Columbia Sportswear acquired OutDry Technologies 10 years ago and decided at the time to restrict the membrane to products under its own brands, such as Columbia and Mountain Hardwear. This compelled OutDry’s more than 50 external customers to look for alternatives. OutDry’s inventor, Matteo Morlacchi, and his brother Luca, who both initially continued to work for Columbia, left the company when the third-party business was discontinued. With “HDry,” the Italian Morlacchi brothers returned to Ispo Munich with a membrane that was very reminiscent of their first business. Like OutDry, the waterproof and breathable HDry membrane is laminated directly to the outer material. This improves breathability, the upper material absorbs only a small amount of water, the shoe remains lighter when wet, and no water collects between the upper material and the membrane. In addition, the technology drastically reduces the need for environmentally harmful impregnation agents. HDry was already on display at OutDoor by Ispo last summer, but the brothers kept it under the radar until all legal matters had been dealt with. According to Morlacchi, some of the OutDry patents have expired, while others relate exclusively to the machinery. Morlacchi therefore redesigned the machines and created a particularly advanced process for laminating the membrane. Former OutDry customers, such as Scarpa and Ferrino, have already presented new products with the new membrane. With HDry, Morlacchi says, the outdoor industry once again has access to a superior waterproof and breathable technology, and he is prepared to return to “business as usual” as it was before OutDry’s sale to Columbia.

 

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