There is a standardised test for measuring thermal insulation of clothing called ASTM F1291-16. It is a laboratory test in a controlled environment using a heated mannequin. This allows you to compare the properties between different garments but is next to useless for providing a temperature rating for consumers as their are so many variables to take in to account when outside - temperature, change in temperature, humidity, wind chill factor, fitness, metabolic rate, underlying health conditions, other layers of clothing, work rate.........
As you can see, it would be impossible to provide a temperature rating when thermal comfort is so subjective and goverened by so many variables..
If you would like help selecting the right garments for your activity or would just like some advice then please contact our technical department on +44 (0)116 2402634 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sizing information is provided in two areas of the product listing. The more generic sizing details, such as S-XL, for example, can be found in the technical text section. Size charts are provided for most garments that come in multiple sizes. These can be found as part of the product image carousel on the top left of the screen, and are also linked under the products main size and colour buttons.
If you should need further help, then please do not hesitate to contact us on +44(0)116 2402634 or email@example.com
Unfortunately clothing sizes are not standardised so each individual brand will have their own specifications. We provide a comprehensive size chart for most of our ranges to enable you to choose the correct size and fit. A link to these size charts can be found in the product page (If available).
Our base layers and mid layers are designed to be worn together, so if you are a large say in the Factor 1 Plus base layers then you will also be a large in the Factor 2 mid layers. Our jackets are sized to accommodate base layers and mid layers underneath them, but if you plan to wear more than two layers or a thick jumper then you may want to purchase the next size up.
We do provide a repair and alteration service for Sub Zero products. Due to the nature of this service we can only provide a price once we know the requirements. Please email the details along with any images to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide a quote for the work.
Sub Zero Technology Ltd have been manufacturing technical outdoor clothing and accessories in the UK since 1969. All Sub Zero garments are fully warranted against defects in materials and workmanship for 1 year from the purchase date to the original owner. Should any garments fail due to defects in materials and workmanship, we will, at our own discretion, repair it without charge or provide a replacement. Please understand we may be out of stock or no longer carry that particular product style or colour, and will do everything possible to replace the garment with the closest possible style.
To make a warranty claim please contact Sub Zero on +44 (0)116 2402634 or email@example.com to start the process.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
This warranty does not cover garments damaged due to an accident, improper care, negligence or normal wear and tear.
This warranty does not cover sub-standard garments
All products must be washed before sending them back to us as soiled garments will be returned unprocessed
The postal service used for returning repaired/exchanged garments will be at the discretion of Sub Zero Technology Ltd
Washing instructions for Sub Zero garments are printed on a white silk tag stitched to the back neck of the garments or on an internal seam. Please follow these instructions carefully as failure to comply with them will make your guarantee void. If you have removed the tag or are unsure of the washing symbol meaning, the full washing instructions can be found below.
GENERAL WASHING TIPS
When you go to wash any garment with a zip, ensure it is done up fully otherwise the exposed teeth may cause harm in the wash cycle. The same can be said for garments containing Velcro. Your best course of action would be to wash these garments either by hand or on their own in a washing machine.
With the advancement in detergent technology, you very rarely need to wash any garments these days above 30°C. It is better to use a specific anti-bacterial wash-in treatment rather than increasing the temperature.
A lot of Sub zero products, especially the base layers and mid layers, can be ironed on a low temperature setting. We would advise against this as the heat settings on irons are not always reliable. In any case, the stretch properties of synthetics helps reduce creases in the wash and if there are any afterwards, they often drop out when worn.
Like most synthetics, Sub Zero fabrics will melt or burn if exposed to flame or direct heat. They are not flame resistant; do not use them near ANY direct source of heat or flame. This includes some of our merino wool products that contain a small percentage of synthetic yarn.
All of our fabrics are laboratory tested for shrinkage (amongst other things) before they are shipped to our warehouse. Any batches that are not within industry standard tolerances are failed and scrapped.
The average shrinkage tolerance for our ranges is between 1-2% in the first wash. After this they will be stable for the life of the garment. If a garment shrinks in the wash above this tolerance then it will have been washed at the wrong temperature or tumble dried on a hot setting.
Unlike most outdoor brands who design garments around mass produced generic fabrics, we use our extensive textile engineering knowledge to design and produce bespoke functional fabrics.
We produce this high aerobic and cooling summer base layer range on the latest electronic circular knitting machine using 100% polyamide yarns. To produce garments that have no side seams we must use a different diameter machine for each size. In addition, the computer controlled needle selection allows us to knit in features without seams, such as mesh zones in areas of high perspiration and rib support down muscle groups. The resulting fabric is super soft, lightweight and fast drying. A hydrophilic treatment is impregnated in to the yarn to aid quick moisture movement away from the fabric surface.
Two fabrics are independently knitted side by side and then cross-stitched together. Both are produced from a polyester yarn that results in a fabric construction that retains very little heat. The hydrophilic treatment actively pulls moist away from the skins surface. The bi-component fabric construction aids this process as the outer fabric has a much larger surface area than the inner fabric, resulting in quick dispersal and spread on the outer layer. This efficient transport and spread of body moisture on the outer fabric can then use the bodies heat to aid evaporation, thus cooling the body.
This base layer thermal fabric is manufactured from 100% Polyamide yarns. It produces a very soft lightweight tubular rib fabric 175/m2. The construction allows for a 100% stretch in both fabric directions, enabling a very close fit for most body shapes. It also has a hydrophilic treatment impregnated in to the fabric yarn during the dye process for superior moisture management.
Please note: Due to supplier issues within the UK we can no longer get this fabric manufactured.
FACTOR 1 PLUS
This range is knitted on similar electronic circular knitting machines as the All Active and utilises 100% Polyamide yarn. The construction and knit differ as we have greatly increased the weight to produce a seamless thermal base layer range that is slightly warmer than the Factor 1 base layer thermal range. Seamless features that we knit in to this range include stretch rib support on major muscle groups and targeted mesh zones for efficient moisture management.
