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It’s no secret that SYNC knows stretch, 4 years ago we launched the Stretch Puffy on Kickstarter with great success. Over the years we’ve worked extremely closely with stretch knit fabrics in garments like World Cup race suits, gym apparel, and training gear. It is safe to say, we’ve spent some time working on stretch materials for activities that require movement. Recent advancements got that.
There’s one thing about down skiing jackets that’s always bothered us.strong: STITCHING. Stitching traditionally keeps the down in place instead of all the feathers falling to the bottom of the jacket. But stitches rip, pop and unravel. They let in wind, water, and inevitably end up leaking down. Most down jackets have thousands of tiny holes poked in them and trap your body in loops of rigid string like a high tech mummy.
Introducing the evolution of down outerwear - we call it The Engineered Down Jacket. No feather leakage, no wind, snow, and moisture cutting through the baffles and zippers, and more mobility than ever before.
Stitching is rigid thread. When you stitch together baffles (the tubes that hold the down/feathers in place), you introduce a restriction that prevents lateral stretching. Imagine putting on a traditional down jacket and doing the "Incredible Hulk" flex, or the "fat guy in a little coat" scene made famous by Chris Farley in the movie "Tommy Boy". Your jacket will make noise, probably will rip, and you'll end up with stitches starting to unravel. Not ideal for athletes who do these types of movements all the time.
Removing these stitches with a brand new weaving technique means the tubes are constructed out of stretchy fabric (more on that later) that can move in any direction.
Close up of the stitch-free baffle technology. (Color: Men's Khombu Green)
Stretch is not the only benefit from removing stitching. We improved the outer material in the Engineered Down Jacket - adding a matte-style durable stretch weave shell material. This replaces the shiny, fragile outer materials used in traditional down coats. That means no more using duct tape or gear tape to repair holes in your jacket. No longer do you have to fear tree branches, door jambs, ski edges, or random pokey things in your pack.
Worried about weight? Don't be. Even with bomber taped YKK Zippers, this jacket still weighs in at 1 lb, 8 oz and packs down easily, especially if you remove the hood. Stuffed in a non-compression dry sack (not included), the jacket is larger than the typical wide mouth 32 oz reusable water bottle. Removing the hood helps it pack down even more.
This new fabric shell, combined with the lack of stitching punctures, results in a jacket with incredible protection from the elements, yet still breathable. It's a combination not seen before in traditional down jackets.
With YKK Aquaguard Waterproof taped zippers on the front and sides, no longer do you have to immediately dig a shell out when conditions change. Water, wind, and snow stand no chance against these high-quality zippers from the most trusted zipper manufacturer out there, YKK.
The Durable Waterproof Coating is a "C6 treatment", the current outdoor industry preferred flourocarbon based coating from both a sustainability and performance perspective. It has fewer compounds, so it poses fewer toxicity issues to the environment than previous versions such as C8.
The DWR coating is has a 90/10 rating, which means 90% of the fabric is free of water after being sprayed and withstands that performance after 10 washing machine cycles. In testing, the jacket withstood snow, wind, and light rain with ease, and is breathable enough for rigorous hiking and backcountry skiing ascents at temps in the single digits. A heck of a lot better than traditional down jackets which become soaking wet at the first hint of moisture!
Sub-zero temps and blowing snow? No prob. Buckle up, we're going skiing.
(Product testing in a blizzard, Color: Men's Khombu Green)
The removal of traditional sources of cold (the stitching holes, low tech zippers), the Engineered Down's DownTek 750 Fill the highest quality down gets to shine. We spared no expense in sourcing this down, which is Responsible Down Standard Certified and boasts a 90/10 down to feather ratio. That's as good as it gets in the down world. Plus, the water-resistant coating means it won't get wet and bog down.
Curious as to how this amazing fabric is held together without stitching? Hang on tight, it's about to get technical!
Traditional jackets are made with two pieces of material, a front, and back, that are sewn together using rows of those performance busting stitches.
This amazing new stretchy, matte, weatherproof material is created by weaving two pieces of fabric at the same time on complex machines. Every inch or so, the machines weave the two pieces of Poly/Elastane 4-Way Stretch - 85% nylon/15% elastane together. The end result is a sheet of fabric with rows of empty "tubes" in it.
In short, it's woven together as it's created, resulting in a bond using the same construction as the rest of the fabric, so it can't come apart.
We then construct the jacket using the highest quality DownTek down and YKK AquaGuard Zippers, adding skier specific features such as the removable, adjustable hood, goggle wipe, and waist adjust.
Our background is in ski racing, which means we work with incredibly expensive, cutting edge, performance materials on a day to day basis. We work with Olympians, World Cup Racers, up and coming Juniors, and top teams and NCAA programs to test and develop products. Also, as former NCAA racers and avid skiers, we use our gear every day. Based in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, our headquarters is right in the thick of the skiing lifestyle. These days, our team is more likely to be found on backcountry skiing adventures around the world, heading into hut trips and camping trips, trail running, and mountain biking, daily. These experiences mean we have crafted a skiing jacket which transcends use on the race training hill. The uses are endless - from walking your dog to climbing remote peaks. Getting in a race training run or heading into town to hang with friends. It's an often overused term, but this jacket really does it all.
Taking the dogs out in sub-zero temps where even they need down jackets
(Colors: Women's Wine Tasting and Men's Corsair Blue)
No need to fear throwing a pair of ski edges on your shoulder after a morning of adventures. (Color: Men's Corsair Blue)