The types of membrane hunting clothing, its principle of operation and advantages are described. Detailed instructions for the use and care of membrane clothing.
What are the basic requirements for hiking and tactical hunting clothing and hunting footwear?
In terms of weather protection, there are four of them:
- Protection from precipitation.
- Wind protection.
- Low temperature protection.
If everything is clear with the first three, then you should dwell on breathing in more detail. The breathing of clothing does not mean the exchange of air with the environment, but the removal of moisture and vapors from the interior space. Tissue respiration is measured in grams of fluid contained in the discharged vapors per square meter of tissue per day. The higher this indicator, the higher the quality of fabrics.
Membrane hunting clothing has been developed to ensure the respiratory function. During active physical activity, the body releases a large amount of moisture. The function of the membrane is to remove excess moisture in the form of steam from under the jacket. High-quality membranes are able to dry the body along with the underwear without removing the outer.
What is a membrane?
The membrane is a sandwich consisting of fabrics with a two- or three-layer structure:
- the outer layer provides moisture-proof properties;
- The membrane itself is a layer with a special composition and properties, depending on the manufacturer’s technology, applied to the inner side of the outer layer (in the case of a two-layer version) or as an independent layer (three-layer structure). The membrane is responsible for breathing and moisture protection.
- The backing layer protects the membrane itself from abrasion from the inside.
Separately, it is worth dwelling on the moisture protection of the outer layer. This is provided by a special repelling coating DWR, created on the basis of silicone or Teflon. Such a coating is applied by impregnating fabric or a more expensive lamination technology.
How Does Membrane Work In Hunting Clothing?
This can be found out by familiarizing yourself with the main types of membranes:
The first type of membrane is called microporous because it has a special structure of the chemical component. It is a film with pores that are orders of magnitude smaller than a drop of water, but larger than a water molecule in a vaporous state. Therefore, liquid water does not penetrate inside, and steam escapes unhindered.
From a physical point of view, the process looks like this: when performing physical work, the body secretes sweat, which evaporates from the surface of the body or is dissipated by thermal underwear. As a result, the space under the clothes is saturated with steam, there is a difference in partial pressure inside the jacket and outside. Because of this difference, steam rushes from the high-pressure area to the low-pressure area, i.e., it escapes through the pores of the membrane into the outer space. Thereby drying the air inside the jacket.
Such membranes breathe better compared to the second type.
The second type of membrane is called hydrophilic – a continuous coating without pores. Steam removal is carried out by chemical means, due to the presence of open bonds of chemical elements of the coating. In other words, the water molecules from the vapor attach to the membrane molecules, and due to the difference in partial pressure, they are brought out.
These membranes do not clog with dust and dirt, as they are non-porous, and also retain elasticity for a long time.
The third type of membranes is combined, which combines the technologies of the first two.
Types of membrane hunting clothing
The scope of application of membranes is quite wide. Separately, I would like to dwell on special suits for outdoor activities and tourism:
- Hunting suit made of membrane. A hunter needs a membrane because his activity is associated with either heavy loads during tracking, which requires maximum moisture removal from the body. Or when hunting from cover, the shooter is forced to sit motionless for hours, in which case you should be prepared for any manifestations of the weather. Hunting membrane clothing should have a universal set of functions: lightness with increased strength of materials, comfortable cut, high-quality filling, strong seams and accessories, especially on pockets. According to the temperature regime, the suits are divided into demi-season – for hunting at temperatures from 0 to +15 °C or during active movement up to -5 °C; and winter ones with a heat resistance of up to -30 °C.
- Fisherman’s suit made of membrane. A fishing suit should provide maximum insulation, since often winter fishing does not imply long-term active actions. In addition, there is always a risk of getting clothes wet, thereby depriving them of their protective properties. Therefore, fishing suits are provided with enhanced water-repellent impregnation, as well as additional protection in places of abrasion. Fishing suits are also divided into winter and demi-season, but their thermal insulation requirements are higher than those of hunting suits.
- Universal membrane hunting clothing. Such models are suitable not only for hunting and fishing, but also for country walks, tourist outings or outdoor activities and in the city. Usually, they are a little cheaper than highly specialized clothing, however, they have all the necessary properties of tactical suits – moisture and wind protection, breathing, insulation.
What to Look for When Buying Membrane Hunting Clothing?
In addition to the fabric, the choice of tactical clothing should take into account the following points:
- Style. A hunting jacket with a membrane should fit well without restricting movement.
- Seams. Membrane garments are the highest class of textile production, and therefore crooked seams, uneven stitches and protruding threads are unacceptable.
- Tightness. The sewing technology leaves holes in the fabric, which is unacceptable in tactical clothing. Therefore, all seams of membrane suits must be sealed to exclude the possibility of moisture and wind penetration.
