We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.
Read more about us.
NW Alpine shows us their Eyebright jacket at the OutDoor Show 2017 in Friedrichshafen.
Konstantin: Hi this is Konstantin from Hike Ventures, and I’ve got Bill from Northwest Alpine.
So, Bill, would you tell us something about your company?
Bill: Yeah, so Northwest Alpine has been around since 2010, and we’re focused on apparel for climbing. We do all of our production in our on factory in the United States in Oregon. So, we have a lot of control over our manufacturing quality and all that good stuff.
Konstantin: So and what kind of products for climbing do you actually produce?
Bill: So we produce a whole range from base layer to shell. Probably our most innovative product is our ultralight waterproof breathable jacket, called the Eyebright jacket.
Konstantin: Is this the one behind us?
Bill: This is the one. So, this weighs about 128 grams. It’s an eVent membrane. It’s actually a three layer fabric, so there’s membrane around the inside. Dyneema layer for strength. The polyester base.
The construction is pretty unique in that we … All of the seams are bonded. There’s very little sewing in the jacket.
Konstantin: I don’t see anything.
Bill: Yeah, on this jacket the only thing that’s sewn is the elastic on the cuffs.
Right now we’re experimenting with bonding the zippers on, but in our current production … This is available now. In our current production, our zippers sewn in. So, as you can see, this is the first one we’ve actually bonded the zippers on. So this is a test piece.
Konstantin: And it’s quite …
Bill: Very packable. So 128 grams, it’s one of those pieces that you can just throw in your backpack.
Konstantin: At the same time, it’s very strong, you say.
Bill: It is. Yeah. You won’t find another ultralight jacket that’s as strong as this. Dyneema fibers, which are the middle layer of the fabric are one of the strongest man-made fibers in existence.
They’re very thin. Very strong. Actually stronger than steel on a weight for weight basis.
Konstantin: Another interesting thing that you mentioned was your tent.
Bill: Yeah. Unfortunately we don’t have it pitched at the moment. We don’t have no space. But, we utilize the same fabric as the jacket for the walls of the tent.
It’s a two-person four-season tent that weighs in at about 408 grams. So probably one of the lightest, maybe the lightest two-person tent on the market.
Konstantin: Single wall?
Bill: Yeah. Single wall. Yep.
Konstantin: Also quite small and compact.
Bill: Yeah, absolutely. You could even get it smaller than that, but-
Konstantin: Do you use a compression.
Bill: Yeah, even you could like … sometimes it’s too hard to get it really tight, but we’ve made it smaller stuff to see how small we can get it. You know, like an American burrito size.
Konstantin: Wow. It’s either you’ve got huge burritos or a small tent.