Why We Chose It: Sustainable, warm, sweat-lifting, fast-drying
Our Outdoor 100 series isn’t just a thoughtless roll call of new items released for the season, it’s a round-up of stuff that deserve to be shouted about – tech that turns heads. And that’s why we decided Polartec’s Power Grid was worthy of inclusion, even despite the fact it’s not a product per se, but an ingredient that goes into other products.
More specifically, Polartec Power Grid is a patented fabric construction that, in the simplest terms, makes for garments that can keep you nice and warm and without the need for masses of bulky, heavy fibres.
There are a whole host of other benefits to it as well…
Materials and Construction
Like your outdoor gear to be made sustainably? You’ll like Polartec Power Grid then. A high proportion of the fibres used for its yarns are made from a recycled polyester that’s derived from plastic bottles. In the case of the Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight in focus in the video within this review, as much as 92% of the synthetics are recycled.
Polartec actually pioneered the process of using bottles for technical garments and over the last 25 years they’ve diverted over 1.8 billion plastic bottles from landfill.
These synthetic yarns are then formed into a bi-component knit, with the outer side being tightly woven and smooth and the inside featuring that patented grid with hundreds of tiny insulating squares and then open air channels between them that allow air to circulate, thus increasing the thermal warmth and temperature regulation.
“It’s the kind of stuff that I’ve found I can hike all day in and then keep on overnight.”
What’s more, the fibres that sit against your skin are hydrophilic and that means they’re as thirsty as the Outdoors Magic office at 5 o’clock on a Friday. Any sweat is lifted right off the skin and is then spread out in a thin layer throughout the weave to make for a super fast drying time. That’s exactly what you want from a technical baselayer or midlayer.