Your all climate jacket should offer the same comfort and breathability regardless of the weather.
Also, it’s best to buy a jacket that’s stylish enough for trips around the city and functional enough for the less-beaten track. To allow for the latter, the jacket must be water and windproof, with sufficient heating or cooling property as necessary.
How do you find such a jacket?
Start by inspecting essential features such as the material, design, construction, weatherproofing, etc.
This article outlines a list of key characteristics to look for. In particular, you’ll learn more about the incomparable GAMMA jacket.
What to Look For?
A jacket’s overall design and appearance are what people notice first and foremost. But, you’ll want to go beyond the initial impression and find out if the material is durable and weatherproof.
For example, GORE-TEX has been the most popular material used in travel and outdoor jackets. It’s a fabric that keeps your body away from the elements while offering decent breathability.
And now, graphene is one of the latest arrivals in the outdoor apparel industry. In fact, it may offer superior protection and comfort than what’s commonly available.
First of all, graphene is the thinnest material on the planet. It consists of a single layer of carbon atoms laid in a hexagonal pattern known as a hexagonal lattice.
The carbon base and unique structure make this material one of the strongest yet exceptionally lightweight.
Graphene-infused jackets such as the GAMMA are impervious to the elements. Moreover, they also weigh a fraction of what you might expect an all-weather jacket to weigh. The GAMMA is closer to an ordinary hoodie in this regard.
2. Insulation and Thermoregulation
Usually, jackets incorporate some sort of synthetic or natural insulation, down, for example. But that’s exactly the sort of stuff that adds to the heft, not to mention that down feather might not perform as well under heavy rain.
In comparison, graphene offers excellent thermoregulation without any of the common downsides. That’s courtesy of the material’s latticed structure, which acts as the wearer’s second skin.
Graphene has the unique ability to distribute heat across the body and leave no hot or cold spots. Furthermore, graphene-infused jackets pull this off without sacrificing breathability.
These incredibly handy jackets can improve the body’s thermoregulation in any weather. For instance, when it’s warm out, the jacket will expel moisture and heat to help the wearer stay cool.
And in cold weather, the latticed structure distributes body heat throughout the surface area and blocks off cold air.
In addition, the GAMMA also has three built-in carbon heaters, making the jacket usable even when it’s -20°C outside, so you can go on a camping trip in winter without worrying that you will be cold. The heaters are strategically placed in the lower front on either side of the jacket, with a larger one up near the shoulder blades.
You can power the heaters with a standard power bank via a USB cable. There are three heat settings, which you can toggle with a dedicated button on the inside.
Now, you might think that there could be a risk of fire or overheating.
You can rest easy there, as graphene’s thermoregulation properties come to the fore again. You don’t even have to be afraid that you might fall asleep with the heaters on, as they are non-burning. Your power bank running dry is the worst that can happen.
Depending on the power bank’s capacity and the chosen setting, the heaters can run for 2 to 22 hours. A 20000mAh power bank can power those for eight hours on high, which goes down to two hours for a 5000mAh unit.
Your travel jacket might take some beating, particularly if you take it on a camping or hiking trip. As such, you’re going to want a jacket that doesn’t stain or tear easily.
Again, graphene-infused fabrics can withstand anything you might throw at it without a scratch. Since it’s among the strongest material known to man, graphene is scratch and puncture-proof.
Even if you were to take a sharp knife and try to stab a graphene-infused jacket, it wouldn’t budge.
This all means that with the Gamma jacket on, you can wade through thick overgrowths, hairy mountain roads, and narrow crevices with the utmost confidence. Whatever you do, the jacket is going to come out of it looking good as new.
Graphene’s hexagonal structure repels moisture such that the material is impervious to most liquids. The only way you might stain the jacket is if something super sticky lands on it and stays there.
Storage isn’t something typically associated with jackets. But having many easily accessible pockets can certainly be helpful when travelling or adventuring.
The GAMMA jacket comes with a 10-pocket system that ought to be enough for all your essentials and then some.
There are two inner and outer chest pockets, two more pairs of front pockets in the same fashion, and one on each sleeve, with the one on the left hidden.
The inner chest pocket on the left is designed to house the power bank so that’s where you’ll find a USB-A port. This means that this pocket will be occupied when you plan on using the heaters.
The zippers on the outer and sleeve pockets are waterproof and equipped with rubberised protective flaps. The puller is attached to an easy access cord with a rubberised end, making it easy for you to open and close the outer pockets even when gloved.
As far as design goes, it’s best to go for a jacket that conforms to your body shape. That’s exactly what you get with the GAMMA.
It’s waist-length with adjustable drawstrings that you can use to secure the jacket tightly around your waist. On the back can be found an adjustable hem. When it’s not needed, you can fold it up without creating an awkward bulge on your lower back.
The GAMMA also has an adjustable hood and high collar to protect your head and neck in challenging weather. A pair of built-in fingerless gloves are a nice addition, and you can adjust the Velcro straps around the wrists for a tight fit. If necessary, you can put on regular gloves on top of the built-in ones.
This jacket only comes in black, which some may consider a drawback. However, that’s only because graphene doesn’t take to dye very well due to its impervious structure. It is the black colour that makes the jacket easy to match with any outfit. It’s a jacket that you can wear anywhere without looking odd, whether you’re at work or on a weekend hike.
Choosing the Best Jacket
With all the recent innovations in material technology, travel jackets have become much more versatile. Among all the latest materials to enter the outdoor apparel niche, graphene is perhaps the most promising.
For one, it allows for lightweight and extreme durability without compromising waterproofing or breathability. Combine that with its versatility and you may find yourself wearing your favourite graphene-infused jacket every day.
Keep in mind that picking out a jacket comes down to balancing all the features. For instance, regular jackets that offer excellent breathability and insulation may in reality be so heavy and stiff as to limit your movement.
If you want to find out more about what makes GAMMA one of the best jackets available, check out the manufacturer’s website or their Facebook page by clicking here.
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This article is a collaboration with Gamma, who are having an active fundraiser in order to produce this jacket.