weve talked about this for a long time now, and early protos are now being tested.

the concept is straightforward; a single body-conforming layer that moves with you, insulates like a midlayer, breathes effortlessly, vents ahead of overheating and sheds snow, ain and wind. the demands for such clothing are broad, and until now haven’t really been possible – some pieces have been there but other parts of the puzzle have always failed. weve always had stretch, but not stretch insulation. weve always had water resistant insulation, but it didnt breath. weve always had weather resistant fabrics, but they didnt vent properly.

polartec alpha powershield testing

testing new ideas; Alpha insulation and Alpha-specific Powershield Pro being trialled as part of the Second Skin Project.

by developing fabrics intentionally to work as a system, Polartec is putting out layers that go together seamlessly. Alpha is now available in 4 versions, along with various facings including a new generation of 2-layer Powershield developed specially for the job thats incredibly tough and light. plus a new range of baselayer fabrics that take wicking to new levels, thus allowing the layer over it to function better.

polartec alpha japan

four versions of Alpha: 60, 80, 100 and 120gm/m2

ideally this layer is worn against the skin, or over only the least intrusive base as possible. already the Alpha is internally faced with a wicking mesh (indeed Alpha itself is like a super wicking textile), but we understand that few will be committed enough at first to be comfortable with such a minimal layer.

polartec powerdry japan
insanely light and wicking; the latest generation of Powerdry baselayer fabrics are less than half the mass of before

in many ways it fulfils the idea of combining every layer of the old base/mid/shell system into one – something that rightly has a lot of problems with it with the fabrics of yesterday being used. now, with insulation that neither retains nor is compromised by moisture and shells that stretch mechanically and don’t have membranes – plus a lot of smart testing and designing – its doable.