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Staying cool and dry_ How to choose a breathable ski jacket785 (1)

Staying cool and dry: How to choose a breathable ski jacket

The main function of ski wear is waterproof, breathable and warm, its powerful or not through the waterproof index and breathable index to reflect. The waterproof index of ski wear is how many mm of water can be pressed on it, and no more than three drops of water can seep out of the fabric in 24 hours. The Breathability index is how many grams of water vapor can be let through in a square meter of area every day. Usually ski wear with a waterproof index of more than 5000 and a Breathability index of more than 3000 can meet most of the requirements. The indicators of outdoor ski clothing include down content, down filling, fluffiness, and fabric. Here’s how to find out the index of ski wear!


What Is The Breathability Index Of ski jacket

On the label of a ski suit, the waterproof index is usually found together with the Breathability index, because it is not possible to have a ski suit that is only waterproof and not breathable. The Breathability index (in g/m²/24h, one gram of water vapor per square meter per day) is the number of grams of water vapor that can pass through a square meter per day. A person loses half a liter of fluid (almost 500 g) through the skin every day, and as the amount of exercise increases, this loss increases exponentially, which means we need a higher permeability index to ensure that water vapor is removed from the skin surface.

Basically, the waterproof performance of a qualified ski suit is more than 5000mmH2O, and the Breathability is more than 3000g/m²/24h. Such performance can ensure that the wearer does not get wet in heavy rain and can also support the sweating needs of moderate exercise.

Measuring Breathability And Choosing The Right Rating

The Breathability of a fabric is related to its ability to allow sweat (in the form of water vapor) to escape.  It is measured by the amount of water vapor released per square meter of fabric in a 24-hour period.  It is expressed in millimeters on the label of ski clothing, just like the waterproof rating, and almost always follows it.  For example, a jacket labeled 20,000 / 15,000 has a water resistance rating of 20k (excellent rating) and a Breathability rating of 15k (also excellent).  A ski jacket with a rating of 8,000 / 5,000 will not keep you dry for long.  Don’t forget, a highly waterproof jacket is not necessarily very breathable.  The combination of highly waterproof and highly breathable is ideal for ultimate comfort on the slopes.

How breathable a Garment do I Need?

A higher Breathability rating means more Breathability and a higher price tag, but it’s perfect for running, skiing and other outdoor activities.

If you’re visiting a ski resort and will be returning indoors to rest regularly, a Breathability rating of 5,000 to 8,000 grams will meet your needs, and you can even wear this jacket in your everyday life!

Choose a Breathability rating in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 grams if you sweat a lot or do a lot of running, cycling, etc. Breathability above 20,000 is recommended for ski resort or backcountry skiers as it will keep you dry and comfortable.

What Is The waterproof Index Of ski jacket

jackets and clothing with a lower waterproof rating are better suited for activities where the weather is sunny and the humidity is low. Whereas clothing and equipment with higher waterproof ratings are suitable for expert skiers or changeable weather

waterproof index (unit: mmh20, millimeter water column pressure): Simply put, a fabric with a waterproof index of 10,000 mmH20 can be pressed by a 10,000 mm high water column, and no more than 3 drops of water will seep out of the fabric in 24 hours.

So the higher the waterproof index, the better the waterproof effect of the ski jacket. According to the waterproof effect, the waterproof index of ski wear is also different. The waterproof index of ordinary ski wear is 3000, the waterproof index of professional ski wear is 5000, and the waterproof index of some high-end ski wear can reach 10000.

How Do They Make Fabric waterproof & breathable?  

A laminated membrane or coating, typically made of ePTFE (expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene, also known as Teflon®) or PU, is placed between the outer layer, known as the “facial fabric,” which is typically comprised of nylon or polyester (Polyurethane). The face fabric’s function is to provide protection and to appear fashionable; it is not waterproof but is coated with a substance known as DWR (Durable Water Repellent) to prevent water absorption.

