Colours are getting more muted, materials are getting tougher and sustainability is on the up
A trend you won’t see from our test shots over next season are the increasingly muted colours, because all the kit we’re using features super-bright colourways – we like to think we’re so far ahead of the curve that we’re sporting gear way ahead of trend…
A key message seems to be that high mountain gear, as typified by Helly Hansen’s Ullr range, is getting tougher. The Mountain Pro series feels genuinely workmanlike, with a really robust build driven by feedback from guides looking for more durability. The difference between this and, say, top-end Gore-Tex Pro Shell suits from a couple of years ago is remarkable.
The new Black Crows backcountry range is heading down a similar track – more durable materials sporting a more wearable-anywhere look.
We’re also seeing recycled materials cropping up more and more, with Haglöfs winning awards for sustainability and working with Greenpeace to reduce toxicity in production. It’s not something we’ve featured much, but when companies work hard to influence their environmental impact it’s important to report back.
Recycled insulation from companies like Primaloft is also being driven by manufacturers looking to deliver lower impact – their Gold microfibre insulation is used by Patagonia, The North Face, Rab and others as part of the drive in this direction.
Finally, we don’t often get excited about zips, but the new YKK Fix A Shape zipper has put pay to that. Seen on Eider’s Shaper jacket, it arches around your chin and face, creating a comfortable cocoon. So no more catching your chin/lip/goatee in the zipper. Hooray!