Have you ever wondered what all those weird looking gadgets and pockets on your ski jacket are for? Well believe it or not, every feature has been thought out to the greatest degree to make sure that your skiing holiday is one of comfort, fun and convenience.
Because there are so many technical features I won’t bore you with a long in depth explanation of every single one (ain’t nobody got time for that) and instead I thought I would concentrate on one feature at a time. A handy little bite-size of design knowledge if you will...
So where to start.... well let’s start with the most important of all the features, the one that keeps you warm and dry and that’s the waterproof and breathability ratings of the fabric.
What is WP?
5,000 WP, 10,000 MVP... if no one has ever explained these numbers to you, how would you ever know?
It is actually quite simple though. The WP number is an indicator of how much water pressure a jacket can withhold without the water penetrating the fabric and it is always measured in millimetres. For example, 5,000 WP means that the fabric will take 5,000mm (or 5 metres) of water pressure over a 24 hour period before the water starts to leak through. That’s a lot of water!
How about MVP?
The MVP rating is an indicator of how breathable the fabric is and lets you know how much water vapor (or sweat in this case!) the fabric will allow through to the outside of the jacket. This stops the sweat and moisture staying next to the skin which causes you to get cold. This one is measures in grams. So, a 10,000 MVP jacket will allow 10,000grams of moisture vapour to disperse through approximately one square metre of fabric, and away from the body.
Standard ratings of WP and MVP are 3K (3,000mm/3,000g), 5K, 8K, 10K, 15K and 20K, so just remember, the higher the number the better the rating.
Isn’t it clever, how it will allow water vapour out but won’t let any water in? I’ve always thought so! This is because the size of the ‘pores’ needed to allow water vapour out are much smaller than the size of a single droplet of water.