Polartec LLC, Lawrence, Mass., has introduced a man-made fiber insulation that provides improved
breathability and moisture-vapor transport in puffy-style apparel.
The company reports Polartec® Alpha® is highly stable and enables the use of more open and
breathable fabrics on the outer and inner layers of puffy-style apparel, in contrast to down and
existing man-made insulation batting used under high-density woven layers that form a vapor barrier
but can trap moisture inside a garment. Polartec Alpha continues to insulate when wet; dries faster
than traditional puffy-style insulation fabrics; is inherently wind-resistant; provides warmth; and
is lightweight, durable and highly compressible.
Developed for the U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF), the insulation received the highest
ratings of any product tested by SOF. Polartec Alpha jackets will be supplied to all Special Forces
operators, and the insulation will be offered at retail next fall.