In the wind without limits: What are windbreaker jackets?

In the wind without limits: What are windbreaker jackets?

If you want to make the most of your time out there, a good hike starts at home - with your gear and clothing choices. And maybe a windbreaker jacket is just the right choice for your next adventure. Come with us to find out exactly what a windbreaker jacket is and why this type of jacket might just be the missing piece in your outdoor wardrobe.

What is a windbreaker jacket?

Windbreaker jackets are very lightweight, whose primary purpose is to protect their wearer against strong winds, thus preventing the cold feeling that comes with those winds. Another important function of windbreaker jackets is the partial protection against rain thanks to the water-repellent treatment, or the high level of breathability, which makes windbreaker jackets an excellent choice even for very intense activities in the mountains.

The history of windbreakers - it all started at the frontline

The origins of these jackets date back to the early 20th century, when windbreakers were designed for military use. Naturally, the purpose of these jackets was to protect soldiers during combat in blustery winds. Since then, developments have moved on considerably and windbreakers have found uses outside the combat zone thanks to their functionality.

This type of jacket boomed in the 1970s, when it was extremely popular for sporting activities, but it also became a tool for creative clothing designers who were able to literally go wild with designs. Since then, windbreakers have been extremely popular not only in the sports and outdoor industry, but also in the fashion industry.

Key features of windbreaker jackets

Wind resistance: This feature is the alpha and omega of windbreakers, so it deserves to be mentioned first. The materials used are capable of cutting the wind and keeping your body heat at an optimal level, no matter how much the wind blows.

Lightness: A specific feature of windbreaker jackets compared to jackets with comparable functionality is very little weight. Windbreakers are most often made of synthetic materials such as nylon or polyester, which are extremely lightweight and thus do not burden their wearer with extra grams.

Water-repellent properties: Even good quality windbreakers are not waterproof and therefore will not stand up in a storm, but very often the material is treated with a water-repellent treatment, thanks to which drops of water do not soak into the jacket, but slide down its surface. This prolongs the time it takes for the first drop of water to soak through the material and reach your body - and during that time, you may well be able to move under some shelter.

Breathability: Windbreakers are very thin by default, and thus sweat and moisture don't have as much to do in terms of escaping through the material to the outside. Windbreaker jackets therefore have excellent properties in terms of breathability and vapour permeability, making them suitable for intense activities where you really sweat.

Packability: The third benefit, which is related to the fact that the material of windbreakers is very thin, is their packability. Windbreakers can be compressed into really minimal dimensions, so they really don't take up an extra millimeter of space in your pack.

Focus on ventilation: Because windbreakers are designed for intense movement, every detail is tailored for breathability and maximum ventilation. That's why these jackets are often equipped with various features such as ventilation holes or special snaps that allow you to move around with the jacket unzipped without it howling in the breeze.

The difference between softshells and windbreakers

As you read these words, you may be thinking that windbreakers are too similar to softshell jackets in terms of functionality. At the end of the day, isn't that the same thing?

Although windbreakers and softshell jackets share similarities, especially when it comes to protection against the elements or light weight, both categories of jackets also have their own unique characteristics. These are the key differences that will help you decide, whether the type of activity, the weather or saving space in your pack will be the key factor.

Softshell jackets are more versatile: While windbreakers offer superior wind protection, breathability and, in quotes, don't care about anything else, softshell jackets strive to strike an optimal balance between breathability, cold protection and protection against all types of weather vagaries. Ultimately, this means that softshell jackets are more often than not the right choice, but when it comes to intense movement in windy weather, the windbreaker is second to none.

Softshell jackets are warmer: Windbreakers are narrowly specialized, softshell jackets, on the other hand, have it in their job description to keep you a bit warm. They're more robust and their interior is often made of a soft, brushed material that can keep you pleasantly warm even in cold weather. Windbreakers are just such a shell that has a clear job to do.

Windbreakers are lighter and take up less space: Windbreakers really only weigh the bare minimum and pack down into a smaller size than you could even imagine. So you can really take them with you anytime - they take up no space in your pack, and you won't even feel the weight on your back. Softshell jackets are slightly heavier and less compact.

Windbreakers wick sweat more efficiently: As mentioned earlier, windbreakers are excellent at wicking sweat. While softshell jackets also boast this, especially when compared to hardshell jackets, they don't stand a chance when compared to windbreakers. So for trail running or intense hiking, windbreakers will be the optimal choice.

Get to know our windbreakers

In our product portfolio you will find two models of windbreakers, both for ladies and men. The Litio ultra-lightweight jacket, where our design team focused all their attention on minimising the weight as much as possible. It is primarily designed for athletes and enthusiasts of the so-called ultralight hiking, who weigh literally every gram.

The other option is our relatively fresh addition to the product portfolio, the Meran jackets, which are also extremely lightweight, but we didn't push it to such extremes and focused on full functionality for everyday life. This makes this jacket a little more versatile, plus it comes in more subtle colours and a more appealing design so it doesn't scream out on the city streets.

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