Haglöfs New Lightweight Insulation - Scoop!
When the Haglöfs Essens Mimic Jacket rolled up the other day, we saw the slim, micro-baffles, clocked the translucent inner fabric and assumed it was down. And then we looked at it a bit harder and realised that it wasn't down at all, it was full of a synthetic fill, but housed in down-like slimline baffles.
Turns out that the jacket - which isn't due out until 'winter 2015' - actually contains a new form of 'blown-in' synthetic insulation which is claimed to give down-like performance, but with 'minimal moisture pick-up'. Not only that, the fill called QuadFusion Mimic, is blusesign approved and recycled.
A bit more digging, tells us that the lighter, fluffier take on synthetic fibres probably needs to be housed in small baffles to stop it migrating and clumping up and you can expect to see more of this type of insulation from other brands next winter too.
Pertex On The Outside
What else can we tell you? Well, the outside is 30D Pertex Microlight with a water-repellent treatment, while the inside seems to be a semi-translucent, finer material, maybe Quantum GL, to save weight. Speaking of which, our medium sample weighs in at a real life 360g on our digital scales, which is just a little more than a Haglofs Barrier Pro which we measured at 330g.
Then again, subjectively we reckon the Mimic is maybe slightly warmer than the Barrier Pro and interestingly, the 'plumped up' baffles feel more resilient under compression, so it may work better layered under a shell jacket too.
Nice Looks, Nice Cut
The other thing in a world where down clothing outsells synthetic insulation, despite synthetics often being a better choice in the cold, damp environment we're blessed with in the UK, is that the Essens Mimic looks rather nice in a down-like way.
It has a nice, close fit, is cut medium in length, rather than short like some lightweights and includes stealth zipped hand-warmer and chest pockets. Also interesting is the presence of a couple of unobtrusive, colour-coded, thin fabric stretch panels that run under the armpits and up behind the shoulder to - theoretically - improve 'freedom of movement'.
Normally that stuff is a bit gimmicky but the combination of broad editorial shoulders and the close cut means there does seem to be some give there when reaching forwards.
Overall, and these are early days, it seems like a nice half-way house between down-like warmth and synthetic resilience in a similar way to TNF's Thermoball insulation, which is currently on test in the Cairngorms with our man Ed.
Once it's available, some time in September 2015, it'll retail for £160 and there'll also be a hooded version available for £20 more. By then we should have put a good few miles on it and we'll have a much better idea of how it measures up to the claims.
In the mean time, watch out for a mass test of both down and synthetic current insulation on the site in the near future.
Details of the current Haglöfs range at www.haglofs.com