Seattle, WASH. – Outdoor Research, a leading independent manufacturer of outdoor apparel and accessories, this month won a Polartec APEX Award for its new Lodestar Jacket and Pant, which pioneers the use of Polartec’s innovative new Power Shield® High Loft fabric.
Outdoor Research is one of a select few North American brands using the fabric for its Fall 2012 debut season. The Lodestar Jacket and Pant employ a hybrid construction, resulting in apparel that combines the warmth of insulation, the moisture-wicking properties of fleece, and the protection of a softshell, all in one layer. The design improves mobility for cold, dry conditions because it allows athletes to wear one layer that meets multiple needs through a wider range of conditions.
This APEX Award is given to most innovative garments using Polartec fabrics that will be available to consumers in the fall of 2012. A panel of judges selects the winners based on the style, function, workmanship, and fit of the garments as well as the most innovative and appropriate uses of Polartec fabrics in the designs.
Part of what drew the judge panel to the Lodestar Jacket and Pant was the fact that they mapped two different and innovative Polartec fabrics into different areas of the garments, putting each of those performance fabrics where they made sense, said Allon Cohne, global marketing director for Polartec. The Lodestar uses Power Shield High Loft in core areas where more insulation is needed. Power Shield High Loft features a new lamination process combined with a high loft grid back that adds 25 percent more warmth than the previous warmest Power Shield fabric with 25 percent less weight. Then, Outdoor Research used Power Shield Pro fabric, which increases the water and wind resistance thanks to an internal membrane, on more exposed areas like shoulders, hood, upper arms, knees and bottom.
“So this garment really offers a fantastic balance of lightweight, compressibility and weather protection in a breathable and thermal soft shell,” Cohne said.
The Lodestar Jacket and Pant will be available beginning in August 2012.
The Apex Award is the fourth award of 2012 for Outdoor Research. It also won Gear of the Year Awards for 2012 from Outside Magazine and National Geographic Adventure online, along with being named 2012 Innovator of the Year as part of the Washington (state) Manufacturing Awards.