and FAQ section, we will help you ensure your products last as long as they can and perform to the best of their ability.  Just washing a jacket for instance with a proper solution will not only replenish it and make it perform better, but will also add lubricant to the zippers and allow them to work better as well. 


If you have any question about other gear we may have not mentioned, please e-mail us and we’ll be sure to inform you: info@theoutfitters.nf.ca



FAQ’s

Waterproof Breathable FAQ’s

Q: Why should I wash my garment?

A: Our waterproof breathable garments are designed to provide exceptional weather protection and breathability. Routine care and maintenance ensures the optimum performance of your garment. The build-up of dirt and other surface contaminants such as body oil, sunscreen and sweat can greatly reduce the effectiveness of the outer fabrics durable water repellent (DWR) treatment, affecting performance and breathability. Dirt allows water molecules to be drawn into the face fabric, saturating or “wetting out” the fabric and leading to increased levels of condensation on the inside of the garment. Properly washing your waterproof breathable removes dirt and other contaminates from the garment, restoring its water repellency and breathability. 


Q: When should I wash my garment?

A: When to wash depends on how often and how hard you use your gear. For heavy activity we suggest washing after every 10 to 14 days of use, and for light activity wash every 20 to 30 days of use. Use your best judgment; if your garment looks dirty, or you are starting to feel damp or clammy, or your garment is most likely not shedding water as it should and is “wetting out”, it's time to wash and dry. Take care of your gear and it will take care of you.

 

Q: How do I prepare my garment for washing?

A: To prepare the garment for washing; close the main zippers and pit zips, open pocket zippers, and release tension on all elastic draw cords. Add a non detergent cleaning agent (such as Grangers) to the machine and wash the garment on a medium heat setting (40°C / 104°F). Remove the garment, shake to remove excess water and place it in the dryer. DWR is reactivated best when tumble dried at a medium heat setting (40°C / 104°F) for 40 to 50 minutes. 

 

Q: What should I use to wash my garment?

A: Choose a free-rinsing soap or non-detergent cleaning agent to wash your waterproof breathable garment. 

For best results, the washing product should be free of surfactants and detergents, fabric softeners, enzymes, perfumes or whiteners. These chemicals tend to be hydrophilic (attract water) and can reduce the effectiveness of the durable water repellent (DWR) treatment on your garment. We recommend GRANGERS or NIKWAX cleaning and treatment products. 

 

Q: How do I re-apply Durable Water Repellency (DWR) to my garment?

A: DWR is a polymer substance applied to the face-fabric of all waterproof breathable garments. When the garment is no longer shedding water as it used to - even after it's been washed and dried - it's time to reapply the DWR. We recommend using GRANGERS wash in or spray. 

 

If using wash in: After washing run another washing cycle, this time with just the DWR treatment. Next, place the garment in a tumble drier on a medium heat setting (40°C / 104°F) for 40 to 50 minutes.

 

If spraying: After washing, close all zippers, hang the wet garment on a hanger and spray evenly onto the wet face fabric of the garment. Next, place the garment in a tumble drier on a medium heat setting (40°C / 104°F) for 40 to 50 minutes. 

 

Other Garment FAQ’s

Q: How do I wash my down garment? (For Canada Goose down items please see below)

A: To machine wash, first zip up all zippers, attach all Velcro, and turn your garment inside out.  Only use a front-loading machine, with cold water on a gentle setting. Use the recommended amount of GRANGERS or NIKWAX down soap and be sure to use at least two rinse cycles to get all of the soap out of the garment.

 

When moving your garment from washer to dryer, do so by carrying it from the bottom. Tumble dry in a large, commercial dryer with low heat.  The dryer must be large enough for the garment to flop around freely.  Drying could take several hours, and your garment should be checked often to be sure it isn't overheated.  As it dries, look for clumps of wet down and gently shake to redistribute the down.

 

Here are some tips when laundering your down jacket or parka:

 

  • Don't use a top-loading washing machine as the agitator will destroy the baffles in the jacket.

  • Don't use liquid soap or detergent, or a very strong soap or detergent instead use GRANGERS or NIKWAX down wash.
  • Do not lift your jacket from one end when wet, this will cause damage, instead, lift the entire jacket all at once from underneath.
  • Do not store your jacket long term in a stuff sack (use a larger storage sack or pillow case which allows for air circulation).
  • Do not dry in the sun (the UV/sun rays will damage the nylon).
  • If using your home dryer don’t turn the setting too high and keep careful watch as they can melt holes in outer fabric.

     

Q: How do I clean my Canada Goose down product?

