April 3rd, 2017
Thermal jackets are your outer layer protection. Protecting you from the elements, thermal jackets are key to fully enjoying your favourite outdoor activity.
Whether you are a hiker, climber, snowboarder, skier or biker, your thermal jacket is an important piece of your kit.
There is a huge variety of jackets to choose from. The main three are fleeces, softshell and down-insulated jackets.
So, what are the differences between these jackets and which one is perfect for you?
Fleeces are made from a soft, lightweight and warm polyester material that mimics wool.
Available in a variety of weights, fleeces are great at keeping you warm. The jackets can maintain their warmth when wet, and dry very quickly.
The fabric is highly-breathable, is comfortable, doesn’t itch and can be produced in a variety of colours and styles.
Some fleeces are even windproof and water-repellent, protecting you from the elements. However, being water-resistant makes them more prone to odours.
Soft, lightweight and warm, fleeces are most commonly worn as layering pieces.
Softshell jackets are perhaps the most versatile of all jackets.
Although a fleece is great for warmth, a softshell jacket has the best of both worlds. Not only will it provide warmth, it also offers more protection from the elements. Highly comfortable, these jackets are a popular choice for everyday wear.
Softshell jackets were initially created for activities like climbing and mountaineering. The fabric is incredibly breathable and has a great deal of stretch, made to keep you moving, dry and warm.
Soft and flexible, softshell jackets are best for keeping active. They also work great as a mid-layer in severe weather or as an outer layer in moderate conditions, and are great to protect you from windy conditions.
Down insulated jackets are filled with the best insulator in the world.
Made from feather by-products of geese, ducks, or other waterfowl, the down insulation will keep you warm without weighing you down.
Insulated down jackets and body warmers are ideal pieces of technical clothing for adding an extra layer of insulation without adding much weight. The lightweight jackets have a small pack size so they can fit easily into walking trouser pockets or the smallest of free spaces in your backpack.
However, down-insulated jackets are weak to moisture and provide less protection against the elements. Although some jackets use water-resistant treated down, the jacket is best suited to drier conditions.
Choosing the right jacket for you will depend on your activities and weather conditions.
If you are going to be active, the flexible softshell jackets are the best. The lightweight down-insulated jacket is great to carry to keep you warm in cold and dry conditions. In wet conditions, the fleece will keep you warm and dry quickly.
All the jackets work best when worn in layers.
Ready to choose your perfect jacket? Browse our range today.
Please follow and like us:
Posted in Down Products | Comments Off on The differences between fleece, softshell and down-insulated jackets
January 4th, 2017
What is down?
Down is the fluffy plumage that waterfowl grow next to their skin to help insulate and aide buoyancy. It is not a true feather as we understand them, but a much simpler form that has soft and fluffy filament shafts growing in all directions. These down ‘clusters’ are extremely lightweight and provide a large surface area to trap air and warmth from the body. True feathers grow over the top of the down and help shield the birds from wind and water penetration, as well as aiding flight due to increased aerodynamics.
Why use goose down?
All waterfowl produce down, but geese and duck down are the most popular as it is a by-product of commercial farming practices. The most sought after down comes from adult geese as they have a very fine cluster construction, providing more loft than juvenile goose down or duck down.
Advantages of down insulation
One of the major advantages of down is its warmth-to-weight ratio. No synthetic insulation even comes close to matching it. So producing a like-for-like jacket, the down insulated one is going to be much lighter than the synthetic insulated one. Combined with this is the compression advantage of down. You can scrunch up down jackets in to very small shapes without damaging the clusters. If you want to wear one that has been jammed in to an awkward shape in yor backpack, just like a duvet, all you need to do is waft it a little bit to increase the loft.
