We spent earlier this week catching up with brands at the big winter gearfest: ISPO. Despite the fact the show was quieter than usual, this in no way detracted from the quality of the clobber on show and hitting the shops in the near future. Below is a roundup of the most eye-catching and shiny new clothing.
Mountain Equipment - Kryos Jacket
The Kryos combines all of ME's down expertise into a single jacket. The baffles are a thing of beauty, with box-wall, pleated and stitch through baffles depending on where heat is most likely to be lost. Basically, it's a big/bad belay jacket designed for use in the biggest/baddest mountains. Unsurprisingly it's design has had a lot of input from the likes of atom Livingstone and Uisdean Hawthorn. Available in men's and women's versions.
Mountain Equipment - Shivling and Quiver
The Quiver features GORE's most breathable fabric and is designed with Ski Mountaineering in mind. Pit zips and a snow skirt are other integral features, along with ME's HC Hood, which provides a perfect fit over a helmet.
Marmot - Warmcube Featherless Hoody RRP £350
Following the introduction of Warmcube technology in the West Rib jacket, Marmot are now bringing out a synthetic range. Perfect for the backcountry, the ISPO gold-winning Warmcube Featherless Hoody gives flexible insulation so you can get warm or dump heat quickly. The channels are important too as they squish together when worn to give continuous insulation. It comes in both men's and women's and is as warm as 700fp down.
Rab - Khroma Range
New for AW20, Rab is getting into Ski and Ski Mountaineering with their Khroma Range.
Rab - Recycled Microlight & Cirrus Alpine
The Rab Microlight is up there with one of the best selling jackets in the industry and can be seen everywhere from mountain top to street corner. In 2018 it celebrated its 10th birthday with a major re-design. For 2020 the Microlight Alpine sees an arguably more important change: the transition to fully recycled materials, including all the down (which is then Nikwax hydrophobic-treated). The only exception to this is the zip, which is - according to Rab - a tricky thing to procure in recycled form (although we hope they'll continue trying).
The North Face - 50 50 Down
The 50/50 Down range from The North Face is a new technology with inner baffles of down interspersed with uninsulated sections to provide breathability and warmth simultaneously. It's part of their Advanced Mountain Kit used by top The North Face athletes for expeditions. It will also soon be featured in their Summit Series.
The North Face - Dot Fleece
Part of the Advanced Mountain Kit, it's a fleece with a focus on breathability. It's named after the dotty appearance which is a product of the yarn construction.
Arc'teryx - Alpha SV RRP £680
The Alpha SV uses 3L GORE-TEX PRO, the most durable hard shell face fabric used by Arc'teryx. It's an evolution of Arc'teryx's original hard shell jacket. They've been working with GORE since 1995 and every product has been an evolution. The emphasis this time is on durability. The jacket has a new inner membrane which doesn't require dying, saving a lot of water and reducing the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process.
Arc'teryx - Atom LT & AR RRP £220
A versatile synthetic stand-alone piece or mid-layer. The LT focuses on breathability and is wearable in many different situations - climbing, skiing or in the city. The durability has been improved by focusing on a more dense construction. The entire jacket is now more breathable. There are two different options - dyed and dope dyed - the latter being more environmentally friendly. The Atom AR is warmer with more insulation. The fleece side panels have been eliminated to allow more synthetic insulation for a warmer jacket.
Mountain Hardwear - Down Range
Three pillars in the down range, each focused on a different end use. Durability...Phantom, Stretch... Super DS, Lightweight...ie Ghost Whisperer UL which is an extremely lightweight jacket featuring 1000fp fill, and weighs only 189g in men's medium but without sacrificing key features. An amazing 5 denier fabric New iteration of the Super DS Climb still includes a mix of synthetic and down fill. Slightly wider baffles, for strength and includes the stretch of the original. Designed to be worn under a harness for cool weather crags. All down is traceable via the Track My Down website, the people who came up with the RDS rating. You can look into the precise batch inside your jacket in amazing detail..
Outdoor Research - Helium range
Outdoor Research lightest's collection now features new Pertex Diamond Fuse technology which is unique to Outdoor Research. It has 7x the tear strength of the original fabric and is more waterproof. Some of the range features Pertex Shield Diamond Fuse on the shoulders which adds water repellency. All the products have elasticated cuffs and hems and are extremely packable. The range has now expanded to include down jackets.
Polartec - Power Air
TA new Polartec fabric that minimises microfibre shedding whilst keeping you warm and comfortable. Sheds five times fewer than other Polartec fabrics. 100% recyclable and largely made of recycled materials. Works like bubble wrap, containing the fibres in pockets to maintain heat. Polartec Powerair aims to address issues with microfibres and plastics causing pollution. Available in mid-weight and lightweight versions. The lightweight version, the Houdini Monoair, doesn't contain elastic and so is less stretchy.