Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Outdoor Retailer, SLC

Words/Images Judith Ecochard

For us, the 3M™ THINSULATE™ tagline for its premium, technically advanced  THINSULATE™ Platinum Insulation----

"When Extreme Performance Matters" resonated for us...and not  only  as a distinct retail re-branding effort (with new hangtags).

But also because as one of those cold body types, like many people we know-men and women with minimal body fat, we don't generate the body heat to be reflect back in to keep us warm---a methodology used by many winter performance wear fabrics.

That does not work for it unless we are running sprints from the get go. We need the heat as an add-on.

Accordingly, we were very motivated to learn about the three levels of Thinsulate™that helped us to mentally organize the offerings that fall under this company's protective umbrella.

Most of our time at this OR exhibit was spent on the materials sporting the Platinum Tag...that includes the X-Static®-The Silver Fiber®---with superior odor control (less washing!) ...and other tech offerings --- the down-like Exceptional Comfort via siliconized microfibers, and all directions stretch insulation with Flexible Warmth (elastometric fibers).
Burton's vitage flavored baseball jacket-big seller for Spring 2011 with Thinsulate™ warmth

We also zeroed in on the "Type R" Thinsulate™ Insulation with Recycled Fibers---polyester made from post-consumer waste (50%)---for an eco-warmth without the bulk in performance wear...a major, major trend. 

AND P.S.---we wore a "Type B" a lot this winter...the Thinsulate™ Insulation for footwear.


A new offering for 3M™ THINSULATE™ is Thermal Insoles, "the first project that's a finished good." These footwear inserts work---we felt the "heat" as soon as we swapped out our kickers' regular insoles for these...even before we went outside.

A Thermal Insole with the middle cut out to see the three layers

There is padding in the arches made from foot conforming foam---and a patented foam in the bottom layer for shock absorption ---so we didn't give up the springy cushiness we like either.

Additionally, the top layer is made from abrasion resistant fabric with antimicrobial and wicking properties...so so far, the inserts have performed the same on Day 30, as they did on Day 1. And we don't just use them for hiking...we stuck them in dressier boots we wear around town and to outdoor soccer matches...

Def. worth the $19.99 price tag. In whole sizes that one can trim to fit.

Widely available too (REI, Cabela's and online)