A: When it is time to clean your Canada Goose product it is important that you take it to a dry-cleaner and NOT machine wash it. Machine washing your Canada Goose product will void the warranty if any damage is caused. If you have the removable fur option on your parka, remove the fur prior to bringing it to the dry-cleaner. For spot cleaning, it’s fine to take a damp cloth with a little non-detergent or bleach free soap and wipe down the affected area. 

 

Q: How do I wash and care for my synthetic insulated garment?

A: We strongly recommend washing your insulated jacket in a FRONT LOADING washing machine. Select the gentle cycle with a two-rinse setting and a wash temperature of 30°C / 86°F. Tumble dry your garment inside out on a warm/medium (60°C / 140°F) temperature setting for approximately 30-40 minutes or until dry. 

 

To remove stubborn stains, first, spot clean the stained area with GRANGERS or NIKWAX cleaner allowing the stained area to soak for 10-15 min, or use a stain eraser on the contaminated area. Then wash and dry the garment as per the instructions given above. 

 

Q: How do I re-proof my insulated garment?

A: We recommend using a Spray-On, or a Wash-In reproofing product from GRANGERS or NIKWAX. First, wash your garment using Grangers Performance Wash/30°C Cleaner. Then, use your chosen reproofing product and either spray directly on to the outer face-fabric of the garment while it is still wet, or simply wash the garment in a second wash-cycle according to the suggestions above, adding the appropriate amount of Wash-In waterproofing product to the wash-cycle. Be careful to follow the washing instructions on the waterproofing product label. Tumble dry your garment inside out on a warm/medium (60°C / 140°F) temperature setting for approximately 30-40 minutes or until dry.

 

Q: How do I re-apply Durable Water Repellency (DWR) to my softshell garment?

A: DWR is a polymer substance applied to the face-fabric of all waterproof breathable garments. When the garment is no longer shedding water as it used to - even after it's been washed and dried - it's time to reapply the DWR. We recommend using GRANGERS wash in or spray.

 

If using wash in: After washing run another washing cycle, this time with just the DWR treatment. Next, place the garment in a tumble drier on a medium heat setting (40°C / 104°F) for 40 to 50 minutes.

 

If spraying: After washing, close all zippers, hang the wet garment on a hanger and spray evenly onto the wet face fabric of the garment. Next, place the garment in a tumble drier on a medium heat setting (40°C / 104°F) for 40 to 50 minutes.

 

Q: How do I wash and care for my gloves?

A: For washing your gloves, we recommend that you hand wash your gloves or mitts with a mild detergent in warm water, and then hang to dry. Do not use a washing machine, tumble dryer or any type of wash-in treatments.

 

Removable liners should also be hand-washed and dried separately. Both the outer shells and the glove liners should NOT be turned inside out. 

 

Q: How do I wash for my fleece garment?

A: You should machine wash your fleece in lukewarm water and tumble dry at a low temperature. Do not bleach, avoid use of fabric softeners and do not iron or dry clean. For best results, launder garment with like-colours. For the optimal performance, throw your fleece garment in the washing machine when you wash your waterproof jacket using GRANGERS or NIKWAX cleaner. It removes all of the dirt, prevents odour from building up in the fabric and leaves no residue.

 

As a general note it is important to mention PILLING as part of your fleece garments normal wear and tear. Pilling occurs naturally and when an item is washed. During this process little pieces of fabric begin appearing on the surface; these little pieces collect together as they accumulate forming tiny balls of fleece fabric. As the garment is used, more will appear and more again in the highest wear areas. While not much can really be done to prevent them from appearing you can de-pill the garment by using an electric pilling device which will remove the small balls of fabric from the outer part of the fleece. Even though the fleece we sell is of good fabric, it will all pill at various levels as it’s used over time. Depending on the brand and type of fleece you have the amount of pilling you may have on your garment can vary considerably. Generally speaking the more you pay for fleece the better it is. Some brands that have traditionally been better with pilling accumulation are POLARTEC and TKA. 

 

Q: How do I wash and care for my merino/wool garment?

A: To wash your merino/wool garments we recommend to either hand-wash or wash in a FRONT LOADING washer on gentle with cold water; using a GRANGERS, NIKWAX, WOOLITE or another gentle detergent; then laying flat to dry. Drying merino/wool in the dryer is not good for the fabric and will prematurely wear and shrink your garment. 

 

Equipment FAQ’s

Q: How do I clean and care for my backpack?

A: Dirt and grime will abrade the fabric and wear it out. For spot cleaning, simply use a sponge or soft brush with warm water. You should be able to get most of the dirt off this way.

 

If you feel that you need to wash the whole pack use a mild or pure soap and rinse the pack thoroughly to remove any residue. Hang the pack to dry (don't use a dryer or any other source of heat). If you hang the pack outside, stuff it loosely with newspaper and leave it in the shade. It should dry overnight, but it might take longer depending on the conditions. To preserve the integrity of your pack's fabric coating, the interior should only be cleaned with a damp rag.