Our unique mid layer thermal fabric is manufactured from 94% Polyester and 6% Spandex for greater stability, stretch and recovery. This tubular plush is a double sided fabric that is heavily brushed on the inside face to produce a micro fleece finish that is tip sheared for uniformity (very efficient at trapping warm air). We knit the fabric to a finished weight of 225g/m2.
FACTOR 2 PLUS
The garments in this range are manufactured from two different fabrics.
A heavier weight version of our Factor 2 mid layer fabric, with 93% Polyester and 7% Spandex for greater stability, stretch and recovery. This tubular plush is a double sided fabric that is heavily brushed on the inside face to produce a micro fleece finish that is tip sheared for uniformity (very efficient at trapping warm air). We knit the fabric to a finished weight of 276g/m2.
Similar in construction to the Factor 2 Plus fabric above but with 50% polyamide to give greater durability (50% Nylon, 41% Polyester, 9% Spandex). This tubular plush is a double sided fabric that is heavily brushed on the inside face to produce a micro fleece finish that is tip sheared for uniformity (very efficient at trapping warm air). It is approximately 17% warmer than our standard Factor 2 fabric.
A tubular interlock fabric manufactured form 100% Meraklon (Polypropylene). The inner face of the fabric is brushed to provide a soft fleece layer next to the skin. Meraklon is naturally hydrophobic (water hating) so does not absorb any moisture. We knit the fabric to a finished weight of 200g/m2.
The garments in this range are manufactured from two different fleece fabrics.
Factor 3 Polyamide: A double sided plush fabric manufactured from 100% Polyamide yarn. Both faces are heavily brushed producing a fabric that is extremely thick. The fabric has a hydrophilic treatment to wick away perspiration and a TEFLON treatment on the outside face to repel dirt, water, oil and other staining liquids without compromising either the look or the feel of the fabric.
Factor 3 Polyester: Manufactured from 100% Polyester 300gsm super soft fleece. The outside face of the fabric has an anti-pill finish whilst the inner face has a heavily brushed fleece finish that is extremely comfortable to wear next to the skin. The combination of these two finishes produces a fabric that is very warm and very durable.
Both woven fabrics that make up this soft shell fabric are manufactured from 97% Polyester and 3% Elastane, giving the finished fabric a soft handle as well as a level of stretch. The outer layer has a soft peached finish whilst the inner layer has a micro fleece finish for extra insulation. A breathable membrane is used to bond these two fabrics together, producing a fabric that is waterproof, insulating, with excellent moisture management.
When processing fabrics there are a number of chemical treatments you can apply to them to improve their properties. Pre-dyed polyester and polypropylene fabrics have these treatments applied with a surface binder, but polyamide fabrics during the dyeing and finishing process can actually get these treatments pressure injected in to the yarn itself for longevity.
Any of the treatments below used on our fabrics will be shown in the technical section of the product listings.
A Greek term meaning 'water loving'. These treatments help to transport moisture through a fabric and increase the level of spread. This speeds up the wicking rate and provides a high surface area for evaporation to occur on the outer fabric layer. Hydrophilics used in Sub Zero fabrics do not alter the handle of the material.
A Greek term meaning 'water hating'. These treatments actively repel moisture and are used usually on the outside of a fabric as a water repellent i.e. waterproof.
There are a wide range of different treatments that fall in to this category but they all protect fabric and garments against both harmful and odour-causing bacteria. This enables clothing to be washed at cooler temperatures and also increases the uses between washes.
These are basically insecticidal treatments that can be applied to fabrics. The most common and widely used chemical is Permethirn, a synthetic pyrethroid based on the chrysanthemum flower.
The build up of static electricity in synthetic fabrics can be a major problem for industrial and military applications. An anti-static application helps to increase the conductivity of the fabric, greatly reducing/eliminating static build-up.
TEFLON is trademark for Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). You will probably know it as a non-stick coating applied to frying pans but it has a multitude of uses. As a fabric treatment, it repels water and dirt, as well as providing a soft handle.
The tog was invented in the 1940s by workers at the Shirley Institute in Manchester as an easier way to refer to a more complex equation regarding warmth values of items ranging from suits to bedding. Tog ratings measure thermal resistance; in other words, how good an item is at keeping you warm by trapping air warmed by body heat. Items with a higher tog value are best for colder conditions whilst low tog values are more suitable for milder times. Different materials have different thermal resistance characteristics so the tog rating does not necessarily relate to an item’s thickness or density.
WHAT IS WICKING?
Wicking refers to a fabric’s ability to move moisture – as invisible vapour or liquid sweat – through itself by capillary action rather than being absorbed and becoming wet. Modern fabrics use sophisticated material technology to ensure that base layers - worn on their own or as part of a layering system - and the wearer’s skin stay dry and comfortable rather than becoming clammy, wet and chilled by evaporation. Once away from the skin, the other layers continue the process of avoiding the accumulation of moisture by transporting it to the atmosphere.
WHAT IS A YARN BLEND?
When a knitting yarn is manufactured, fibres of different origin, length, thickness or colour are combined together before being spun. This enables different characteristics to be installed in to the yarn that otherwise wouldn't be available in single source yarns. For example polycotton yarn is a blend of polyester and cotton.
WHAT IS A FABRIC FACE?
It's basically one side of a fabric. During the manufacturing process you can treat each side of fabric differently. For example, our Factor 2 has one side that is brushed whilst the other side is left smooth.
WHAT IS A RAGLAN SLEEVE?
The arm seam is taken from the collar to under the arm pit, rather than the traditional seam just of the shoulder
We have been manufacturing in our Leicestershire factory for over 50 years and are very proud to say the vast majority of our products are British made. The small range of products we have produced in Europe is out of necessity, whether that be commercial reality and/or lack of UK based expertise. Everything we make in Great Britain is identified in the product page technical section and via the Made In Britain logo.
