Leading up to Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, SNEWS is previewing new trends and products you’ll see at the trade show in Salt Lake City, Jan. 22-26. Today, we take a look at some of the latest insulated outerwear products. All these stories also can be found in the print or digital flipbook edition of our Planning Guide.
Outdoor manufacturers are tackling age-old problems with insulated outerwear in next season’s offerings, namely by incorporating water-resistant down, puncture-free quilting and increased breathability.
Almost every major brand is now aboard the water-resistant down bandwagon.
“I definitely think water-resistant down is how down is going to be from now on,” said Courtney Lewis, product manager at Isis, which added DriDown from its sister brand Sierra Designs. New propriety technologies will hit the show floor from Marmot’s Down Defender to The North Face’s Pro Down. Patagonia announced its water-resistant down Encapsil technology this fall, but said it’s keeping the particulars under wraps until March 2013.
Companies also are focusing on using a combination of materials and insulations to offer the best protection to athletes engaging in high-exertion activities.
“Your body when it’s working needs different fabrics,” said Brooks-Range General Manager Jeff Blakely. “With the choices next season you’re going to be able to get all of that in one jacket.”
Improved synthetic insulation will make a splash, including Polartec’s highly breathable, compressible and quick-drying Alpha insulation, initially developed to meet the performance requirements of the U.S. Special Operations Forces. And The North Face continues promotion of its ThermoBall synthetic insulation made of fluffy balls that mimic down clusters. The latter got a limited preview a year ago, but is ready for primetime, officials said.
New or underused construction methods seem to be prevalent in next season’s insulated offerings, from taped garments at Brooks-Range to a puncture-free quilting system from Outdoor Research. Plus, companies are employing different fabrics where adventurers might overheat to make pieces more breathable and comfortable.
>> Isis brings DriDown to sexy, flashy silhouettes like the Secco Down Jacket (MSRP $189, photo below) and Secco Hoody (MSRP $229). The durable pieces feature an anti-static treatment, DWR finish and 650-fill power DriDown. The company also offers the versatile, fashionable Cinema Coat (MSRP $189) insulated with Primaloft Synergy with a weather-resistant nylon ripstop shell and removable belt and hood.
>> The North Face introduces the men’s Thunder Micro Jacket (MSRP $249, photo below) with its water-resistant ProDown. And TNF reintroduces the ThermoBall Jacket (MSRP $199) with its synthetic ThermoBall insulation.
>> Sierra Designs introduces the old school to the new with its 28 Degree North Jacket, which features the company’s original 60/40 fabrication (which was introduced in 1965) in the front and back, plus a 600-fill power DriDown on the inside. It has plastic zippers modeled to look like vintage metal zippers. And, back to the future, the brand debuts its Cirro Jacket (MSRP $199, photo below) in men’s and women’s, a hybrid piece built for backcountry layering. The hybrid jacket mixes its 600-fill power DriDown with stretch panels on the side for mobility and breathability.
>> Marmot brings the Polartec Alpha insulation to life in its new Isotherm Hoody (MSRP $225, photo below) for both men and women. The lightweight, breathable piece is designed with the aerobic end-user in mind, one who doesn’t want to get cold when they stop for a break from aerobic winter activities. Marmot will also be putting its new Down Defender in its 900-fill power down Quasar Jacket (MSRP $325), now with a hood.
>> Patagonia brings its revamped Das Parka (MSRP $299), now lighter, more water- resistant and featuring two layers of Primaloft insulation — 120 grams of Primaloft Synergy and 60 grams Primaloft One. The piece has a revised fit, a 20-denier Pertex nylon shell with a PU coating on the back for higher water repellency. The women’s version of the Das features a more flattering feminine silhouette. The company also debuts its waterproof three-in-one Roy’s Bay 3-in-1 Parka (MSRP $699, liner pictured below) and the 600-fill power goose down Hawke’s Bay (MSRP $499).
>> Outdoor Research breaks the quilting mold with its Flood Light Jacket (MSRP $375), a lightweight breathable down jacket with bonded instead of stitched quilting. It’s fully waterproof, not because of the down but because the shell is waterproof. The piece is said to alleviate cold spots from the perforated sections associated with traditional down jackets. The company also brings its Speedstar Jacket (MSRP $395) with hybrid mapping to make it more breathable in key areas. The Speedstar is filled with Polartec Power Shield Pro and Power Shield O2 with the more breathable insulation on the back of the piece.
These are just a few of the new products to debut at the show. Be sure to check out many more new insulated outerwear products and trends in the O.R. Daily, published live at the show, and available in digital format each following day of print on SNEWS.