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The Science of Polartec NeoShell

clairewsmiley 5 months ago
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There are many waterproof fabrics on the market. But only one sets the standard for breathable waterproof comfort: Polartec NeoShell. In a variety of conditions, Polartec NeoShell is the best way to stay dry, warm, and comfortable.

Polartec NeoShell

Drawing by Brendan Leonard

What’s the Science?

Skeptical of how a waterproof fabric could also be breathable? It’s not magic; it’s science. To explain, Polartec Global Product Director Michael Cattanach is here to answer the tough questions.

What makes Polartec NeoShell a breathable waterproof fabric?

There’s science in all Polartec fabrics. In NeoShell we take a highly specialised membrane which is more than 80% air, marry it to fine textiles using a proprietary lamination technique. The end results are the softest, quietest, more comfortable breathable waterproof materials available (and a whole lot of science per square metre).

Is air permeability different from breathability?

They are different but often confused. We choose to focus on the term “air permeability” as it more accurately describes what our product does. It moves air from inside your garment to the outside.

Repeat after me: All air permeable fabrics are breathable, but not all breathable fabrics are air permeable.

How does moisture from your body pass through Polartec NeoShell’s membrane?

Air is moist, the air carries the moisture through the membrane as it goes. Your body is generating moisture and heat all the time, it travels through the membrane unimpeded keeping you more comfortable.

Repeat after me: Air permeability is the key to comfort.

How has Polartec NeoShell been innovated since it was first launched?

The essential elements of breathability and waterproofness have not changed. We’ve altered the aesthetic nature of the collection to emphasize what Polartec is known for across other collections. Focusing on our superior knitting technologies NeoShell is now stretchier, softer and quieter than it ever was.

Rather than your NeoShell jacket being an emergency garment that you put on only the worst conditions we want to make it your favourite jacket – which just happens to be loaded with technology.

In a downpour, will Polartec NeoShell keep me dry?

Yes. That’s what waterproof means. We also cover deluges, cloudbursts and good old-fashioned rainstorms.

What if I jump into a pool?

After four hours checking on YouTube I can say with some certainty that people who jump into swimming pools get wet.

Also, never eat Tide Pods.

What are the best situations / environment in which to wear a garment made from NeoShell?

User feedback is vital to Polartec’s product development process and what we found in the early days of testing is that people were wearing NeoShell where they would never have considered wearing a waterproof shell before.

In other waterproofs (non air-permeable ones) people doing high aerobic activities like cycling, cross-country skiing or adventure racing would rather be wet from rain than be uncomfortable in nasty jackets with all the breathability of a Doritos bag. NeoShell’s performance now allows them to perform better for longer.  

Don’t have Polartec NeoShell in your closet? Here are a few of our top spring jacket picks.

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