We have always sold other trusted brands to supplement our ranges. Historically it was an extra service we offered to our expedition and military customers when we kitted them out. With the closure of many local independent outdoor stores we are getting more enquiries from customers to expand our offerings.
Sub Zero products ordered online are packaged differently than those you would find in retail stores. They are packed singularly in recyclable plastic bags with swing tickets attached, rather than our existing crushable printed cartons. This allows us to fold the goods in such a way that they are more likely to be posted through a standard sized letter box.
Layering is all about delivering flexibility and comfort; comfort being warm or cool as suits whilst also staying dry. For active outdoor pursuits both need a little explanation.
Wearing layers of clothing rather than one chunky jacket allows you to adjust how much you’re using quickly and easily. It means that by shedding a layer or two and opening zips for ventilation you can avoid overheating slogging up a steep hillside. When you reach the top, replacing the layers means you will not get chilled.
Next to the skin or base layer, mid layer and outer layer , all work together to deliver aspects of comfort other than just wrapping up warm. Modern synthetic fabrics are quite sophisticated in the way they work with your body, with different weights in thermal garments offering warmth options , whilst others are more suitable for highly aerobic activities where lots of body heat is being generated. Our bodies are always giving off moisture vapour just by breathing and expending energy always generates heat; we avoid overheating by sweating.
Base Layers work in a layering system by not absorbing sweat nor allowing body moisture vapour to condense into liquid, but instead let both through the fabric unhindered to then pass through the insulating mid and wind/waterproof outer layers to be dissipated in the atmosphere. Windproof/waterproof outer layers help to conserve body heat trapped in the layers underneath and, by being breathable, avoid condensation forming and soaking clothing.
The performance of modern layering systems and fabrics is probably best understood by wearing a cotton t-shirt under a non-breathable jacket and powering uphill. Before long, the t-shirt will be soaking wet and condensation will be running down the inside of the jacket. As the moisture evaporates, it will draw body heat away, chilling you and, of course, being potentially dangerous, especially in the mountain environment.
So, flexibility and the many faces of comfort are central to the purpose of a layering system. As the wearer, it’s up to you to manage body heat retention and loss to suit yourself, your activity, the weather and the outdoor environment. It’s not a static system but works interactively with all those factors.
Essential elements of any layering system are hats and gloves as they are the most flexible to shed or add and have an almost instant effect on cooling down or warming up.
Base Layer Warm or cooling options both allow moisture through rather than soaking the fabric, chilling the body and feeling very uncomfortable; both options aim to avoid the feeling of clammy skin.
Mid Layer Essentially offering insulation by trapping air warmed by body heat but not absorbing moisture and becoming wet. Natural or synthetic materials and fills are available in a variety of styles and warmth values.
Outer Layer Protecting the underlying layers from wind, rain and snow, breathable fabrics ensure moisture can be transferred to the atmosphere rather than accumulating on the inside.
Due to the high aerobic nature of rowing most people use multiple layers of base layer thermals on the top that can easily be removed as intensity increases. An ideal system would be to have a quick wicking layer next to the skin such as Cool T or All Active and then a number of layers of Factor 1 or Factor 1 Plus. For the legs, Factor 1 is usually all that is necessary unless you really do feel the cold, where Factor 2 leggings may be helpful. During cool down a HT windproof jacket is useful as it will greatly reduce cooling caused by the Windchill factor, plus it is lightweight and packs down to a very small size.
With dry suits the major problem when diving to depth is maintaining the thermal properties of your clothing under pressure. Most thermal underwear specific to diving utilise pile fabrics. These are very warm close to the surface as they trap a lot of air but under pressure they compress and the deeper you go the less thermal they become. They also create problems with buoyancy close to the surface due to the amount of air they trap.
Factor 2 fabric overcomes this problem due to its technical construction. Under pressure the fleece lining next to the skin does not compress, providing you with the same thermal properties at depth as it does at sea level. The most popular styles that divers wear in our range is the Factor 2 one piece thermal suit or the Factor 2 thermal long sleeve round neck and bottoms.
If you should be lucky enough to dive in warmer climes then the All Active, Factor 1 and Factor 1 Plus ranges are ideal to just take off the chill in deeper waters. They can also be used under wet suits as they work well when wet.
The weather will largely dictate what type of clothing you wear and pack when Hiking and Walking but in the UK you will need to be prepared for every eventuality. In the summer months you will want to be wearing a top that manages your moisture such as the All Active range or Cool T. Some people like to wear a Factor 1 short sleeve top if they are going to be stopping and starting on the walk as it helps to regulate an even temperature and stops you cooling down to quickly. If you are heading in to the hills then it may be wise to pack a Factor 2 thermal top that you can slip on should the weather close in or if it becomes cooler with altitude.
In the Winter months you want to start off with a thermal base layer in either Factor 1 or Factor 1 Plus, in both the top and leggings. Over this we would recommend you just wore a Factor 2 thermal mid layer top as the Factor 2 leggings may be too warm. A Factor 2 Zip Turtle is ideal as you can aerate yourself more effectively if you should become too hot, plus you have the additional neck protection from the cold if needed.
In the summer months the major problem faced by motorcyclists is keeping dry when going at slow speeds and when parked. Cool T is ideal for this purpose as it is lightweight, retains very little heat and quickly transports perspiration away from the skin to the outer layer of the fabric. The Cool T one piece suit is very popular with motocross riders, whilst the Cool T long and short sleeve tops are favoured by most recreational motorcyclists.
The situation changes in the winter months where windchill is the major problem faced by Motorcyclists. Even on a short run, the bodies temperature can quickly cool unless the correct clothing is worn. We recommend wearing Factor 2 directly next to the skin (70% warmer than Factor 1) as it retains a lot of warmth in the soft fleece inner fabric face. The most popular styles are the Factor 2 thermal one piece suit for motorcyclists with all in one leathers, and Factor 2 zip turtle neck thermal top and leggings for motorcyclists with split leathers.
