Our Waterfallproof gear is built for a world of megastorms, where ‘waterproof’ is not enough
Water simply rolls off the Waterfallproof Jacket
The outside of the Waterfallproof Jacket mimics one of nature’s most brilliant pieces of engineering – the lotus leaf. Over millions of years the lotus leaf has adapted to life constantly surrounded by water. Although the surface of each leaf looks completely flat, it’s covered with a complex landscape of microscopic bumps which helps it stay clean and dry.
Nanotechnology means water can’t stick to it
When a drop of water lands on a normal flat surface, it sticks easily and quickly begins to absorb. But when water hits the surface of the lotus leaf, it can only balance on the peaks of the tiny bumps, so it simply rolls away with any movement or breeze. The outside layer of the jacket replicates the leaf’s microscopic bumps using Schoeller’s nanosphere® technology. The bumps are completely imperceptible to the naked eye, but allow the jacket to resist water, oil and dirt. So you can simply shake your jacket dry.
The next 100 years won’t look like the last 100. As floods and fires sweep across countries, and we face life on Earth with new categories of ultraviolent weather, we’re going to need new categories of clothing. So we make gear that protects you from fires, megastorms, and a world that’s heating up.
Meet the puffer that’s waterproof up to 40,000mm and keeps you warm down to -40°C
To create the most waterproof puffer jacket ever built, we’ve combined incredible waterproofness and warmth in one jacket. While the outside is designed for extreme waterproofness up to 40,000mm, the inside is made from water-repellent insulation fused with aerogel – the lightest solid material on Earth – to keep you warm down to -40°C.
Every detail of the jacket is built for extreme waterproofness
The puffers are fitted with a chest pocket so waterproof we had to steal it from scuba gear, and an intelligent membrane that can open and close in different weather. All the seams are fully sealed. And critical seams are reinforced with giant welded bartacks for strength. We’ve also engineered out shoulder seams to eliminate the chance of water finding its way in. You’ll find adjusters on the inside hem to tighten the jacket closed at the waist, and hidden elasticated gaiters at the cuffs to create an airtight seal between you and the elements.
Regular storms are turning into megastorms
The number of extreme weather events has been rising for the last 40 years and that trend is set to continue. Higher global temperatures create more evaporation, which leads to more moisture in the atmosphere, creating heavier and more intense rainfall. So while the risk of the next megastorm increases with every year, regular storms are intensifying around the world at the same time. Every year we see more Category 5 hurricanes – the most severe and destructive you can get.
The next megastorm is on its way
Megastorms hit California alone every 150 to 200 years, and it’s now 160 years since the last one. In December 1861, deep layers of water vapour known as atmospheric rivers formed high above the Pacific Ocean, before hammering California, Oregon and Nevada with rain, snow and hail for 45 days straight. Entire settlements were swept away by rivers which didn’t exist just a few weeks before. By January the floods stretched for hundreds of miles, and all 29,000 square kilometres of the Central Valley were submerged under three metres of water.
What storms of the future will look like
The Great Flood of 1862 is the worst known natural disaster to have hit the US since the Europeans arrived. But instead of being a freak event, it’s a glimpse into what Earth’s future might look like. Samples of sediment from Californian riverbeds have shown that these extreme weather events have happened every couple of hundred years. And as the planet heats up, we’re going to see more of them. Researchers have been creating models of the next potential megastorm, predicting wind speeds of 200km/h and rain so heavy it could result in flooding deeper than 6 metres.
Our Waterfallproof Ski Pants are highly waterproof and highly breathable at the same time
The issue with creating something crazily waterproof is breathability. The more water can’t come through one way, the harder it is to let it come out the other. A rubber wetsuit for instance would never let any rain through, but if you tried to go for a run in one you might pass out as it won’t let heat or sweat escape efficiently. So the middle layer of the ski pants uses Schoeller’s c_change® membrane. Instead of remaining static, the membrane can open and close to respond to different weather conditions as they happen, while remaining permanently waterproof and windproof.
How the membrane works in the heat and wet
As the air temperature rises, the membrane opens up so that excess sweat and heat can escape through the pants. But while the membrane’s polymer structure opens up to become extremely permeable to water vapour leaving the body, it remains completely waterproof on the outside. It means that even if you held the pants under a downpour in extreme heat, they will only ever let the water through one way, while still letting heat pass through it.