 

Here are some tips for cleaning your backpack:

 

  • Never machine wash or dry your pack, you will most likely destroy it.

  • Never use hot water, bleach, dishwashing liquid or spot removers.  Always use a non-detergent soap like GRANGERS or NIKWAX.

  • Never use solvents to clean your backpack as solvents may irreparably damage the fabric, frame material, and water-resistance of the zippers.

  • Damage caused due to solvent use is not covered under warranty. 

     

Q: How do I clean and care for my tent?

A: Firstly, you should never machine wash or machine dry your tent.  For spot cleaning, use a sponge with warm water. When cleaning the entire tent, wash in a tub of cold water. Never use hot water, bleach, dishwashing liquid, pre-soaking solutions, or spot removers. If you do use soap, always use a non-detergent soap like GRANGERS or NIKWAX. Dry your tent by pitching it in the shade, or by line drying only.   

 

Q: How do I clean and care for my sleeping bag?

A: To wash your sleeping bag first zip up all zippers, attach all velcro, and turn the bag inside out. Wash in a front-loading machine only with cold water on the gentle or delicate setting.  We recommend that you use the minimum amount of cleaning agent (preferably GRANGERS or NIKWAX) and scrub the head and foot sections by hand before washing the entire bag. For best results use at least two rinse cycles to get all of the soap out of the garment. For down, use GRANGERS down wash. For synthetic bags, use GRANGERS or NIKWAX synthetic cleaning product.

 

Lift your bag by carefully carrying them from the bottom when transporting from washer to dryer.  Tumble dry in a large commercial dryer on low heat; it's important that the dryer is large enough for the bag move freely around inside.  Drying takes several hours, and you should check your bag often to ensure it's not overheated.

 

As a down bag dries, look for clumps of wet down and shake the bag gently to redistribute the down. To help with down dispersal throwing in a few tennis balls should help. Sometimes the down in the draft tube (by the main zipper) will need some gentle massaging during the drying cycle.  As a synthetic bag dries, check for even distribution of fill material.  Gently massage the bag if any bunching is detected.

 

All down and synthetic sleeping bags can be professionally washed., however, never dry clean a sleeping bag - the chemicals used in dry-cleaning are harmful to the fabrics and filling and will severely reduce loft and thermal efficiency.

 

Here's a list of tips for cleaning your sleeping bag:

 

  • Don't use a top-loading washing machine as the agitator will destroy the baffles in the bag.

  • Don't use liquid soap or detergent, or a very strong soap or detergent instead use GRANGERS or NIKWAX gear wash.

  • Don’t lift your bag from one end when wet, this will cause damage, instead, lift the entire bag all at once from underneath.

  • Don’t store your bag long term in a stuff sack (use a larger storage sack or pillow case which allows for air circulation).

  • Don’t dry in the sun (the UV/sun rays will damage the nylon).

  • If using your home dryer don’t turn the setting too high and keep careful watch as they can melt holes in outer fabric.

  • Damage caused due to improper washing is not covered under warranty. 

     

Stain Removal Tips

To remove gum or sap from a garment, first freeze the substance with some ice, then use a dull butter knife to scrape off as much as you can. Soak the garment in a water/white vinegar solution, and then either wash it in warm water with mild powder laundry detergent or with a cleaner specifically designed for cleaning synthetic garments, such as Grangers Performance Wash/30°C Cleaner. For really stubborn stains, brush with a soft bristle brush, like an old toothbrush, using Grangers Performance Wash/30°C Cleaner diluted with 3 parts water. Granger's spray cleaner is especially effective on stubborn stains.

 

To remove grease from a waterproof breathable garment, you should dampen the stain and then rub the stained area with GRANGERS Performance Wash/30°C Cleaner diluted with 3 parts water (dishwashing liquid can also be used with fair results). You can then clean the jacket in warm water, again using the Grangers Performance Wash/30°C Cleaner (see above: "How do I wash my waterproof breathable garment?"). If the stain persists, you can use GRANGERS spray-on cleaner or sponge it with a safe cleaning fluid which can be found at a grocery store. If cleaning fluid is used, the DWR will need to be reapplied.

 

Be Careful When Washing and Drying Your Products.

 

Remember to always be careful when, washing, drying and caring for all your performance garments and equipment. Damage caused due to improper washing or neglect is not covered under warranty. 

 

Q: How often should I wash my garment?

A: When to wash depends on how often and how hard you use your gear. For heavy activity we suggest washing after every 10 to 14 days of use, and for light activity wash every 20 to 30 days of use. Use your best judgment; if your garment looks dirty, or you are starting to feel damp or clammy, or your garment is most likely not shedding water as it should and is “wetting out”, it's time to wash and dry. Take care of your gear and it will take care of you.