Now we are down to the serious stuff. All the other sports/pastimes mentioned will allow you a respite from the weather at some point during the day, whether that be heading home early or finding refuge in a pub. People on cold climate and mountaineering expeditions do not have this safety net and keeping warm is literally a matter of life or death. Often you will be wearing the same clothing for the entire length of your trip so you need to be sure it will keep you warm, dry and comfortable.
So lets start off at the skin and work our layering system outwards. Firstly you do not want to be wearing cotton next to the skin so either do not wear any underwear or utilise our All Active range of sports underwear. You then need a good base layer such as Factor 1 or Factor 1 Plus, both in trousers and a top. For this first thermal layer we recommend either a round neck (crew neck) or a turtle neck top. The zip turtle will be of no use as the zip will jam due to the extreme cold and may freeze to your skin. For the mid layer you will require the heavyweight Factor 2 thermal range in bottoms and round neck top. A Factor 2 one piece suit will be useless as you will have to almost take it off to go to the toilet, loosing too much heat in the process. Over the top of this you will need a good fleece jacket, waterproof down/synthetic jacket and trousers. Most importantly do not forget to protect your extremities. We produce a wide range of head, neck, hand and foot garments from our thermal fabrics.
We all know that a little bit of sun is good for you, but as with everything, too much can be detrimental. Without protection, the suns UV rays will damage your skin, leading to sun burn and potentially skin cancer. But before you choose a sunscreen you need to first understand what the rating means.
Most sunscreens nowadays contain broad spectrum UV filters that protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays, and so a generic SPF rating is used. This is a measure of the fraction of UV rays reaching the skin. So for a SPF15 sunscreen, only 1/15th of the sun rays will reach the skin. You now need to roughly know how long it takes your skin to burn without any sunscreen to work out the protection time. If your skin burns in twenty minutes, then an SPF15 will give you 15 x 20 minutes in the sun = 300 minutes before burning. Obviously the higher the SPF, the longer you are protected in the sun. However, high SPF sunscreens do not last or remain effective on the skin any longer than lower SPF sunscreens and so must be continually reapplied as directed. The same is true with waterproof sunscreens. They will stay on the skin if you go in the water, but if you dry yourself with a towel or perspire, then you will need to reapply.
If you should get sun burnt or your skin has dried in the sun and surf, then moisturisers and after sun cream and lotions are ideal for re-hydrating skin and reducing inflammation and tenderness.
The other issue with staying out in the sun unprotected is the potential to contract heat stroke. Being upright animals, the tops of our heads receive the most sun. Wearing a sun hat during the hottest part of the day will provide shade to your crown and also help protect extremities that are difficult to fully apply sun cream to, such as tops of ears and your scalp.
The last part of the body to protect from the sun , and ones that are often overlooked, are the eyes. Long term exposure to UV radiation can damage the internal mechanisms, potentially leading to cataracts and macular degeneration. To combat this, you need to wear sunglasses that block UV rays and protect against HEV rays. The choice of frames can also add to the effectiveness of the sunglasses, with the close-fitting wraparound designs being the best as they limit the amount of stray light reaching the eyes from around the lenses.
If you just need a shelter to place in your pack for emergencies, then
the good old-fashioned plastic survival bag is ideal. Reusable, tough, and
cheap, these bags will protect you against exposure to the
wind and the rain.
Tarps are the simplest form of lightweight shelters. Manufactured from
waterproof fabric, these rectangular shelters have reinforced eyelets and
webbing tapes for multiple set up options. In good weather they can be used on
their own with a sleeping bag, but if it is going to be wet and cold then you
will be better off using it in conjunction with a bivi bag to ensure your
sleeping bag stays dry.
Originally designed as a reusable lightweight emergency shelter, bothy
bags create a surprisingly warm and sheltered internal micro-climate. They can
also be useful for meal breaks, route planning, map reading or any other
situation that requires warmth and shelter. These bags are now increasingly
used by mountain rescue teams, outdoor centres, hiking clubs and youth groups.
Bivi bags are the crossover between bothy bags and small tents. They are
compact, lightweight, waterproof, and are designed to offer protection from the
elements when sleeping out at night. Most Bivi Bags come in two main
designs, the hooped lightweight 1 man tent type and the sleeping bag cover. Your
choice is basically how much sleeping room you want and how much weight you
want to carry.
Sleeping mats are used to provide an insulating layer between your body and the cold floor to help prevent heat loss, as well as to make it more comfortable to sleep.
Inflatable Sleeping Mats
If you want a comfy nights sleep whilst away from home, then inflatable sleeping mats are the closest thing to a mattress you can carry. Advancements in fabric technology has seen traditional heavy and cumbersome airbeds transformed in to compact and lightweight beds. No longer do you need an industrial pump to inflate them, as new valve designs allow for quick inflation and deflation, and the robust lightweight fabrics employed in their manufacture means they easily roll-up in to a compact carrying size. These camping airbeds are ideal for weight conscious campers and backpackers who want a little luxury at night.
Foam Sleeping Mats
Foam sleeping mats have a lot advantages for campers and backpackers who are not pack-down size restricted. For a start they are extremely lightweight due to the closed cell technology employed in their manufacture. These tiny air pockets in the foam also provide excellent insulating properties, ensuring your sleeping bag is separated from the cold floor by a cushion of air. Not having to inflate them means they are much quicker to deploy on the ground if you need to get to sleep fast, as well as being puncture proof.
The major disadvantage of them though is they can be cumbersome to carry as they do not pack down very small. This can be mitigated by using them in conjunction with tightening straps.
Self Inflating Sleeping Mats
These hybrid sleeping mats incorporate the best features of both the inflatable and foam mats. Their construction consists of a foam core surrounded by an inflatable protective outer layer. This provides the user with the cushioning effect of a mattress with the insulating properties of foam.
These mats are able to self inflate due to the compression and expansion properties of the foam. When unrolled and the valve is released, the foam with expand, sucking in air in the process. Rolling up the mat after it is no longer in use compresses the foam and expels the air. Closing the valve keeps the air expelled until you need to inflate it again.
