December 10, 2020
WP Blog Header

Weather Protection Fabrics

Find Your Breath

Since introducing technical fleece to the Outdoor world, we've made our name synonymous with performance and comfort — not by hanging our hat on midlayers, but by bringing premium comfort to the most challenging activities and conditions imaginable.

This includes weather protection. There are many solutions that can protect you from the wind, rain, and snow, but all too often they do so by sacrificing other traits, like breathability. As your body naturally warms itself during physical activity — skiing, hiking, cycling, running, you name it — that body heat needs somewhere to go. Without air permeability, not only can a garment quickly start to feel swampy, trapping excess body heat, you can waste energy or even dehydrate through perspiration.

Whether you need maximum air-permeability for jogging in a spring rain or superior wind-resistance for fishing the winter steelhead run, this post will help you choose a breathable solution for any activity and condition. Read on for a full rundown on all our premium Weather Protection fabric technologiesNeoShell, Power Shield Pro, Windbloc, and Hardface — and see the finest examples of how our brand partners put them to work for their customers.

Polartec® NeoShell®

The Original Breathable Waterproof

Technology Neoshell 2020X1110

What can we say about NeoShell that hasn't already been said? The world's most breathable waterproof fabric helped define the category when it first hit the market as a fully waterproof alternative to our immensely popular Power Shield Pro fabric. It's still our most award-winning technology — in fact, just this January, Blister named NeoShell the "Most Influential Fabric of the Decade."

NeoShell builds on Power Stretch Pro's pioneering electrospun membrane technology with an innovative approach to weather protection. By making a breathable fabric waterproof, we achieved the industry benchmark 10,000mm waterproof rating while maintaining remarkable air-permeability. NeoShell is a line-blurring innovation that maintains the soft, quiet, stretchy comfort of a softshell, while performing like a hardshell.

NeoShell Products

Blog 1 1 66 North Snaefell Neo 2

66˚ North Men’s / Women’s Snæfell Jacket

The Icelandic brand was an early adopter of NeoShell, and though their Snæfell Jacket was one of the first breathable waterproof shells on the market over a decade ago, it's still winning awards to this day.

Blog 1 2 66 North Stadarfell Neo 2

66˚ North Men’s / Woman’s Stadarfell Jacket

A newer option from 66˚ North, the Stadarfell offers multifunctional weather protection for high-intensity outdoor activity. The slim profile and advanced breathability make it a perfect solution for running and cycling through the winter.

Blog 1 3 8 JS Diver Jacket Neo 2

8Js Men's John01 and John02 Driver Bomber Jacket

A classic bomber cut of cutting-edge breathable waterproof technology available in Khaki and Navy Khaki. 8Js serves up another timeless jacket for the refined racing enthusiast.

Blog 1 4 Sportful Neo 2

Sportful Men's / Women's Fiandre Pro Jacket

The iconic Italian cycling brand outfits some of the greatest teams in the world, and now you can share in the same weather-protective gear as the pros. Fit to match the rider's position on the bike, the Fiandre Pro protects from water and wind with full breathability.

Blog 1 5 Westcomb Neo 2

Westcomb Men’s Apoc Jacket and Women’s Copa Jacket

These hearty all-mountain jackets have all the bells and whistles for your next expedition. Westcomb chose a NeoShell style with a heavier face fabric for greater durability without sacrificing breathability.

Blog 1 6 Bonfire Apex Jacket Neo 2

Bonfire Apex Polartec® NeoShell® 3L Stretch Shell Jacket and Ranger Polartec NeoShell 3L Stretch Pant

A NeoShell combo so dialed you're sure to be the talk of the lodge. The three-layer breathable waterproof fabric features 4-way stretch for technical functionality and comfort all season long.

Blog 1 7 Teton Beringia Neo 2

Teton Bros Tsurugi and Tb Jacket + Serac Pant

Another award-winning NeoShell jacket with advanced functionality to match a head-turning minimalist design. Pair with the Serac pant, and you've got a fit for any mountain from Grand Hirafu to Alyeska to Hood.

Blog 1 8 Reactor Neo 2

Reactor Backcountry Hardshell Suit

Head-to-toe breathable waterproof protection for premium comfort whether you're ascending, descending, or even ski or snowboard mountaineering. The Hardshell Suit offers durable weather protection for freeriding, ski touring, or other backcountry sports.

Blog 1 9 Linksoul Neo 2

Linksoul Polartec Rain Suit Jacket + Pant / Polartec Breathable Rain Jacket

Never let a little rain keep you off the links with Linksoul's NeoShell options, masterfully designed for the golf course. Both jackets allow a comfortable full range of motion with breathable weather protection.

Blog 1 10 Filson Neo 2

Filson NeoShell Reliance Jacket

A rugged rain jacket ready for anything from a brand that lives and breathes durable functionality for the long haul. You can count on the aptly named Reliance Jacket to keep you comfortable and dry in the toughest conditions.

Blog 1 11 Triple Aught Design Neo 2

Triple Aught Design Stealth Hoodie LT

New for 2020, TAD's update to this popular tactical hoodie is cut with a nylon-faced NeoShell for superior abrasion resistance. Designed to adapt to a wide range of environments, the rough-and-tumble Stealth Hoodie adds comfort to every operation.

Blog 1 12 Molosser Neo 2

Molosser Aegis All-Weather Dog Outerwear

Polartec® Windbloc® adds unparalleled wind protection to this NeoShell offering for the furriest members of the family. It's truly a one-of-a-kind piece.

