Giacche tecniche invernali: tutto quello che devi sapere

The ultimate guide to functional jackets

A functional jacket is the outermost layer of ODLO’s three-layer system. It can help keep you warm while protecting you from the wind and rain so the layers underneath it can do their jobs. There’s plenty of factors to consider when choosing the right outer layer for your activity and the conditions. So, in order to help you find the best layer for your outdoor adventure, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions about rain jackets

Looking for a jacket to keep out the rain? First, you need to know the difference between waterproof and water repellent. Waterproof fabrics don’t let any water through at all, ensuring a warmer, drier workout from start to finish, even in a heavy downpour. Water-repellent fabric repels water for a time, but it will eventually get damp in persistent rain. That said, it’s more breathable, making water-repellent gear ideal for working up a sweat in light rain. With that sorted, what else should you consider when buying a rain jacket?

Frequently Asked Questions about Rain Jackets

A water column is an industry standard measurement of a membrane’s permeability. It tells you how long it will take before you feel the rain seep through your fabric, and it’s a good starting point when looking at rain jackets.

The water column test records how long it takes for exactly three drops to pass through the membrane under increasing water pressure. The water column value is then a combination of the time and the water pressure it takes to get there.

How waterproof a jacket is also depends on factors like the seams - taped or heat sealed means less water gets through - and the number of layers, etc., so treat the water column as a rough guide when choosing your multifunctional jacket.

Next, think about how you’ll use your jacket. Will you be wearing it under a rucksack? How hard are you planning to hit the slopes? Here’s a rough guide to reading water column values:

  • A running jacket for joggers without a rucksack: 10,000 mm
  • Ski apparel for sitting in the snow: 15,000 mm
  • A hardshell for hikers with a heavy rucksack: 20,000 mm

With rain jackets, there’s more to consider than just water. Is it breathable? Is it packable? What about price? Remember to keep the conditions and your intended activity in mind. The rain jacket you need for moderate exercise in a light drizzle will vary from what you need for sweaty activities or long treks with a rucksack. Here’s a few points to consider when choosing between a coating or membrane:

Membrane
+ Breathable and moisture-wicking
+ More abrasion resistant under high loading (carrying a rucksack puts pressure on materials)
+ Tougher and more durable than a coating
- Often more expensive than treated alternatives

Coating
+ Great for everyday use and moderate outdoor activities (see ODLO Ride Easy Cycling Jacket)
+ Lightweight and easy to pack
+ More affordable
- Wears out faster than a membrane

Once you’ve decided on a membrane versus a coating, move on to other considerations like freedom of movement, zips, packability and more specific features.

DWR stands for durable water repellent, a coating used on the first hard shell layer. It’s your first defence against moisture even before the membrane comes into play. It smooths the fabric’s surface so water can’t penetrate the fibres.

Note that this treatment doesn’t last forever, though. DWR wears off over time due to wear and tear, dirt and detergents. The solution? You can restore the DWR treatment by washing your jacket and then hanging it in a warm environment. If you want to fully recoat it, there are also specific detergents and sprays you can use.

Each garment has its own care requirements, so make sure you always read the care label sewn into your ODLO product. It’ll show the maximum temperature at which you should wash a garment, but colder temperatures can be more sustainable and energy efficient. Here’s some laundry tips:

  1. Fasten all zippers, buttons, Velcro, etc. to protect fabric during the wash.
  2. Save on resources by loading your washing machine fully.
  3. Wash garments with like colours.
  4. Try to stick to the recommended amount of detergent. If you use too much, it may not rinse out completely. This can affect the performance of your garments.
  5. Do not use fabric softeners or bleach. Cheaper for you, uses fewer chemicals and helps maintain the function of your garments.
  6. To restore your jacket’s impermeability, air dry at room temperature for roughly 30 minutes before putting it in the dryer for another 30 minutes at a low temperature. Important: the coating will only be refreshed after a dryer cycle. You can check this by seeing if water beads on the outer layer of your jacket. If it doesn’t, the coating isn’t working properly, and it’s time to recoat your jacket with a spray treatment. Spray only the outside of your jacket to maintain its breathability. Follow the spray treatment instructions.

Not all hikes are created equal, so there’s no one answer here. For example, a two-layer hardshell is great for your average day trip. But for a long autumn hike with a heavy rucksack (more than 10 kg), go for a three-layer laminate. No matter what, focus on breathability and opt for a jacket that wicks moisture, keeping you dry and comfortable.