Different weights of fabrics and foams are used to produce the different ranges on offer, from a heavily insulated polar mat to a lightweight trekking mat.
The main disadvantages of these self inflating mats is they will be heavier than their inflatable and foam counterparts, as well as being susceptible to punctures.
At the end of a hard days activities away from home, your sleeping bag is your night-time comforter. Choosing the right one can make all the difference from having a bad nights sleep to a great nights sleep, so it is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. The first choice you are going to have to make though is the filling of your sleeping bag. Are you going to have down insulation or synthetic insulation? Both have there advantages and disadvantages, and we have highlighted these in the different sleeping bag sections to help you make a decision.
DOWN SLEEPING BAGS
Down sleeping bags are much lighter than their synthetic filled counterparts due to the construction of the down clusters. These are not true feathers, but the fluffy plumage that waterfowl grow next to their skin. Under the microscope they look like chaotic pipe cleaners growing in lots of different directions, but with finer detail. It is the large surface area that these clusters create that traps a lot of warm air for relatively little weight, keeping you warm. These down clusters can also compress a lot further than synthetic insulation, making them ideal for people who need a warm bag that has a low weight and pack size. Compressing a down sleeping bag is just a matter of either stuffing it in a compression sack or any empty space in your backpack. Doing this will not damage the down insulation, you just need to give at a good waft before use to get the loft back - as you would a duvet.
The only major thing you need to be wary of with a down sleeping bag is dampness. The down clusters stick together when damp, thus reducing the insulation properties. If totally wetted out, these clusters collapse and the amount of heat retained will be negligible. Unlike synthetic sleeping bags, drying down is a major task with the best results achieved by using a tumble dryer.
SYNTHETIC SLEEPING BAGS
Synthetic sleeping bags have come a long way since they were first introduced over fifty years ago. Advancements in synthetic yarn technology means a lot of these new man-made fillings are now comparable in warmth to down, as well as having other advantages. For a start, synthetic sleeping bags perform much better in damp and wet conditions. Being basically made from plastics, the insulation absorbs very little moisture, and the structure does not collapse when waterlogged. This means they will work in the wettest of conditions, and dry quickly as well. Unlike natural products such as down, these synthetic fillings are naturally hypoallergenic and odour free, which are important to some people.
The main disadvantages of synthetic sleeping bags compared to down sleeping bags is they are a lot heavier for the same warmth rating and a lot bulkier due to the lower compression rates.
Sleeping bag liners fulfil two primary functions, increasing hygiene and adding extra insulation. Cotton and silk liners can be used as stand alone lightweight sleeping bags in hotter climates, or as replacement bed linen in rustic hotels. The addition of insect repellents and anti-microbial give extra protection and enable travellers to use the sleeping bag liners for longer without having to wash them. When used in conjunction with sleeping bags, the heavier thermal liners increase the insulation properties, adding up to half a season. This gives greater flexibility and helps you to avoid buying different sleeping bags for different seasons. If you don't want extra insulation but a more hygienic sleeping system, then using a lightweight liner with your sleeping bag is the way forward, as it is far quicker and easier to launder a sleeping bag liner than it is to wash and dry a sleeping bag.
Even though the myth that you loose most of your heat through your head has been scientifically debunked, it still amounts to a 10% loss in cold weather. To ensure you do not loose any unnecessary heat, it is a good idea to wear a thermal hat on your adventures. Insulating headwear come in a variety of fabrics and styles, from lightweight balaclavas that fit under helmets, to heavyweight fleece beanie hats. If you are going to experience windy conditions then there are windproof hats that will protect your ears as well as your head, and totally waterproof hats for wet conditions and snow sports.
LIGHTWEIGHT THERMAL HATS
If you need to add some thermal protection to your head, neck and upper chest without adding too much bulk then lightweight balaclavas, beanie hats and neck tubes are ideal. Most are thin enough to fit under a motorcycle helmet or safety hat without making the fit too tight or uncomfortable. Being compact and lightweight also means they can easily be stored in a pocket or pack for quick access should the weather turn for the worst or as an emergency insulating backup.
MID LAYER THERMAL HATS
For colder temperatures where lightweight thermal hats may not be warm enough, these mid layer hats offer greater insulation and warmth. They may be a few mm thicker than the lightweight versions but the balaclavas will still fit under motorcycle helmets and safety hats, with the fit just being a little bit snugger. If you need extra protection around your throat then neck warmers and neck tubes are soft and comfortable to wear. Even though the fabrics used in these mid layer thermal hats are insulating and have a fleece inner face, they will allow you to breath through them if you want to cover your nose and your mouth.
Fleece hats and balaclavas are the ultimate in thermal insulation for your head. The soft fleece fabrics used in their manufacture help trap warm air (the insulator), whilst the dense knit helps to reduce wind penetration, but not to a level whereby breathing is restricted. With flat stitch technology to reduce seam rub, these fleece hats and balaclavas are very comfortable to wear and should be carried by any serious outdoor enthusiast during the winter months.
Earache and wind chill are the two main problems that people experience in windy conditions and both can be mitigates by wearing a good windproof hat. Covering the ears in windproof material prevents cold air entering the ear canal, thus helping to prevent the onset of cold induced earache. A windproof hat will also decrease the rate of heat loss from the head due to the effects of wind chill, allowing you to conserve more energy and keep warm.
Long gone are the days of having to wear itchy woollen hats knitted by your elderly aunt. Modern day thermal knitted hats utilise state of the art fabric and knitting technology, producing warm itch free headgear. Acrylic yarn used in many of the hats is lightweight and warm with the look and handle of wool, but without the irritation and propensity to absorb water. Some utilise polyester fleece as an inner lining for extra thermal insulation, whilst merino wool is lightweight and much softer than other natural fibres.
