What features should should good technical underwear have?
All outdoor activities entail intense physical efforts, they need appropriate clothing; even more so if they are practiced when the climate conditions are adverse as it often happens at high altitude in the mountains.
When you choose some mountain climbing technical underwear, two features are to be searched: breathability and thermal regulation.
The former is the fabric capacity to transport the perspiration moisture to the outside leaving the skin as dry as possible.
This determines a remarkable comfort both during the physical effort and the break.
A high breathability in specific mountain climbing underwear prevents such as muscle inflammations from arising, they are often caused by the cold-wet effect that occurs whenever the physical activity is interrupted and the sportsman is socked in sweat.
The thermal regulation is the capacity to keep the body temperature stable. This is a fundamental fundamental feature in particular with rigid temperatures, that shouldn’t be underestimated also in warmer seasons either.
In mountain climbing thermal clothing, to get very good performances, it is important to keep balance between body warmth due to the physical activity and the one produced by the worn garments.
Mountain climbing underwear choice depends on own personal demands and is useful to find the perfect balance between thermal isolation and breathability on the basis of the practiced activity, the altitude and the foretold weather conditions.
Are the synthetic or the natural fabrics better?
Given the premise a true mountain climbing underwear doesn’t exist, it is possible to find fabrics that can assure very good performances in most conditions.
The choice is essentially between synthetic and natural fibers.
Modern technologies allow to produce synthetic fibers such as polyester, polyamide, nylon and polypropylene, that have advantage to have hollow fibers to better retain air inside and assure an optimal thermal insulation.
Moreover, always more sophisticated production methods offer fabrics with an outstanding softness, that was impossible to imagine until some years ago.
Such high elasticity to guarantee underwear adherence to the skin as if it were a second skin must be added to this.
The trend of winter mountain climbing market, following consumers’ appreciation, is always more oriented towards synthetic fibers that guarantee lightness, high breathability, quick drying, and a remarkable resistance to use and multiple washings.
Talking about natural fibers, cotton should never be taken into account given its breathability absence, because underwear made of it remain soaked in sweat leaving the skin wet.
Wool has been used for much time in base layer production, but then it has been replaced by the merino wool, that can also offer high softness in contact with the skin.
But, also in this case, the issue resides in the incapability to expel sweat to the outside.
Another unique advantage that comes using natural fibers in mountain climbing underwear is the absence of bad smells because of the perspiration.