 

Q: How do I prepare my garment for washing?

A: To prepare the garment for washing; close the main zippers and pit zips, open pocket zippers, and release tension on all elastic draw cords. Add a non detergent cleaning agent (such as Grangers) to the machine and wash the garment on a medium heat setting (40°C / 104°F). Remove the garment, shake to remove excess water and place it in the dryer. DWR is reactivated best when tumble dried at a medium heat setting (40°C / 104°F) for 40 to 50 minutes. 

 

Q: What should I use to wash my garment?

A: Choose a free-rinsing soap or non-detergent cleaning agent to wash your waterproof breathable garment. 

For best results, the washing product should be free of surfactants and detergents, fabric softeners, enzymes, perfumes or whiteners. These chemicals tend to be hydrophilic (attract water) and can reduce the effectiveness of the durable water repellent (DWR) treatment on your garment. We recommend GRANGERS or NIKWAX cleaning and treatment products.

 

Q: How do I re-apply Durable Water Repellency (DWR) to my garment?

A: DWR is a polymer substance applied to the face-fabric of all waterproof breathable garments. When the garment is no longer shedding water as it used to - even after it's been washed and dried - it's time to reapply the DWR. We recommend using GRANGERS wash in or spray.

 

If using wash in: After washing run another washing cycle, this time with just the DWR treatment. Next, place the garment in a tumble drier on a medium heat setting (40°C / 104°F) for 40 to 50 minutes. 


If spraying: After washing, close all zippers, hang the wet garment on a hanger and spray evenly onto the wet face fabric of the garment. Next, place the garment in a tumble drier on a medium heat setting (40°C / 104°F) for 40 to 50 minutes. 

 

Other Garment FAQ’s

Q: How do I wash my down garment? (For Canada Goose down items please see below)

A: To machine wash, first zip up all zippers, attach all Velcro, and turn your garment inside out.  Only use a front-loading machine, with cold water on a gentle setting. Use the recommended amount of GRANGERS or NIKWAX down soap and be sure to use at least two rinse cycles to get all of the soap out of the garment.

 

When moving your garment from washer to dryer, do so by carrying it from the bottom.  Tumble dry in a large, commercial dryer with low heat.  The dryer must be large enough for the garment to flop around freely.  Drying could take several hours, and your garment should be checked often to be sure it isn't overheated.  As it dries, look for clumps of wet down and gently shake to redistribute the down.

 

Here are some tips when laundering your down jacket or parka:

 

  • Don't use a top-loading washing machine as the agitator will destroy the baffles in the jacket.

  • Don't use liquid soap or detergent, or a very strong soap or detergent instead use GRANGERS or NIKWAX down wash.

  • Do not lift your jacket from one end when wet, this will cause damage, instead, lift the entire jacket all at once from underneath.

  • Do not store your jacket long term in a stuff sack (use a larger storage sack or pillow case which allows for air circulation).

  • Do not dry in the sun (the UV/sun rays will damage the nylon).

  • If using your home dryer don’t turn the setting too high and keep careful watch as they can melt holes in outer fabric.

     

Q: How do I clean my Canada Goose down product?

A: When it is time to clean your Canada Goose product it is important that you take it to a dry-cleaner and NOT machine wash it. Machine washing your Canada Goose product will void the warranty if any damage is caused. If you have the removable fur option on your parka, remove the fur prior to bringing it to the dry-cleaner. For spot cleaning, it’s fine to take a damp cloth with a little non-detergent or bleach free soap and wipe down the affected area. 

 

Q: How do I wash and care for my synthetic insulated garment?

A: We strongly recommend washing your insulated jacket in a FRONT LOADING washing machine. Select the gentle cycle with a two-rinse setting and a wash temperature of 30°C / 86°F. Tumble dry your garment inside out on a warm/medium (60°C / 140°F) temperature setting for approximately 30-40 minutes or until dry. 

 

To remove stubborn stains, first, spot clean the stained area with GRANGERS or NIKWAX cleaner allowing the stained area to soak for 10-15 min, or use a stain eraser on the contaminated area. Then wash and dry the garment as per the instructions given above.

 

Q: How do I re-proof my insulated garment?

A: We recommend using a Spray-On, or a Wash-In reproofing product from GRANGERS or NIKWAX. First, wash your garment using Grangers Performance Wash/30°C Cleaner. Then, use your chosen reproofing product and either spray directly on to the outer face-fabric of the garment while it is still wet, or simply wash the garment in a second wash-cycle according to the suggestions above, adding the appropriate amount of Wash-In waterproofing product to the wash-cycle. Be careful to follow the washing instructions on the waterproofing product label. Tumble dry your garment inside out on a warm/medium (60°C / 140°F) temperature setting for approximately 30-40 minutes or until dry.

