Built with aerogel on the inside, and self-drying nanotechnology on the outside.
- Outer material engineered with self-drying nanotechnology
- Synthetic insulation fused with aerogel
- Fitted with a watertight chest pocket
As we face life on Earth with new categories of weather, we’re going to need new categories of clothing. With extreme weather events on the rise for the last 40 years, and floods and fires sweeping across cities and states, “waterproof” is not enough. The megastorms are coming. Describing it as raining doesn’t quite cut it when you see houses and cars floating down the road. So we’ve started working on clothing designed for a world of ultraviolent weather – a world where the sky starts acting more like the ocean, and atmospheric rivers dump tidal waves of water down on towns, cities and villages.
The Waterfallproof Puffer is designed to combat the megastorms of the future, where crazily intense rainfall and snowstorms become the norm. Engineered with self-drying nanotechnology and an intelligent waterproof membrane, water can’t even stick to the outside of the jacket. It comes with a watertight chest pocket that we borrowed from scuba diving gear. And the insulation is embedded with aerogel – the lightest solid material in the world – to keep you warm down to -40°C.
Water rolls off the outside like a lotus leaf
The outside of the Waterfallproof Puffer 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.
The outside of the Puffer mimics one of nature’s most brilliant pieces of engineering, so water simply rolls off it.
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 microscale 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.
An intelligent membrane keeps you warm and dry
The second layer of the puffer uses Schoeller’s c_change® membrane which can open and close to respond to different weather conditions, while remaining permanently waterproof and windproof. It mimics natural structures like flowers and pinecones, opening and closing in response to changes in temperature, humidity and sweat. While it can open up like a series of microscopic vents to let heat escape, in the cold it closes itself like a protective barrier to stop heat leaving. So as soon as the temperature drops, or you stop moving, the membrane contracts to insulate you and retain heat close to the body.
The Puffer is designed to combat the megastorms of the future, where crazily intense rainfall and snowstorms become the norm.
The lightest solid material in the world
Aerogel is only three times more dense than air – which makes it the lightest solid material in the world. For contrast, water is 830 times more dense than air. To make aerogel you take silicon gel and put it through a process called supercritical drying, which slowly extracts the liquid part of the gel without collapsing its structure. What you’re left with is a porous, sponge-like material that’s made up of 99% empty space.
Aerogel has already been to Mars
Aerogel was originally invented at Stanford University in the 1930s. Sixty years later it was adopted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA, and it’s been travelling to and from space ever since. When the Pathfinder Sojourner Rover landed on Mars in 1997, it was aerogel that was used to insulate the electronics box because of its thermal properties. And on the Stardust spacecraft, it was aerogel they used to collect samples of interstellar dust from a comet that was moving six times faster than a bullet. So it has a decent CV.
How the insulation performs against down
While down traps heat well, it doesn’t work in wet conditions. As soon as the fibres get wet, they clump together and stop insulating almost immediately. The synthetic insulation in the Waterfallproof Puffer matches down’s thermal properties and is also treated with a water repellent finish. So the jacket will keep insulating even in crazily wet conditions.
The reason we don’t use down
We don’t believe ducks are the future of insulation, any more than we think horses are the future of transport. Over 80% of the down in jackets worldwide comes from ducks kept in industrial farms in China. Practises include ducks being plucked alive and feathers being harvested from force-fed ducks bred to produce foie gras. With complex international supply chains that cross cultures and borders that are hard to police, the best anyone can guarantee is that the ducks they used were already dead when they plucked them. So the only real way to ensure you don’t harm ducks, is by not using down.
WE BORROWED THE watertight chest pocket from scuba diving gear.
Fitted with a watertight chest pocket
While every zipper on the Waterfallproof Puffer is built to cope with extreme volumes of rain, we’ve fitted the jacket with a chest pocket that can survive total immersion in water. Even if you’re wading in chest deep water, anything inside it will stay dry. It’s built with an incredibly heavy-duty waterproof zipper that looks a bit like a rubber anchor and is normally only found in scubadiving gear. Just as no water could get in, no water could get out. So if you’ve always wanted to take your pet goldfish out for a walk, fill up the pocket and now you can.
Size + Fit
The Waterfallproof Puffer is designed with a loose fit, with plenty of room for other layers underneath. If you prefer a closer fit, we recommend you go for the size down.
|Fits chest||83 - 90||91 - 98||99 - 106||107 - 114||115 - 122||123 - 130|
|Fits waist||71 - 76||76 - 81||81 - 86||86 - 91||91 - 96||96 - 101|
|Fits chest||33 - 36||36 - 39||39 - 42||42 - 45||45 - 48||48 - 51|
|Fits waist||28 - 30||30 - 32||32 - 34||34 - 36||36 - 38||38 - 40|