Sports Glossary Of Terms

At Sgoudreault, we realize technical terms and acronyms can cause a mild headache sometimes, which is why we developed this Glossary of Terms to aid you in understanding what sets particular products apart from each other. The definitions all appear in alphabetical order according to name (and NOT manufacturer).


Advanced Composite Construction Fabric (ACT Fabric):An innovative weatherproof fabric developed by the company Arc’Teryx. It is air-impermeable, exceptionally durable, lightweight and bondable.
A-Flex construction: a synthetic construction used in Big Agnes’ sleeping bags that combines layers of “flexed” insulation with smaller “anchor” pieces to connect them. The flexed layers increase loft and trapped air space, and the anchors maximize heat containment by eliminating gapping and creating more air pockets.
Alpine Touring – also known as Randonnée, alpine touring is an alpine-style ski set-up which involves using a ski binding whose heel can come unhinged and allow the skier to walk in a normal gait when ascending a mountain. When the skier is ready to descend the mountain, s/he simply locks down the heel of the binding and the set-up transforms into an alpine ski set-up.
Board last construction – a thin piece of board (either cardboard or very thin veneer wood) is inserted [at the time of construction] into the length of the shoe. It creates a very stable shoe which is great for flatter feet, although it does make the shoe less flexible.
Continuous Baffle Construction – in insulation terms, baffle construction keeps the insulation from migrating, thus preventing cold sports. With continuous baffle construction, you can move the insulation around to create more or less insulation where you need it.
Capilene®: Capilene is the clothing company Patagonia’s name for polyester with a hydrophilic (water bonding) surface finish. Capilene’s core remains hydrophobic (water repellent). Originally used in Patagonia-brand thermal underwear and in stretch versions where it has been blended with Lycra, it is now available from Patagonia in everything from base layers to outerwear.
Cocona ®: The clothing and equipment manufacturer Marmot’s Cocona ® technology is made from “upcycled” coconut shell husks; Marmot processes the husks into an activated charcoal carbon and then blends it into a polyester matrix. The blend is then spun into a fiber and then knit into a garment fabric. Cocona dries quickly, naturally controls body odour, provides UPF protection of 40+ and is soft to the touch.
ColdBlack: ColdBlack technology comes from Schoeller; it is an invisible textile finish that gives black and dark coloured clothing greater reflective ability. ColdBlack reflects up to 80% of sunlight from dark coloured clothing, keeping them cooler for longer and helping manage heat.
CoreLoft Insulation (TM): Made with 100% polyester, CoreLoft Insulation, used by the company ArcTeryx, is a lightweight and thermally efficient polyester staple fiber insulation (made with highly crimped, multi-denier, siliconized polyester yarn) that breathes well, is compressible and has excellent loft retention.
Cordura®: A high-tenacity, abrasion and tear resistant textured yarn somewhat more pliable than the armor-like Ballistics cloth.
Defender® -An exclusive Eider membrane which offers high waterproofness (greater than 18,000 mm schmerber) and excellent breathability; it is used in Eider’s 2 layer and 3 layer waterproof shells.
Deluge® DWR- a proprietary durable water repellent fabric finished produced by the clothing company Patagonia; durable water repellency is what makes water bead up and run off the outer layer of rain shells and winter outerwear. Although all durable water repellencies eventually wear off (due to wear and tear, as well as washing the garment repeatedly), Deluge DWR lasts much longer than standard durable water repellencies.
DermizaxTM-EV – Dermizax is a “smart” fabric from Spyder that responds to the microclimate temperature created between the body and clothing. It is an ultra-thin membrane delivering superior waterproofness with breathability that adjusts to the wearer’s exertion level. This “thin” technology results in light, supple fabrics without compromising durability. Dermizax also features a high level of stretch recovery, resisting membrane damage even after constant, vigorous use and frequent laundering. Dermizax TM-EV Laminate has the additional benefits of an exceptionally high resistance to water pressure and increased breathability.
DriClime®: A Marmot exclusive: Marmot’s base-layer clothing uses two different brushed tricot yarns to render it soft, insulative, highly effective at both wicking and dispersing moisture, and odor-resistant wear after wear. DriClime® comes in several styles, men’s and women’s sizes, and two weights, and is also found lining Marmot’s gloves, shells, and pants.
