Action Asia - - REAL DEALS -

SHELL I COM­PARE THEE . . . Brands love to wax lyri­cal about their in­no­va­tions, but the lat­est crop of jack­ets bear out much of the hy­per­bole: in 2017, ex­pect lighter, more breath­able and more eco-friendly prod­uct.

Out­door jack­ets may look ba­si­cally the same, year-af­ter-year, but that doesn’t mean there’s no in­no­va­tion go­ing on. Look un­der the hood, as it were, and fab­rics are im­prov­ing all the time. Just check out the jack­ets above: breatha­bil­ity con­tin­ues to im­prove and tech­nolo­gies like The North Face’s Fuse­form are al­low­ing even dif­fer­ent parts of the same gar­ment to be­have dif­fer­ently. Per­haps the most ob­vi­ous trend is towards re­duc­ing the foot­print of the man­u­fac­ture, use and dis­posal of the prod­uct, in part be­cause of pres­sure from en­vi­ron­men­tal groups. Patag­o­nia’s re­cy­cled fill (see above) is one ex­am­ple and the Columbia Outdry Ex­treme Eco, shown right, is an­other. A key prob­lem is PFCS (per­flu­o­ri­nated com­pounds), used for decades to pro­vide a DWR (Durable Wa­ter Re­pel­lent) treat­ment to the out­side of jack­ets. The strength of the chem­i­cal bonds in these com­pounds means they per­sist in the en­vi­ron­ment and this has been used by some NGOS to crit­i­cise out­door brands’ poli­cies. Sev­eral brands have moved towards less per­sis­tant, short-chain PFCS, but in this jacket, Columbia have re­moved them en­tirely, along with all dyes. Other of the brand’s prod­ucts con­tinue to use short-chain PFCS, but Columbia say they will plan to keep work­ing towards non-flu­o­ri­nated al­ter­na­tives.


The light­est three-mem­brane shell there is, this jacket is claimed to be up to three-times as breath­able as Gore-tex Pro. THE NORTH FACE FUSE­FORM APOC

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