The North Face is reserving some interesting new surprises in its footwear range for the spring/summer 2021 season, to be presented at the OutDoor by Ispo show in Munich later this year. At the last Ispo show in Munich, the brand created a sensation with its highly technical “Advanced Mountain Kit,” which will only be available in limited quantities at selected retailers and on the brand’s website, starting in May.
The innovative technologies and materials used in the kit will be made more broadly available to consumers through TNF’s Summit Series in the autumn of 2019.
The brand’s new, high-priced line for mountain sports consists of a total of 21 products designed in collaboration with professional alpinists, covering everything from equipment to clothing and footwear that is necessary for an expedition under extreme conditions. The basic idea was to develop a complete system of expedition equipment that would quickly and efficiently prepare athletes for all tours.
According to Scott Mellin, global general manager for Performance Sports at TNF, “expeditions are now planned and carried out much faster than they used to be, so we have developed a complete, coordinated equipment system.”
In terms of clothing, the five-layer system consists of a breathable, packable, warm and light layer system from underwear to waterproof hardshells, and from gloves to mountain boots. The equipment includes a tent, a sleeping bag and various sports bags and backpacks. The whole kit carries a price tag of about €25,000. The price of the sleeping bag is about €1,200, and the hardshell costs €1,500.
With the new line will initially be sold by only nine partners in Europe, twelve in the U.S. and four in Asia. The nine retail partners in Europe are Au Vieux Campeur in France, Barrabes in Spain, Sport Specialist in Italy, Brigham Mountain Sports in the U.K., Nordiska Kompaniet in Sweden, 8a.pl in Poland, Schuster in Germany, Sport Marathon in Russia and Sportsnett in Norway. Elements of the line will also be available in limited quantities on TNF’s website.
The new premium kit features many new technologies including variations of Futurelight, the new proprietary waterproof/breathable technology launched by TNF at Ispo Munich last year for introduction in the autumn/winter 2019/20 season. The brand is now widening its distribution worldwide and applying it to more affordable items such as rainwear.
Other new textile technologies applied to the “Advanced Mountain Kit” include an asymmetric inner and outer construction of down chambers, called “Cloud Down,” which provides increased thermal performance; “50/50 Down,” consisting of down baffles paired with a highly air-permeable face fabric for less bulk and enhanced thermal regulation in the breathable down layer; and “FutureFleece,” a full-loop woven construction made of octagonal yarn with hollow cross-sections for increased thermal performance.
The base layers use “Dot fleece,” which combines a special hole construction with hydrophobic inner and hydrophilic outer yarns to help the wearer stay dry.
Completing the range, TNF is introducing a very lightweight combination of three footwear solutions that make use of its own Futurelight technology along with other proprietary technologies and innovative constructions, partly developed in partnership with Spectra: the Summit L3 Insulated Climb Gaitor, the Summit L2 Super Approach Boot and the Summit Futurelight Down Bootie.