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Can You Wear Two Base Layers?

October 17th, 2017

Can you wear two base layers? - Sub Zero Factor 1 and All Active worn by a female hiker

At first glance of the question, Can you wear two base layers? You immediately think yes you can but why would you want to? Most outdoors people are well versed in the principles of the layering system – base layer, insulating mid layer, protective outer layer – so why would you ignore this and just wear two base layers. The problem is that in certain situations this layering system can be impractical.

BASE LAYERS FOR AEROBIC EXERCISE

If you are going to take part in a high intensity aerobic exercise in winter such as rowing, it is unfeasible to wear lots of different clothing layers. For a start you are going to get warm very quickly as well as producing a lot of perspiration.  You are also going to need full range of movement which will be hampered with a traditional layering system. Plus there is also the problem of storing all these different clothes when removed.

What a lot of professional rowing teams practice in winter is wearing two thermal base layers at the start of a days training programme. Without being restrictive, these thermal layers will keep you warm whilst also managing perspiration more efficiently. Once the warm up is complete, one of the base layers is removed and easily stored in the bottom of the boat. At the cool down, the discarded base layer can be worn again to reduce rapid cooling.

Even in the coolness of early summer mornings a two layer base layer system is often used. Next to the skin will be worn a summer base layer to manage perspiration, with a thermal base layer as a second layer to provide extra warmth during the warm up.

BASE LAYERS FOR SPRING AND AUTUMN WEATHER

Out of the winter season, the need for a full thermal layering system is usually unnecessary. With the temperatures very rarely reaching freezing, you should be able to get away with just wearing your base layer. However, some early mornings and evenings may see temperatures drop low enough to require wearing extra layers for a boost in warmth. You could pack a thermal mid layer on the off chance, but it is a lot of unnecessary weight to carry.

Instead, ensure you are carrying a second base layer – you should be carrying a spare set anyway if you are heading away from civilisation. They can easily be worn over your first base layer and are light enough to be stored in a small rucksack.

BASE LAYERS FOR EXTREME COLD ENVIRONMENTS

When it comes to very cold weather, such as found in the polar regions or the Himalayas, mountaineers and explorers will often wear more than one base layer as part of their layering system. The main reason for this is you can trap more air between thin layers than wearing bulky insulating layers. And trapping air is essential if you want to keep warm because air is the insulator, not the fabric.  It is not uncommon for mountaineers to wear two or even three base layers beneath their insulating mid layer.

SO CAN YOU WEAR TWO BASE LAYERS?

Instead of being a bit of a wacky question there are certain situations where wearing two base layers can actually be desirable. It is a lightweight alternative to heavier insulating mid layers and also offers greater flexibility in less demanding weather conditions. So the question shouldn’t be can you wear two base layers? but have you tried wearing two base layers?

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What Is Thermal Mid Layer Clothing?

October 6th, 2017

Thermal mid layer worn by two cross country skiers in the Alps

Most outdoors people understand what a base layer is and the function it performs in keeping you warm and dry. However, when it comes to a thermal mid layer there is still a lot of confusion about its purpose and what one exactly is.

PURPOSE OF A THERMAL MID LAYER

The primary role of a thermal mid layer is to add extra insulation to your layering system without being overly bulky. It is usually worn over your base layers but some garments, like our Factor 2 mid layer range, can also be worn directly next to the skin.

Its secondary role is to carry on transporting moisture away from your skin via your base layer to the next layer of clothing. If your mid layer has poor wicking properties then you are going to get damp very quickly when working hard. This can lead to rapid heat loss when you slow down or stop.

TYPES OF THERMAL MID LAYERS

Personally i think a lot of companies wrongly label garments as thermal mid layers, such as micro fleece jackets and lightweight down jackets. For a start they are far too baggy to be true mid layers and are often poor at managing moisture. A lot of the time it is a clumsy attempt by a brands marketing team to adhere to the layering system – base layer, mid layer, outer layer – when their range is not complete or when their range is too large.