DRYtech: developed by the clothing and equipment company Mammut of Switzerland, DRYtech is a wind- and waterproof, highly breathable laminate. The polyamide outer fabric is laminated with a water-absorbing membrane. In contrast to the micro-porous GORE membrane, the DRYtech system evacuates moisture electro-chemically instead thereby preventing blocked pores. The moisture penetrates the membrane, and owing to the difference in temperature, is evacuated away from the body.
DWR (Durable Water Repellent): DWR finishes are hydrophobic (repels water) coatings applied to the outer portion of fabrics to make them water-resistant by causing water to bead up and roll off fabrics rather than soak into them. DWR’s are often used in conjunction with certain waterproof and breathable to prevent the outer layer of a laminated waterproof/breathable from becoming saturated with water. Maintaining the DWR is critical to maintaining the breathable nature of waterproof/breathable outerwear. Despite the name, DWR finishes tend to wear off and may need to be re-applied from time to time. The application method will probably make a big difference in the DWR you choose to use. Some are thick pastes applied by hand while the vast majority can be poured or sprayed on. Many are applied by adding to a regular wash cycle in a washing machine.
Entrant GIITM from the company Spyder provides a revolutionary interactive 3-layer coating structure. Each layer functions separately to dynamically balance waterproofness and breathability performance while preventing condensation.
eVENT Technology – eVENT is a waterproof, breathable membrane developed by eVENT Fabrics. eVent fabrics get their unique properties from a proprietary and patented waterproof membrane whose unique composition allows millions of tiny pores to breathe at their full potential. Sweat vents directly to the outside of the fabric in one easy step which eVENT Fabrics calls Direct VentingTM Technology.
FLEXTRON Fabric from the glove company Hestra is a hard-wearing soft shell weave with a 4-way stretch. The weave is waterproof with excellent ventilation. The material ensures an excellent fit when worn for sports such as cycling, multisport, and Alpine skiing. Tearing strength: tested over 20,000 times. Watertightness: 5,000 mm water column. Water Vapor Permeability: 12,193 g/m∧2/24h.
Fortius Fabric from the company ArcTeryx is a stretch woven plain weave fabric made of continuous textured nylon (84%) and spandex (15%) filaments. It is extremely lightweight, weighing only 160 grams/m2 (4.7 ounces/yd2), breathable and quick drying.
Friction AT Sticky Rubber is a soft, resilient and lightweight rubber for outer soles made for road and trail running shoes. It is non-marking, has exceptional wear and is tear resistant.
Gladiodor from the clothing company Patagonia — natural odor control is a safe, durable, nonpolluting and effective alternative to silver ions. It comprises naturally derived amino acid chains that kill odor-causing bacteria.
Gore-Tex®, produced by WL Gore & Associates, is composed of a thin, porous fluoropolymer membrane with a urethane coating bonded to a fabric, usually nylon or polyester. The membrane has about 9 billion pores per square inch, each of which is approximately 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet, making it impenetrable to liquid water while still allowing the smaller-sized water vapor to pass through. The result is a material that is breathable, yet waterproof and also windproof. The outer fabric is treated with water repellent and seams are sealed to prevent water leakage through pinholes caused during the sewing of the fabric. The urethane coating provides a protective layer and also prevents contamination (i.e. body oils) from wetting the laminate and allowing wicking of moisture through the membrane.
To construct a GORE-TEX® laminate, GORE bonds the GORE-TEX® membrane between high-performance fabrics that are extremely breathable. All GORE-TEX® fabrics are waterproof, windproof, and breathable. However, there are many different outer fabrics and fabric constructions available so that you can choose what’s most important to you: weight, texture, abrasion resistance, and so on.
Gore-Tex® DuraTherm® is an insulated Gore-Tex liner which helps regulate foot temperature in colder climates (and at altitude) while still allowing perspiration to pass to the outside of the footwear or garment.
Gore-Tex®Paclite®is a minimal weight waterproof breathable fabric made up of high performance polyester or nylon and laminated with a membrane which is covered by a protective layer of oil-hating substance and carbon; it is then Gore-Seam taped to ensure all the seams are 100% waterproof. Since it is usually made of super lightweight material, the PacLite products are best for late spring, summer and early fall applications.
Gore-Tex®Pro Shell ® 3 layer jackets feature Gore’s “micro grid backer technology,” an innovative, patent pending internal backing fabric, which is constructed from a mix of low density, durable woven fabrics that weigh less, double the abrasion resistance, and increase waterproof durability of Gore-Tex products.
