Keeping Dry and Staying Warm: Part 1

Newsflash: Our first publication Keeping Dry and Staying Warm Part 1 is now published in paperback and Kindle formats and available on Amazon.


Starts with the basics as the introductory starting point for retail staff and mountain /outdoor professionals.

Chapter 1 starts with the basics of Size, Grade and Fit as the introduction for retail staff.

Chapter 2 becomes more technical as we explain the many key words which are often misunderstood: these words are everywhere, swing tickets, test reports, garment specs, forums, and bandied about in many conversations.

Chapter 3 comprises technical information on which to base your skills and layering practices.

Book Cover

Chapter 1 Size Grade and Fit

The complex subject of sizing and why sizes vary so much is reviewed in detail. This includes how garments are shaped and tailored for different activities to enable freedom of movement. There is a key focus on hoods. All key ‘need to know’ stuff whether you are selling or buying a garment.

Climbing jacket


1.1 Size and Grade

Fit matters. It is more complex than on the label and affects fitness for purpose. Introductory video

1.2 Tailoring for function

‘Tailoring’ is vital to the way a garment is shaped, and personal needs vary

between sportsIntroductory video

1.3 Hoods 

Is this hood suitable for my chosen activity? This is a key question to ask when purchasing a jacket. But how to distinguish between hoods? Introductory video

chapter 2 Garments

How do you understand jacket types?

How do you understand jacket types?

Chapter 2 is a guide to understanding outdoor garments.

The chapter includes definitions and explanations of the following:


A technical review of all 4 ways in use today of achieving garment fabrics which keep you dry. Coatings, membranes, wax impregnation and directional fabrics. And the measures.


and measures of MVTR (moisture vapour transmission rate) and RET. (resistance to evaporation)

And how it differs from air permeability. The implications of waterproof fabric weights/thicknesses on breathability.





Windproofing of outer shells; waterproof, down and synthetic insulated garments.

Measures of windproofing; and introduction of our rating system.

Windproofing v air permeability. What’s the difference?

These definitions are necessary to support the following subchapters:


An analysis of 8 different garment types using our 5 ‘F’s system. Function, fit, finance, future and fashion.  explaining what each garment type does and does NOT do.


This sub chapter shows how they are made and how this influences their function. Seams and machine stitching types, (lockstitch, overlocking, flatlocking, bartacking), seam taping and bonding.




Looks at how to repair, and why reusing and recyclingmakes sense for both your pocket and the planet.




Chapter 3 The basics principles of layering

We look well beyond the normal accepted basic principle of a 3 layer system and explain how your active layering choices help control your mobile environment. We engage you in a ‘battle of understanding’ of moisture management.

3.1 Basic Principles and Practice

How insulation works. Why multiple layers are better than fewer layers. The Importance of how your garment fits. The ‘battle of understanding’ as to how moisture management works. Windproof and wind resistance of garments. The 4 or 5 or 6 layer principle.

3.2 Keeping hands and feet warm, layering practices.

Socks are socks!

Socks are socks!



Layering for hands and feet.



Backpacking in the rain

Backpacking in the rain

Layering practice on the move, regulating your ‘mobile environment’. Layering for ‘looks’ and how fashion sometimes impairs function.

3.3 Before you depart, be aware your pack isn’t waterproof!

Keeping pack contents dry is challenging (CartoonStock)

Keeping pack contents dry is challenging (CartoonStock)

We cover your best options for keeping your pack contents dry.

Find out how this book supports our training course. 

Find out more about the history of the waterproof jacket

Go to Part 2 The science of keeping dry and staying warm

Go to Part 3 Textiles and advanced layering

Return to Publications