Jacket Jargon

Jackets today aren’t just about a particular fiber (such as nylon vs. poly). What really sets them apart is performance. Two terms you’ll come across when comparing jackets are “heavyweight” and “thermal.” How do you distinguish one from the other?

Jessica Strain, marketing manager at Dri Duck Traders Inc. (asi/50835) uses an example of a jacket that combines both properties to explain. “The lining is considered thermal because of the type of weave used to make the fabric,” she says. “A thermal weave allows for small pockets of warm air to be trapped between the yarns and keeps the warm body heat close to the body. By combining thermal lining, which traps body heat, with our heavyweight 11-oz. PowerFleece, the warm trapped air cannot quickly escape through the outer layer of the jacket, keeping the wearer warm and comfortable.”

A client may, however, find a style that’s either heavyweight or thermal to be sufficient. Tri-Mountain (asi/92125), offers a lightweight jacket called the Trailway (J6150), which features thermal-knit panels to complement two layers of bonded knit polyester and a breathable membrane. While not heavyweight, the jacket works to provide windproof/waterproof resistance and thermoregulation.

In contrast, the Avalanche jacket (9800) from Tri-Mountain is made of a heavyweight textured ripstop nylon with a 4-oz. polyfill lining. The weight of the jacket’s fabrication along with the windproof/waterproof properties of nylon keep the wearer warm and comfortable in chilly climates.