It’s also worth considering other features like easily reachable chest pockets even when you’re wearing a waist strap. When hiking with a helmet, see if the jacket’s hood fits over or under it. This will keep you safe and dry while tackling tough trails. Packability and weight are also important. Let’s face it, when you’re on a long trek, every gram counts! 

This depends on your preferences and riding style. In general, we recommend a jacket that’s water- and windproof to fully protect you from all the elements. Breathable fabric will also ensure that you’re comfortable on those steep, sweaty mountain climbs. Cycling hardshells should feature a tailored hood and longer back with reflective details and bright colours so you stand out in poor conditions or when riding at night.

Mostly waterproofness and breathability. Rain jackets are primarily intended to provide lasting protection from, well, rain. Windproof jackets offer protection from less extreme elements. For example, windproof jackets don’t always feature a hood. They are, however, lightweight and take up little space. That’s why they’re so popular for sports like running and cycling. Windproof jackets are usually more breathable and effective at wicking moisture, too, making them good all-rounders for general activity. Whereas high-quality rain jackets focus more on protecting you from - you guessed it - the rain.

Frequently asked questions about windproof jackets

Frequently asked questions about windproof jackets

Windproof jackets are a must for everyday outdoor athletes. Their versatility and simplicity as a functional jacket make them the universal outer layer. Add breathability to that, and you’ve got the ideal jacket for trail running or cycling in moderate temperatures. Windproof jackets keep out the wind and can hold off a drizzle over short periods. They also pack down small for on-the-go adventures, making them even more versatile.

Frequently asked questions about windproof jackets

Windproof jackets are a must for everyday outdoor athletes. Their versatility and simplicity as a functional jacket make them the universal outer layer. Add breathability to that, and you’ve got the ideal jacket for trail running or cycling in moderate temperatures. Windproof jackets keep out the wind and can hold off a drizzle over short periods. They also pack down small for on-the-go adventures, making them even more versatile.

Frequently asked questions about windproof jackets

No. Windproofs are water-repellent. Rain will bead on the surface initially, but heavy or persistent rain will eventually get through. If you want full rain protection, go for a waterproof jacket.

Windproof jackets are usually made of lightweight materials with no lining, so they’re not that warm, but the protection from wind and light rain make them perfect to pair with insulation underneath using our three-layer principle. Add a fleece as a mid layer, and you’ll do well in colder conditions, but windproofing alone is no substitute for a winter jacket.

Pretty much all of them. Their incredible versatility means you can decide whether to use them based more on the conditions than on the sport itself. They’re great for moderate weather while cycling or running or for daily use in the city. As an outer layer, it’s breathable, wicks moisture and dries fast. It just might not keep you totally dry in rainy conditions, so the forecast and type of activity you’re planning will help you decide if a windproof jacket is the right option for your day. Take a gusty hike, for example. A windproof jacket will easily fit in your rucksack to protect you from chills during or after physical activity.

Even in summer, the wind can suddenly pick up, especially up in the mountains. Don’t get caught unawares by a sudden breeze. Pack a light, compact windproof and use it when you get a bit chilly. Windproof jackets are the perfect outer layer for variable temperatures and wind conditions.

Exposed extremities can leak a lot of body heat, so a hood can be useful when exercising in cooler temperatures. It protects your head and ears from draughts and keeps heat in. For a comfortable workout, make sure your hood is a good fit. It shouldn’t restrict movement or slide down. An elastic cord with stoppers could help adjust the fit around your head and keep it in place. And for sports like cycling, don’t compromise on safety; your hood should fit either over or under a helmet.

Each garment has its own care requirements, so always read the care label sewn into your ODLO product. It’ll show the maximum temperature at which you should wash a garment. Here’s some laundry tips:

  1. Fasten all zippers, buttons, Velcro, etc. to protect fabric during the wash.
  2. Save on resources by loading your washing machine fully.
  3. Wash garments with like colours.
  4. Try to use the recommended amount of detergent. Too much, and it may not rinse out completely. This can affect the function of your garments.
  5. Do not use fabric softeners or bleach. It’s cheaper for you, uses fewer chemicals and helps maintain garment performance.
  6. Unless otherwise stated on the label, tumble dry low for about 30-50 minutes after washing to refresh the jacket’s impermeability. If the label advises against tumble drying, you can iron the inside of the jacket instead for the same effect.

Frequently asked questions about down jackets

Nothing is as cosy as a down jacket on a cold day. But moisture can reduce down’s insulating effect. Luckily, there’s an alternative for wet conditions – faux down. Our G-LOFT® and PrimaLoft® premium insulation offers the thermal insulation of real down with the breathable and fast drying properties of synthetic fibres.