Our classification of a mid layer is pretty simple. It should be snug fitting, offer good moisture management, and be insulating. Basically it is a thicker version of a base layer. When we were developing our  award winning Factor 2 mid layer range, we took these parameters and designed a bespoke fabric around them. Nearly three decades later our Factor 2 is still one of the best thermal mid layers you can buy.

WHEN SHOULD A THERMAL MID LAYER BE WORN?

Deciding if wearing a thermal mid layer is necessary is dependent on the weather conditions, the activity you are intending to perform, and ultimately your own personnel tolerance to the cold. If in doubt, always err on the side of caution, as you can always remove a layer.

For a relatively sedentary activity such as fishing where little heat is generated from movement, you are going to want to wear as much insulation as you can to ensure you trap and retain body heat.

On the other hand, if you are a proficient skier, then you are going to have an aerobic workout even in very cold temperatures, so overheating may be a problem wearing a full layering system. In this situation we would recommend wearing a base layer top and bottom with just a mid layer top to protect your core. If you find you are getting too warm then you can always remove a layer relatively easily.

For extreme cold conditions, such as polar expeditions, then a good base layer and thermal mid layer are a necessity, and a re just the start of your layering system.

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How Tight Should Base Layers Be?

September 25th, 2017

How tight should base layers be? - Sub Zero Factor 1 Plus base layer zip turtle top being worn correctly by a skier

 

The two most common questions we get asked are how tight should base layers be? and what is the difference between base layers and compression layers? We will deal with the latter question in the next few weeks , but this post will hopefully enlighten you on the correct way to wear base layers.

ARE BASE LAYERS SUPPOSED TO BE TIGHT?

The simple answer is it depends on your definition of tight. To me, tight means restrictive and uncomfortable, which is obviously a hindrance and a distraction when performing an outdoor activity. It has entered the vocabulary of performance clothing as the dividing line between base layers and compression layers has become blurred by marketeers. We try and avoid using ‘tight’ altogether when talking to our customers, preferring a more softer wording such as ‘snug’.

WHY NOT WEAR BAGGY BASE LAYERS?

This is the other extreme. You may think you look cool with your bum hanging out your base layer leggings (obviously a matter of opinion) but they won’t keep you warm. Badly fitting thermals will lead to all sorts of problems such as heat loss, vastly reduced wicking rates (transportation of moisture), and possible skin sores from rubbing of excess material.

HOW SHOULD BASE LAYERS FIT?

Base layers need to be close fitting to prevent warm air trapped between your clothing from being wafted out during movement. A close fitting base layer will also be much more efficient at moisture management due to a higher fabric surface area being in close contact with your skin.

When trying on a base layer you need to understand that the fabric has been designed to be stretchy so it will naturally adjust to most body shapes. What you should be looking for is the correct length in the arms (finishing just over the wrist) and the length of the body resting on the top of your bottom.

A good way to check  if the base layer is too tight is to see if you can pinch any of the fabric and pull it away from your body. If this is difficult to do then you more than likely have a size too small. Another area to check is under the armpits. If you cannot get the full rolling movement of your arms and shoulders then you need to try the next size up.

SO HOW TIGHT SHOULD BASE LAYERS BE?

In answer to the original question, base layers should be snug fitting but not restrictive. Warm air needs to be trapped between fabric layers without the possibility of it being wafted out if you are to stay warm – the air is the insulator. At the same time, you don’t want the base layer to be so skin tight that it restricts movement or even blood flow.

So my final piece of advice is if it feels too tight then it probably is.

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Thermal Clothing For Extreme Cold

September 20th, 2017

Two arctic explorers in full Sub Zero thermal clothing for extreme cold weather

 

Wearing the right layer of thermal clothing for extreme cold situations can be the difference between life and death if you get in trouble. Wear too much insulation and you will overheat, increasing your perspiration, that will rapidly cool your body when your intensity levels drop. Alternatively you may not be wearing enough thermal layers to start with. This can also lead to rapid heat loss unless remedied, forcing your body to shut down to protect its vital organs. As you can see, wearing the correct layers of thermal clothing for extreme cold environments should be taken very seriously.