Negatives of down insulation
Downs Achilles heal is moisture. If it gets too damp or is waterlogged, then the clusters stick together, drastically reducing the surface area and thus the insulation properties. Drying down takes a very long time unless you have a tumble dryer, so if it gets wet when you are outside, then it is going to stay wet and offer little protection from the cold. Fortunately, new hydrophobic treatments have started to be applied to down clusters to help repel water for longer. Using this treated down produces an insulated jacket that is not waterproof, but it will function a lot better in damp and wet weather, will dry quicker, and will retain the loft of the down even when wet.
For more information on down and its properties then please visit the EDFA European Down and Feather Association
Please follow and like us:
Tags: down insulation, down jackets, extreme cold clothing, winter jackets
Posted in Advice, Down Products | Comments Off on Down Insulation Science In Outdoor Jackets
December 17th, 2016
With todays hectic lifestyles, many people just want a quick and simple way to pay for items purchased online. Providing a guest checkout simplifies the ordering process and removes the requirement for personnel details to be held. It also reassures first time customers that their privacy is respected.
Here at Sub Zero Store we are constantly updating our website to improve our customers buying experience. Over the past few days we have been making background changes to our site and part of that process has been the implementation of a guest checkout. You now have the option when checking out of registering an account with us or just paying as a guest. Both have their advantages as is discussed below.
Benefits Of A Guest Checkout
If you are only going to buy from Sub Zero Store once and don’t want to receive any marketing material, then the guest checkout provides a quick and efficient way to pay for goods. Just one page needs completing with your delivery details, and if you use an auto-fill app, then this can be done in a matter of seconds.
The downside of using the guest checkout is that you loose all the benefits of registering an account with Sub Zero Store. This includes order history and parcel tracking information.
Benefits Of Registering An Account
Registering for an account with Sub Zero Store may take longer than using the guest checkout but it does have its benefits. Not only does it let you logon to your own account page to view past orders and shipping information, it also allows us to send you information on special offers and discount codes – we are not one of these companies who bombard our customers with marketing material as we dislike this ourselves. On average, we probably send out a newsletter email once a month, that’s it. If you would like to leave a product review, whether negative or positive, then this is only possible if you are registered with us.
It is simple to register an account with Sub Zero Store. Just go to the top of any page and click on the grey ‘Register‘ text
Please follow and like us:
Tags: quick checkout, shopping basket, sub zero store
Posted in Site Updates | Comments Off on Guest Checkout Upgrade Now Live
December 15th, 2016
Synthetic Base Layers
As the name implies, synthetic base layers are those that are manufactured from any man-made fibres. These will usually be fabrics knitted from yarns of polyamide, polyester or polypropylene, and sometimes a combination of two or more. Sometimes a bit of acrylic is also used but these are usually on cheap products that probably will not make it past a few washes anyway. If you have a base layer that is a blended yarn of both natural and man made fibres then you need to take extra care and follow the care label precisely.
Follow The Manufacturers Instructions
Care labels on base layers are there for a reason, to be followed. They are not rough guidelines for you to interpret how you wish. They provide instructions for the maximum levels of certain processes such as wash temperature, and processes that shouldn’t be used, such as ironing and dry cleaning. Below are three scans of care labels for different synthetic base layer fabrics. As you can see they all look similar but the washing instructions and care instructions are slightly different:
For a handy guide to wash care symbols please visit the Love Your Clothes website
A big no no when it comes to synthetic base layers. The harsh chemicals used in the cleaning process will strip out any treatments on the yarn such as softeners and hydrophilics, and the drying process can lead to shrinking and melt spots.
Detergents And Fabric Softeners
Using detergents are a bit of a grey area as it depends on the yarn content of your synthetic base layers:
Polyamide base layers, such as Sub Zero Factor 1, have a hydrophilic chemical treatment pressure injected directly in to the yarn during the dyeing and finishing process. It is not everlasting but it takes a very long time for the treatment to be washed out, even when using fabric detergents.
Polypropylene base layers very rarely have any treatments applied to them due to the yarns properties so washing machine detergents can be happily used on them.
Polyester base layers often have softeners and hydrophilic treatments applied to the outside of the yarn. These are easily stripped out by washing detergents so you may need to treat them every few washes with a dedicated base layer treatment wash.
