Dog Harness Fitting Guide

A Guide to Insulated Clothing

When you’re out and about in the rain, wind or snow, your body will start to lose heat. That’s where insulation comes in. Choosing the right materials ensures your body stays toasty and warm, and helps to keep away those cold shivers and icy breezes. Discover the basics of insulated clothing and the styles of insulation that are on offer. From the benefits of each, to how the insulation works. Find out more about the basic layering system and how to dress properly for the cold, below.

Insulated Clothing

What is insulated clothing?

Insulated clothing is designed to offer a layer of still air that protects against the cold, while preventing the wind from interrupting and replacing the layer of heat closest to the body. All insulation works in the same way – it traps air that has been warmed by your body temperature and keeps it close to your skin, minimising heat loss. The more air you can trap, the warmer you will be (relative to the weight of your insulated clothing). Although, wind-proofing also matters significantly – as the more wind there is, the more likely the trapped air will be stripped away. So be sure to layer up properly to cover all areas.

The types of insulation

There are various types of insulation to choose from, so it can get confusing. Synthetic materials are moisture-resistant and retain their insulating properties when wet – so they’re the ideal choice if you’re heading out on a rainy or snowy adventure. They’re also typically the most cost-effective choice when it comes to insulated clothing, while also being easier to maintain in the long-run.

But it’s also the style of insulation that makes a significant contribution to keeping you warm in the cold. We have outlined the two main types of insulation baffles used in insulated jackets below.

Best Clothing Insulated for Cold Climate Adventures

Insulation baffles: stitch-through vs. box-wall

Baffled by the thought of baffles? It’s simple, really. Insulation baffles are the air pockets that hold the material in an insulated jacket together – like mini pillows. They help to keep the filling in place to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the jacket and losing all the warmth.

The quality or style of baffles can contribute to the overall performance of the insulation. For example, insulated jackets that have stitch-through baffles help distribute the insulation evenly across the body, but the lines of stitching produce areas where the cold air can creep through to your body. The other option is box-wall insulation, which utilises construction techniques that allow for more insulation and eliminates all cold spots. Box-walls allow for high loft and thicker insulation, meaning a warmer, cosier you.

The width of the baffle will also play a part in the quality of insulation. A wider baffle is typically the warmer choice, as it will contain more insulation – and with a stitch-through jacket, it means less cold spots. But wider baffles can feel bulkier, as well as being slightly less packable and harder to layer. Whereas narrow baffles are ideal for layering underneath a waterproof jacket and can easily compress down into a rucksack.

So which is best? Well that depends on your preference, and your budget. Box-wall insulated jackets are likely to be more expensive, as the construction is more complicated and they add extra weight. But if you’re heading to a climate that needs it – they’re worth the investment. But the quality of production that goes into our men's insulated jackets and women's insulated jackets is uncompromised either way.

How is insulation in clothing measured?

Typically, synthetic insulation is measured in grams per square metre – but don’t confuse this number for the weight of the whole jacket, as the addition of extra fastenings and details will contribute to this as well. It is recommended that 50g-100g is ideal for Spring and Autumn, or even as a mid-layer in the winter months. Whereas 100g-200g would be the better choice for colder temperatures.

Choosing the best insulated clothing for you

The best clothing insulation comes from layering up. Each layer of clothing offers its own version of insulation technology, by trapping the warmth and acting as a natural insulator. And it’s easy to add an extra layer underneath your coat to create an extra barrier against the cold, while a pair of waterproof trousers with insulating qualities will add extra warmth to your legs.

We’ve put together a checklist of all the layers you will need for your next cold-climate adventure – whether you’re off skiing or winter hiking – while ticking off their basic qualities so you can find what you need, with ease.

  Insulating Waterproof Windproof Lightweight Moisture Wicking Secure Pockets
Baselayers
Fleeces
Insulating Walking Trousers
Insulated Jacket *
Waterproof Jacket

* May depend on the range

Discover a range of insulated clothing at Hawkshead

Looking for insulated clothing for cold weather? Protect yourself against any eventuality with a warming insulated jacket from Hawkshead. Heading out with the whole family? Check out our range of kids' insulated jackets and keep everyone warm while you’re out in the cold. We also offer a range of base, mid and top layers to keep you warm in the coldest of climates – so that you can enjoy your outdoor activity, no matter what.