BASE LAYER

Base layers are the first line of defence against the cold. Worn directly next to the skin, they need to be soft to prevent rubbing sores from carrying equipment, offer thermal resistance to trap heat, and be effective at transporting perspiration away from the body. They are one of the most important layers of thermal clothing for extreme cold environments.

Our Sub Zero Factor 1 Plus base layers are made form super soft polyamide yarn that has lots of in-built stretch. This allows the base layer to fit the body snugly like a second skin. A water loving chemical is also impregnated in to the yarn during the dyeing process that actively transports moisture way from the skin to the outer layers. This keeps you dry and also speeds up the drying process when washed.

MID LAYER

Mid layers are very similar to base layers in that they should be worn close fitting, but they contain more fibres to trap warm air – insulation. They are effectively the work horse in your range of thermal clothing for extreme cold.

Our Sub Zero Factor 2 thermal mid layers are heavily brushed on the inside fabric face to produce an inner fleece layer that insulates your body from excess heat loss. Their very strong flat seam construction helps prevent any pressure points occurring when carrying kit.

OUTER LAYER

Once you have your base layer and insulation mid layer sorted then your choice of outer layer is often determined by the elements.

If you are working hard and still feel a little cool then putting on a lightweight down jacket will help to add extra insulation without adding much extra weight as a burden.

If you are comfortably warm then you may not even need an outer layer at that point in time but you should keep a close eye on the weather and anticipate changes in conditions. Likewise, if you have to stop or your activity levels decrease then you will need to add further layers to compensate for the reduction in heat generation.

One mistake that even the professionals sometimes get wrong is underestimating the power of wind chill on your bodies temperature. It may look lovely and sunny outside but any wind can rapidly cool the body. Carrying a lightweight windproof that can quickly be thrown over your under layers should mitigate a lot of the wind chill effects.

For further information on wind chill visit the Met Office

HATS & GLOVES

It is a myth that you loose most of your body heat through your head, at most it is around 10%. Even though the percentage is a lot lower than most people think, it is a good way to fine tune your bodies temperature. If you start to get a bit warm, remove your fleece hat or balaclava. If you are still warm after a few more minutes of doing this then you know you need to remove a larger layer of clothing.

This also works the other way around. Add a hat if you start to feel cool. If this dosen’t warm you up then you know that a larger item of clothing needs to be worn or that you need to start looking for shelter.

The other reason for covering your head and hands is to help protect your extremities from wind burn and frost bite.

THERMAL CLOTHING FOR EXTREME COLD

Keeping warm and dry in extreme cold weather needn’t be too much of a problem if you listen to what your body is telling you , are aware of your surroundings, and are wearing the correct kit.

Luckily Sub Zero have over 40 years experience manufacturing thermal clothing for extreme cold conditions, with many polar explorers and mountaineers placing their trust in our products.

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Essential kit for your summer expedition

July 1st, 2017

Whether you’re off to climb a mountain with your mates or taking the family on a camping trip, you’re going to need the right kit for your summer adventure. Thankfully, we have you covered with everything from sleeping bags to socks…

Sleeping bags

After a long day of exploring, you can head back to the tent and get a great night’s sleep thanks to our luxurious Synthetic Sleeping Bags.

Lightweight and exceptionally breathable, they’re made from fabric that’s both water repellent and windproof, with a luxurious down-like feel.

Additional comfort comes from a head-hugging hood, jumbo neck baffles and a ‘profiling’ construction technique which eliminates cold spots, to keep you exceptionally warm during the night. Win!

Thermals

Speaking of warmth, it may be summer, but when you’re sleeping outside or trekking up a mountain, it’s important to have a toasty base layer to keep you from getting chilly.

Our thermal base-layers are ideal for wearing underneath your clothes.

Thanks to their snug fit offering plenty of stretch, they act like a second skin to trap in heat, while a hydrophilic treatment in the fabric works to keep perspiration at bay.

What’s more, the range is fit for any activity, from hiking and running to rowing and skiing. Which is great news if you’re planning an epic summer of activities!

