Breakthrough in Layering Technology: finetrack Launches Elemental Layer in North America

Worn like a second skin under the base layer, Japan’s innovative sweat management solution to the back-chill problem provides the core of finetrack’s unique, integrated five-layer system.
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Vernon, British Columbia (November 16, 2020) – Zephyr Outdoors, exclusive distributor for finetrack in North America, officially announces that the long-awaited solution to chilly back sweat discomfort has arrived from across the Pacific. Made with finetrack’s innovative water-repellent textile, and worn under a high-performance base layer, the Elemental Layer efficiently transmits moisture away from the skin, keeping the wearer dry and warm while allowing the base layer to do its job of wicking moisture outward.

“High-performance textiles and materials technology have come a long way, with plenty of awesome base layers on the market today, but it still takes a good amount of time for them to dry completely,” says Kazu Shibata, owner of Zephyr Outdoors. “During that time, your skin is still in contact with the wet base layer, feeling the chill, losing body heat and energy. We can solve this problem by adding another layer that prevents skin from touching the wet base layer during that drying time.” Invoking an all-too-common situation, Shibata continues, “Say you’re out on a serious hike and you’ve been climbing and working up a sweat for a while. The temperature drops with the elevation gain, the wind picks up, and the moment you take a break, you get chilled to the bone from all that cold moisture on your back and other areas . . . by simply wearing Elemental Layer under your high-performance base layer, you can just enjoy your hike, or your backcountry skiing or snowboarding, mountain biking, snowshoeing, kayaking, or whatever, and most importantly, you have extra protection from getting hypothermia when you’re facing extreme conditions.”

“It all started with a simple idea,” says Yotaro Kanayama, extreme outdoorsman and textile expert who founded finetrack in 2004. The simple idea, of course, was to solve the problem of getting chilled by back sweat, and finetrack Japan began its journey with the introduction of the world’s first water-repellent undergarments, Elemental Layer. So named for its strong, durable, yet ethereally light engineering, its fundamental use as a next-to-skin layer worn underneath the base layer, and its connection to the elements of nature, Elemental Layer became not only finetrack’s flagship product, but also the foundation of their new, integrated five-layer system. Industry insiders attribute finetrack’s success over the years to strong values of quality, integrity, durability, and relentless innovation, always incorporating valuable feedback from an ever-increasing loyal following in Japan’s outdoor gear market.

IUM0401 SKIN MESH Long Sleeve Crew 600x600

“How better to honour finetrack’s legacy than to begin again internationally with the original flagship product that started it all,” says Shibata, who had previously worked with finetrack in Japan back when it was an audacious start-up. Years after settling in B.C., Shibata decided that he simply had to be the one to introduce finetrack products to Canada and the U.S. “It had to start with Elemental Layer . . . it’s so fundamental, and I’ve had lots of positive feedback from the local outdoor community, who tested it and helped me figure out the sizing so we could tailor our manufacturing to the North American market.” With a full line-up of men’s and women’s undergarments, Elemental Layer will surely become the new standard of protection as temperatures drop and outdoor enthusiasts face the elements.

  • Elemental Layer Long Sleeve Crew (Men’s & Women’s: 1.7oz/47g~, US$50~)
  • Elemental Layer Short Sleeve Crew (Men’s & Women’s: 1.3oz/36g~, US$45~)
  • Elemental Layer Tights (Men’s & Women’s: 1.7oz/47g~, US$49~)

To learn more about Elemental Layer and finetrack, visit

Contact: Kazu Shibata,

Distributed by: Zephyr Outdoors of Vernon, British Columbia, Canada


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