Keeping your head dry in the rain usually involves either carrying an umbrella or wearing a jacket with a hood. For most active outdoors people umbrellas are impractical, and hoods have their limitations, especially in high winds and low visibility. In cold weather, a good solution to this problem is to wear a waterproof hat or cap. Utilising the same waterproofing technology as modern waterproof jackets, these hats not only prevent water ingress, but also provide good levels of insulation and are highly breathable.
Most people understand that a good pair of boots or shoes are essential for pain free feet when enjoying yourselves outdoors. Socks however are often overlooked, with many people wearing the same pair they use everyday at work or around the house. A decent pair specific to your activity should not cost the earth, but your feet will thank you for it, allowing you to travel further for longer without impediment.
Lightweight walking socks are ideal for Spring Summer and Autumn where a full specification winter sock would be too thick and warm. Using liner socks are especially useful as they can be worn on their own in warmer weather and worn underneath heavier walking socks when it gets colder as an extra insulation layer.
Thermal ski socks are not just worn to keep your feet warm, they also provide cushioning and padding within the ski boot. Tube thermal ski socks, are as the name suggests, manufactured as a long tube without any distinguishable heal. The inside of tube sock has lots of thick loops that makes them very warm, quick at wicking away perspiration and cushioning of impacts. If you are an experienced skier who wants extra foot protection when wearing ski boots for long periods of time, then a constructed sock is what you should be looking at. These are knitted with extra technical features for prolonged use such as cushioning shin guards and ankle supports.
A decent pair of thermal walking socks do so much more than just keep your feet warm. For a start they are constructed differently, many having padded heals and toes for extra comfort. The use of wool blends to knit the socks allows for greater compression recovery and better moisture management compared to cotton socks. To help prevent rubbing and blisters, Elastane is added to help grip your foot and prevent excessive movement when walking. This mixture of natural wool and synthetic fibres also increases the durability of the walking socks and allows them to be machine washed at normal temperatures.
Thermal mountain socks are the next level up from thermal walking socks. They are designed for use in extreme cold temperatures where heavy insulation is required for the feet when wearing synthetic or leather mountain boots. A high wool content allows for a thick insulating inner loop pile that also cushions the foot against impacts. Synthetic fibre blended with the wool increases the durability of the yarn and gives the thermal mountain socks elasticity to snugly fit the shape of your foot, helping to prevent excess movement that can lead to blisters.
When the temperature start to drop you need to seriously think about what types of gloves you are going to wear to keep the chill out. Long gone are the days of knitted woollen mittens and leather gloves being your only option. Modern construction techniques and advanced fabrics now allow a wide range of thermal gloves and mittens to be manufactured to suit different climatic conditions. Fabric membrane technology not only produces totally waterproof gloves, but also ones that breath, allowing your hands to stay dry and warm even in the most hostile of environments. Soft shell jacket fabrics have also been successfully integrated in to thermal gloves, making them not only windproof but also light and very flexible. These features are often partnered with synthetic thermal fibres and fabrics, allowing lightweight gloves to be made that trap heat without being too bulky.
Lightweight thermal glovesare ideal for wearing in the Autumn and Spring when the temperature outside is cool or as a base layer liner glove in more extreme cold temperatures. Thicker versions will even be warm enough to wear on their own in milder winters. Some of these gloves come with a sticky silicon or PU print on the palm and fingers for a better grip, whilst others are fingerless for greater dexterity. If you want to use your smartphone or tablet whilst on the move then choose the lightweight thermal gloves with a conductive element in the fingertips. These will allow you to use the touchscreens without removing your hand protection.
Windproof thermal gloves main design feature, as the name suggests, is to protect the hands against wind penetration and its chilling effect. These gloves will have some water resistance as the fabric is waterproof. However, the seams are not, so water will eventually seep through to your hands through the stitching. Some of the gloves have a sticky PU or silicon palm and fingers for extra grip, whilst others have a thick insulating pile inner for extra warmth.
Keeping your hands totally dry in wet weather has never been easier thanks to advancements in membrane technology and fabric waterproofing treatments. These technologies have been employed to produce waterproof gloves and mittens that are lightweight, supple and durable in the most extreme environments. The lightest examples are the shell mittens that can be used to waterproof exiting thermal gloves by wearing them over the top of them. If you want just a single pair of waterproof gloves for cold weather then there are varying weights of thermal insulation integrated with the waterproof fabrics.
Luckily for children, the cold winter days when the only option was to wear itchy woollen gloves that tripled in weight after getting wet, are long gone. Advancements in outdoor fabrics have filtered through to glove manufacturing, with producers also realising that children need just the same hand protection as adults, albeit on a smaller scale. Although the range is not as large as adult gloves, the children's gloves can still be categorised in to thermal, windproof and waterproof.
When it comes to choosing a stove for your camping or expedition trip, then there are basically three options - LP Gas, Multifuel, and solid fuel. Before you even think about looking at stoves though you should ask yourself a few questions to help narrow down the field. What is the fuel availability? Are you restricted by weight? What time of year will it be used? Where will it be used? How many people is it to cater for? Once you have broad answers for these questions then it's time to look at the different stoves.
Gas stoves come in all shapes and sizes and are ideal for the individual backpackers to larger camping groups. The beauty of using gas when camping is that the fuel is contained within a sealed cannister, avoiding leaks and spillages that can occur when using liquid fuels such as paraffin and kerosene. The heat from the gas is instantaneous and burns cleanly without producing soot, which is always a good thing when it comes to washing up your pans and packing the stove back in to your kit bag. From a cooking point of view the heat output is easily adjustable, so you can go from a fast rolling boil to a slow simmer in a matter of seconds. With a less complicated design compared to multifuel camping stoves, much less maintenance time is required. However, the downsides of using gas camping stoves is the relatively high price of the cannisters and the reduced performance when in extreme cold temperatures and at high altitudes. In addition, you may struggle to find stockists of gas cannisters in certain places or you may have to carry large quantities if going to remote areas for longer periods.
