Part 6 – Clothing Philosophy: Barrier Layer

March 01, 2011


Layer 3:  Barrier Layer – Outer/Shell layer – Wind and precipitation control

Barrier Layer is divided into two sections Wind Block and Rain Coats

Wind block garment

  • DWR treatment to minimise fabric saturation
  • Large arm pit zippers to dump excess heat
  • Block wind
  • Block light showers
  • Keep you warm
  • Dry quickly
  • Packable


  • Block wind, rain and snow – All elements
  • DWR treatment to minimise fabric saturation
  • Large arm pit zippers to dump excess heat
  • Dry quickly
  • Seam sealed
  • Ultra packable – must be small enough to carry with you at ALL TIMES in case you get caught out overnight or the weather changes unexpectedly
  • Excellent hood design

A raincoat is for when it is raining, this does not sound like rocket science however many Kiwi hunters wear a fleece top and a waterproof raincoat when it is not raining. I understand this when it is really windy or cold, but when there is only a little wind leave your raincoat in your pack. A wind block garment is more ideal in this situation. Using a raincoat as your everyday wind block garment means that you increase the chance of damaging the membrane.

Wearing a rain coat full time has promoted hunters to look for the quietest raincoat so when bush stalking they were undetectable. The concept is great but it doesn’t really work, rain coats are not ultra quiet, this is due to the 3 layer fabric they are made from. Another problem is because you are wanting the quietest raincoat you are also buying the raincoat that when saturated takes the longest time to dry. Is this starting to sound a little odd? Buying a raincoat that takes forever to dry?

Why do traditional raincoats take so long to dry? This is because they are made from brushed tricot. This fabric is woven with a brushed face to create a soft suede feel. The downside of this is that it becomes saturated and holds a lot of water, once in this state it takes a long time to dry, this is no good when you’re in places like Fiordland when all it does is rain. It is also very heavy when wet. The other bad side of brushed tricot is that it is very bulky and does not pack down well, so you need to carry a bigger pack to fit it in.

Are there any other options? Last season we launched the Aspiring Jacket; this jacket packs down much smaller and dries considerably faster than brushed tricot. This season we have gone all out and we have developed a new material along with a completely redesigned XTR SERIES, new XTR Jacket and XTR Trousers. We have used HYDRAFUSE PacSTEALTH. This fabric is like nothing else, it packs down smaller, holds less water, 4 way stretch gives you more freedom of movement and is very quiet!

The benefits of materials like Hydrafuse Pac Stealth that offer increased breathability, packability and faster drying time will take over from the current industry standard brushed tricot. Hunters Element will continue to offer brushed tricot for 2011 and 2012 in our All Rounder jacket, after this we will phase brushed tricot from our jacket line.

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