Polartec, the developer, manufacturer, and marketer of Polartec performance fabrics, introduces Polartec Alpha synthetic insulation and continues its streak of product innovation with a focus on breathability and versatility in performance textiles.
Unlike down and existing synthetic insulation batting, Polartec Alpha is a highly stable layer allowing for the use of more open and breathable fabrics on the outer and inner layers of “puffy” style garments. As a result, Polartec Alpha provides active warmth that allows air exchange for breathability and comfort in more dynamic situations. Classic puffy garments require “down-proof” or high-density woven layers that create a vapor barrier. Although they work well in static conditions, these classic puffy garments trap moisture inside the garment during even minimal activity.
In addition to unprecedented levels of breathability and moisture vapor transport in a puffy, Polartec Alpha maintains insulation values while wet and offers dramatically faster dry times than existing puffy-style fabrics on the market. Highly compressible, it also provides inherent wind resistance and warmth without weight.
Polartec Alpha was developed to meet the performance requirements of the U. S. Special Operations Forces (SOF). SOF required something that was warm, wind resistant, highly durable, quick drying and more breathable than any existing insulation products. Polartec was able to tune the performance characteristics of Alpha to meet the extraordinary demands placed upon clothing by Special Forces Operators. In testing by SOF, Alpha received the highest results of any Polartec product ever tested by the evaluation team. Polartec Alpha jackets are in production and are being fielded to every Special Forces Operator. Alpha is now rolling out to the consumer market and will be introduced at the January 2013 Outdoor Retailer, SIA and ISPO trade shows and available at retail by September 2013.
“Polartec Alpha is a natural compliment to our existing layering system fabrics. It will function as outerwear or as an ideal mid layer under fabrics like Polartec Power Shield Pro or Polartec NeoShell. It packs small and can quickly recover from something as catastrophic as getting completely soaked while in the field,” states Allon Cohne, Polartec Director of Marketing. “This is a never-let-you-down active warmth product that will replace other layers, lighten the load and increase comfort in the field for outdoor enthusiasts.”
Brands adopting Polartec Alpha for the initial launch include: 66º North, Eddie Bauer, Eider, Mammut, Marmot, Montane, Mountain Equipment, Rab, Ternua, Terry Cycle, The North Face, Trangoworld, Vaude and Westcomb. The consumer launch will continue in Spring 2014 with a number of additional adoptions already confirmed.