DWRs — or “Durable Water Repellent” coatings — play an enormous role in the performance of your outdoor gear, and are used on nearly every waterproof garment on the market. But most DWRs are made with chemicals called PFCs, which can be harmful to you and the environment. Nikwax, however, has never made any of their specialized cleaning, conditioning, or waterproofing products with PFCs. So we talked with Heidi Allen from Nikwax about how DWRs work; the dangers of PFCs; how the industry is attempting to shift away from PFCs; garment care; and more.
The North Face is attempting to do something that many have tried, but few have succeeded: compete head-to-head with Gore-Tex in the waterproof / breathable fabric category. So we talked with Scott Mellin, the Global General Manager of Mountain Sports at The North Face, about their new fabric technology, Futurelight, the ideas behind it; what sets it apart in the waterproof / breathable fabric market; sustainability practices related to Futurelight; some stories from athlete testing, and much more.
Gore-Tex has been the leader in waterproof fabrics for decades, and today, they’re announcing a complete overhaul of their flagship fabric, Gore-Tex Pro. So this week we went to Banff, Alberta, and sat down with the category manager of Gore’s “Pro” line, Mark McKinnie, for an in-depth discussion about the new fabrics. We talk about what makes the new Gore Pro unique; the 3 different versions of Gore Pro; Gore’s intensive validation and field-testing processes; how the new ‘Pro’ fits into Gore’s sustainability goals; and much more.
How do the world’s elite ski racers and their technicians squeeze every drop of performance out of their skis? We sat down with Cameron Smith who runs the race department for Head USA to learn about all the major aspects of ski tuning including base vs edge angles, base prep, and waxing. We also discuss why World Cup racers have 50 skis per discipline; the elusive “speed wagon”; and the delicate balance of science and superstition in ski racing.
Why are more and more companies making products out of wool? What makes it unique from other fibers? And how is merino wool different from regular wool? We talk to Icebreaker’s Josh Vaughan about these questions; wool’s environmental impact; the variety of wool types and how they differ; and he provides some amazingly in-depth insight about wool’s unique properties.
How much do you actually know about the clothes in your closet, and the stuff we all wear to go play in the mountains? In our new “What You’re Wearing” miniseries, we’re shining a light on the most foundational part of apparel: the fibers. And in part 1, we dive into the world synthetic fibers with Sara Ellis from Gore (the makers of GORE-TEX).