Following a near-death experience in the wild back in 1936, legendary outdoorsman Eddie Bauer designed the first down jacket that was sold in North America, creating a revolution in outdoor clothing as a result. Now, the company that still bears his name is looking to do the same thing by introducing a radical new jacket that uses a radical form of insulation called Thindown that promises to alter the classic down jacket forever, and redefine how these garments perform in cold weather.
Developed in Italy, Thindown is essentially a fabric that is made almost completely from down. It uses traditional down feathers that are pressed into a flat sheet and held together by two thin layers of scrim, which allow the material to hold its shape. This gives garment manufacturers the option of integrating a layer of down into their clothing without having to make alterations to their designs to accommodate it.
In terms of its weight-to-warmth ratio, down is one of the most efficient insulators on the planet. But because it is made up of soft, loose feathers, it can’t simply be stuffed between two layers of fabric. Instead, designers must create baffles or stitched quilting in a garment to hold the down in place. This typically works well, although it can occasionally create cold spots that cause a drop in performance and of course it limits the use of down from a fashion sense.
Because Thindown comes in sheets that fit neatly between layers of other fabrics, it can be inserted into practically any type of clothing. That means that as the material is adopted by more manufacturers, you could see down insulated leather jackets, for instance, or even cotton shirts, cashmere sweaters, and more.
Eddie Bauer will be the first company in North America to utilize Thindown. The outdoor gear manufacturer will introduce the EverTherm Down Jacket this fall and it promises to bring impressive performance along with it. Reportedly the jacket will provide warmth down to -15 degrees Fahrenheit, and will feature a StormRepel DWR outer shell that offers protection from wind and rain. Additionally, the Thindown insulation won’t have the same puffy look that most down jackets are known for, allowing the EverTherm to have a much thinner profile. The jacket will also be incredibly lightweight, with the men’s version clocking in at 11.36 ounces, while the women’s edition will weigh just 9.12 ounces.
Mountain guide Adrian Ballinger used the EverTherm on Everest this year where he nabbed his seventh summit of the mountain. In a press release announcing the jacket, Ballinger, who is an Eddie Bauer-sponsored athlete, described it as “the best jacket I’ve worn: it’s ultra-light, warm, and slim.”
The EverTherm Down Jacket will be available to purchase in all Eddie Bauer stores and online on September 24. It comes in both a hooded version that sells for $279 and a non-hooded model that retails for $249. Pre-orders are available now.
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