Last month, we attended the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Winter Show in Salt Lake City.
This show is always a source of inspiration, and if you’ve never been there, I’d highly recommend a future visit. Leading technical materials suppliers use this venue to introduce new materials for high performance gloves, apparel and sports gear, and manufacturers show off new product lines.
I wanted to share some of the highlights that have really excited us as we head into a new season of product development for our customers.
Technical Materials: 2014 Innovations for Glove Manufacturers:
Here are three innovative new materials that we are excited to start working with:
Keeping hands warm in polar conditions is one of the greatest challenges as glove designers. Of course, you can go the electric glove route. But many outdoor enthusiasts are looking for a more natural solution to keeping hands warm.
The biggest game changer in recent years is the development of “waterproof” down, and it’s synthetic cousins:
Natural Waterproof Down: Natural down has wonderful insulating properties, but not when it gets wet. That’s what makes the new waterproof down so exciting. Treated with a special process, it keeps it’s loft, even when wet. Now, a great natural insulation has waterproof properties, too.
Synthetic Waterproof "Down": Synthetic insulation just keeps getting better and better. It’s always been a winner for lightness, comfort and warmth … but we love where the next generation of synthetic insulation is headed.
At the show, a dramatic side-by-side demo compared new synthetic waterproof down to natural 650 fill down. When wet, the synthetic kept its loft and insulating properties. Impressive!
- Evo Shield Foam
We are always looking for ways to make gloves more protective, so we were excited to find a new foam that hardens on impact.
“…PORON XRD Protection Technology is a multi-purpose foam uniquely designed for wearable impact protection. Breathable, antimicrobial, lightweight, and effective even after repeated impacts, XRD Technology is ideal for use in protective equipment across the spectrum of team, action and outdoor sports.”
Imagine the possibilities for power sports, and other activities favored by active outdoor sports enthusiasts. We are excited to work with this stuff!
Slip-Proof Leathers: It’s always great to see innovations in leather -- years past have brought us touchscreen enabled leathers and more.
This year, we saw a new slip-proof leather that we are excited to explore for all sorts of performance glove categories. When you rub your hand across the leather, it has a very effective non-slip coating that adds grippiness … useful in lots of glove applications.
So there you have it … a few groundbreaking innovations that will make their way to next season’s glove lines.
Besides new materials, we spied new hardwear pulls and lots of other beautifully designed, functional advances that can up the performance quotient … in short, the makings of some great new gloves and gear for the winter outdoor enthusiast.
What new materials have you excited?
And, what outdoor enthusiast problems have yet to be solved?
Whether you have a new glove line to develop, or an older line that needs a fresh pair of eyes, a consultation with our glove design team is easily arranged.