At Denali, we daydream about otters a lot. Cute little whiskery faces, webbed feet, dexterous front paws: what’s not to love about the semiaquatic little weasels? They meet Patagonia’s H2No® Performance Standard too!
Pretty cool, amiright?
You see, otters have two layers of fur: a stiff outer fur and an inner fur that’s denser, durable, and waterproof. It insulates the otter’s body to prevent hypothermia in cold water, and it speeds the drying process.
And if that doesn’t sound like a waterproof and breathable jacket, I don’t know what’s real anymore.
You see, it’s all about how rain jackets are made. “Waterproof and breathable” is industry jargon for a waterproof hardshell or raincoat that limits condensation by allowing vapor to escape unobstructed. This keeps you dry in wet and humid conditions.
To make jackets like this, we layer a stiff outer shell fabric against a denser interior membrane. On the membrane’s other side, we set a laminate, a bonded scrim, or a separate lining to prevent contact between the membrane and your body’s sweat and oils. This ensures durability and long-lasting waterproofing.
Being absolutely waterproof is about layered construction, just like an otter’s fur. We couldn’t even love the woodland critters more if they had pit-zips, and boy do we love us some pit-zips.
It’s some pretty cool stuff, and if you check out our product pages you’ll see “3 Layer Gore-Tex®,” or “2 Layer DryVent™,” or “2.5 Layer H2No®.” Different brands have their own proprietary technologies, and each design has its own benefits and purpose. They all function similarly though, relying on layered construction to perform better in wet, humid, and torrential conditions.
So otters might not meet Patagonia’s H2No standard exactly, but they’re kind of designed the same way we make waterproof jackets. Happy World Otter Day!