Milan, Italy – The escalating cost of duck and goose down, as well as issues of animal welfare and a lack of quality control have outdoor industry brands experimenting with a variety of alternative insulations. Synthetic blown-in fibers and fiber balls like the The North Face's Thermoball technology are more recent attempts at mimicking the unique loft and structure of natural down. While more affordable, these innovations have their setbacks like fiber clumping and fiber migration after washing, which leads to cold spots.
Seattle, Wash. – Eddie Bauer has new apparel and gear lines for fly fishing, marking an expansion of the brand's Sport Shop series. The series focuses on specialized gear for upland hunting, shooting, and now fishing. The expansion into fishing makes sense, as a recent report from the Outdoor Foundation found that fishing is the second-most popular "gateway activity," meaning that once people get involved, they quickly take up other outdoor pursuits.
Ventura, Calif. – A new company that came up with an innovative, water-free process for cleaning, disinfecting and coating textiles and garments earned investment money from Patagonia through the brand's $20 Million and Change fund. The $20 Million and Change fund was launched in 2013 to invest in startup companies that are trying to combat environmental crises through their products.
K2 Sports is recalling its Kwicker and Kwicker BC snowboard bindings, as they may release prematurely and create a fall hazard for snowboarders. Consumers are asked to stop using the bindings all together and K2 is providing free replacements and installation to affected customers.
Ventura, Calif. – Patagonia aims to increase the popularity of fly fishing with its new line of basic gear, packaged together in a kit that includes a book on techniques. This is the first time the brand has branched out into selling gear, though it makes fly fishing apparel.
Moscow, Idaho – NRS has put out both a print edition and a multi-media digital version of its Spring 2014 Apparel look book, for its latest sun and immersion protection apparel lines. The digital version, available on the NRS website, features photos, along with video showcases and "entertaining extras."
The look book features NRS's new H2Core line, a layering system exclusively for paddlers. Neat touches on the new line include hidden stash pockets, and a yoga-style waistbands on women's pants. It also expanded and updated its Hydroskin line; it now has three neoprene thicknesses and a variety of tops and bottoms designed to give paddlers more mix-andmatch options for a variety of weather and water conditions.
Laval, Quebec – Pelican is ready to craft more kayaks, canoes and boats, following a $1.5 million investment into its main Canadian manufacturing facility in Laval, Quebec. The money mostly went to technological upgrades that allow it to accelerate production via efficiency improvements.
The Woolrich F/W 2014 collection will feature jackets and sweaters made with Alcantara material. Outer jackets use the Alcantara Thin 0.4 mm. The collection also includes down sweaters made from 90/10 goose down and Alcantra. The color palette for the women's collection is dark brown, tobacco, cream and black. Men's consists of beige, green and anthracite blue.