Jackets

As we all know, the British summer has a habit of being annoyingly unpredictable. To ensure you’re prepared for all weather, pick up one of our windproof softshell jackets.

Made from the most advanced wind-resistant fabric, they act as a barrier against the wind to stop it from penetrating through to your under-layers.

The insulating, soft-fleece inner allows you to stay warm even on the coldest day, while the close, comfortable fit offers ample stretch, so it’s never restrictive during activity.

With a compact, lightweight feel, you can pop it in your backpack at the start of the day, so you’ll never be caught out if the weather takes a turn for the worse!

Socks

If you’re heading out into nature, whether that be for a hike, a cycle or just a leisurely wander through the woods, you’re going to need a great pair of socks!

While it’s easy to throw on your regular, every day socks for a trek or a run, they’re not going to give you the same level of comfort and protection as a pair that are tailormade for the job.

From walking socks that offer padding and insulation, to ski socks that come with cushioned shin and ankle guards; when it comes to activity, the right pair of socks can make a world of difference.

Rucksacks

Now we have your clothing covered, let’s move on to those essential expedition accessories.

A good, sturdy rucksack is a must-have for the likes of hiking and camping trips.

Our lightweight range is designed to take the grunt work out of lugging around your kit.

Ultra-lightweight yet sturdy, it’s great for anyone who’s wanting to beat their personal best in a mountain marathon or adventure race. If you’re not racing, it’s also spot on to use as a simple hiking bag.

With adjustable, padded shoulder straps, stain resistant fabric, water resistant pockets and a built-in emergency whistle, it’s compact, secure and incredibly stylish for the ultimate adventure accessory.

And while we’re on the subject of bags… if you’re adventuring with the family this summer, don’t forget to check out our range of children’s rucksacks. They have all the same practicalities of the adult range, but with colourful, fun designs that are sure to keep the kids happy!

Water Bottles

Even if the weather isn’t playing nice, it’s important to stay hydrated during activity. Keep your water levels topped up with our Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottles.

Not only do they look stylish, they’re also strong, durable, eco-friendly and BPA free.

Better still, they’re made with electro-polished materials that don’t retain flavours, so you can always expect a refreshing drink without any bad-tasting residue.

With a leak-resistant lid and a soft, silicon spout, they’re ideal for packing into your rucksack when you’re off for a hike.

There’s even one for the kids too!

Cooking

To satisfy your hunger after a long day of adventure, it’s nice to gather round the campfire for a good, hearty meal.

With our impressive range of cooking pots, you can do just that.

Made with anodised aluminium and titanium alloys, they’re lightweight and easy-to-use, with a strong resistance to scratches and dents.

To keep your food from sticking, they have a Teflon coating and ceramic finish, which also makes it easy to wash and clean them regularly.

If that isn’t enough, the lids are made from BPA-free Tritan plastic and grip-friendly silicon, which doubles up as a colander, so there’s no need to pack any weighty serving dishes.

If you’re short on utensils, we have you covered for those too, from stainless steel cutlery sets to camping plates and bowls.

It’s safe to say that with all this fancy cooking gear, you can kiss goodbye to those cans of cold beans!

Navigation Tools

If you’re going off the grid this summer, you’re going to need a reliable map and compass on hand to navigate your trip.

Even in this day and age, not everywhere has GPS, so from a safety point of view, it’s always a great idea to do things the old-fashioned way!

Our compass range is compact and easy to carry, with most offering slots for lanyards, so you can just pop one around your neck.

To keep your maps dry, try our waterproof map bags. Made from resilient triple polymer film, they’re available in three different sizes, each one offering a press-to-lock seal to secure your map in even the most extreme weather.

To top it off, they’re also touch screen compatible so you can use them for your phones too. …You know, just in case you can get GPS along the way!

Multitools

For fishing, climbing and camping, there’s nothing more efficient than the Multimate Multitool.

Made from top quality stainless steel with rubber handle grips, it comes packed with features including sprung pliers, wire strippers, screwdrivers, a knife, bottle opener, can opener, awl, saw and rope cutter. Talk about multi-talented!