Gore-Tex® XCR® delivers the highest level of wind and water protection, breathability, lightweightness and durability of any laminate or coatings available. The maximum-performance fabric is engineered to meet the demands of avid adventurers who want to maximize both the time they spend and the comfort they enjoy during their favorite pursuits. Extra breathability is the key factor sets Gore-Tex® XCR® outerwear apart.
Gore Windstopper®, also produced by W.L. Gore & Associates, is a sister product to Gore-Tex®. Windstopper is a membrane which is extremely windproof and breathable, making it ideal for high aerobic output sports in colder weather. However, it is not waterproof.
H2No® Storm: shells with H2No Storm from the company Patagonia utilize a range of laminates and coatings made from varying applications of polyester and/or polyurethane to achieve a standard of waterproofness and breathability best suited for a specified performance range.
Hemp from the clothing company Patagonia is made from a weed that grows vigorously in temperate climes without the need for much of anything. Hemp is grown using all natural ingredients: compost, animal manure and available rainfall. It drapes like linen and is one of the most durable natural fibers in existence.
HyventTM Alpha: Laminate composed of microscopic holes that enable perspiration to pass to the outside of the garment without condensing into liquid, resulting in extreme waterproofness with a high level of breathability.
Keptotec: insteps protect against ski/snowboard edges, crampons and boots
Lifetime Warranty: If a product is labeled as “lifetime warranty,” the word “lifetime” refers to the life of the product. It does not refer to your lifetime. It is hard to find any outdoor-related manufacturer which will accept items for warranty which are due to normal wear and tear, modifications, alterations, negligence, damage and use for a purpose other than for which it was designed.
As an analogy, a lifetime warranty on a set of car tires does not mean the tires should never wear down! It means the manufacturer will warranty the set of tires for the LIFE of the tires. Once the tires wear out through normal usage, the lifetime warranty ceases as the tire’s life has come to an end. The same concept applies to outdoor gear and apparel which state “lifetime warranty.”
Limited Warranty: If a product is labeled as “limited warranty,” the manufacturer will warranty it for a stated time period which begins the day the product is purchased. For example, if a product has a 1 year warranty and the product was purchased on the 1st of January, 2006, the warranty will expire on the 2nd of January, 2007. If the product fails after that date, the manufacturer no longer obligated to honor the warranty regardless of how much (or how little) you actually used the product.
Lumens: are a measure of total light output. In other words, it is the measure of power of light perceived by the human eye. It should NOT be confused with watts, which is the amount of power consumed.
Lycra® is a trademarked, synthetic-rubber yarn. When combined with materials like Cordura®, it can make performance outerwear fit better and feel more comfortable.
MemBrain®: A Marmot exclusive waterproof/breathable lamination used in their outerwear and sleeping bags.
Merino Wool: wool from the merino sheep, which is considered the finest and softest wool in the world. Merino wool from colder climates tend to be of the highest quality as the yarn strands are tighter to hold in heat for the sheep. (For example, New Zealand southern alps’ merino wool is superior to merino wool from Australia because of the colder climate found in New Zealand).
Merino wool fibers are much finer than other types of wool and synthetic fibers. This means that for a given weight, Merino contains more air spaces. More air spaces = more insulation, which is why Merino is better at keeping the cold out and the warmth in. In addition, the natural crimp (waviness) of Merino fibers creates millions of tiny air spaces. More insulation = better thermal comfort.
Mountain Merino Knit Wool: An Arc’Teryx fabric made from 95 percent New Zealand Wool and 5 percent Lycra. The Merino wool is made from the world’s only high country Merino sheep, unique to the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Because the sheep live in colder climates, their wool produces a tighter and thicker fiber than Merino wool found elsewhere. Consequently, the fabric is low pill, non-itchy, long wearing, flame resistant and odor resistant.
Nano Carbon: By the clothing Company Lole — uses bamboo fibers from waste to good and turns it into charcoal that is then embedded in the yarn. The bacteria inhibiting fabric is also super effective with odor management.
Nubuck leather: Nubuck leather is a top grain or full grain leather (more expensive leather) which has been sanded to give it a velvety look and feel. It should NOT be confused with suede leather, which is a split grain, less expensive leather.
Paclite®: Produced by WL Gore & Associates, Gore-Tex® PACLITE® uses a protective layer on the membrane made from an oil-hating substance and carbon. This oil-hating substance allows a water vapor to pass through, but is a physical barrier that prevents contamination from oil cosmetics, insect repellent and food substances which could otherwise affect the waterproof performance. Gore’s advanced processing techniques used to apply the oil-hating substance and to integrate the carbon allow the membrane to retain adequate durability. No separate lining is required in the item of clothing, which means that Gore-Tex® PACLITE® clothing is lighter and smaller to pack away than clothing made of 2-layer or 3-layer laminates.