Frequently asked questions about down jackets

Synthetic insulation offers the same comfort and volume as natural down, but it’s also vegan and low-maintenance. There’s other key benefits for outdoor enthusiasts, too. Unlike natural down, the fibres are water-resistant, so they’ll insulate even when wet. Our alternatives like Primaloft®, Thermaplume® and G-Loft are best if you plan to get a bit sweaty or might get caught in the rain. Plus, synthetic-filled jackets are usually more affordable than down and evolving technology means the materials can be tailored to your specific requirements.

Nothing beats natural down when it comes to keeping you warm without adding bulk. The excellent thermal performance of down along with its small pack size and weight make it the perfect choice for dry, cold conditions. That means you’re set if you need a breather on your high-altitude trek or while out and about on a winter’s day. Plus, good-quality down jackets last for ages if properly cared for. Worried about ethical concerns? Recycled down apparel like our N-Thermic insulation from Neokdun® will help put your mind at ease. It’s made with recycled bedding and clothing, giving new life to used materials.

For a truly lightweight, packable and warm jacket, go for natural down. Down jackets offer the best weight to thermal performance ratio. They’re also wonderfully long lasting. That said, they’re not great for humid conditions or sweaty activities. Natural down absorbs moisture, gets lumpy and loses its insulating effect when wet. In short – down jackets are ideal for those freezing cold but dry days.

For cold, wet days, consider synthetic down jackets. They offer better breathability and are almost as warm as down, if a bit heavier. Faux down is also easier to care for and more affordable. Perfect for the no-fuss athlete who wants a hybrid jacket to weather any conditions.

If you’re worried about your down jacket getting wet, consider a coated down jacket. They’re made to be water-repellent with a seamless construction to keep moisture out so the feathers won’t clump. Note that coated down jackets also keep moisture in, so they still might not be best if you plan to get sweaty. To keep your natural down jacket performing its best for as long as possible, simply avoid wearing it on rainy or humid days.

First and foremost, each garment has its own care requirements, so make sure you always read the care label sewn into your ODLO product. When in doubt, choose a gentle 30°C wash and an additional rinse cycle.

  1. Fasten all zippers, buttons, Velcro, etc. to protect fabric during the wash.
  2. Wash down jackets turned inside out.
  3. Wash garments with similar colours.
  4. Use detergent made specifically for down and try to stick to the recommended amount.
  5. Do not use fabric softeners or bleach.
  6. Unless otherwise stated on the label, tumble dry at a low temperature for about 30-50 minutes after washing. To keep the feathers from clumping together, add two or three tennis balls to the dryer and select a gentle cycle. To refresh any impermeability, place your jacket on a hanger with zippers closed and spray evenly with a treatment spray.

Down’s focus is warmth rather than breathability. It wicks moisture away from the body up to a certain point, but when things get really sweaty, a downy fill can’t keep up. Down is also slow to dry, so down jackets can get a bit clammy in humid environments. For sweaty activities, opt for a synthetic fibre outer layer instead.

ODLO cares about how our materials are produced and where they come from. We’re also committed to ethical production for all animal products. That’s why we adhere to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) – the leading standard in animal welfare for down and feather products. The down we use is a byproduct of meat processing. We pledge not to use live plucking or force-feeding . Our N-Thermic range from Neokdun® is also made from recycled fibres that have undergone natural cleaning processes to repurpose bedding and other garments into down insulation. It’s 100 per cent natural, biodegradable and from within the EU.

If you’d prefer to avoid animal products altogether, Primaloft® ThermoPlume® might be right for you. This synthetic insulation comes close to real down in terms of comfort, feel and compression, but no animals are involved.

Outdoor functional jackets for every season

Jackets need to work functionally for your chosen outdoor activity and the season in which you do it. When it comes to your outer layer, think about its weight, the forecast and your own preferences. Finally, consider how it complements your base and mid layer (learn more about the three-layer principle). With all that in mind, discover ODLO® functional jackets for women and men. Browse by sport, material, temperature and conditions (dry, wind, rain or snow).

Functional winter jackets 

Ski jackets

Ski jackets have to do it all. They protect you from the wind while skiing downhill, keep you warm while queuing for the lift and stay comfortable and breathable during physical exertion. You also need freedom of movement to carve up the snow in style. ODLO ski jackets make the most of functional materials, innovative technology and features such as:

  • An adjustable hood for use with a helmet
  • Ventilation zippers
  • Enhanced breathability
  • Integrated powder skirt
  • Ski pass pocket
  • Taped seams
  • RECCO® advanced rescue searchable technology for precise location tagging
Ski jackets

Best-selling jackets