Multifuel stoves are the best all rounder for the camp kitchen. The running costs are a lot cheaper than LP gas, with the advantage that almost all liquid fuels can be used. This takes away the uncertainty of finding a gas cannister supplier away from urban areas. The stoves themselves are more complicated and require a lot more maintenance than gas camping stoves but it is not a difficult process and the return will be a multifuel stove that will last you a very long time. These camping stoves really show their worth when used at high altitudes and in extreme cold conditions. Normal gas camping stoves would struggle under these conditions but the multifuel stoves will light and cook without a problem. The other advantage of these stoves is that they burn at a lot higher temperature, allowing water to boil at a much quicker rate. However, during cooking, the soot from the fuel will leave a residue on some pots and pans but this can be removed by washing them. If you are placing the multifuel stove directly in your backpack then please wipe it down quickly to remove any soot residue.
SOLID FUEL STOVES
Solid fuel stoves are handy to have in emergencies at home or as a backup stove when camping. The overall benefit of having one is that you are not limited by liquid and gas fuel availability. All you need to do is light a few bits of twigs and bark - basically it is a self contained camp fire on a much smaller scale. The environmentally friendly credentials speak for themselves, but they are not a gimmick and are used worldwide by a wide variety of people. Obviously there will be problems using these stoves at high altitudes and in the depths of a snowy winter when locating fuel may be a problem, but for general extended outdoor trips these solid fuel camping stoves are hard to beat. The size and weight are more than the multifuel camping stoves or the gas camping stoves, but this is only a problem if you are trying to travel lightweight. For a static site these are just brilliant.
CAMPING STOVE ACCESSORIES
Once you have decided on what type of camping stove to use, you will need fuel and fuel lighting equipment to ensure your camp kitchen runs smoothly and efficiently. If you are looking to carry liquid camping stove fuel in your backpack then there are a variety of different sized premium lightweight multifuel bottles to choose from. For added security, a lot of these fuel bottles also include a child safe opening screw cap. To light your fuel of choice there are a number of options. Weatherproof matches are always handy to have in your survival tin as is a magnesium striker flint. Just remember to have some dry fluff or cotton wool available for the sparks to catch. If your tinder is wet or the wind is too strong then a power lighter is always handy to have in your pack.
Insects are one of the most diverse groups of animals on the planet and can be found in nearly all environments. The vast majority are harmless to humans but a few, like mosquitoes and ticks, are vectors for pathogens such as malaria, yellow fever and Lyme disease. If you travel in to their habitats then there is a good chance that you will encounter them, so you need to protect yourself. When walking and travelling in areas of high insect infestation the best way to prevent bites is to cover up any exposed skin. This is often impractical or undesirable in locations with high temperatures, so a skin applied insect repellent will be required. These come in various different forms such as gels, lotions and sprays for ease of application. Hotel rooms can be shielded with plug in electronic repellents that emit insecticides that are harmless to humans but lethal to insects. If you are lucky enough to have a balcony and want to sit outside at night then burning incense sticks, candles or coils impregnated with an insecticide or natural insect repellent will help keep biting insects at bay. If you are unlucky enough be bitten, then there are a range of soothing remedies and tools to mitigate discomfort and infection.
DEET INSECT REPELLENTS
DEET (diethyltoluamide) was first developed in 1944 for the US military and is still one of the most widely used and effective active ingredients in insect and mosquito repellents today. Its potency is due to insects, and especially mosquitoes, intensely disliking the smell of DEET which they actively try and avoid. However, to humans, DEET only has a faint inoffensive odour. The 'chemical' smell that most people associate with DEET is often just a perfume additive or natural plant extract such as natural pyrethroids. DEET insect repellent comes in varying strengths from 30% up to 95%. The basic rule is the higher the percentage of DEET the more effective it is and the longer it will be effective. Application rates vary for the different strengths and also depend on your activity. For example, if you are perspiring a lot or are entering water then you will need more applications. The UK Health and Safety Executive has deemed DEET safe for use on the skin, but it can be harmful if it comes in to contact with your eyes or your mouth.
SALTIDIN INSECT REPELLENTS
Saltidin (also known as Icaridin and picaridin) is a synthetic insect repellent developed by Bayer as a suitable alternative to DEET. A relatively newcomer to the market, Saltidin was first introduced to Europe in 2001 and is recommended by the World Health Organization as being effective against insects and ticks carrying the pathogens of west Nile fever, malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, Lyme disease and meningoencephalitis. Saltidin as an insect repellent can be effective at much lower concentrations than DEET, usually around 20%, and being non-toxic, it can be used by pregnant women and children over the age of 2. It is ideal for people with sensitive skin as it dose not irritate the epidermis and has a non-greasy finish. With its low inherent odour and its non-corrosive nature (will not damage synthetic fabrics and plastics like DEET), Saltadin is gaining popularity with outdoors people.
*Please note: Most health authorities still recommend DEET products in high risk areas.
NATURAL INSECT REPELLENTS
If you are looking for a more environmentally friendly alternative to DEET based insect repellents, then there are a number of products that contain natural active ingredients based on plant oils scientifically tested to protect against mosquito and insect bites, such as eucalyptus oil and citronella. These natural insect repellents are ideal for people with sensitive skin, pregnant women, children, and babies over 3 months old.
INSECT REPELLENT FABRIC SPRAYS
Protecting yourself from biting insects should not stop at your skin. Treating your clothing, tents, sleeping bags and mosquito nets with a spray on insect repellents will add an extra layer of protection from mosquitoes and bed bugs. These sprays and washes will bind insect reppelent to the fibres of the fabrics you are treating and should last for a number of washes.
