Imagine you’re 234.62 miles into your PCT hike. Sweat beads on your brow and your calves scream at you as you pull yourself over what must be the 30th stair of this latest switchback. But right now all of this is bearable; you silently thank the local gear shop rep who suggested you take an Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket. Its ultra light weight is proving to be a major boon as you trudge forward. But you misstep, and slip! You slide about 5 feet on your belly through the muddy mire, and groan as you consider the damage that your jacket has surely incurred. To your surprise, your jacket is intact! Maybe it has a slightly new color scheme, but you’re able to wipe the mud away and continue on your way.
The women's and men's Helium II Jacket, and many other jackets in Outdoor Research’s line, is produced using Pertex brand fabrics as the primary shell material. Which is why that jacket is both lightweight and tough. Pertex has been a much beloved partner for over a decade. “Pertex is a great partner and loves working on projects with us. Our relationship with Pertex is very collaborative and honest,” says Alex Lauver, Outdoor Research’s Director of Commercial Innovation. Now that Pertex is celebrating their 40th anniversary of business, we thought it appropriate to shine a light on one of our greatest partners.
What makes Pertex so special? The answer lies in the expertise woven into their fabrics. Pertex focuses on using advanced manufacturing techniques, relentlessly pursuing the highest quality yarn for use in their fabrics, and precision weaving. The results are fabrics that use very thin, strong, and precisely woven threads, making them a great choice for a wide variety of applications.
The technology really becomes apparent once you wear a jacket that uses Pertex as its main shell layer. For instance, the Helium II Jacket uses the waterproof Pertex Shield 2.5L fabric. Not only are the Helium lI Jackets extraordinarily light, weighing in at 6.4 ounces for a men’s large and 5.5 ounces for a women’s medium, but they are also durable enough for thru hiking. These qualities make them a perfect choice amongst PCT and AT hikers alike.
Pertex also produces phenomenal shell fabrics for insulation layers, relying on only minimal coating and melting of fabric to seal in down insulation. Without extensive coating and melting of the shell fabric, Pertex’s Quantum fabrics provide a higher level of comfort for the wearer. That’s part of why Outdoor Research uses Pertex Quantum in our Alpine Down Refuge Hooded Jacket.
But let’s say you want to have the qualities of an insulated jacket, but let a little more air through to keep yourself cool and dry while skinning uphill. Quantum Air may be what you’re looking for. Crafted with a slightly looser weave, Quantum Air allows wind to penetrate the jacket and enhances comfort for high-exertion activities. If you’re looking for the ideal air-permeable insulation piece, check out the Refuge Air Hooded Jacket, which offers excellent warmth and breathability characteristics.
Pertex and Outdoor Research have created a close partnership to keep you warm and dry when you need it. To find the ideal Pertex jacket for you, check out our full line of Men’s and Women’s Pertex products.