Polartec® Power Shield® Pro

Most Breathable

Technology Power Shield Pro 2020X1110

We launched Polartec® Power Shield® — our first electrospun membrane technology — in 1998, sparking the softshell revolution. On the principle that outerwear should be worn, not carried, what the fabric lacked in total waterproof protection it more than made up for in unprecedented breathability.

The 2010 evolution — Polartec® Power Shield® Pro — added a hydrostatic head to deliver water resistance up to 5,000mm for durable weather protection that lasts the full lifetime of the garment. The electrospun membrane blocks 99% of the wind, while the remaining 1% enhances circulation for improved breathability and reduced risk of heat stress in high-output activity. For the most breathable softshell fabric with a waterproof rating to get you through most use cases, look no further than Power Shield Pro.

Power Shield Pro Products

Blog 2 1 66 North Vatnajokull PSP 2

66˚ North Men’s / Women’s Vatnajökull

Tested in the harshest conditions on the planet, this hooded softshell makes an ideal midlayer for exploring in changing conditions. Seamless shoulders increase water resistance and an adjustable hood ensures unhindered peripheral vision.

Blog 2 2 Pas Normal PSP 2

Pas Normal Studios Men’s / Women’s Control Winter Jacket

Danish cycling standout Pas Normal Studios bring a fashion-forward eye to winter-weather wear. The Control Winter Jacket features a version of Power Shield Pro with a fleece interior layer for added warmth and a soft and pliable construction for unrestricted movement.

Blog 2 3 Amundsen PSP 2

Amundsen Men's / Women's 5 Mila Jacket

Built to keep cross country skiers and runners warm and dry in inclement conditions, the 5 Mila Jacket boasts 4-way stretch Power Shield Pro, with additional stretch panels under the sleeves and on the back for comfortable and ventilated full range of motion.

Blog 2 4 No Bull PSP 2

NOBULL Men’s / Women’s Softshell Jacket

Here's one for all the gym rats. NOBULL's take on the Power Shield Pro softshell will be your go-to workout buddy for years to come. Durable, breathable weather protection sure to earn as many compliments as your form.

Polartec® Windbloc®

Advanced Wind Protection

Technology Windbloc 2020X1110

When the wind is at its worst, Windbloc's advanced barrier construction stands up to the test. The windproof polyurethane membrane that gives the platform its name can add fortified weather protection to both knit and woven fabrics, diversifying design options for a greater range of activities and conditions.

Windbloc fabrics combine the warmth and breathability of our thermal fleece fabrics with the water and wind resistance of our weather protection fabrics. Wearing Windbloc outerwear eliminates the need for a windbreaker or additional shell, reducing the weight and number of layers needed to protect and insulate.

Blog 3 1 Santini WB 2

Santini Men's / Women’s Vega Extreme

Designed for the most challenging riding conditions, the Vega Extreme Jacket boasts Windbloc tech to keep riders warm without overheating or the added weight of extra layers. Perfect for the Northern classics.

Blog 3 2 Giro WB 2

Giro Men’s / Women’s Chrono Pro Windbloc Jersey

This versatile and stylish cold-weather option will let joy-riders and commuters alike pedal protected against the wind and rain deep into the winter months. DWR coating boosts water-resistance and brushed-back Italian thermal fabric adds luxurious comfort.

Blog 3 3 Beretta WB 2

Beretta Men's Flank Jacket

This microfleece-lined midlayer offers the unparalleled wind and water resistance you expect from Polartec Windbloc — perfect for a cold day at the range.

Blog 3 4 Dotout WB 2

Dotout Polar Wool Jacket

Polartec® Power Wool™ fabric, a bi-component knit that maximizes the benefits of both natural and synthetic fibers, is next-to-skin for premium comfort in a handsome cycling jacket that beats back the elements with a Windbloc membrane.

Polartec® Hardface®

Polymer Surface Treatment

Technology Hardface 2020X1110

Hardface isn't a fabric. It's our proprietary "surface-fusion polymer application" that can be added to just about any fabric to dramatically increase its water repellency and abrasion resistance. The process works by fusing a proprietary polymer to the fabric surface, infusing individual fibers with added strength and weather resistance.

The Hardface treatment noticeably enhances the look and feel of a fabric to add instant shelf appeal that maintains for the life of the garment. The smoother surface also makes for easy layering. All told, Hardface greatly improves outerwear performance without sacrificing breathability, versatility, or comfort.

Blog 4 1 Fayette Chill HF 2

Fayettechill Men's Elliot / Women's Eliza

Fayettechill's hearty and handsome "rain fleeces" were born in the USA and built to last. Lightweight and abrasion-resistant, these technical pullovers were made with Hardface-treated Polartec® Thermal Pro® to withstand wherever you want to go.

Blog 4 2 Orvis HF 2

Orvis Men’s / Women's Pro Half-Zip Fleece + Men's Pro Full-Zip

Fly-fishing aficionados will love these tough-as-nails technical hoodies from Orvis. Hardface-treated Polartec® Power Stretch® fleece resists riverbank snags, while Polartec® Power Grid™ fleece lining promises breathable warmth so you can comfortably dead drift every seam and pocket in sight.

Blog 4 3 Beringia HF 2

Beringia Men's Sibir Hoody

This versatile technical fleece features Polartec® Power Stretch® Pro™ with Hardface tech to add wind and water resistance to an incredibly comfy, 4-way stretch fleece fabric. It's a perfect lightweight midlayer for long days on the mountain.

Related Articles

Press Releases

2023 Polartec Apex Award Winners Announced

Press Releases

2022 Polartec Apex Award Winners Announced


Amy Rose: The Giant Sequoias

Welcome in.

From Industry insider access to community updates, stay in the loop with everything we do.