PrimaLoft brings NASA's trademark Aerogel insulation to the market of outdoor apparel

primaloft gold aerogel
Jon Collier, Flickr
Reigning fabric designer PrimaLoft recently announced its new insulation PrimaLoft Gold Aerogel, which will be used in various aspects of outdoor apparel this upcoming year.

Aerogel is a synthetic substance derived from a gel, physically recognized as a solid and yet weighing nearly nothing. An extremely low-density and thermo conductivity attribute to its reference as “frozen smoke.” NASA extensively uses Aerogel as the primary thermal insulation in space suits and to protect electronics from damage in extreme conditions.

Harnessing Aerogel for use in apparel has been a longstanding battle due to the friability of the substance, its sensitivity to water, and lack of ventilation. PrimaLoft Gold Aerogel will serve as the first successful utilization of the substance in outdoor gear on a wide scale.

The company has solved the issue of Aerogel’s fragility by enclosing it in a protective membrane measuring 0.1 mm to 0.25 mm in width. PrimaLoft will offer the insulation in 1.5-mm, 2-mm, and 3-mm total thicknesses. It is capable of withstanding heavy pressure and will be actively utilized in places where breathability is not a concern, including cell phone pockets, boot insoles, and gloves. PrimaLoft Gold Aerogel’s most impressive feature is its claimed CLO rating, ranging from 1.29 to 2.01.

Helly Hansen is one of the preeminent companies behind the insulation and will be incorporating it into more than sixty percent of its upcoming ski outerwear. It has designated the substance for use in cell phone pockets dubbed “Lifepockets,” which draw on a skier’s body warmth to preserve cell phone battery life in cold weather. The pockets are rated to function down to twenty eight degrees below zero.

L.L Bean’s recently released Men’s Big Game Gore-Tex Pro Hunting Boots highlight the use of PrimaLoft Gold Aerogel in boot insoles. Other brands incorporating PrimaLoft Gold Aerogel products to be released this year include Arctic Cat, 45 NRTH, TNF Japan, and Reusch, among others.

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