KNOW YOUR TECH breaks down the scientific technology used in your favorite sneakers and activewear. Let’s demystify your next purchase: today’s technology is Polartec Power Shield Pro. Used by a number of brands, from The North Face to Patagonia, Polertec Power Shield Pro is touted by the outdoor technology specialists as "the ultimate soft shell." In 1998, the brand launched the original Power Shield technology, which was designed to offer less weather protection and a higher level of breathability. Over a decade later, the brand has enhanced the technology with water resistance in the form of Polartec Power Shield Pro.

What is it? Polartec Power Shield Pro is a fabric used on soft-shell apparel that delivers an ideal balance between weather protection and breathability. The technology's water-resistant properties are designed to remain reliable and durable throughout the life of the garments. The highly breathable material blocks up to 99% of wind, is water and abrasion resistant, and provides moderate levels of warmth without excess weight. 

How does it work? Polartec Power Shield Pro garments are built with a smooth, tightly-woven outer that is also tough and abrasion resistant. On the inside of Polartec Power Shield Pro, polyester adds warmth without increasing weight. Finally, an air exchange membrane in between the two layers not only blocks wind, but allows for air to flow through the garments. 

Notable products: Patagonia Northwall Jacket, Patagonia Knifeblade Pullover, Patagonia Northwall Pants

Bottom line: Polartec Power Shield Pro is ideal for adventurists who reside in areas with moderate winter weather. It's not going to save you in a blizzard, but it allows for high levels of comfort as winter approaches.

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