Fabric softeners on the other hand shouldn’t be used on any synthetic base layers. They coat the fibres with a waxy finish that affects their moisture transportation capabilities. If you should use a fabric softener by mistake, then just rewash the base layer with a normal detergent.
It is always a good idea to separate light colours from dark colours in any wash if you want your whites to stay bright. Some clothing colours will leach in a wash leading to colouration of lighter garments if mixed together, especially base layers manufactured from polyamide yarn. Polypropylene base layers are usually resilient as they do not absorb any moisture, so can be mixed with different colours. If you are in any doubt, then use a colour absorbing sheet in your wash.
If you are intending to mix garment styles in a single wash then be aware of the possible consequences. Any jacket or trousers with either a zip or Velcro fastenings could potentially damage your base layer during the washing process. The hooked harsh face of Velcro can be especially damaging as it catches the base layers fine filaments and can lead to pulls and ladders. It is always a good idea to wash Velcro and zip containing clothing separately.
Most dedicated synthetic base layer washes and general detergents will work perfectly well on a low temperature setting such as 30ºC. Even if the care label states a higher wash temperature tolerance, it is not a requirement to get synthetic base layers clean these days.
Some people advocate washing synthetic base layers by hand in cold water, but this is time consuming and unnecessary for most garments. If in doubt, check the neck label.
The beauty of synthetic base layers is that they absorb very little moisture. If the wash has been put on a spin cycle then the base layers are going to dry very quickly on the clothesline in decent weather. If you need to hang the washing up inside the house, then please avoid hanging the base layers directly on radiators. Use a collapsible clothes horse to hang your base layers on and position near to the radiator. In our house we do this but place the horse near to our wood burner without any problems.
Using a tumble dryer to dry synthetic base layers is best avoided as they can be unpredictable and untrustworthy. Most base layers that shrink in tumble dryers are not down to the heat, but the length of time they are left in the dryer. If you do need a base layer quickly out of the wash, then set the tumble dryer to the coolest setting, remove any collected lint from the collection screen, and keep an eye on it. It is better to underestimate the time and keep on adding small increments after checking the dryness. Shrinking your synthetic base layers in a tumble dryer is not reversible.
Again, ironing synthetic base layers is best avoided. It is very easy to use the wrong temperature setting when ironing a pile of clothes, and an iron on a high setting will glaze some synthetic fabrics and will melt others. If you hang them up tidily for drying and then fold them neatly when dry then creases will be avoided. In any case, who is going to see your base layers when you are outside anyway.
Word Of Warning
If you do wash and launder your synthetic base layers incorrectly and not according to the instructions, and something does happen to them such as a shrinkage or a deformity, the manufacturers will know it is your fault. Fabrics are so stable these days and manufactured in such high quantities that one bad item out of a batch of thousands is going to stick out like a sore thumb. The best tactic is to stick your hands up and admit you made a mistake, and if the manufacturer is half decent, they may give you discount off a new set or exchange the base layer in exchange for some PR material.
Please follow and like us:
Tags: base layers, synthetic underwear, washing instructions, winter thermals
Posted in Base Layers | Comments Off on Washing Synthetic Base Layers Correctly
December 13th, 2016
Walkers Top 10 Kit
If you are struggling to come up with ideas for the walker in your family then we have picked our top ten products that will keep them happy when outside in all weathers.
A cold walker is a miserable walker. Treat them to some good quality base layers this Christmas and watch them transform from a prickly plodder to a happy hiker.
2. Bottle Flask
If you are rather partial to a brew when walking and do not want to carry a stove, then taking an insulated vacuum flask with the tea or coffee already made is a great way of grabbing a quick cuppa when outdoors. Thermos flasks come in all shape and sizes these days, from wide mouth lunch jugs to robust stainless steel bottle flasks.