The membrane, which contains minuscule holes big enough to enable water vapor escape but too small to permit liquid water enter, is responsible for keeping the water out. PTFE membranes are covered by an ultra-thin layer of polyurethane or another oleophobic material since contact with sweat, chemicals, and other contaminants can cause them to lose their capacity to keep out water. (eVentTM does this at the microscopic level with individual PTFE fibers.) Finally, for comfort in 3 Layer (3L) fabrics, a tiny scrim or mesh is attached to the inner surface. While 2.5 Layer fabrics use a reduced design screened on the inner surface to reduce weight, 2 Layer (2L) fabrics get a separate fabric liner.

Modern waterproof and breathable fabrics have come a long way since the invention of GORE-TEX, and most of them are amazingly waterproof. Over the past few years, the prominence and advancement of Breathability has completely changed the market for sports jackets

The Indicators Of ski jacket

Lint content

Down is made up of feathers and down, and the down content is the proportion of down inside the down, usually expressed as a percentage, ranging from 5% to 95%. The down content of outdoor ski clothing is generally more than 80%; in general, the amount of down can also be seen in the hangtag, selection, feel, and pinch of down products. Try its soft feel degree, such as a soft feel and complete hair piece; the filling is better.

Filling quantity

The down filling is the full weight of the filling, and the general down filling of outdoor ski clothing is around 250–450 grams, depending on the target design. Down filling and down content are two complementary indicators closely related to the down jacket’s warmth performance.


Fluffiness is an important indicator of the degree of warmth. The higher the fluffiness, the better the warmth performance under the same weight. The fluffiness of general outdoor ski clothing is 600–800.


Outdoor ski wear fabric is divided into waterproof coating (lamination) fabric, high-density water-repellent fabric, and ordinary woven fabric plus anti-fleece fabric. waterproof coating (laminated) fabric is similar to the fabric for punching jacket, with the performance of waterproof and moisture permeability, generally used for alpine professional type ski clothing. High-density water-repellent fabric. The density of this kind of fabric is very high, generally above 290T, and has windproof, water-repellent, and breathable performance. Ordinary woven fabric plus downproof fabric, generally using lower density nylon or polyester, adding downproof fabric to the fabric lining, or brushing a layer of downproof rubber in the fabric lining.

Care Tips  

Regular cleaning is essential to maintain the excellent waterproof and breathable performance of our gear; dirt and dust can collect on the jacket and can reduce waterproofness. In addition, sweat and other deposits can clog the pores of the fabric and reduce Breathability.

To extend the life of our equipment, we need to clean and reapply Durable Water Repellent (DWR) on a regular basis so that we can take care of it and increase its lifespan.


When choosing a breathable ski jacket, we should pay attention to the Breathability rating of the jacket. The higher the value means the better the Breathability, while you can open the zipper under the armpit of the jacket for ventilation, which helps us to control the body temperature by keeping dry.


What is GORE-TEX

High-performance nylon and polyester textiles are laminated with a GORE-TEX membrane to create GORE-TEX fabrics. They come in a variety of grades, including ordinary GORE-TEX, GORE-TEX, GORE-TEX Pro, and GORE-TEX INFINIUMTM. Gore also provides a softshell fabric and Paclite, an extremely light 2.5-layer fabric. All seams on GORE-TEX clothing are entirely sealed, and the brand offers a “Keep You Dry®” guarantee.

Despite the fact that many laminates are waterproof, GORE-TEX films have extraordinarily high water resistance while yet being incredibly breathable due to their many tiny pores that let water vapor escape while blocking liquid water from entering. The company WL Gore works hard to create and advance waterproof and breathable technology.

What are some good breathable brands

  • Pertex® Shield+ / AP
  • Dermizax™
  • DryVent® (Formerly Hyvent®)
  • PreCip™
  • H(2)No®
  • Polartec® NeoShell®
  • eVent®
  • MemBrain®
  • Dry.Q™ Elite
  • Polartec® Power Shield® Pro

What does 20k Breathability mean?

20K means 20,000 g/m²/24 hours, which is the amount of moisture that can pass through one square meter of fabric in 24 hours. The higher the Breathability number, the more moisture that can pass through the fabric, and the better the Breathability of the fabric. Therefore, a Breathability of 20K is a relatively high level of Breathability.

Is 15k Breathability good?15K

Typically, a 15k Breathability rating is good enough for outdoor gear like jackets and pants, meaning that 15,000 grams of water vapor can pass through one square meter of material in 24 hours, and it will keep you dry and comfortable at all times

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