The North Face pushes innovation launching Advanced Mountain Kit with five new technologies
”The level of construction and consideration is at a whole new level,” Michael Horsch, VP product and marketing at The North Face EMEA, states.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
December 21, 2021
For over half a century The North Face has been designing highly innovative and technically advanced gear for the high-alpine. As exploration in the high alpine is evolving today and the world’s best athletes are now moving faster and more efficiently than ever before, the demand for innovation to meet those needs is growing. The North Face’s way of meeting this is with this season’s launch of the Summit Series Advanced Mountain Kit (AMK).
— I’d say that it’s a step change in high alpine gear. Our partnerships with world class athletes are two-way conversations — we take feedback and learnings from them extremely seriously, so when our alpinists told us they needed to move quicker, be lighter and work more efficiently in the high alpine, we listened, says Michael Horsch.
How’d you describe the line?
— AMK is for climbers who are pushing their limits, who want to perform better in the mountains. It’s been specifically developed to help athletes move faster and more efficiently in some of the toughest conditions on earth. Our athletes, David Göttler, Hervé Barmasse, and Andres Marin, were instrumental in this process. They spent time with our development team, worked through more than 10 prototype versions, and provided key insights and crucial details that have all gone into the final product. It’s been a 3 year plus journey from original ideation to final product in-store, says Horsch. He adds:
— We introduce five new technologies, including Future Fleece, Dot Knit, and FUTURELIGHT.
FutureFleece is a technical, lightweight layer, featuring a full-loop fabric construction made with octa-yarns — octagonal-shaped yarn with hollow cross-sections for higher thermal performance. Dot Knit is an active base layer, pulling moisture from the skin and expelling it to the outside of the garment with the use of hydrophobic inner yarns, while hydrophilic outer yarns pull moisture through holes throughout the layer. FUTURELIGHT is The North Face’s most lightweight, breathable membrane to date, adding air permeability to a waterproof membrane and where the nanostructure allows air to pass through for better venting and breathability. Cloud Down’s asymmetrical inner and outer construction allows maximum space for the down to loft while keeping the lining close to skin for enhanced thermal performance. Lastly, 50/50 Down is what The North Face describes as an entirely new approach to insulation, allowing heat and moisture to escape for enhanced temperature regulation during aerobic activity in extreme environments.
— The level of construction and consideration is at a whole new level, Horsch concludes.