Building upon its roster of warm and cozy essentials for outdoor exploring, materials innovator Polartec has released an updated version of an old stand-by.
In a partnership with Italian mountain sports brand Salewa, Polartec has gotten back to basics in creating an enhanced fleece construction made from luxe merino wool.
The company chose the natural, sheared fibers for their thermoregulating capabilities, along with their inherent biodegradability. The new high-loft fleece has longer, silkier fibers than traditional puffy fleeces, and is designed to create a microclimate next to wearers’ skin that changes with their temperature.
Wool fibers are able to move moisture in a vapor state, Polartec said in a statement, and the material even retains its breathable-yet-insulating properties when wet.
“In this newly designed fabric, layers of merino wool are connected to both sides of a synthetic core to produce an advanced performance textile with the natural performance of wool and superior structural integrity of a synthetic,” the company shared on its product page, calling the fabric “the most comfortable layer possible for ski mountaineering and ice climbing.”
The high-loft fleece formulation is featured in Salewa’s Ortles Polartec high-loft hoodie for men and women, designed as a versatile layer to be worn through a wide range of activities and temperatures. Both versions come in shades of blue and grey with zip-front closures, zippered pockets, high necklines, and a stretch topline around the hood to guard against the elements.
The material is lightweight and more compressible than traditional fleece formulations, the brands said in a joint statement, and Salewa’s hoodie is sold with an integrated compression pouch for easy storage. Both men’s and women’s styles retail for $199.95.
“Our collaboration with Salewa is a special case-in-point because we met their customers’ needs with a natural solution that was essential to their brand values,” Polartec said.