We suspect you'll be hearing quite a lot about Sir Ranulph Fiennes and the Coldest Journey Expedition over the next few days, but we thought you might like this detailed look at the expedition sledge-hauling jacket which Montane has been working on for the past six months with Fiennes.
The journey across Antarctica is serious stuff and the jackets have been designed to be worn while working hard in extremely cold conidtions.
Sir Ranulph commented: “The clothing worn by The Coldest Journey Expedition will include key apparel from MONTANE®, some of it bespoke, which will keep us warm into temperatures ranging down to minus 70°C.”
So that's very cold indeed.
Pile and Pertex Still Works
If you're interested, the jacket is a super serious development of the proven pile/Pertex combination which Montane uses for its Extreme Smock and Jacket with DRYACTIV 3000 deep pile lining and Pertex Classic 6 on the outside.
That means you have a windproof, but very breathable outer shell with a warm liner that also wicks and dries super fast, which is vital in polar conditions where damp clothing is not only uncomfortable, but potentially dangerous in the ultra-low temperatures.
It's not just any old jacket though, there are some interesting features designed for polar use. Like the removable front storm faceguard, a ncek baffle to keep the weather out, YKK Vislon zips which slide easily even in bad conditions and, finally, it originally said on the schematic, 'mid-calf length cut...
We checked that one as the image of Sir Ran and his partner waddling across the ice like a pair of Emperor penguins seemed unlikely and Montane confirmed that it is, as we suspected, a minor error and the jackets are in fact mid-thigh length for a combination of torso protection and freedom of movement. Now corrected on the image above too.
The expedition, if you've not heard of it before, is an attempt by Sir Ran Fiennes and team to make the first ever full winter crossing of Antarctica and when the expedition ship sails off down the Thames on Thursday, will be the largest polar expedition to leave the UK in over 30 years, it says here.
Along with the special sledge jackets, Montane has also supplied other clothing and packs to Sir Rannulph Fiennes and his partner as well as the ice group and the ship's crew.
Montane aren't the only outdoor brand involved. More about some of the others shortly.
In the mean time, there's more about the expedition at www.thecoldestjourney.org and about Montane at www.montane.co.uk.