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.
Icebreaker was founded by 24-year old Jeremy Moon, with the vision to design the perfect garments for every outdoor adventure. Since the mid-nineties, Icebreaker has redefined the norms and excelled expectations through creating some of the best techwear. With a focus on natural fibres, Icebreaker was one of the first companies to establish a long term partnership with merino wool growers, helping the business to source their materials sustainably.
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.
Customer Reviews: “Very good fit….Comfy, soft and very warm….would recommend this garment especially for the outdoors.”
The North Face
It’s no surprise The North Face is one of the best techwear brands to exist, as they’ve remained the gold standard ever since 1966, providing top-tier gear fused with advanced technology. The brand is most commonly known for its puffer jackets constructed out of goose down fill that’s extremely warm and compressible. What makes their goose down fill the highest quality is how material offers volume, moisture management and the ability to regain loftiness after compression. It’s the perfect techwear jacket to pack for travel.
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.
Customer Reviews: “Everything has a solid build quality, the perfect pocket placement, and keeps me out of the elements. A great buy.”
Columbia was founded in the late thirties by Paul Lamfrom. This company is one of the best tech brands creating outdoor clothing reflecting their Pacific Northwest heritage while incorporating groundbreaking technologies. Columbia test all of their apparel in the most extreme weather conditions, ensuring all their products are high performing and protective.
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.
Customer Reviews: “This makes the fourth pull over I have purchased from Columbia. They all fit well and last for years. Well worth the investment.”
In 1912, L.L. Bean was established by Leon Leonwood Bean in Freeport, Maine. Launching a clothing empire, this brand has over 54 stores globally. L.L. Bean has cultivated a reputation for creating incredible outdoor apparel, especially their footwear. The company’s inception came from Leon Leonwood Bean after returning from a hunting trip with cold, damp feet and a revolutionary idea to combine leather upper and rubber bottoms, forever changing outdoor boots.
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.
Customer Reviews: “Fits perfectly, true to size, love it. Just what I’d been looking for. Highly recommend.”
Rooted in the idea that “there is always a better way”, Arc’teryx creates the best techwear with the coastal mountains serving as inspiration and testing ground for their exclusive range. What separates Arc’teryx from the rest of the pack is that they’re one of the only clothing manufacturers with independent manufacturing facilities, as their design centres are treated like engineering labs. With technology at the forefront of all their designs, Arc’teryx has a versatile range geared to be protective in any outdoor environment.
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.
Customer Reviews: “Customer Service is the Best, 5 Star+! Quality is very good! Style is my favorite. Value for Money.”
Founded by Errolson Hugh and Michaela Sachenbacher, this Berlin-based company is a top-tier techwear brand, supplying an extensive range of clothing with practicality at the forefront. Though this company initially started as a boutique design agency, Acronym decided to collaborate with multiple brands, serving highly technical gear. Acronym is a very distinct brand, operating outside of the fashion calendar dropping their collection whenever it’s ready. They are also known for fusing Schoeller, 3XDRY, dry skin and high-density gabardine into their range.
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.
Customer Reviews: “The quality and delivery of the product was perfect.”
ACG stands for Nike’s “All Conditions Gear”, a section of the multi-billion dollar company launched in the late eighties to supply outdoor lovers with high-quality gear. ACG is different to other Nike lines, as, unlike other collections more focused on a chic, sporty aesthetic, ACG tailors their clothes with fierce outdoor exploration in mind. Nike ACG began with a small waterproof collection so popular; the line expanded, offering a diverse range of apparel from stylish pullovers, puffers and hiking boots.
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.
Customer Reviews: “It really pops. The shirt feels high quality and more durable than the average shirt, but still comfortable. I went down half a size and that was the right call.”
Stone Island Shadow Project
Stone Island Shadow Project is one of the most trendy fashion companies around. Unlike many activewear brands solely focused on function, Stone Island Shadow Project make stylish yet practical designs. Treating their studios like mad-scientist labs, the brand is well known for pushing the boundaries of performance clothing.
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.
Customer Reviews: “Easy transactions and nice packaging and fast shipping. Very impressed with shopping here.”
The name Ten C is derived from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, “The Emperors New Clothes”, which tells us to look beyond what we see and instead value what is truly there. Rooted in this ideology, Ten C is all about creating timeless pieces instead of keeping up only with the latest trends in fashion.
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.
Customer Reviews: “The cut is a bit on the boxy side and the construction and hardware are solid.”
Carhartt was established in 1889 and is a leading workwear brand, offering the most rugged jeans, shirts, overalls, coveralls, dungarees, fire-resistant clothing and hunting clothing. Founded by Hamilton Carhartt, this eponymous label is a family-run business that honours dependability, honesty, and trust.
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.
Customer Reviews: “Carhartt WIP garments are worth the purchase because of their clean looks and versatility.”
Aether was founded by Palmer West and Jonah Smith in 2009 after they spotted a gap in the outdoor apparel market. Unsatisfied with the mediocre apparel on offer, West and Smith set out to buckle this trend by creating better quality sports products. Aether also develops outdoor geat that can seamlessly blend into any casual wear.
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.
Customer Reviews: “Designed without compromise and constructed from the most technologically advanced fabrics.”