3. Waterpoof Hat
Keeping your head dry in wet weather can be achieved either by pulling up your waterproof jacket hood or by wearing a waterproof hat. The advantages of using a waterproof hat rather than a hood is that they are more insulating, give you a better field of vision, and can be stored easily in a pocket or backpack.
4. First Aid Kit
Everybody has an accident at some point when walking, whether that be from stumbling on uneven ground, cutting a finger on map edges, or wearing poorly fitted walking boots that lead to blisters. If left untreated for any length of time, these wounds may hinder your progress or become infected. The solution is to carry a first aid kit in your backpack or pocket, allowing you to treat any minor injuries sustained by yourself or your walking group.
5. Survival Bag
Like all good boy scouts you should be prepared when stepping out in to the great outdoors. Lightweight and compact, these survival bags and blankets are manufactured form space age materials to keep you warm and dry until help arrives. They can also double up as a large visual aid should you get lost when walking.
6. Insulated Down Jacket
The ultimate in walking comfort, insulated down jackets are like wearing a duvet on the hills. Being lightweight and compact, they can easily fit in to odd spaces in a backpack, and just need a good shake before being worn to activate the down insulation.
7. Outdoor Compasses
If the walker in your family is always getting lost then invest in a field compass to keep them on the straight and narrow. These compact lightweight navigational devices easily fit in to your jacket or trouser pocket, and come in a variety of styles with different features.
8. Solid Fuel Camping Stoves
Not the smallest of stoves we must confess but they eliminate the need for fuel to be carried. When you want a brew, just forage around for twigs, fir cones and leaves, and these Ghille Kettles will light with ease and boil water in a matter of minutes. Pan sets can be suspended above the top exhaust, allowing for a meal to be cooked at the same time. Manufactured in the UK from lightweight anodised aluminium, these solid fuel camping stoves are a very useful gadget for the survival enthusiast and minimalist walker.
9. Walking Socks
Blisters and sores on walkers feet usually occur due to poor quality socks and bad fitting boots. Wearing a constructed walking socks will help to manage moisture, cushion your heel and sole, and help to prevent internal slipping and rubbing.
10. Waterproof Gloves
Wet hands quickly start to feel cold in the cooler months. Being able to keep them dry and also functional means that good fitting waterproof gloves are required.
Please follow and like us:
Tags: base layers, christmas gifts, first aid, top ten ideas, walking
Posted in Advice | Comments Off on Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas For A Walker
December 8th, 2016
Small businesses like Sub Zero Store are the backbone of the local community. We employ local people. We support local business. We are more flexible than large city centre and outlet stores . We provide superior customer service. We are helpful and caring. We contribute billions to the national economy. But often we are overlooked, marginalised and unappreciated. So when somebody comes along to help, like Amex Shop Small, we all should be shouting it from the roof.
Money Back Offer
From 3-18th December 2016, American Express are running their annual Shop Small campaign. This national campaign by Amex aims to promote the uniqueness of small businesses and encourages American Express card holders to purchase goods from them. All that Amex customers have to do is spend £10 or more in a single transaction at a participating small business to receive a £5 statement credit. This offer not only applies to high street stores, but also online retailers like Sub Zero Store.
What To Purchase
At Sub Zero Store, we stock a wide range of functional outdoor products to keep you warm, safe, and secure. Not only do we stock the award winning Sub Zero brand of outdoor clothing, we also have a wide range of technical brands that have been tried and tested by our dedicated sourcing team. When researching new product lines, we do try to buy kit that is made in Great Britain, but this is sometimes difficult due to the nature of the product.
So why not save some money with the Amex Shop Smart campaign and treat yourself this Christmas to a nice snug base layer to keep out the winter chill.
Please follow and like us:
Tags: american express, discount offer, shop small
Posted in Latest News, Special Offers | Comments Off on Shop Small With Amex And Save Money
September 9th, 2015
What is the best lightweight thermal underwear for changeable Autumn weather?