Nobody wants a broken nights sleep when on holiday. However, worrying about being bitten is almost certainly going to lead to sleepless nights. If you are travelling to areas with low insect borne disease risk then an electric plug in insect repellent should be all you need in your room. In medium-high risk areas of tropical diseases, such as malaria and Zika virus, you should protect against insect attacks at night with a mosquito net. These come in all shapes and sizes from the single bed up to the king size bed, and are manufactured from quality robust netting material. The most effective travel mosquito nets are those treated with an insect repellent but you can get untreated travel nets for low risk areas. If you are travelling to countries where tropical diseases such as Chagas disease, Malaria, Dengue fever and Zika virus are common, then insect repellent treated mosquito nets are essential. Manufactured form robust polyester fabric, these lightweight mosquito nets exceed the WHO guidelines of 300 holes per square inch, preventing biting insects reaching you whilst you sleep. The permethrin based insect repellent treatment on the fabric kills any insect that come in to contact with it, and will last for 2 years or 35 washes. If you should exceed the wash guidelines or have a net older than two years, then you can re-treat them at home.
INSECT BITE TREATMENT
If you are unfortunate to be stung or bitten by an insect on holiday then there are a number of treatments you can use to alleviate the pain and reduce the irritation. Most insect bite sting relief sprays and gels harness natural plant extracts to reduce the swelling and itchiness such as witch hazel, aloe vera, tea tree oil and eucalyptus. If space is at a premium or you are travelling for a prolonged period of time then the insect bite relief clicker is ideal. Unlucky travellers may also want to pack a venom extractor pump that sucks out bites and stings.
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Some products are exempt from VAT, namely children's clothing and accessories, and gift cards.
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As part of our recycling policy we try and reuse as much packaging as we can. This not only helps the environment, but also reduces our costs which we ultimately pass on to our customers.
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All the products we sell on subzero.co.uk are guaranteed for one year against defects in materials or workmanship. This does not include normal wear and tear, alterations abuse and misuse. If a product has a longer guarantee from the manufacturer then we will add the details to the product listing and adhere to that time frame. If in this time your product develops a fault, we will be happy to replace the item or provide a full refund, together with any return postal charges you may have incurred.
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For customers who held an account with us before 11/11/2020, due to data protection laws, we were unable to migrate historical information from our old system over to this new site. You will unfortunately have to set up a new account. We are very sorry for the iunconvenience.
The quickest and easiest way is to email email@example.com and request a trade account form. We will perform business background checks that should be completed within 48 hours. Once verified, we will notify you that an account has been opened in your companies name and provide login details on our site.
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The quickest and simplest way to get hold of samples is to open a trade account with us. You will then be able to buy them at the trade price rather than the retail price. Our returns and refunds policy is the same for our trade customers as it is for our public customers.
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It is our company policy to provide our
customers with the highest standards of quality whether of product, service,
process or personnel.
We will use our considerable expertise to
design and manufacture garments of the highest quality, exceeding market expectations
through innovation and technical understanding.
We aim to provide the finest service to our
customers, understanding their requirements. In meeting these needs we strive
to exceed customer expectations.
We aim to keep and attract the finest of staff
at all levels and to treat them as individuals understanding there needs and
helping them to develop for the future by giving them the training, guidance
and the finest equipment available.
The Company recognises that the
maintenance and improvements of standards and processes in our work is the
keystone to our success, our reputation, our future and to the professional
satisfaction of colleagues, customers and our community. To realise this aim,
we have developed a Quality Management System which meet these needs and the
requirements of BS/EN/ISO 9001.
Sub Zero Technology Ltd is committed to achieving compatibility between economic development and the maintenance of the environment.
We recognise that virtually all the activities of an organisation or an individual have some impact on the environment. Our aim is to reduce the impact of our own organisation through a programme of continuous improvement.
To fulfil this commitment, the company will observe all environmental laws and, consistent with the principles of sustainable development, will:
1) Comply with current legislation and, where practical, seek to meet future legislative requirements ahead of relevant deadlines 2) Integrate environmental objectives into relevant business decisions in a cost-efficient manner 3) Quantify and monitor all environmental impacts of the business 4) Promote environmental awareness among company personnel and suppliers 5) Minimise waste, seek to recover as much as is economically practical, and ensure the remainder is disposed of responsibly
We are currently working towards implementing the international environmental management system ISO14001.
Recycling helps to conserve natural resources. It allows individuals and businesses to reduce the waste they generate and help mitigate the negative impacts of disposal. If done properly, it will also provide a cost saving that can ultimately be passed on to our customers through lower prices.
Here at Sub Zero Technology Ltd we have adopted the mantra: Reduce Reuse Recycle.
Over the past ten years we have reduced the amount of fabric off-cuts we dispose of by 72% through the adoption of state of the art manufacturing techniques and smart laying up of fabric.
Disposal of faulty fabric pre-production has also been reduced by 98% due to our close working relationship with our fabric knitters and finishers.
Instead of destroying faulty garments post manufacture, we ensure they are in a sellable state and dispose of them as sub-standards through our shop.
We try and reuse as much cardboard boxes as we can when packing orders.
Old packaging and unused cardboard are recycled through our waste collection company
Wooden and plastic pallets that are in serviceable condition are either reused or sold for reuse.
We have adopted a paperless office culture but there are times when printouts are needed. Redundant documents are shredded and disposed of either by recycling them with the cardboard waste or mixing them with other recyclable material in our compost bins.
All of our redundant and out of date electronic equipment is sent for recycling. This includes printer toners and ink cartridges.
We recover energy from unserviceable wooden pallets by using them as fuel in wood burners.
Originally based in a large Victorian textile mill in the Frog Island area of central Leicester, we moved our manufacturing plant in 1978 to a factory in rural Fleckney, a village in-between Leicester and Market Harborough.
Our 5000ft2 unit incorporates a warehouse, manufacturing plant, offices and showroom.
All of our workforce are employed from the surrounding area, many of whom have been with is for twenty+ years.
We have always welcomed customers to come and visit our premises and browse our product ranges in our showroom. With the increase in online shopping and the subsequent reduction in independent local outdoor stores, we decided to open a dedicated store within our premises. The opening date was expected in October 2020 but the rise in COVID-19 has but a temporary hold on our plans. As soon as we are able to open our doors we will let you know.
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