Why We Chose It: Breathable, durable, technical feature set
More info: cortazu.com
We love it when new brands come along. Especially when they make some genuinely good kit, and even more especially when they show some good eco efforts.
Cortazu are a young brand from Amsterdam that specialise in durable outerwear protection with a backcountry skiing focus. They burst onto the scene earlier this year, picking up one of the highly coveted ISPO Gold Awards for a waterproof jacket made from recycled nylon, and although we couldn’t get our hands on that item, they did send us this non-recycled version, which, for every one they sell, a patch of land in Africa gets ‘re-greened’.
“It’s fully recyclable, which is reassuring.”
It’s an initiative run by an organisation called Just Diggit. Together with Cortazu, they’re on a mission to ‘cool down the earth’ by working with farmers to help regenerate land that has dried up and died, using a mixture of traditional and modern techniques.
The jacket itself is very similar to the Arc’teryx Beta LT, or the Mountain Equipment Rupal. It’s a durable three layer offering, made from a material called Dermizax EV (Bergans are another brand to use this by the way). It’s breathable stuff. In fact, it’s rated at 20,000 grams/24 hours, which is a decent number. What’s really interesting about this however, is that this slightly stretchy fabric is also non-porous, and that means that there’s no little holes where body oils and dirt can get trapped, thus damaging the breathability. It doesn’t require any special detergent either, like Nikwax or Grangers, so cleaning the jacket is easy. Oh, and it’s fully recyclable, which is reassuring.