 

Q: How do I re-apply Durable Water Repellency (DWR) to my softshell garment?

A: DWR is a polymer substance applied to the face-fabric of all waterproof breathable garments. When the garment is no longer shedding water as it used to - even after it's been washed and dried - it's time to reapply the DWR. We recommend using GRANGERS wash in or spray.

 

If using wash in: After washing run another washing cycle, this time with just the DWR treatment. Next, place the garment in a tumble drier on a medium heat setting (40°C / 104°F) for 40 to 50 minutes.

 

If spraying: After washing, close all zippers, hang the wet garment on a hanger and spray evenly onto the wet face fabric of the garment. Next, place the garment in a tumble drier on a medium heat setting (40°C / 104°F) for 40 to 50 minutes. 

 

Q: How do I wash and care for my gloves?

A: For washing your gloves, we recommend that you hand wash your gloves or mitts with a mild detergent in warm water, and then hang to dry. Do not use a washing machine, tumble dryer or any type of wash-in treatments.

 

Removable liners should also be hand-washed and dried separately. Both the outer shells and the glove liners should NOT be turned inside out. 

 

Q: How do I wash for my fleece garment?

A: You should machine wash your fleece in lukewarm water and tumble dry at a low temperature. Do not bleach, avoid use of fabric softeners and do not iron or dry clean. For best results, launder garment with like-colours. For the optimal performance, throw your fleece garment in the washing machine when you wash your waterproof jacket using GRANGERS or NIKWAX cleaner. It removes all of the dirt, prevents odour from building up in the fabric and leaves no residue.

 

As a general note it is important to mention PILLING as part of your fleece garments normal wear and tear. Pilling occurs naturally and when an item is washed. During this process little pieces of fabric begin appearing on the surface; these little pieces collect together as they accumulate forming tiny balls of fleece fabric. As the garment is used, more will appear and more again in the highest wear areas. While not much can really be done to prevent them from appearing you can de-pill the garment by using an electric pilling device which will remove the small balls of fabric from the outer part of the fleece. Even though the fleece we sell is of good fabric, it will all pill at various levels as it’s used over time. Depending on the brand and type of fleece you have the amount of pilling you may have on your garment can vary considerably. Generally speaking the better the more you pay for fleece the better it is. Some brands that have traditionally been better with pilling accumulation are POLARTEC and TKA. 

 

Q: How do I wash and care for my merino/wool garment?

A: To wash your merino/wool garments we recommend to either hand-wash or wash in a FRONT LOADING washer on gentle with cold water; using a GRANGERS, NIKWAX, WOOLITE or another gentle detergent; then laying flat to dry. Drying merino/wool in the dryer is not good for the fabric and will prematurely wear and shrink your garment. 

 


The Basics of Layering

Base Layer

The base layer maintains a dry and comfortable micro-climate next to the skin. It does this by wicking (moving) moisture off the skin and spreading it out over the surface of the layer so it can rapidly evaporate or move on to other clothing layers. 

Examples: Vaporwick, Polartec, Helty Hansen Ufa, Smartwool.

Insulation layer(s)

The insulating layer provides extra warmth when a base and shell layer are not warm enough on there own. It traps very small pockets of air, which slows down the loss of heat. 

Examples: Polartec fleece, Primaloft, Coreloft

To provide additional insulation for extremely cold conditions use a super-insulating layer. It traps very small pockets of still air, which slow down the loss of heat. 

Examples: Down, Polarguard.

Shell layer

The Shell provides protection from wind, rain, sleet, and snow, without allowing the build-up of condensation inside the clothing system. It provides a barrier against water and wind, while allowing moisture vapour to escape. 

Examples: Gore- Tex, Hyvent, Conduit, Helly- Tech.

Key Tips

  • For the layering system to work effectively and provide the maximum level of comfort, it is important that all the layers are breathable and quick drying. 
  • Avoid cotton, especially jeans or T-shirts. Cotton soaks up moisture extremely well and takes a very long time to dry out. Any wet fabric in contact with the skin leads to very rapid heat loss.
  • Several thinner insulation layers will allow far greater versatility than just a single thick layer (such as a heavyweight fleece), which can lead to overheating. 

 


Gasket Care Instructions

Kokatat gaskets provide the most waterproof seal available for technical water sports apparel. However, they do break down over time, and you can expect to replace the gaskets during the life of the garment. Gasket replacement is not covered by warranty. Following these care and use instructions will extend the life of your gasket.

