Winter jackets are not the focus of most people during this time of year, mostly for those up here in the northern hemisphere, where temperatures are quite high. But it has never stopped us from writing about jackets and looking into the trends and most popular items to show to you.
A type of jacket that we have not really looked into, aside from a couple of selections and mentions here and there, is the 3-in-1 jacket. This type of jacket is considered to be quite versatile due to it being able to adapt to different weather conditions.
How does a 3-in-1 jacket do this? And, what is a 3-in-1 jacket?
Well, to put it shortly, a 3-in-1 jacket is made up of two separate jackets, which can be either worn alone or put together to form a single jacket.
It looks like a great design idea, which will completely eliminate the need of having to buy several jackets, when this one does it all. However, there is something to consider in regards to that, as we will see further down below.
A couple more things that we will be looking into is certain types of 3-in-1 jackets and how they work, as well as answer the question of whether this type of jacket is necessary and also when it should be worn.
- What Is a “3 in 1” Jacket?
- What Is a “3 in 1” Ski / Snowboard Jacket?
- What Is a Triclimate Jacket?
- Do You Really Need a “3 in 1” Jacket? When To Use It?
What Is a “3 in 1” Jacket?
As we previously said, a 3-in-1 jacket is comprised of two layers that can be put together to create one jacket, or worn separately depending on the weather.
Now let’s look at these two layers separately and what you can expect from each in regards to how well they wear and protect.
Starting with the outer jacket first, it is also referred to as the external shell, since that’s practically its job when both jackets are put together, to protect and shield from the environmental and weather conditions.
In terms of weather-resistance, this external shell is either waterproof or water-resistant. The reason why it is not fully waterproof 100% of the time, could be due to breathability and of course, price.
These membranes are not only highly durable and waterproof, but they are also quite breathable as opposed to a cheaper waterproof jacket, which will almost certainly lack breathability entirely.
It is a very important thing to consider, especially if you are looking for a sports jacket with a 3-in-1 design, as you want to reduce overheating as much as possible.
The inner jacket is typically made of fleece, which is very insulating and also breathable. Not only that, fleece is also renowned for its ability to wick moisture away from the body, since it is made of polyester.
Another type of jacket used as the mid-layer is a puffy one, usually padded with synthetic insulation, since it lacks in water-resistance and down insulating is a bit risky to be caught in the rain with.
Then, when both of these layers come together, you have a well-rounded insulated jacket to wear during the colder days of winter.
What Is a “3 in 1” Ski / Snowboard Jacket?
A 3-in-1 ski jacket is just like any other 3-in-1 jacket, but almost always comes with a fleece mid-layer, sometimes in the style of a softshell jacket. So you get the benefits of a softshell, which works very well with skiing and the protection of the waterproof shell.
When it comes to skiing and snowboarding, 3-in-1 jackets work great. This, if you are a casual skier of course.
When out of the slopes and for general protection, this type of jacket works quite well for beginner skiers who are looking for exactly that, to be protected from the cold and snow.
It’s different for skiers that focus on performance and snowboarders. 3-in-1 jackets, while great in theory, tend to lack a lot when it comes to mobility, quality of materials and fit. For this reason, a jacket of this kind will get in the way by affecting your performance.
Why is that?
If we are to consider the build of a 3-in-1 jacket, the main thing is how these jackets are put together. While separately they might perform flawlessly and give you the best in terms of protection, breathability and insulation, that is not the case when they are put together.
Usually the issue is in how the jacket comes together, more precisely the zip-up zippers. Because the mid-layer zips to the external shell, this often causes trouble with the mid-layer’s closure, which cannot be fully done.
In this case, if the zipper of the shell is not fully taped so that it blocks out wind and rain, odds are the cold will get inside the jacket.
From the mobility point of view, since the two layers connect only in front, leaving the sides and back free to move as you do, the jacket is very impractical, as it will bunch up and cause discomfort.
It is such a big issue for skiing because it is a very physically-demanding sport and as such, it requires a jacket that performs as if you weren’t wearing any, by adapting to movement and fitting correctly.
What Is a Triclimate Jacket?
A “triclimate” jacket is a “3 in 1” jacket. The term “Triclimate” is often used by various brands, mostly by The North Face, for their 3 in 1 jacket designs.
As an example, we can mention the Evolution Triclimate jacket designed by The North Face, which is very well-known among those who shop for 3-in-1 jackets.
It is made of nylon on the outer shell, with a DryVent membrane, which is fully waterproof, windproof and very breathable.
The mid-layer is polyester fleece and, just like any other mid-layer on 3-in-1 jackets, it comes without a hood.
Performance-wise, it is a typical 3-in-1 jacket, but considerably more breathable than most, due to not solely the DryVent membrane, but also pit vents that usually accompany the design.
We have included it previously in some of our selections, as well as done a single review of the Triclimate Evolution II jacket for men.
Do You Really Need a “3 in 1” Jacket? When To Use It?
As with every other time that the question of whether you need something comes up, the answer is “It depends”.
If you want a versatile jacket that you can wear from autumn and all the way to spring, without spending much and mostly used in casual activities, then sure thing, go for a 3-in-1 jacket. This type of jacket performs beautifully in different weather and works great for protection against the elements.
Depending on the design of the 3-in-1 jacket, the issue with the mid-layers zipper not fully closing when worn as a combo may be of concern, especially if you live in areas with cold and harsh winds.
As for when to use a 3-in-1 jacket, as long as you steer clear of sports that require lots of movement and those where heavy insulation is a must, you should be good to go on any other occasion technically. Depending on the style and design of the jacket too, of course.
During dry autumn days for a stroll outdoors, the mid-layer works beautifully. If you are opting for a puffy one, then you can wear it anywhere since it will look just like any other puffer jacket.
The outer shell, since it is made for rain protection, is best reserved for rainy or snowy days. This jacket is also a lot more suitable for outdoor activities, too, since it is breathable and lightweight.
The reason why 3-in-1 jackets are so beloved is because they are usually affordable considering that you are getting three jackets in one and also for their weather versatility, especially for those who live in areas where the weather is often unpredictable.