Global demand for performance outdoor apparel worn by individuals taking part in sports pursuits is outpacing other sectors of the total active sportswear market, according to a new report from just-style, with growth set to soar by 22% over the next six years.

This overtakes the performance sports apparel and active sportswear sectors, where growth of 18% and 13% respectively is predicted by the 'Global market review of performance outdoor apparel - forecasts to 2016.'

While the report concentrates on apparel that protects the wearer in an outdoor environment, arriving at category definitions is a complicated process, since many items of clothing purchased for use in active sport are not necessarily used exclusively in these activities.

For example, in the active sportswear group it is estimated that garments with performance characteristics make up 11.7% of the US$6.75bn sold in 2010. Likewise, performance outdoor apparel accounts for 32.6% of the performance sports apparel market.

"Performance outdoor apparel has gradually increased its share of the total active sportswear market from 3.4% in 2004 to 3.8% in 2010. By 2016 it is expected to be 4.1% of active sportswear," the report says.

This was not because it was not growing - but because it was growing at a slower rate than basic non-performance sportswear sold in the developing markets of the world.

By 2016 it is expected to have recovered to 33.7% of performance apparel, sports, almost exactly where it was as a percentage share in 2004.

Likewise, growth in developed countries such as North America and Europe has been falling compared with developing countries.

In North America, performance outdoor apparel has grown 19% from 2004 to 2010, with this trend estimated to continue for the 7 year-period from 2010 to 2016. For the market in Europe, future growth is forecast at 18%.

The report projects that the rest of the world will see a significantly higher growth rate thanks to population growth.

"Performance outdoor apparel will be successful in the developed world, but because of low population increases in those countries will not grow dramatically," the report says.

Click here for more details of just-style's 'Global market review of performance outdoor apparel - forecasts to 2016'.