How to choose a waterproof jacket?

What is a two-layer, three-layer or 2.5-layer jacket?

You may have already got this question: "Do you want a two-layer or rather a three-layer jacket"? But what does that actually mean?

Laminates (materials) for waterproof clothing can vary in their construction and you will most often encounter the following types:

Two-layer laminate:
as the name suggests, these are two layers. So, we have a top fabric and a membrane is laminated on the back. Products with such a construction usually have a loosely sewn lining that protects the membrane from damage.

2,5-layer laminate:
same construction as for two-layer laminates, but the membrane is protected by printing and therefore no loosely sewn lining is used.

Three-layer laminate:
in this case the material is really three-layer, i.e., a membrane is laminated on the upper fabric and a lining is further laminated on the membrane, which protects the membrane itself.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each solution?

We often come across the requirement "I want a waterproof jacket for everything". Yes, it would be great, but unfortunately it is impossible. Each laminate has different features, and it is therefore suitable for different activities,
just as each activity requires different equipment and a different type of material.

Two-layer laminate

It is definitely the most universal of all. Choose it if you plan to use the jacket for common activities, such as walking, city, light hiking.

Advantages of 2-layer laminates:

  • They are more affordable.
  • Products are usually more casual in appearance with more pockets.
  • Pockets and hoods are structurally adapted for ordinary hiking, so the pockets are easily accessible, and the hoods are smaller.
  • They have better thermal insulation properties (they keep you more warm in winter).
  • They last long (with proper maintenance)

Disadvantages of 2-layer laminates:

  • Less compact products - Due to the sewn lining, they are less compact.
  • Higher weight - Due to the sewn lining, they can sometimes be a little heavier (but it is not always the case).

Choose from our offer of two-layer laminates

2,5-layer laminate

Choose it if you are looking for the most compact jacket (trousers), especially as back-up clothing in case of bad weather (trip, bike, walk).

Advantages of 2,5-layer laminates:

  • They are more affordable than three-layer laminates.
  • They are very light and compact.
  • You can easily pack them for any trip or a bike in case the weather gets bad.

Disadvantages of 2,5-layer laminates:

  • Less durability – due to their subtlety, they are not suitable for carrying larger backpacks
  • Less versatility - the products are designed primarily as a back-up, so if you do not need it, you do not use it so then they can last longer.
  • Usually, due to the requirements to be compact, they are really equipped with only the essentials, so do not look for any special technical details here
  • It is not very comfortable when used on bare skin.

Choose from our offer of 2.5 layers of laminates

Three-layer LAMINATE

It combines the properties of 2.5-layer and 2-layer laminate. Such products are intended for use in the mountains as protection against wind, snow, rain.
If you are going on mountain trips, challenging treks, alpine hiking but also skiing, this is the right choice.

Advantages of 3-layer laminates:

  • Due to their weight, they tend to be more compact and lighter while maintaining solid durability.
  • They are structurally adapted for use with a backpack and hoods for use with a helmet.
  • The cut is precise, and everything is perfectly thought out to make the product work great in the mountains.
  • Absence of loosely sewn lining.
  • They tend to have better parameters in terms of both waterproofness and breathability.

Disadvantages of 3-layer laminates:

  • They are priced at the highest level
  • We do not recommend them for everyday use.
  • It is "only" a protective shell against soaking and wind. In winter, it is necessary, depending on the activity, to dress well under the jacket, it will not keep you warm on its own

Three-layer laminates are currently experiencing a huge boom, and manufacturers are already able to produce three-layer laminates as foldable and light as 2.5-layer. These are then slightly more durable than 2.5 layers, but they cannot be expected to withstand the same load as heavy three-layer laminates and are also designed primarily as backup. The undeniable advantage, however, is better breathability and comfort in contact with the skin.

Choose from our offer of three-layer laminates

Whatever variant you buy, pay attention to their proper maintenance. The old rule "In order for your jacket to last as long as possible, it is necessary to wash it as little as possible" definitely does not work and it is quite the opposite!!!

Read our articles:

What to do to make membrane clothing last as long as possible

How to look after membrane clothing

DWR – Essential part of outdoor clothing