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Thinsulate – the life of a product family


Materialinfo Thinsulate
Thinsulate Insulation stores a lot of warmth in a small space

If you enjoy being out in nature in colder temperatures and want to stay warm, then you need a good fleece. Wearing warm gloves and a comfortable beanie can also make a big difference in your comfort level. So, we would like to introduce you to a material that’s been around for decades and is often found in fleece clothing: Thinsulate.

What exactly is Thinsulate? When is it used and what can it do?

Shimano - Handschuhe Windstopper Thermal Reflective mit Thinsulate-Isolation
Shimano Windstopper Thermal Reflective gloves with Thinsulate insulation

Thinsulate is an insulating microfibre fabric developed by 3M. This fleece fabric has been around for decades. As early as the 1960s, 3M was experimenting with microfibres. In the 1970s, Thinsulate Insulation technology was used for the first time to produce ski clothing. Thinsulate was also around at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada. In the 1990s, 3M expanded the Thinsulate Insulation product range, producing a variety of materials that are used in a wide range of sectors, from occupational safety and sports to fashion. You’ll find these as linings in winter clothing and sleeping bags as well as in fabrics for beanies, balaclavas and gloves.

The science behind the material

Thinsulate Insulation is either made of polyester or a blend of polyester and polypropylene. Thinsulate consists of significantly smaller fibres than conventional polyester. With a diameter of about 15 micrometres, these fibres are about ten times smaller than other synthetic fibres. As a result, denser materials can be created.

This tight structure reduces the heat flow between the individual fibres. In other words, body heat is radiated back from the fibres and the material will keep you warm even at low temperatures. When comparing it to down that has the same thickness, the manufacturer says that Thinsulate provides 1.5 times as much warmth. In addition, the material is both breathable and moisture-repellent.

Areas of use and types of products

Thinsulate Insulation is divided into several different material types. These differ in their area of application and have specially tailored properties. The following types are mainly used in the outdoor and mountain sports sectors:

Type B

This material is particularly durable and thin. Due to its resilience and good insulating capacity in a compressed state, it’s mainly used to create footwear.

Type C

Thinsulate Insulation type C is particularly suitable for leisure and outdoor clothing. This fleece fabric has a particularly high insulating capability and is also soft. The low weight and thinness make it ideal for jackets, beanies and gloves.

Type P

The material type P has numerous practical properties. Not only is it warm and durable, but it’s also easy to care for. As a result, these garments are ideal for tough conditions in the outdoors.

Type FR

The special feature of type FR is its flame-retardant property. It’s mainly used for workwear, but you may also find it in outdoor clothing.

Type TIP

This material is mainly used for bedding, such as duvets and pillows, but also for sleeping bags. Its high fill power offers good thermal insulation, comfort and is lightweight. It can also be washed in the washing machine at a temperature of up to 60°C.


Holmenkol - Textile Wash - Waschmittel
Holmenkol – Textile Wash – Laundry Detergent

In general, all Thinsulate products are relatively easy to care for as they can be washed in the washing machine. However, since products such as jackets or sleeping bags usually consist of several materials and technologies, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s exact instructions. Manufacturers such as Holmenkol or Toko also offer detergents that are made for washing outdoor clothing. It’s always best to check the washing label of each product before putting it in the wash.

In summary…

Warm, soft and fluffy – these are the best words to describe Thinsulate products. The different product types have properties that are specialised for a certain area of use for guaranteed comfort. From footwear to sleeping bags, Thinsulate Insulation is a great technology that has been around for decades. These materials are breathable and moisture repellent, making them great for use in harsh, adverse conditions. These products will also last you a long time.

Teile den Artikel mit anderen Bergfreunden

Bergfreundin Lisa K.

Kurztext: Ich bin nicht zum Bergsport gekommen, der Bergsport ist zu mir gekommen. Ende der 80er haben mir meine Eltern gezeigt wie man Ski fährt und Ende der 90er habe ich das Klettern im Verein gelernt. Seit meiner Jugend gehören außerdem Ski- und Hochtouren zu meinen festen Bergsportdisziplinen.

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