What’s more, there’s even a handy key ring attachment so you can hook it to your belt or rucksack for quick and easy access.

Outdoor first aid kit

In case of any accidents on your summer expedition, make sure to pack an Outdoor First Aid Kit.

Developed with the input of paramedics and search and rescue doctors, they’re fully equipped to cover a wide range of injuries sustained from hiking, running, mountaineering and skiing. And as they’re small enough to fit in your pocket or bag, there’s really no excuse not to have one on hand.

As the Scouts say, always be prepared!

Feeling ready for adventure? Us too!

To pick up your essential expedition kit, check out the full range.

 

 

 

 

 

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Everything you need to know about staying sun safe

June 15th, 2017

Make sure you stay sun safe this summer

With summer in full swing, no doubt you have lots of fun, adventurous plans in the pipeline.

Whether it’s hiking, camping, cycling, hitting the beach or planning a picnic in the park, there’s no better time to be outside, filling your lungs with fresh air and getting some much-needed vitamin D!

And while it’s great to enjoy the warmer weather, it’s also important that you’re up to scratch on staying sun safe.

No one wants to spend their leisure time burned or with sunstroke, or worse. So, to ensure that you and your family can have fun in the sun without worry, we’ve put together a handy guide for everything you need to know about sun safety.

Cream Up

Sun exposure can happen even on a cloudy British day, so if you’re out and about this summer, the number one rule is to slap on the sun cream regularly!

Harmful UV rays are responsible for a number of ailments, from sunburn and premature ageing to more serious conditions such as skin cancer. That’s not to say you can’t safely enjoy the sun. Opting for a sun lotion of at least SPF30 and applying it every two to three hours if you’re outside for long periods of time can help protect you from sun damage.

When buying sun cream, you should look for one that has at least a four-star UVA protection to ensure that it meets EU standards. You should also make sure it hasn’t past its expiry date. Most have a shelflife of two to three years.

Sun protection factor (SPF) is a measure of the amount of ultraviolet B radiation (UBV) protection in the cream. This is rated on a scale of 2-50+, with 50+ offering the strongest protection and 2 offering the least. Sun creams that offer both UVA and UVB protection, sometimes referred to as ‘Broad Spectrum’, are the ones you should ideally opt for as they give you the best protection.

So, how much sun cream should you apply for the best coverage, to stay sun safe?

If you’re an adult, the equivalent of two tablespoons should do it. Although a good rule of thumb is the more the merrier, so don’t be afraid to apply it in excess!

Applying plenty is particularly important for children and babies, whose skin is much more sensitive and vulnerable to sun damage. Babies under six months old should always be kept out of direct sunlight, and all children should be covered up with protective clothing, as well as being coated in a strong lotion with a high SPF.

Whatever age you are, don’t forget to reapply lotion once you’ve been in water, even if your cream claims to be ‘water resistant’. The fact is, water washes it off, and when you’re in the ocean or a cool pool, you might not feel yourself getting burnt. Topping up your cream as soon as you’re out of water can reduce your chance of sun damage and keep the burn at bay.

Seek the shade

If you’re planning on spending the whole day outdoors, so to stay sun safe, make sure to hit the shade between 11am and 3pm, as this is when the sun is at its strongest. Even if you can’t avoid it completely, finding shady spots or shelters where you can eat lunch or take a break can help you escape the effects of sunstroke and keep you feeling cool and refreshed.

Protect your eyes

It’s super important to keep your eyes covered when you’re out in the sun. Being at the beach or anywhere that you’re exposed to bright sunshine can cause temporary burn to the eye’s surface, resulting in a painful sensation similar to sunburn of the skin.

Reflected light from water, sand or concrete is also tough on the eyes, so it helps to have a good pair of sunglasses on hand to keep your peepers protected. Opt for styles with UVA/UVB protection and make sure they cover the whole of your eyes, so there’s no room for sunlight to creep in behind them.

Know your limits

While no one is exempt from the dangers of the sun, there are some people who are more at risk than others and they may need to take more precautions to stay sun safe.