Autumn can be an unpredictable month as one day it can be scorching hot whilst the next day you can get out of your tent and find ground frost. This swing in the weather cycle is not ideal if you are out on the hills for a prolonged period of time as you have to pack for all eventualities. But how do you fine the best lightweight thermal underwear for the job? Researching the following four properties when buying thermal underwear should help you get the best from your purchase.
To lighten your load it is a good idea to wear thermal underwear that will adapt to both hot and cold conditions. This is not an endorsement for thermal brands that claim they will keep you cool in summer and hot in winter. Anyone with a simple grasp of physics or textiles knows this is an impossibility. The best you can hope to achieve is a lightweight thermal base layer that will insulate you in the cooler weather, but not be so insulating that you start to cook when the sun comes out.
But how do you know how insulating/warm a thermal underwear brand is going to be? A simple but underused test is the TOG, which measures the thermal resistance of a fabric. You have probably seen it used on duvets, mattresses and pillows, and the lower the figure, the less insulating it is. In the Autumn you need a lightweight thermal underwear brand that has a TOG rating of between 0.35-0.50. Anything higher and you are going to be too warm, anything lower and you will chill.
What this means is basically how quick perspiration is moved from the skins surface to the outside surface of the fabric, so it can evaporate or be moved on to the next clothing layer. The best lightweight thermal underwear garments will have a hydrophilic treatment applied to them. These chemicals actively aid the movement of moisture – hydrophilic means water loving – so vastly improve the fabrics own moisture transportation system. In the cooler Autumnal weather this process keeps a dry layer of air next to the skin (air being the insulator) helping you to keep warm. In warmer weather you will probably wear the lightweight thermal underwear on its own. A quick wicking rate will pump moisture out to the surface of the thermal and allow evaporation. This will help to cool you as water has a high heat capacity and needs a lot of energy to phase change i.e. transform from a liquid to a gas. In layman’s term, your excess body heat is absorbed by the water on the fabrics surface to change to a gas, or evaporate as us mere mortals know the process.
Construction and Fit
Thirdly, the lightweight thermal underwear must be snug fitting. By snug I do not mean restricting blood to an appendage so it goes purple with loss of circulation. The base layer must be close fitting so no air can be wafted when you move. For someone who has not got the body of David Beckham this is not going to be a pretty sight as a good fitting thermal will contour to all your lumps and bumps. However, this close fit ensures that air is trapped next to the skin, insulating the wearer. It also aids hydrophilic treatments as they only work efficiently when there is a heat gradient. The best way to achieve this is by having the fabric in close contact to the skin.
The best lightweight thermal underwear garments will also be constructed sympathetically to your activity. Look for thermal underwear that has a long body length so when you bend over to pick something up or tie your shoe laces your lower back does not become exposed. The sleeves should also be of a significant length that when you lift your arms they do not ride up and expose much your skin.
Finally, your choice in colour will also play an important part in how cool and hot you feel. Black is a good absorber of light wavelengths and will attract more energy from the sun than a lighter colour. However, black is also a good radiator of heat so in overcast weather it will loose heat quicker than a lighter colour. White is obviously the best colour for reflecting heat as it absorbs very little light. If you need thermal underwear in the autumn and are not sure on what weather conditions you are going to be subjected to then choose a colour between the extremes of white and black.
Please follow and like us:
Tags: autumn weather, baselayers, best lightweight thermal underwear, mountaineering, walking, winter clothing
Posted in Advice | Comments Off on Best lightweight thermal underwear for Autumn weather
August 21st, 2015
Always looking to improve our customer service and product range we have recently carried out a major upgrade to our website so that we now have 60%+ more products available to buy online. Our range has been extended to include many more summer and winter lines from our own brand and our supplier network, so that we stock everything you would need for weekend hiking or trips to extreme environments around the world.
While we have obviously changed the appearance of the site this has been a very small part of the changes. The main focus of our efforts has been delivering more choice and a better online shopping experience to our loyal customers. To this end we have added account facilities to our site so that you can now login to your account and create multiple delivery addresses, manage saved shopping baskets, review past orders and view your product ratings. We are also tracking stock levels so you will know before placing your order that your chosen product is in stock.
