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Morgans Hotel Penthouse, Madison Avenue, NYC

June 3rd, 2009

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

As outdoorsy types-- we know what it’s like to FREEZE in our wet snowboard or hiking boots. Not fun…and potentially dangerous.

Our ancient footgear is not made with the water resistant, moisture wicking, warm and compression recoverable PrimaLoft®Eco Footwear microfibers (a 50/50 blend of virgin/recycled insulation).

Now we know to insist on the black/red/white/gray Primaloft® hangtag on all future winter kickers.


We recently took in a mind boggling showcase of performance clothing, footwear, outdoor gear, accessories, and housewares’ that use PrimaLoft® materials as part of their DNA.

It was an eye opener…taking in all the top brands like Black Diamond, Marmot, Burton, Avalanche, Salomon, Spyder,Montrail, Technica, Cloudveil, Patagonia, Sierra Designs, REI, Arc'Teryx, Kombi, etc--- staged by functional vignettes (Traveling, By the Fireside, Hunting, Winter Camping, Extreme Winter Sports, Winter Snow Sports, and Hospitality)… all using this cutting edge, thermally efficient fiber.

No surprise…Primaloft® got a major bump up when it was developed for use by the US ARMY as a superior performing, washable synthetic alternative to down. Now all branches of the military including the elite Special Forces…are attired in gear embedded with PrimaLoft®.

Top on our female wish list was the stylish Powder Room belted plaid snowboard jacket ($170) for gals…made by Canada’s Ripzone…(it’s menswear company).

Since we spend way to much time wiping out why surfing the mountains, we were very impressed that the seam sealed, ez care cover-up was 100% waterproof, and had the details we demand from active wear like insulated thumbholes, two needle stitching, an inner powder skirt to prevent the white stuff from climbing up our backs, and zipped pockets to stash our stuff.

We also liked the Colorado born Loki jacket with a built in full face protection (and gloves!)…and the travel pouch that shakes out into a warm insulated vest (Loki Phase Change Vest), courtesy of the super lightweight, ultra fine fibered Primaloft® Sport …a new thermally efficient, water resistant, breathable and compressible material that maximizes loft.

Other advanced gear we can’t wait to demo:

the Recco® avalanche reflector embedded Animagi waterproof jacket by North Face,

city chic equestrian waterproof peds (Ariat Grasmere riding boot with PrimaLoft® Eco)

and super soft, moisture wicking, and warm Mountain Hardwear Pumeri cardigan (with PrimaLoft® Yarn)…

and Merrell lace up suede kickers…though our guys will like the trekkers.

Performance wear companies (new to us) are the Kjus collection…from Switzerland

and sponsor of Bode Miller,

the streetwear worthy “on slope and on pavement” clean lines of Isaora (from NYC)….

and Powderhorn women’s line outta Jackson Hole.

Frankly, we wanted everything. Including the bedding. The highlight was the pillow menu-puffed up with Primaloft®--- offered by leading hotel W Hotels…that let’s guests dial up or down the softness in hypoallergenic comfort.