If you have pale skin, freckles, or red or fair hair, you should always wear a high factor sun cream and cover your skin with protective clothing and a hat. This is because pale skin is more prone to burning than darker skin tones.

That’s not to say that those with darker skin are out of the woods. If you have any moles, you should regularly keep a close eye on them, and always cover them in the sun. If you notice any changes such as the appearance of a new mole, or a mole that has changed in size, shape or colour, it’s always best to check in with a doctor, just to be safe.

Anyone with a family history of skin cancer should take extra care in the sun, as should anyone exposed to intense sun that their skin isn’t used to, such as when you’re on holiday.

The better you know your skin and your limits regarding sun exposure, the easier it will be to protect yourself during summer expeditions.

Stay hydrated

Sun safety and keeping hydrated come hand in hand. Dehydration and heat exhaustion can lead to a multitude of issues, including dizziness, headaches and vomiting. The key is to stay hydrated, more so if you’re out in the sun for long periods of time.

If you’re planning a hike or any similar outdoor activities, make sure to take along a reliable water bottle and keep it topped up regularly. Just make sure to steer clear of sugary drinks, caffeine or alcohol as these can lead to dehydration, as opposed to keeping it at bay.

Sunburn SOS

If you do happen to get burnt after a day in the sun, the first thing you should do is sponge the sore skin with cool water, before applying a soothing after-sun lotion, Aloe Vera cream or calamine lotion.

If you’re suffering from a bad dose of sunstroke to go alongside your sunburn, make sure to drink plenty of water, and take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to help reduce the inflammation and ease the pain.

If at any point your skin starts to blister or swell, or you feel unwell with chills, high temperature, headaches, sickness or dizziness, go visit your doctor.

No matter what summer adventures you’re planning, staying sun safe is essential. If you want to know more about how we can help keep your whole family healthy and happy in the sun, get in touch with our team or check out what’s on offer in our sunshine-friendly range.

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The difference between walking boots and trekking shoes

May 4th, 2017

It’s incredibly important to have a pair of comfortable footwear when you are walking or trekking.

With footwear, you need to pick the right choice for your feet, activity and terrain. Without them, it can lead to bruised, sore feet that could end your walk or trek earlier than expected.

As similar activities, it can be confusing to understand the difference between walking and trekking, and why they may use different footwear.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide so you can tell the difference between the two and pick your perfect footwear.

Walking boots

Walking, or hiking, is a leisurely activity of walking long routes or nature trails. Walking is generally completed in a day, but can involve overnight stays in camping sites, hostels or huts along the way.

Walking boots are sturdy, thick boots that provide protection for your feet. With a tough sole and high ankles, walking boots help provide support for your foot and prevent you from spraining or rolling your ankles.

The thick protective material will also limit your range of movement, which can feel too restrictive for some walkers. The material will also need breaking in before big walks, otherwise, the shoes can be uncomfortable and cause rubbing or blisters.

Walking boots are also made with waterproof materials to keep your feet dry in wet conditions.

However, the waterproofing and thick material mean that water vapour can’t escape easily.

So, if you need to cross rivers or your feet are fully submerged in water, your shoes will take a long time to dry out. If you wear them in the summer months, your feet will sweat more easily and can cause blisters.

Overall, walking boots are strong, sturdy waterproof boots perfect for the colder months. They are also durable and can last you up to 1,000 miles when looked after.

Trekking shoes

Trekking is a multi-day long distance walk, where you will carry all your luggage and essential items with you. In general, trekking is a more challenging activity than walking and takes places in areas where other means of transport can’t access.

Trekking shoes, such as trail runners, are made from lightweight and more flexible materials than walking boots. The lightweight material offers more flexibility, giving you a better range of movement in your feet.

Trekking shoes are perfect for those who prefer lightweight footwear and are the ideal choice to get an overall lightweight kit. The shoes also need no breaking in and are ready for action right away.

Designed with a low-cut ankle and multiple mesh patches, trekking shoes give you maximum breathability. As they are fast-drying, they are great for crossing rivers or through the summer months.