- Ventilation. Airtight clothing threatens to overheat, even in severe frosts. Therefore, membrane suits are equipped with a ventilation system under the armpits, as well as on the inner seams of the trousers. Ventilation can be either permanently open or with valves or zippers.
- Furniture. Zippers and fasteners in membrane clothing are of the highest quality, and for additional protection, they are hidden under a flap or fabric pads.
Features of membrane hunting clothing operation
As we have already found out, the main function of membrane clothing is to remove steam from the internal space, preventing the penetration of water from the external environment.
In order for the membrane to effectively cope with its functions, pay special attention to the clothes worn under the membrane. When equipping, adhere to the rule of three layers of clothing.
- The first layer, or base layer, is responsible for absorbing and removing moisture from the body. As the first layer, cotton or thermal underwear made of technological fabrics is used. Despite the name “thermo”, the tasks of the first layer do not include heating. Modern thermal underwear provides moisture removal, does not lose its properties when wet, and does not restrict movement.
- The second layer, which warms, is responsible for insulation. You can choose a fleece suit with the addition of sheep wool – merino. Woolen clothes do not accumulate odors and breathe well. Fleece, on the other hand, is lighter, more elastic, and also maintains heat even when wet. The choice of insulation layer is mainly based on the preferences of the hunter.
- The third layer, external or protective, is a barrier from the external environment: low temperatures, precipitation, wind, fog. As an outer layer, storm clothing or membrane sets of jackets and trousers are used, as a more modern solution.
In order for the entire system to work efficiently and provide proper protection, pay attention to each layer of clothing under the membrane.
Membrane garment care
The durability and performance properties of membrane clothing directly depend on care. Therefore, the main point when washing and cleaning such clothes is the preservation of water-repellent properties, as well as the “breath” of the fabric. There are a number of rules to follow here.
How do you wash a hunting jacket with a membrane?
- Do not wash membrane clothes with universal powders. Firstly, such products will quickly destroy the water-repellent impregnation of the top layer. Secondly, all-purpose powders do not dissolve well, and small grains can block membrane holes. Buy special shampoos for washing membrane clothes with an appropriate note on the packaging, or liquid detergents. They can be bought in sporting and tourist goods stores.
- The temperature of the wash is also very important to preserve the properties of the membrane. Always follow the clothing instructions and do not exceed the indicated recommendations. In any case, the temperature of the water for washing and rinsing should not exceed 40 °C.
- Do not add stain removers, bleaching agents, or softeners when washing. All of them can damage the membrane, and the clothing will lose its ability to “breathe”.
- It is better to wash the membrane suit by hand. In this way, it will last longer without losing its operational properties. If hand washing is not for you, choose the most gentle mode – sport, delicate, duvet. Before washing, be sure to remove detergent residue and softener from past washes from the machine.
How to wring out and dry the membrane?
- Membrane garments should not be squeezed or twisted vigorously. Under no circumstances should you turn on the powerful spin on the automatic washing machine. This spoils the structure of the materials. Let the water drain after washing, and let the suits dry naturally, even if it takes longer to come out in the end.
- Drying membrane garments also requires a special approach. Under no circumstances should you put your washed jacket and trousers on radiators or heaters, or hang them close to a fireplace or fire. Such suits should be dried flattened on a horizontal surface or on hangers.
- Ironing membrane garments is not advisable. To restore the neat appearance of the suit, dry it in the most straightened and smoothed state. As a last resort, you can easily walk over a crumpled surface with a steam generator, but without excessive heat. Some products can be ironed, read the instructions that manufacturers indicate on the tag, and also use protection between the iron and the fabric of the garment.
Storage of membrane items
Jackets and trousers on membranes should be stored straightened on hangers in the closet. At the same time, the costume must be placed in a case, or at least covered with cellophane. This will keep the membranes from clogging with dust and lint from other clothes, which will prolong the life of the suit. In addition, friction on neighboring things will be minimized, and the water-repellent coating will last longer.
Maintaining the properties of the fabric
The issue of maintaining water-repellent properties requires special attention. Factory impregnation wears out over time, so the coating should be restored regularly, after each wash and cleaning. There are 2 ways to do this:
- Treatment with a water-repellent spray. You can buy such sprays in sports and travel stores, as well as in branded tactical clothing stores. They contain Teflon or silicone. Hang your jacket and pants on hangers, apply the spray evenly, and then dry your clothes. The moisture-proof properties of things depend on the quality of the spray application.
- Rinse in a special solution. Add a special product to the water for a final rinse. Be sure to make sure that the concentration of the product in the water is sufficient, and the dosage is in accordance with the instructions. Savings in this matter will have a negative impact on the properties of hunting clothing.
Membrane hunting clothing is the pinnacle of the evolution of specialized equipment. It is designed according to the latest technologies and, if used correctly, will protect the hunter and fisherman from the vagaries of nature and will last a long time.