Here’s a rundown of the most common synthetics used in winter and outdoor clothing:

Thinsulate: A polyester blend made by 3M that consists of 35 percent polyester and 65 percent olefin. It’s spun into a thin insulation for use in hats, gloves, and outwear.

Capilene: A polyester fiber from the Patagonia company. It wicks moisture from the skirj to the surface, where it evaporates. It’s used in underwear, garment linings, and socks.

Thermolite: A Dacron polyester made by DuPont that’s used as lightweight insulation in gloves, footwear, and outwear.

Entrant: An elastic coating of waterproof polyurethane that breathes through microscopic holes that allow body moisture to escape but block rain from penetrating. It’s used chiefly in rain gear and to waterproof gloves.

Polartec: A name for various fabrics made of polyester fleece by Maiden Mills. Polartec is made in several weights of polyester pile, a double-sided microfiber, and Lycra stretch.

Synchilla: What Patagonia calls its Polartec filling.

Gore-Tex: The most widely known insulation laminated to outer fabrics. It permits body moisture to escape through microscopic holes that also prevent rain from entering.

Hollofil: A hollow fiber made of Dacron polyester for lower-priced sleeping bags and outer garments. Hollofil II is the premium brand. It resists flattening better than plain Hollofil.

Microloft: A synthetic fiber made of filaments thinner than human hair. It’s used in gloves, outerwear, and sleeping bags.

Microfiber: A fine, tightly woven fiber that breathes while protecting against cold; it’s called, among other names, Super Microft and Versatech.

Polypropylene: Derived from petroleum, this is a strong, paraffin - based fiber that wicks moisture away from the body. It’s widely used in underwear and garments worn next to the skin.

Primaloft: Micropolyester fibers interwoven into a lightweight alternative to down. It’s used in sleeping bags and outerwear.

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