However, trekking shoes aren’t as waterproof as walking boots and can’t offer the same amount of warmth through the winter.

The lightweight material also doesn’t offer the same amount of protection as walking boots. With narrow soles, you can feel bumps and rocks under your feet which can be uncomfortable on the long days.

Overall, trekking shoes are a lightweight, breathable and fast-drying shoe. However, they don’t offer the same protection, warmth or durability as walking boots.

On average, trekking shoes should be replaced every 500 miles to prevent potential damage to your feet.

Conclusion

Overall, walking boots are tough, durable and waterproof boots that protect your feet. Trekking shoes don’t offer the same protection or durability but are more lightweight, breathable and flexible.

When choosing between walking boots and trekking shoes, it’s important to bear in mind the weather and type of terrain you are going to face.

During the summer months, or places where you are likely to cross a river you may prefer the fast-drying trekking booths. However, in wet, and colder months the waterproof walking boots may be the better fit.

Ready to find your perfect footwear? Browse our range of walking boots and trekking shoes today.

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Royal Mails Tracking System Upgrade

April 5th, 2017

Sub Zero Stores New Royal Mail Tracked Shipping System

Shipping Process Upgrade

Here at Sub Zero Store we are always looking at ways to improve our service to our customers. As with all good etailers it is an ongoing process and evolves over time. For the past few months we have been concentrating on integrating Royal Mails new 2D barcode system in to our dispatch operation. Not only does it give us tracking and delivery information, it also checks delivery addresses to make sure they are correct. This has now been completed and has been rolled out from the start of this month.

Sub Zero Stores New Royal Mail Tracked Shipping SystemIf any of you have ordered from us in April then you would have noticed a change to the parcel label. The image to the left show the new design with the delivery address blurred for data protection reasons.

UK Mail 

All parcels now have a  unique 2D barcode generated during the label generation process, allowing them to be scanned through Royal Mails sorting and delivery systems. This will allows us to track individual parcels sent by the UK 48 and 24 services, and locate them should the delivery be delayed. It will also provide us with confirmation when they have been delivered.

Order Tracking 

At the moment, only parcels can be tracked online at Royal Mail. Orders that qualify as large letters will not have any tracking information updated to Royal Mails website, but we can still trace them. We just need to send the barcode number to our Royal Mail account manager who can trace them on a different system.

Non UK Orders

Any orders with delivery addresses outside of the UK will now be sent by Royal Mails Tracked and Signed service. This aims to deliver worldwide in 3-5 working days. As with the UK 24 and 48 hours service, these parcels also have a unique 2D barcode for tracking.

For further information, please visit our Delivery Information page

 

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What are gaiters and when should you wear them?

April 4th, 2017

Many backpackers and hikers swear by gaiters and use them year-round.

Despite offering essential protection, gaiters are often overlooked and get confused in a long list of outdoor equipment.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide so you know what exactly gaiters are and when you should be wearing them.

What are Gaiters?

Gaiters are lightweight, breathable and waterproof pieces of fabric that cover the upper boot and lower part of your legs.

Working with your boots, gaiters protect all the tiny nooks and crannies that are vulnerable in certain weather or environment conditions, such as the top of the boot.

In wet, muddy or snowy conditions, gaiters are essential for keeping your feet dry and can also provide an extra layer of insulation.

In drier weather, gaiters will also protect you from debris such as rocks and sand that can uncomfortably lodge themselves inside your footwear.

Gaiters provide great protection across a diverse range of conditions. Whether you are facing thorny bushes, marsh land or even snake bites, the gaiters will provide you an extra layer of defence to stop anything from getting into your boots or trouser legs.

Made from mostly synthetic materials, gaiters are breathable, lightweight and quick drying. Gaiters are designed to be comfortable for walking and hiking long distances in a variety of conditions, making them an essential item for your pack.

From puddles to thunderstorms, gaiters will keep you waterproof, insulated and protected.

Generally, gaiters come in one of two heights: ankle-height and full-length.