 

  • Remove rings, watches or jewelry when putting the garment on.  Carefully stretch the gasket open with your hands and slowly ease on. 
  • Latex gaskets are intended fit snug: they will stretch some with use. If the neck is too tight. Stretch it on-to some kind of a form (ie. cook pot) 4 inches larger in diameter than your neck. Overnight or longer. If it is still too tight it may be carefully trimmed.  Nicks or cutting down the gasket can ruin it. 
  • Sunscreen, insect repellents, lotions, high heat and humidity, extreme dryness, exhaust fumes and exposure to UY and ozone can destroy or shorten the life of gaskets. 
  • The best way to protect your gaskets is with regular use of 303 protectant.  Apply 303 several times during the season and occasionally when in storage. 
  • Small tears or holes in the gasket may be repaired with AquaSeal.   Replacement gaskets and kits are available from your dealer or Kokatat.  Kokatat and some dealers can replace the gaskets for you for a reasonable charge. 
  • Keep the garment clean - rinsing as needed.  Hang dry.  Store either hanging or loosely rolled and out of direct sunlight. 

 


The Basics of Down

Down Fills

Down is one of nature's finest insulators, Nothing matches its warmth for weight, compressibility, and resilience, its ability to absorb perspiration and cozily drape along the contours of your body are unparalleled by synthetic materials. 

Feathers

Down consists of thousands of plumules - tiny pods of light, fluffy filaments that line the underside of waterfowl feathers, down is harvested from ducks and geese that are being prepared for sale as food, all down fills also contain some feathers and feather fibers. 

Fill-power

Fill-power (or loft power) is a measure of fluffiness, it is expressed as the number of cubic inches an ounce of down displaces.  Fill-power of 400 to 450 is mediocre, 500 to 600 good, and 650 to 800 excellent. Higher fill-power articles provide more warmth for the same weight.

Cost

Down is more expensive than other insulating materials.  However, when you divide its cost by the number of cozy nights it provides, down is a bargain.  A down sleeping bag costs approximately 50 percent more than a synthetic bag of the same temperature rating, but down insulation lasts about three to five times longer. 

Moisture

When it gets wet, down insulation is compromised.  In damp conditions, a waterproof-breathable shell fabric can protect sleeping bags or jackets from external wetness.  In cold climates, a vapour barrier sleeping bag liner keeps internal moisture out of the down fill. In consistently wet conditions, it can be very difficult to keep down dry, in these circumstances a synthetic fill may be the best option. 

Maintenance

Down sleeping bags and outerwear require maintenance to perform at an optimum level.

Storage

Store uncompressed out of direct sunlight in a dry, cool place.
If you’re down product gets damp, air thoroughly and make sure it is completely dry before storing. If the product is still damp after airing a short run in a tumble dryer on a ‘cool’ setting should restore the loft.

Cleaning

Though cleaning can be done at home with specific instructions, we recommend that all down filled products are professionally cleaned to avoid damage to your down product.  In some cases washing your outwear garment in a washing machine will void your warranty.  Spot cleaning with bleach-free detergent and water is another option.  Please see your manufacturer’s full care instruction via the garments tags and/or their web site. 

What is a soft shell?

The soft shell designation applies to outerwear that does the jobs performed by two or more garments (usually the insulating and outer layers) in traditional layering systems. 

Soft-shell outerwear pieces are typically shorter and fit more closely to the body than old style shells. 
They're soft to the touch, highly water resistant, highly wind resistant, highly breathable and often stretchable. 
They'll protect you in almost any weather condition.
 
In a sentence, the crux of the soft-shell revolution is this: 

A high level of breathability takes precedence over 100% waterproof protection. While not 100% waterproof, soft-shell apparel delivers twice the breathability of breathable "hard shells”. They allow outdoor enthusiasts to participate in aerobic activities longer without getting soaked by perspiration. 
Soft-shell outerwear provides comfort across a wide range of conditions and exertion levels. It minimizes the need to stop and peel or add layers. 

Glossary

Two Layers

A laminated waterproof fabric consisting outer woven face fabric and waterproof breathable barrier.  A free hanging lining is often used to protect the barrier from wear and to give a more comfortable feel next to the skin, this will add weight and bulk the garment, so it is not a very lightweight design.

Three Layers

A laminated waterproof fabric consisting of outer woven face fabric, waterproof breathable barrier, and protective inner liner, bonded together in a 3-layer sandwich. Offers greater durability, lower bulk and quicker drying times than a two-Iayer fabric + liner combination, but can feel less soft and supple.

Breathability

The ability of a fabric (especially a waterproof fabric) to allow moisture vapour to pass through. A breathable fabric will not stop you from sweating (sweating is a result of your body being too hot), but will reduce the amount of condensation that forms on the inside of the garment

Coating

The most inexpensive way to make a fabric waterproof, by applying a liquid compound directly onto the back of the face fabric which then dries to form a waterproof and flexible barrier. Usually built up in a series of very thin layers. General this would be a polyurethane coating, also called durable water repellency (DWR)

Conduction

Heat lost or gained from the body through direct contact with an object i.e. the ground, a rock

Convection

Heat lost or gained from the body through the warming or cooling of surrounding air, which then moves away to be replaced by cold or warm air. Also occurs in water.

