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Apparel Pro: Insulation & Cold Weather Protection

Versatility in jackets is a great feature for riders. Whether you’re hitting the slopes or hitting the pavement, you always want to layer up.

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Winter can be a difficult season to enjoy if you don’t like cold weather. Luckily, several powersports clothing companies are adding highlights from ski and snowboard apparel to their collections, making it easier for powersports enthusiasts to enjoy the great outdoors even when it snows.

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Versatility in jackets is a great feature for riders. Whether you’re hitting the slopes or hitting the pavement, you always want to layer up. Start with a heavier jacket in the cool morning and remove a layer to just the shell in the afternoon when the sun is in full gear.

The shell is one of the most important aspects of a jacket because it should offer protection from the weather via waterproofing, along with impact resistance with material overlays in key impact areas.

The shell will keep the wind, rain and snow out, but the second layer of the jacket is what keeps riders warm. In the same way that it keeps your house warm, insulation in jackets reduces the amount of air and heat that escapes from the material, helping the body stay warm in cold conditions.

Insulation ranges in weight and density by different manufacturers, with offerings ranging from minimal to maximum protection from the cold. In the winter, I would recommend overcompensating for the unexpected. It is always better to be warmer than it is to be cold and not have enough protection to get you to your desired destination.

There are several different types of insulation available for jackets, including down, wool, synthetic and blended compounds to retain heat, improve breathability and to deter sweat dampening from occurring. There can often be several different types of insulation materials used in jackets to not only help with manufacturing costs but to offer the best protection for the wearer.

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Jacket ventilation is a major influence in how comfortable the rider will be. Manufacturers add zip closures to the underarms and core of the jacket for easy adjustment when the wearer is increasing exertion levels. The best part about jacket vents is that the zippers can easily be accessed with a gloved hand, so you aren’t fumbling around to try to maintain comfort.

Make sure you stay protected this winter by choosing the right gear for both your ride and the weather.

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