Full-length gaiters

Full-length gaiters are a perfect fit for extreme weather conditions such as deep snow or heavy rain.

Covering the tops of your boots and most of your lower leg, full-length gaiters offer the most protection.

If you’re in terrains covered in snow, long wet grass, thick bush or you need to cross streams, full-length gaiters are essential for you.

Ankle-height gaiters

Ankle-height gaiters are made to simply cover the top of your footwear and bottom of your trousers.

They don’t have the same level of protection as the full-length ones, and are best used for less extreme conditions.

This type of gaiter is ideal for outdoor wear, with a good chance of rain and mud. It’s also perfect for offering protection from bits of debris such as stones, sand or bits of twig entering your footwear.

This type of gaiter can also be a great fit for off-road and fell runners to provide protection from debris.

For runners that want a more lightweight and fuller protection, our padded running gaiters may be the perfect fit for you.

Conclusion

Snow, water and debris can find a way into the most waterproof of boots and trousers. Gaiters are lightweight, waterproof and breathable, covering the ends of your boots and trousers, providing you with extra protection from the elements.

Gaiters protect you from a range of outdoor conditions, including muddy puddles, debris, deep snow, streams and thick bush. Small and lightweight enough to stash in your pack, gaiters can be used year-round for almost every condition.

Ready to unlock the benefits of gaiters? Browse our range today.

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How to Choose Your Perfect Base Layer

April 3rd, 2017

How to Choose your Perfect Base Layer
Keeping Warm

Staying warm is incredibly important. Whether you are skiing in the Alps, enjoying the outdoors or just getting through the winter months, staying warm is essential.The key to warmth starts with a good base layer. But with all the different types available, it’s hard to understand what is right for you. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to choosing your perfect base layer.

What are base layers?

Base layers are the foundation layer of clothing, designed to provide temperature regulation. They should move moisture away from your skin, keeping you dry as you sweat and cool down while you rest. It’s important to understand that base layers are not insulation. They help regulate your temperature, but the clothes you layer on top will keep you warm.

Choosing the right base layer

When choosing the right base layer for you, there are many different factors to consider.

Material
Firstly, base layers can be made from different materials. The typical materials you can choose from are:

  • Cotton: Cotton is affordable, but is a bad base layer material. It can add a bit of warmth, but only if it’s heavy and thick. Cotton will also soak up any sweat or moisture, making it cold, clammy and uncomfortable to wear.
  • Silk: Feeling great on your skin, silk is great for layering under your clothes. Silk also works great when you need to squeeze into pieces of form-fitting clothing, such as shoes or a helmet. Unfortunately, silk is not great at regulating temperatures. In warm conditions, silk can be too hot or uncomfortable to wear.
  • Synthetic: There is a big range of synthetic materials used in base layers. In general, synthetic materials are breathable, dry incredibly fast and can add warmth. Most synthetics are not resistant to bacteria and can build odours.
  • Merino wool: This type of wool is very soft, great at regulating your temperature and resists odour. Coming from the New Zealand Merino sheep, this wool is a pricey option for some.

Size
Your base layer needs to be comfortable, but tight-fitting. Having a tight-fitting base layer traps air next to the skin, helping insulate and regulate your body temperature. It’s also a great idea for the shirts to be long enough to tuck into your trousers. This will avoid any cold spells while bending over, and help retain the trapped layer of air. Generally, most base layers are made to be tight-fitting. So, stick to your normal clothes size when ordering your base layer.

Style
Base layers can come in different styles, with short- and long-sleeve variations. The perfect style depends on your activity, climate and personal preferences. Generally, if you are exposed to colder conditions, long-sleeved based layers will be right for you. On the other hand, more active or warmer conditions will prefer shorter sleeves.

Conclusion


Choosing your perfect base layer depends ultimately on your unique needs, activity and weather conditions. Need more information on choosing your base layer? Our experts can help you choose your perfect option based on your unique requirements.

Ready to choose your perfect base layer? Browse our selection today:

https://www.subzerostore.co.uk/outdoor-clothing/baselayer-thermal-underwear/base-layers

 

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