Cordura

Trade name. A type of very abrasion resistant nylon fiber; primarily used in woven fabric form to reinforce areas of high wear

Die Cut

Essentially using a 'cookie cutter' to very accurately cut pieces of fabric to specific shapes

Down

A highly insulating material, consists of fluffy down clusters and small feathers, most commonly from ducks or geese. The down clusters provide the best insulation; [so the lower the percentage of feathers, the potential higher the insulation ability of the down]. Low priced duck down will have a down/feather ratio of about 60:40, while the highest quality Polish goose down will be about 96:4. Even products labelled ‘100% down’ will contain a percentage of feathers. The actual insulation ability of the down is expressed as it's fill power, 

DWR

Durable Water Repellent, A chemical finish applied to fabrics to resist water absorption/entry. Makes drops of water 'bead up' and roll off the fabric, rather than soak in.  Applied to waterproof breathable fabrics to prevent wetting out, and reduce drying times

Fill Power

A measure of how much space (in cubic inches) a sample quantity of down will occupy.  The higher the fill power, the more still air the down traps, and the greater the insulation it offers will be.  American and European methods for measuring fill power do not give the same measurements (the American method gives a higher measure)

Flat-lock

A stitch used to join fabrics edge to edge.  Results in a very low bulk and stretchy seam.  Most commonly used on base layer and fleece garments

Fleece

A knitted synthetic fabric which is brushed on both sides to give a soft 'fluffy' pile finish

Full-grain Leather

Leather made from the full thickness of the animals hide

Gore-Tex

Trade name. A durably waterproof and very highly breathable fabric manufactured in many different combinations of 2 and 3-layer lamination. The Gore-Tex membrane is manufactured from ePTFE, with a layer to prevent contamination of the membrane with oils (e.q. sunscreen). GORE- TEX XCR is the most recent version, offering 25% higher breathability compared to Classic Gore-Tex.  Gore-Tex Pac-Lite is specifically designed for lightweight use, being used in a 2-layer form without a lining

 

The membrane has 9 billion pores per square inch, with each pore 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet.  These tiny holes are too small for water and wind to pass through from the outside, which is how we can guarantee you'll stay dry and warm in a garment made with GORE- TEX® fabric.  But these same pores are large enough for moisture vapor to pass through, so your body's perspiration is able to escape and you don't get clammy and uncomfortable.  That's what 'waterproof/breathable' is all about

Hard Shell

A fully waterproof, breathable outer garment, E.g. Arc'teryx Theta Jacket

Hollow Fiber

Synthetic fibers with longitudinal voids which increase insulating ability. Typically polyester fibers used in the form of non-woven wadding in synthetic sleeping bags and clothing

Hydrophilic Coating

A breathable waterproof coating which allows moisture vapour to pass through by allowing molecules of water to be absorbed and then passing them along chemical chains Hydrophilic = Water loving  Hydrophobic = Water hating Synthetic fibers are inherently hydrophobic, which means that they do not absorb water into their structure, so they will dry very rapidly

Hydrostatic Head

A measurement of how waterproof a fabric is. It refers to the height of a water column the fabric can support before leaking

Kevlar

Trade name. A type of very tough PA fiber, particularly resistant to cutting.  Typically used to reinforce areas of high wear

Laminate

A ‘sandwich’ created by bonding ePTEE 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.

Layering

Tile system of using various combinations of garments to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Usually consists of a next-to-skin baselayer, mid-layer and outer shell layer

Loft

The amount an insulating material (usually down) 'fluffs up’, thereby trapping air for insulation.

Merino Wool

Provides good insulation, durability, odour resistance, and moisture absorption, but due to its very fine fibers feels very soft and does not have the itch of normal wool. Used extensively in socks and some brands of underwear

Microclimate

Typically used to refer to the climate (i.e. temperature and humidity) within a clothing system, particularly next to the skin.  Performance clothing systems attempt to keep this microclimate at a comfortable level, irrespective of environmental conditions and workload.  People are most comfortable with a tropical microclimate of 90°F to 95° F and 40% to 60% humidity

Microfiber

A very fine, synthetic fiber.  Typically used to make soft, strong, quick drying and highly breathable fabrics.

