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Apparel: Frequently Asked Questions

Apparel: Frequently Asked Questions

Gear
By the SkiNet Gear Editors
posted: 01/01/2000

Looking to update your ski or snowboard wordrobe, let us help get you started. Don't go to the store before reading our helpful tips.

Can I ski in snowboard wear?

Which is better, fleece or wool?

What's the difference between waterproof and water-resistant?

What kind of materials are waterproof? Is Gore-Tex the only one? How does Gore-Tex work?

My once-waterproof jacket is no longer so, what can I do?

How thick should my ski socks be?

What type of fabric works best for ski socks?

Can I ski in snowboard wear?
Absolutely. Snowboard wear generally has a less structured fit, making it suitable for a variety of winter activities. Many companies offer "crossover" apparel designed for both boarders and skiers.

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Which is better, fleece or wool?
Fleece is more lightweight and doesn't smell when it gets wet. However, there are merits for wool, too. In some situations, a thick wool will keep you dry and serve as block against strong winds.

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What's the difference between waterproof and water-resistant?
Water resistant material will protect against light rain and mist, but water will eventually penetrate. Waterproof garments have a special coating to protect even against hard rain and snow. Back to Top

What kind of materials are waterproof? Is Gore-Tex the only one?
Gore-Tex is a brand name for a type of waterproof breathables, which keep you dry while allowing body heat to escape. Activent, Entrant, and Omni-Tech are some other waterproof materials to look for when buying ski wear.

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How does Gore-Tex work?
Waterproof breathables like Gore-Tex have either microporous or monolithic barriers. Microporous barriers have tiny holes, big enough to let water vapor pass through, but too small to let in rain or melting snow. Monolithic barriers don't have holes, but perspiration vapor is ferried through a solid layer by a chemical process. These barriers work along with a water-repellent finish.

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My once-waterproof jacket is no longer so, what can I do?
The makers of Gore-Tex instruct all garment owners to wash them with powder detergent and dry them regularly. Drying is crucial, as the heat reactivates the florapolymer finish that keeps water from penetrating. After about 3 years, the finish will wear out naturally and can be reactivated with Revivex, a spray formulated by Gore.

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How thick should my ski socks be?
One pair of fairly thin socks is best; you should not wear two pairs of socks.

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What type of fabric works best for ski socks?
We recommend merino wool, fleece or microfleece. Never wear cotton tube socks, as they retain moisture.

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