Piezo-Electric ignition: A fixed spark igniter that replaces matches with a simple switch.
Pertex® Shield: Made by the manufacturer Mitsui & Company, Pertex Shield is a waterproof-breathable coating that balances waterproofness, breathability and wind resistance all within a flexible and lightweight construction.
Pittards® leather:The acknowledged superior material for gloving and soft shoe leather comes from the “CABRETTA” (Hairsheep) in Ethiopia and other sub tropical regions. The material offers all the features required: a thin, tough structure giving strength and maximum dexterity, while being hard wearing and comfortable. To ensure continuity of supply and quality, Pittards has permanent staff residing in Ethiopia, working with local farmers and tanners. The skins purchased are all by-products of the meat industry in the country of origin.
Polarguard Delta® insulationuses the latest advances in fiber technology. It is lightweight and has greater thermal efficiency. Polarguard Delta® retains the high-performance characteristics of continuous filament, including durability, dimensional stability, superior loft retention and unsurpassed warmth, even when wet. Unlike cut staple insulation, Polarguard Delta® will not mat, clump or pull apart, which can cause cold spots to form.
Polartec® Power Shield®: A tightly woven nylon exterior face laminated to an inner insulation layer. Between is a breathable, discontinuous membrane that transports moisture away from the body. It is treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) to shed rain and snow.
Polartec® Thermal Pro® fabrics are the most visually dynamic and technically advanced of the Polartec® insulation fabrics. Available in a variety of unique surface textures and patterns, many of which are designed to enhance performance, Polartec® Thermal Pro® fabrics are great styling options for virtually every end use. New high loft versions have achieved the highest warmth to weight ratios of any fabric Polartec® has ever offered. Other versions have the look of traditional wool with all the performance benefits of fleece. Polartec® Thermal Pro® is our most diverse family of fabrics.
PR1ME Fabric Technology ® from Orage: The PR1ME has three catagories – Pr1me/0T (outerwear), Pr1me/IT (insulation), and Pr1me/TL (Technical layering). They can be combined together be the best in integrated fabrics, used together to create a microclimate around the body and adapts to weather, temperature and level of activity.
(a) PR1ME OT – First layer of defense, designed to keep out the wind, rain and snow, while allowing moisture to escape during high activity. Pr1me OT has 3 Levels of laminates and coatings to suit your needs of waterproof, breathable performance:
–GOLD (Waterproof X Breathable Rating. 20,000mm X 20,000g/m2/24hr and over)
–SILVER (Waterproof X Breathable Rating. 10,000mm X 10,000g/m2/24hr and up to 20,000)
— BRONZE (Waterproof X Breathable Rating. 5,000mm X 5,000g/m2/24hrand up to 10,000mm).
(b) PR1ME IT INSULATION TECHNOLOGY is a leader in lightweight synthetic insulation technology. Superior loft traps air to create thermal properties to keep you warm in even the coldest of temperatures.
(c) PR1ME IT is measured in grams. The heavier the weight the warmer the garment will be. Available in 100g, 200g, 300g, 400g.
PreCip TechnologyTMis Marmot’s proprietary PU coating technology specially engineered for unlined garments. PreCip combines hydrophobic and hydrophilic PU with a special protein in a very precisely controlled multiple layer coating. PreCip is specially formulated for excellent durability, breathability and the special layer next to the skin reduces condensation and the sticky, clammy feel of most coatings. Lightweight, compact and comfortable for general rain wear use.
PrimaLoft® insulation products offer superior performance for high quality cold-weather gear. PrimaLoft is incredibly soft, lightweight and breathable with excellent water repellency so the athlete remains dry, warm and comfortable-even under the most extreme conditions. The patented PrimaLoft ultra-fine microfibers are treated in a proprietary process, creating a core with incredible insulation properties.
PrimaLoft Eco Insulation – this highly sustainable synthetic insulation is made from a minimum of 50 percent recycled materials in combination with standard PrimaLoft® fibers to create this high-loft performance insulation. It is warm, lightweight and water resistant, with superior softness to keep the outdoor athlete’s feet dry and comfortable through winter conditions.
R VALUE: “R value” is a measure of insulation’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R value, the more effective the insulation.
