In the mountains, the weather changes quickly so you're advised to wear a waterproof jacket when hiking. Quechua offers a wide range of waterproof jackets, lightweight, warm, 3-in-1 jackets, and jackets with or without ventilation which offer different levels of waterproofing.
Choosing the right jacket isn't a straightforward matter so check out our advice to help you make the right choice!
Depending on the level of protection you need, you can choose between different levels of waterproofing. For each jacket, the level of waterproofing is graded on a scale of 1 to 5. These ratings are developed through technical lab tests; the higher the rating, the more waterproof the jacket.
Ratings of 2 and 3 indicate that the jacket can offer protection during a shower with 6-12 cm of rainfall in 1-2 hours
A rating of 4 indicates that the jacket can offer protection during a thunderstorm with 30 cm of rainfall in 3 hours.
A rating of 5 indicates that the jacket can offer protection during a storm, with 1.8 m of rainfall in 4 hours!
HOW WE CREATE OUR JACKETS
We measure the fabric resistance with a water pressure expressed in mm of water column ( tests based on the ISO 811 norm). The higher the pressure, the more the fabric is considered waterproof. A component with a 2000mm waterproofness will resist pressure of 2000mm of water (the equivalent of a two-hour rainfall).
ALL OUR JACKETS ARE WATER-REPELLENT
The water-repellent capacity of a fabric is its capacity to let the water slip on its surface without absorbing it. The water-repellency capacity is procured by a treatment on the outside of the fabric. This treatment needs to be renewed during the clothing’s lifetime (we suggest every 3 washes). All Quechua raincoats benefit from a water-repellent treatment.
OUR SHOWER TEST
Each jacket is validated in a shower test under a certain amount of litres per m2 per hour during a few hours (according to specificities). This test recreates a more or less important storm in the mountains.
2. The Outside Temperature
We offer 2 kinds of hiking jackets: Lightweight jackets and Warm jackets.
Are unlined or only have a lightweight lining so they are worn in warm weather, in mid-season or in winter with a warm layer such as a fleece or micro-padded jacket.
Each component is designed to optimize the weight of our jackets. Hikers have to carry all of their equipment during physical effort. That’s why we design our products so that they are lighter and lighter and they ensure greater freedom of movement.
WARM JACKETS -
In cold weather, you should choose a warm jacket with a warm lining; some of these jackets have a detachable lining and are called "3-in-1" jackets. This means that, depending on the temperature, you can remove the inner layer (either a fleece or padded jacket zipped to inside of jacket) and convert it to a lightweight jacket.
3. Intensity Of Exercise
Finally, the last criterion to consider is the intensity of your hike. The more intense the hike, the more you'll sweat which means you'll need a ventilated jacket. When there's a ventilation zip, we talk about mechanical ventilation. These are generally located under the arms but some pockets also have mesh which helps perspiration wicking.
For improved ventilation, wear breathable clothing under your jacket and remember to leave the cuffs and bottom of jacket unfastened.
If you plan to walk in the rain for a long time, wear a poncho over your jacket which will provide complete waterproofing and help protect your backpack!
VENTILATION ZIPS UNDER THE ARMS OR ON THE CHEST TO FACILITATE SWEAT EVACUATION
ROLE OF THE COMPONENT
Capacity of the product to release the vapor created by the body. In addition to the breathability of the fabrics used, Quechua is developing technical solutions (zippers, aerations, mesh…) that improve the overall ventilation of all our jackets made for hiking. These ventilation systems allow for temperature regulation inside the jackets and to facilitate evacuation of sweat formed by the body during physical efforts.
To know if a fabric is breathable, we measure its RET evaporation resistance ( test based on the ISO 11092 norm). The lower the resistance, the more the fabric allows the vapor generated by the body in activity to be released, thus making it more breathable.
RET < 9 = extremely breathable fabric
9 < RET < 12 = very breathable fabric
12 < RET < 20 = breathable fabric
RET > 20 = not or less breathable fabric
MEMBRANED OR COATED COMPONENT
To make a fabric waterproof, there are two solutions:
The coating: it's a waterproof material spread on the inside of the fabric. It stops the penetration of water inside the item but can release the vapor formed by the body during physical efforts so you remain dry.
The membrane: it is a film applied on the inside of the fabric. It is waterproof and stops water coming from the outside but evacuates the sweat created by the body as it moves. The membrane is more flexible and durable than the coating.
A product is recognised as waterproof when it has the ability to stop rain getting through, thus protecting the hiker from bad weather. It is worth knowing that there are different levels of impermeability, and different tests to measure them. On the one hand, we consider the impermeability of a fabric, while on the other, we prove the impermeability of an entire product. Check that in addition to using a waterproof material, your jacket has waterproof zips.
Hiking in the spring and autumn offers some wonderful surprises, and it would be a shame to miss out on them for fear of getting caught out in the rain! When the weather is changeable, the footpaths are less busy, so you may as well get the equipment to withstand the weather and enjoy it. Warning, check that the weather isn't threatening either!