Over the past few years many people will be familiar with the name Jack Wolfskin through their sponsorship of various football teams/stadiums; however, what many people won't know is that they are the 4th largest outdoor brand in the world.
Throughout the Press Event, which began at Jack Wolfskin's Windermere showroom, we had the opportunity to hear a little more about the brand from UK & Ireland Staff Trainer Simon Kelly. As an active climber himself, it was good to hear how the products had been developed, constructed and performed from first hand experience. Furthermore, it added a face to a somewhat sizable brand.
Unfortunately the weather didn't play ball - it was dry (!!) - so our desire to test the waterproof fabrics moved aside in favour of seeing how comfortable/breathable the clothing and apparel was on a warm day. As a result the Gravity Texapore Jacket (pictured below) stayed in the bag for most the day and instead gave the other products including the Dynamic Hollow Longsleeve Baselayer, Prime Dynamic Jacket, ACS Stratosphere 15 Pack and Hiking Pro Socks a run for their money in the Howgills.
I had always heard legends of how fierce the Howgills were as a result of my parent's experiences in the famous Karrimor International Mountain Marathon of 1998, but the irony is that they are a fantastically tame and accessible set of hills - particularly on a nice day.
From my perspective it was the Dynamic Hollow Longsleeve and the Hiking Pro Socks that were the two stand-out products. The Dynamic Hollow Baselayer has a uniquely soft feel and was very confortable to wear. In the weeks that have followed I have used it on colder days to climb in and the stretch material has been great too, plus so far - as a result of the Sfresh treatment - it doesn't seem to smell. Only time will tell...
Next up, the Hiking Pro Socks. Our host Simon potentially got a little too excited about these, riddled as they are with technical features. In fact, they are probably the most sci-fi pair of socks I have ever worn. Developed in coordination with XTechnologies they stretch and mould themselves around the feet in key areas, giving them an exceptional comfortable and remarkably supportive feel.
With Jack Wolfskin's focus now shifting from football stadiums and the masses to the likes of UKClimbing, Trek and Mountain, Scotland Outdoors, Adventure Travel and the more discerning enthusiast it will be interesting to see if they become more of a household name amongst users over the next few years.
To read more about the brand visit the Jack Wolfskin UK Website.