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How to Know if Your Mid Layers Are Of Good Quality

by Grace

The mid layer is clothing typically worn as a second layer. It provides insulation for the wearer, whether a fleece or lightweight insulating jacket, depending on your requirements, offers different kinds of insulation.

The major important role of a mid-layer is to keep you warm as much by insulating and trapping body heat while being comfortable and breathable at the same time.

A good mid layer will always protect you from cold; it is breathable, doesn’t weigh you down, and helps you retain your body temperature despite your activities.

Mid layers come from a wide variety of materials which can either be natural or synthetic. A good layering consists of a base layer, several or one mid-layer and an outer layer.

Types of Mid Layers

Mid-layer choices are many; the type you decide to go with will determine how cold it will be depending on weather conditions. What works for one person or activity may not work for the other, so it is better to have guidance when choosing a mid-layer depending on the action you’ll be doing. Here are the types of mid-layers to choose from:

Merino Wool

Merino wool is one of the most natural fibers from sheep wool and is best known as ‘super fiber. ’This kind of material has anti-odor properties that resist odor compared to synthetics.

Merino wool is durable and breathable, offering great body temperature regulation. They are usually more expensive than synthetic but can be a good choice, especially in cold seasons, as they can retain warmth even when wet.

Merino is mostly used for base or hiking layers and can sometimes blend with synthetic materials for versatility. Merino wool suits all outdoor enthusiasts as t-shirts from the material serve as comfortable outdoor apparel for summer days.

Fleece

This type of mid-layer is often associated with synthetics or, in simple terms, plastics. Most of the mid-layers we see today in the market use synthetic fleece materials. The primary material is polyester and, at some point, Spandex or Elastane for stretch clothing.

This material is very soft in texture, breathable, dries quickly when wet and has excellent moisture-managing properties. However, they could be better for wet and windy conditions.

Mid-layers made from these materials are versatile and can blend and be manipulated in many patterns that give the user a variety of designs they would like. Another best thing about this material is that they are cheap and very durable at the same time.

The synthetic kind of material is also hydrophobic, which repels water when in contact and dries fast.

Synthetic insulation and Down

Synthetic and down are rarely used as mid layers unless it is extremely cold and can be used as part of winter clothes or if the body is not generating enough heat.

 Synthetic material offers an insulating ability when damp and boosts wind and water resistance, hence good cloth for outdoor winter clothes. Synthetics are more affordable and less durable than polyester.

Down, on the other hand, offers excellent heat retention but does not give enough insulation when damp. Down insulation can retain heat better than most materials, it provides outdoor enthusiasts with enough warmth. It is an extremely lightweight texture, requires a great handle when cleaning and is fairly expensive.

When choosing whether to have down or synthetic clothes layers, your experience will depend on the climate you will use it in.

Softshell

Softshell is technical mid-layers usually made from nylon or polyester; hence lightweight and won’t hinder your movement. They can be worn as your outer layering clothes in most conditions, but they are less resistant to water and wind than hard-shell jackets.

As softshells are made from woven fabric, they are more comfortable, stretchy, and breathable and protect you from overheating when you are active.

The difference between softshell and hard-shell is that softshell is ideal for dry and fair-weather climates. In contrast, hard-shell jackets are much more rigid, waterproof, and favorable during bad outdoor weather.

Overall, a good mid-layer must offer warmth and protect you from the cold. It must retain your body temperature as well as breathable at the same time. When worn, it must be comfortable enough and not weigh you down or prevent you from doing your usual activities when in them. 

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