Microporus

A material containing millions of very small holes.  Microporus waterproof breathable fabrics work by having holes that are too small for liquid water to pass through, but are big enough to allow molecules of water vapour to pass through unrestricted

Napoleon Pocket

A pocket located on the chest of a garment (usually an outer layer) accessed by reaching across the front of the body with the opposite hand, Most other types of pocket are easily obstructed by pack straps, a climbing harness, and other climbing equipment (such as slings) carried over the shoulder

Neoprene

A synthetic polymer, most commonly used in its expanded form in wet suits, due to its good insulation and stretch properties

Non-woven

A fabric in which its fibers are bonded together, rather than woven or knitted

Nubuck

Full grain leather which has had its surface abraded to give a more uniform appearance

Pilling

The unsightly 'bobbling' that occurs on the surface of some fabrics such as fleece. Good quality fleece will be resistant to pilling

Polartech

Trade name.  A range of high quality fleece fabrics, available in many different weights and textures.  The numbers that are sometimes used after the name (100, 200, 300) refer to the fabric weight (thickness).  Polartec 100 is very versatile a used predominantly for shirts and lightweight garments.  Polartec 200 is used predominantly for mid-weight jackets. Polartec 300 is predominantly used for heavy weight jackets, but is not so popular due to its bulk, 

Powerstretch

Trade name. A single sided fleece fabric with excellent stretch and recovery. Used especially for close fitting garments

Polypropylene

A synthetic polymer, widely used for fabrics

PTFE/Teflon

Polytetrafluor ethylene, aka Teflon.  The polymer used in its expanded form (ePTFE) to make Gore-Tex and Windstopper breathable membranes

Polyurethane

A synthetic polymer, most commonly used as a coating on waterproof fabrics, and in its expanded form for durable shock absorbing layers in footwear sole units

Rip-stop

A method of fabric weaving, easily identified by the square grid pattern it produces on the fabric surface.  It allows fabrics to be made lighter, while maintaining a good level of tear strength, but does NOT make a fabric rip proof

Schoeller

Trade name. A range of high quality Swiss fabrics, typically combining high durability and stretch, used extensively in soft shell leg wear

Seam sealed

Stitching a waterproof fabric punctures the waterproof barrier. Seam sealed garments (and other items like tent flysheets) have the stitching holes re-sealed with a heat and pressure bonded tape to eliminate leakage

Shell Layer

Outer garment worn over other clothing layers to provide protection from rain, snow and wind

Silk

A very comfortable and strong natural fiber, which dries quickly and remains comfortable next the skin in both hot and cold conditions. Used main for 'deluxe' sleeping bag liners and underwear.

Snow Skirt

A snug fitting inner cuff around the body of a jacket designed to prevent powder snow from blowing up into the garment.

Soft Shell

A garment that is not fully waterproof, but which provides much greater weather protection than a traditional fleece or baselayer.  Typical properties include being windproof, quick drying, very highly breathable, and comfortable to wear for extended periods.

SPF

Sun Protection Factor. A measure of how much protection from damaging Ultra Violet sunlight an item of clothing provides.  An SPF of 20, for example, allows the wearer to remain in the sun 20 times longer than if they were unprotected.

Suede

Leather with its most densely packed outer layer removed, leaving quite an open and rough textured structure (a by-product of producing fine glove leather).  Typically used where waterproofing is not a priority.

Vapour Barrier

An impermeable (totally non-breathable) fabric or garment worn near to the skin in very cold or extreme cold conditions to prevent moisture vapour and liquid perspiration from wetting insulating materials were it can freeze.  Most common used in boots (between liner and main socks) or sleeping bags (as a liner)

Vibram

Trade name.  Inventor of the original rubber walking boot sole (previously, leather or hob-nails were used).  Now used by virtually all quality walking boot manufacturers.  Offers a very good combination of grip and durability

Warmth-to-Weight

The amount of insulation a material provides for a given weight

Waterproof

For a fabric to be called waterproof, as opposed to just water or shower resistant, it must prevent water penetration even under pressure.  The European Standard that a fabric must meet to be classed as waterproof is a minimum hydrostatic head of 1.5 meters.  This is enough to keep out the heaviest possible rain, but is not enough to keep out water under pressure from rucksack straps or kneeling down.  High quality waterproof fabrics will greatly exceed this standard (Gore-Tex has a hydrostatic head of 28 meters)

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.

Wicking 

The ability of a fabric to move liquid water through its structure.  An essential function for any fabric worn next to the skin

Windproof

For a fabric to be called windproof (as opposed to just wind resistant), it can allow no more than 11 liters of air to pass through per second per square meter, in a 50km/h wind.  Wind protection is a vital function of outer garments in mild or cold weather conditions

Windstopper

A windproof fleece fabric utilizing a windproof and highly breathable ePTFE membrane, typically laminated between 2 layers of lightweight fleece, or a lightweight fleece outer and mesh inner

 

We carry the largest selection in Newfoundland of outdoors and active lifestyle products.

 

800-966-9658