I Can’t believe it’s got to the 13th day of the new year without a blog post, happy new year everyone! We have been very busy looking at the clothing ranges for Winter 11/12 which have to be ordered by the first week of Feb to come in September! Always a bit tricky to know what and how much to buy when we are only half way through this winter but we are getting used to it.
There are a couple of new themes for next winter;
1. Polartec Neo Shell
Polartec who are famous for Micro Fleece, Power Stretch and Power Shield have launched a new 100% waterproof fabric called Neo Shell. Neo Shell bridges the gap between soft and hard shells as it is 100% waterproof, taped, stretchy and can take a microfleece backing. Some brands have used it as a stretchy hardshell and others as a waterproof softshell, the difference is mainly whether the fleece backing has been used for warmth or not. Neo Fleece is waterproof with a hydrostatic head of 10,000mm but eVent is 20,000 and Pro Shell something like 28,000. Polartec argue that more than 10,000 is overkill as that’s more than enough to be 100% waterproof and by keeping it to 10,000 they have achieved breathability far in excess of even eVent. Only time will tell but as all our brands have used the new fabric in pre production samples it looks like they agree. I am shortly to receive a Neo Shell test piece so will keep you informed.
2. Waterproof Insulated Jackets
This category seems to be growing. Mountain Equipment have been working on prototypes for 3 years which have at last come to fruition with 2 styles for next winter, a high spec Pro Shell jacket with Primaloft filling (pro shell version of the fitzroy) called The Fang Jacket and a Performance shell jacket with Polarloft Eco insulation, named The Pamir Jacket. Rab come to the party with a ski styled triple layer eVent Jacket with Primaloft One insulation called The Rogue Jacket. Marmot are ahead of the game as we already have The Trient Jacket which uses their amazingly light Membrane Strata waterproof shell and Thermal R synthetic insulation and that jacket will definitely be back next season. Going to see Arcteryx tomorrow so will see what they have in this category.
We won’t see the new hardwear and remainder of the clothing until the first week of Feb at the ISPO trade show in Munich but will keep you posted. We are always interested in your feedback so if there is something you want but can’t find on our site or a category you think we are either strong or poor in then please feel free to comment here or send me an email.