Latest from our recent trip to the European OutDoor 2010 trade show in Germany, is a look at what's new from Haglöfs for spring 2011 – we'll be telling you about their new autumn 2010 stuff shortly as well.
But off into the future. As you may or may not know, Haglofs has just been bought by Japanese sports giant, Asics. The bottom line seems to be that the Haglofs brand and values will continue, but the company should have more resources, so interesting stuff.
The other big topic is sustainability, with nearly all the range being Bluesign certified and more and more recycled products appearing in the range.
So what's new for 2011? The Amphibian Shorts for one, which are a fast-drying, 100% polyester short with a loose cut and Polygiene permanent anti-microbial treatment. They'll cost £50 as opposed to the £75 price tag on the succesful Lizard soft shell shorts, which will also be in the range, though still in sombre black. Come on guys, give us some colour...
Also new is the Intense short sleeve zip top, a multi-sports, erm, top, with flat-locked seams and a drop tail for running and biking efficiency. Not dramatic, but should be a wardrobe staple.
Hybrids are becoming more and more common and the new Electron Jacket uses a mix of Gore-Tex Pro Shell and Paclite. The dark areas are the Pro Shell and more durable, the lighter panels are Paclite, so not as tough but lighter than Pro Shell.
The jacket has the same hood as the proven Spitz and should do much the same job, but with reduced weight and bulk. It's set to retail for £300.
Haglofs has also been busy with its own-brand waterproof fabric, Proof. The new for 2011 Zenith Jacket uses a new stretch version of the fabric, which is 100% recycled. It's based on a Polyester membrane with two types of elements – one part is hydrophylic, so attracts and wicks moisture, the other is hydrophobic, so repels wet things. Previous Proof used a conventional PU membrane, but polyester is far easier to recycle.
The face fabric is stretchy for ease of movement and all the seams are sonic welded rather than stitched for a clean, less bulky look. There are pit-zips too and Haglofs seem confident that performance will be right up there with the best. The jacket will retail for £275.
There are also matching Zenith Pants which use the same fabric and construction techniques along with adjustable ankles, Hypalon crampon patches and three-quarter length zips. Price will be £175. Tech heads will be interested to know that the hydrostatic head of the fabric is 20,000mm and breathability, 10,000g over 24 hours.
Soft Shell Pants
The current Lizard Shorts and Top are going to be joined by the Lizard Pants - £85 – a slim-cut trouser as well as the new Shale Pant which is like the Lizard, but uses a lighter grade of Haglofs own fabric, Flexable, and utilises large fabric panels of cunning cut and orientation to minimise the amount of stitching needed. There's also the Schist Pant, a tougher trouser using the same fabric as the Lizard, but with just one seam running down to the knee. hard to explain or photograph, but it makes sense when you see it.
Finally there's an uber-tough soft shell pant, the Flint Pant, which is more durable again and has reinforced knees, kick patches and a snow gaiter.
Finally, for those of you who like bright colours, we've thrown in the scary green Windstopper Soft Shell variants. Ouch...
Last but not least, there's a newcomer to the footwear range in the shape of the Rock Legend, a £100 pure approach shoe with climbing aesthetics, sticky rubber sole unit and suede uppers. Looking good.
More Haglofs information at www.haglofs.se.