Our new site also gives us the ability to deliver a more varied series of promotions so we will be working with our suppliers on the run up to the Christmas period to delivery some truly exciting new offers and promotions. We hope that you will enjoy them and that you will find some really great presents for the dedicated outdoor enthusiast.
But in addition to all these super technical changes we have updated our customer service so you can now enjoy free UK delivery on all orders over £25, a 180 day returns period, one year warranty across our entire product range and same day despatch if you order by 3pm. We can’t say fairer than that!
Please follow and like us:
Tags: new subzerostore website
Posted in Latest News | Comments Off on 60% more products available to buy online at Sub Zero Store
March 31st, 2015
Spring has arrived!
Sunshine and blue skies makes us want to get out there and really enjoy the outdoors!
With three bank holidays in the next couple of months, it’s the perfect time to think about an outdoor break, and road test your camping gear before going on a summer adventure.
Whether you enjoy the outdoors ‘Bear Grylls’ style, or enjoy a more leisurely break with the whole family, Sub Zero Store have a complete range of outdoor gear to make your camping trip run smoothly… and at the moment we are offering up to 50% off camp cooking equipment!
Our outdoor accessories are also recommended by the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, so if you or your child is taking part in a DofE programme this year, now is a fantastic time to get kitted out.
One of the most exciting parts of any outdoor adventure is camp cooking. Foregoing the luxuries of your kitchen at home is a chance to try something new and exciting! And eating outdoors is one of life’s truly simple pleasures.
So with this in mind, let’s start with camping stoves. Gas stoves, multifuel stoves or solid fuel stoves, we have some fantastic offers on high quality kit suitable for any adventure, in any climate, including remote locations where fuel can be scarce. A traditional gas stove gives you easy and fast heat to get your sausages sizzling in super quick time. A multifuel stove can use any liquid fuel such as LP gas, gasoline/petrol, diesel, kerosene, even aviation fuel. A solid fuel stove makes use of natural fuels around you such as sticks, grass, pine cones, birch bark and so on. Or, if you prefer a more traditional campfire, our firelighters will give you a helping hand to get your fire started… you’ll be toasting marshmallows in no time at all!
No matter where you are, hot or cold, it’s always essential to make sure you have plenty to drink. Sub Zero Store stock a range of mugs to keep your drinks warm or chilled, with lids and carabiners for hydration on the move. In sizes from 200ml to 500ml, Sub Zero Store have a mug for even the smallest of backpacks. And if you’re short on space, our Primus 4 Season Stainless Steel Camping Mug and Lifeventure Stainless Steel Mug can be used directly on your stove for heating food or drinks. Or, for shorter trips and picnics, we have great discounts on thermal flasks for keeping food and drinks hot or cold.
So whatever your adventure, Sub Zero Store have the camping kit to keep you warm, nourished and hydrated. Take a look at our special offers here, and with free UK delivery when you spend just £75, our 50% sale makes spring the perfect time to plan your adventures for 2015… and enjoy some camp cooking!
Please follow and like us:
Posted in Latest News, Special Offers | No Comments »
February 17th, 2015
The FCO have launched travel advice guidance for Brits travelling to a winter ski or snowboarding holiday abroad to make sure they stay safe on the slopes.
The guidance includes essential advice and tips to ensure that travellers avoid injury and expensive medical costs whilst on the slopes. The key messages are:
- Take out comprehensive insurance that covers all of your winter sports activities
- Don’t drink and ski
- Protect our head and policy – many insurers insist you wear a helmet
- Don’t attempt slopes you’re not experienced or fit enough to tackle
- Make sure someones knows where you’re going and tell them of any changes to your plans
Please follow and like us:
Tags: FCO, outdoor wear, safety, ski advice, snowboarding, winter sports
Posted in Activity, Advice, Latest News | No Comments »