Randonnée(ran-do-nay) French word meaning “circuit.” Randonnée skiing is a hybrid of both cross-country and downhill, thanks to a ski binding that functions whether your heel is affixed or not. Also known as alpine touring, Randonnée skiing involves using your own sweat power to ascend a mountain and then lock your heel down for the descent.
Razor Siping: lateral slices made in the sole of a shoe during manufacturing which flex open when walking. It particularly useful in water-style shoes to increase grip.
RECCO Reflector weighs less than four grams and is permanently affixed into commercially available outerwear, helmets, boots and protection gear. It is a non-powered device, meaning it never needs to be switched on, will never loose signal strength and needs no batteries to function. It requires no maintenance and has a virtually unlimited lifespan.
Schoeller® is short for Schoeller Textiles, headquartered in Switzerland; it was the first company to offer stretch fabrics for mountain sports (also known as soft shells). Schoeller Textiles offers a wide selection of soft shell fabrics for differing physical activities and has also specialized in the development of innovative textile technologies.
Slip last construction – a sewn seam runs the length of the shoe [at the time of construction]. It creates a more flexible shoe and is better for higher arched feet. Less stable than a board last construction.
SOFtech- from the clothing company Mammut of Switzerland, SOFtech combines the second and third layers of clothing into one. They use exclusively rub-resistant materials that protect against wind and weather, but also have a high degree of breathability. The fabrics come bonded as a double-sided knit with and without stretch, and are noted for their durability.
Suede leather (or split grain leather): Suede leather is made from the underside leather of a cow, pig or goat and does not include the more expensive tough top grain leather. The result is a softer leather, but suede is not as durable or water resistant as a top grain leather (such as Nubuck or the shiny leather). Suede is sometimes referred to as “split grain” because the top grain is “split” from the underside leather.
SpylonTM is a durable water repellent finish (DWR) from Spyder which is applied to the fabric exterior to prevent the garment from absorbing surface moisture. SpylonTM is a top-rated performer retaining 80% effectiveness after 50 washings. It also guards against water and oil-based stains.
Thermolite®: provides warmth and comfort without weight, even when wet. It is a light weight fabric that provides heavy-duty performance. It is made with ADVANSA engineered hollow core fibres that trap air for great insulation, plus wearers stay drier because it dries 20% faster than other fabrics, and 50% faster than cotton. Thermolite is the perfect layering fabric cecause it is comfortable and lightweight, allowing more freedom of movement.
Tweave ® Durastretch ® – A 92% nylon, 8% Lycra (8.5 ounces per yard/242 grams per meter) four way stretch fabric developed by the company Arc’Teryx. It offers great freedom of movement for active use. Over and under construction with DWR treatment, this fabric is both breathable and durable.
UpCycle ®: The clothing and equipment manufacturer Marmot uses UpCycle ® fabric made from recycled plastic; it minimizes human impact on the environment by using organic, recycled or discarded materials that would otherwise just end up in the landfill for a gazillion years.
Vibram Outersoles: VIBRAM is the world leader in high performance rubber soles and compounds, targeted to the outdoor, work, recreation, fashion, repair and orthopedic markets. Vibram is a mark of high quality outer soles.
WaterTightTM zips: developed by Arc’Teryx, the watertight zippers were the world’s first to pass W.L. Gore’s extreme wet weather test. The zippers eliminate the need for zipper flaps.
Windstopper®: produced by W.L. Gore & Associates, is a sister product to Gore-Tex®. Windstopper is a membrane which is extremely windproof and breathable, making it ideal for high aerobic output sports in colder weather. However, it is not waterproof.
X-static® – The Silver FiberTM is a silver-coated textile fiber that enhances products with permanent and natural anti-odor, anti-static and thermodynamic properties.
(1) Anti-Odor:Silver is recognized in the medical community as the most effective anti-microbial agent available. X-staticTM uses pure silver to safely inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria and fungi in garments.
(2) Anti-Static:Silver is the most electrically conductive element. Electrical charges normally created by two non-conductive materials rubbing together are therefore instantly dissipated, keeping X-staticTM products static-free.
(3) Regulates temperature:Silver has an infrared reflectivity rating of 95%. That means X-staticTM reflects more body heat as the temperature drops, keeping you warmer in colder weather. In addition, because silver has the highest conductivity rating of any element, heat is distributed evenly throughout the product, reducing hot and cold spots.

YKK Zippers are produced by YKK USA, INC, and are the industry standard for high quality zippers found on most jackets, pants, sleeping bags, tents, bivies and shoes.