Bien faire son multi-couches

The 5-layer theory

DIncreasingly, people are discovering the usefulness and effectiveness of the multi-layered technique. Its main function is to provide all the necessary equipment in a minimum of technical clothing. Essential for travel and highly recommended for sports, the multi-layered technique could be summed up in 5 essential elements.

With these 5 clothes, it is possible to adapt to all temperatures, and to all physical activities.

1. The first layer : Synthetic or merino wool, the first layer (baselayer, combine) is used above all to release moisture from the body and to lead it to the other layers. It does not absorb moisture and allows the body to regulate itself while remaining dry. Some first layers also provide a good dose of warmth. It is up to you to assess your needs.

Examples of first layers: a synthetic or merino jumpsuit, a 100% polyester sports sweater. Cotton should be avoided at all costs (which generally absorbs 90% of the moisture produced by the body without releasing it).

2. The micro-fleece jacket : This jacket is the basic warmth layer. It provides instant warmth, is breathable and does not absorb moisture. It can therefore be worn during physical activity and dries quickly. Needless to say, it is essential for all 4 seasons.

3. The down jacket : Whether synthetic or down, the down jacket is the ultimate warmth layer (read this article for more info on the subject: here ). Combined with a shell (see the next two coats) it becomes a winter coat. The down jacket warms the body, especially during breaks and stops from strenuous physical activity. This is the safe comfort layer that you need to lug around everywhere: hiking (to the top of the mountain), cross-country skiing (for breaks), traveling.

4. The windbreaker : Certainly the most neglected layer, the windbreaker is more than essential. Of course, it is important to have a raincoat with you (see layer # 5) for times of rain, extreme wind and snow. For all other occasions where you need protection against light weather or wind, it's the windbreaker (or lightweight softshell) to wear. Much more breathable and flexible, the windbreaker is the most versatile shell. This is the diaper to use as a coat during most physical activities.


5. The raincoat : Since our hikes and trips sometimes lead us to more difficult conditions, we have to hang around a raincoat with you, in case of rain or snow (in extreme cold, the "3-ply" coat is the option to choose). The raincoat, although it is "waterproof-breathable" does not entirely release moisture from the body, which is why it is important not to wear it during intense physical activity.

Lhe five-layer theory is useful and should be learned by travelers, athletes, walkers. You have to listen to your body and remove the right layers at the right times: when you start to feel condensation. We must avoid getting too hot, so that our diapers do not get wet and become useless.

Here are some examples of combinations to make for specific activities:
  • Cross-country skiing: First layer + fleece + windbreaker. If it's too hot, you need to remove the fleece. Bring the down jacket with you for breaks.
  • Snowshoeing: Same equipment if you snowshoe in aerobic mode, if not, you can choose to wear the down jacket.
  • Alpine skiing: One of the only sports where the down jacket and the 3 folds can be combined without over-condensing.
  • Hiking: Depending on the season, but always bring the windbreak. Even in the middle of summer, the peaks are often windy. It only takes a small layer to protect us from the weather to fully enjoy the view.

Here we go! You are well equipped to cope with any temperature. Everybody out!