The North Face Technology Process | Basin Sports

Tested In Labs. Proven On Expeditions. Trusted By Athletes.

The North Face Technology Process begins with our world-class athletes. Their suggestions, recommendations and new equipment ideas provide the inspiration and challenges that drive the research and development of advanced materials, innovative design and construction. The most crucial step involves testing both in our laboratories and with our athletes on expeditions around the world.

Original Words and Images By The North Face

Research & Development

Technologies

Innovation


Research & Development- The North Face Technology Process

The most crucial step involves testing both in our laboratories and with our athletes on expeditions around the world. Our athletes often recommend an innovation that’s outside the bounds of existing technology. The North Face® Research, Design and Development team accepts their challenges and turns to the laboratory for new fabrics and components. Our teams of designers and fabric technicians must turn those revolutionary raw materials into gear that maximizes an athlete’s ability to survive and succeed in the most severe weather conditions.

STEP 1: Research & Design in Conjunction With World-Class Athletes

Athletes who constantly pursue their own limits help us push the limits of apparel and equipment design and technology. The North Face® Athlete Team gives us constant feedback on the clothing and equipment they depend on for success and survival in their adventures. We hear from our athletes through gear evaluations and regular athlete input sessions.

STEP 2: Advance Material Research & Development

We partner with the world’s most innovative leading materials engineers to create the technically advanced fabrics needed to develop clothing and equipment that meet our high standards. For example, The North Face®, in conjunction with W.L. Gore, created the concept and helped to launch PacLite™ the most compressible, lightest weight GORE-TEX® shell fabric available – weighing only 3.2 ounces per yard. By adhering this new GORE-TEX® laminate to our proprietary, extremely lightweight nylon substrate, we succeeded in creating a shell material perfectly suited for the extreme lightweight requirements demanded in high-altitude expeditions.

STEP 3: Innovative Design & Construction

Exploring the frontiers of technology for better fabrics and components is only the beginning of the life cycle of a new piece of gear. A great example of this is our C130 Tent Test. Our entire tent line was tested against our competitors by placing them in back of a C130 plane. The plane’s four engines produce 13,000 ft/lbs. of torque and are capable of producing wind speeds in excess of 80 mph and unlike wind-tunnel tests, the propellers can create wind currents that are irregular and multi-directional. The results speak for themselves – our tents outperformed all the competition.

STEP 4: Laboratory Tested & Expedition Proven

We save the most critical step in our product development process for last. In addition to subjecting our products to a tortuous battery of laboratory tests, we send our apparel and equipment on extended athlete expeditions to learn how new products perform under the true test of the great outdoors. After receiving feedback, we refine each product until it receives approval from our world-class athlete team.


Technology- The North Face Technology Process

FUTURELIGHT™

OUR MOST ADVANCED BREATHABLE-WATERPROOF TECHNOLOGY.

Disruption is in our DNA. For over 50 years, The North Face has pushed the boundaries of what’s possible. The next chapter, our innovative FUTURELIGHT™ fabric, is here to revolutionize the outdoors yet again.

Like most revolutions, it started with an idea. Ours began with an on-mountain insight from alpinist, Andres Marin, who was on expedition in full kit. After repeatedly adjusting shells with changing weather, he asked, “What if there was gear that was alive?” What if one piece of gear could keep him dry in the rain, warm in the cold, and breathed when he needed it to?

We took those “what ifs” and challenged ourselves to find a solution. Our design teams worked closely with our world-class athletes to create a radically product. The end result? Our most advanced breathable-waterproof technology ever.

BENEFITS

  • Ultra-thin nanomembrane creates airflow while keeping water out for better breathability
  • Features innovative waterproofing that was rigorously tested to withstand the harshest weather conditions
  • Soft, lightweight and nimble for movement without constraints
  • Tested by our elite athlete team in the world’s most extreme environments for proven durability
  • Face and back layers sustainably crafted using 90% recycled materials

 

 

 

 

 

GOOSE DOWN

THERMAL INSULATION

Using only the highest quality goose down in all of our products, The North Face® tests each lot of down at three stages of production for loftiness, moisture resistance and ability to regain loft after compression. The fill power of goose down is an indicator of two important features: warmth-to-weight ratio and compressibility, both critical to retain warmth and furnish comfort. True fill power is measured by placing one ounce of goose down in a graduated cylinder and measuring the volume the down occupies in cubic inches. The North Face® products are insulated with exclusive, high-fill power goose down ranging from 550 to 900 fill, which represents the highest quality down commercially available.

BENEFITS

  • Superior warmth and comfort
  • Lightweight insulation
  • Increased loft than lesser fill downs (900 + 800 only)
  • Highest quality, high-fill power goose down

 

THERMOBALL

THE NEW SYNTHETIC ALTERNATIVE TO DOWN

The North Face™ developed a partnership with PrimaLoft® to offer a new synthetic alternative to down. ThermoBall™ is a revolution in insulation technology. Unlike traditional, continuous-filament synthetic insulations, the small round PrimaLoft® synthetic fiber clusters closely to mimic down clusters; trapping heat within small air pockets to retain warmth.

BENEFITS

  • Lightweight
  • Phenomenal warmth in cold and wet conditions
  • Packs neatly into zipper pocket (not all styles)
  • Insulates even when wet

GORE-TEX

WATERPROOF

The North Face® partners with GORE-TEX® to deliver the industry’s most innovative and highest performance waterproof, windproof and breathable weather protection. GORE-TEX® fabrics lead the industry in providing durable waterproof, breathable protection. The GORE-TEX® membrane is completely impervious to rain, sleet and snow, while allowing perspiration to pass through it from within. Tiny pores in the GORE-TEX® membrane allow perspiration to escape while preventing water from entering.

BENEFITS

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Protection in rain and snow
  • Ideal for snowboarding, skiing, and climbing

 


Innovation- The North Face Technology Process

FUSEFORM

STAY DRY AND MOVE SEAMLESSLY

Our proprietary fuseform construction technique vastly improves on our own innovative breakthroughs of the past. It’s a revolutionary weaving process that blends thicker, more-durable threads with lighter, lower-density fibers in high-wear zones, effectively reducing overall weight and creating a seamless transition from tougher to lighter zones.

BENEFITS

  • Innovative design enhances protection and function
  • Seamless fabric construction eliminates panel overlays
  • Trimmer fit allows better range-of-motion
  • Fabric density: 70 Denier
  • Fabric density: 40 Denier
  • Seamless fusion

 


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