When exploring the most extreme outdoor environments, great style isn’t enough to keep you protected. Instead, it’s vital to look out for the best techwear to withstand challenging climates. When we say ‘techwear’, it refers to clothing with advanced technology built-in to help tackle more physically demanding tasks.
From moisture management to insulation to UPF clothing, these are just some of the critical technologies to look out for in techwear for men, as these properties will help regulate your temperature and keep you protected from the sun’s UV rays. Also, when finding the right kit, you want to ensure your fabrics are breathable, lightweight, and flexible, making movement easy while you push your physical limits.
What to look out for in techwear for men
Moisture Wicking Properties
When looking for technology in clothing, a garment that offers moisture-wicking properties is essential when exploring both cold and hot climates. Clothing that has moisture-wicking properties helps to pull away sweat from the skin using tiny, built-in capillaries. Merino wool, nylon, and polyester are some of the most commonly used materials that help with moisture management.
When combatting extreme wet weather, investing in waterproof clothes is critical. Looking out for highly technical waterproof fabrics will help you stay cool and dry all day long. Also, if your clothes are dampened, it will make you feel weighed down, making movement extremely difficult; whereas you won’t face this problem with waterproofed clothing.
When tackling specifically cold climates, insulation is essential, as it will keep you warm, comfortable, and will prevent you from developing hyperthermia. Insulation works with tiny pockets trapping warm air close to the skin, so heat doesn’t leave the body, even in the iciest of temperatures. Proper insulation supplies incredible warmth without your clothes feeling too bulky—some key insulation fabrics to look out for are Primaloft, Gore-tex, and Omni Heat.
Yes, you even need sun protective clothing in snowy, colder climates; not just hot temperatures. Try to aim for clothing with a rating of 40-50 Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), as this will block out almost all UV rays when worn.
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With techwear constantly evolving, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest trends and innovations. That’s why we’ve found the best techwear brands revolutionising the industry through their high performing and protection apparel. These designs have been treated with an exceptional level of detail to provide you with some seriously futurist garments.
Their collection of outdoor merino wool techwear clothing is naturally moisture-wicking and breathable. Additionally, these garments keep you warm in the most challenging climates while still feeling super lightweight.
Smartwool is primarily known for its excellent base layers, promising you to keep you warm while feeling like a second skin. From zip-up base layers to crew necks, you can find just about every high performing top there is. Many of these wool base layers come with Merino 150 and 250 technology, a light and breathable fabric that helps move sweat away from the body.
The North Face
Aside from their highly technical apparel, The North Face is also paving the way for sustainable and ethical fashion, helping preserve the environments we love to explore. The North Face is committed to improving animal welfare, by ensuring they're not subjected to unnecessary harm, such as force-feeding or live-plucking. If you want to support a brand making a difference, definitely check out their awe-inspiring range.
Everything from their well-built jackets to the best techwear pants will keep you warm without being too bulky or weighing you down. Columbia produces some of the best multi-pocket cargo pants the outdoor industry has ever seen. These designs have built-in sweat-wicking materials and offer UPF sun protection. Not to mention Columbia also create innovative outerwear, with techwear jackets providing a high level of waterproofing and versatility.
With almost a century of experience, it's no wonder L.L. Bean is one of the highly sought footwear brands out there, recognised for high-enhancing designs geared to be super protective. Their collection of highly durable boots promises to keep your feet supported on even the most challenging, harsh terrain, as these boots come with an EVA midsole and a thick, rubber sole providing you with excellent grip. Many of these boots come with water-resistant leather uppers and insulation to keep your feet toasty.
Arc'teryx specialises in offering some of the most highly insulated jackets helping you conquer the cold. Many of these styles provide premium goose down, providing you will natural insulation that compacts effectively. However, if you're looking for something more versatile, they also design incredible shell jackets that come with mid-layers great for adjusting to different temperatures.
Acronym creates some of the most protective and functional nylon cargo pants, as these designs come with water repellent fabrics and a removable lower hem. These techwear pants also include heaps of pockets, so you can safely store away your items. If you're looking for great outerwear, Acronym also supplies Primaloft and Goretex insulation jackets that will keep you warm no matter how low the temperature drops.
If you're looking for high tech outdoor apparel capturing a fun, youthful essence, then ACG is for you. Their selection of wolf tee and zip-up hoodies feature the coolest graphics and Nike Therma-FIT technology, which helps manage your body's natural heat in freezing climates. ACG also designs men's shell jackets that are loose and roomy, great for layering.
Stone Island Shadow Project
Their impeccable collection treads the line of functionality and streetwear aesthetic, so it's no surprise Stone Island is one of the best techwear brands out there. From technical bomber jackets to sporty cargo shorts, you're bound to find some fantastic pieces suited for outdoor exploration here. If you're after some great layers, Stone Island offers great lightweight fleece jumpers and zip-hoodies. Pair this with one of their padded coats, and you're ready for any icy expedition.
Ten C are known for techwear pants and jackets that provide serious warmth. If you're after some quality outerwear, they have an endless collection of puffer and padded jackets, many of them featuring fill with feather down for superior insulation. While you're here, be sure to check their durable yet lightweight cargo techwear pants too.
If you're looking for techwear suited for physically demanding jobs, make sure you check out Carhartt's WIP range, as the collection is highly durable yet flexible. Carhartt WIP features quality garments that balance form and function. From insanely soft corduroy shirts to cargo joggers, this workwear also highlights streetwear sensibility.
Aether cuts their clothes from advanced fabrics, perfect when tackling cold weather and harsh climates. If you're after some quality base layers, make sure you check out their range, as Aesthetic offers technical properties with premium fabrics to supply tops that provide moisture management.