Active Insulation Should Be More than Just Hot Air. The U.S. Special Operations Command came to Polartec® to invent a real and needed advantage. To create a superior insulation system for the start-stop conditions of combat and the extreme temperature variations of mountainous terrain. SOCOM required a new approach to regulating warmth in ever-changing environments. Together, we developed not only a superior insulation system, but an entire new category of fabric technology — active insulation.
the versatility of polartec alpha combines function and fashion like nothing else. ®
Polartec® Alpha® solves the drawbacks of traditional insulations on multiple fronts. The invention of Polartec® synthetic fleece made possible what is now the most prominent form of temperature regulation: layering. This mixing-and-matching of fabrics as conditions change is still the best way to balance comfort. But this is not always an option. Soldiers in combat can’t pause to add, shed or adjust layers during a firefight. A more versatile, stand-alone fabric was needed. A faster drying fabric that regulates both warmth and moisture vapor in real time.
combat parka, BY wings + horns From these proving grounds, Alpha® has quickly become the preferred insulation for highly active pursuits like backcountry mountaineering, cycling and cold weather training. But Alpha’s versatility also extends its reach. Whereas traditional insulation fills require more rigid (and less breathable) fabrics to prevent fiber migration, Alpha® stays put. This means Alpha® can be paired with an infinite number of fabrics to create an infinite number of looks and styles. With this new creative freedom more brands are including this new approach to insulation into their lifestyle, sportswear and crossover designs.
Early Alpha® prototypes were developed in conjunction with the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass. Combining durable lofted-knit fibers with a solid mesh core created a new insulating fabric with warmth, breathability and dry times never before recorded with down feathers and synthetic fills. While traditional insulation warms by trapping heat (and causes instant overheating), Alpha® was completing its mission by continuously keeping excess heat and moisture vapor moving away from the body. This creates a more consistent temperature range both during times of great exertion and times of little movement. The result is greater comfort without having to change or adjust your clothes.
Others make claims to their own active insulation technologies. But there’s only one solution spec’d and deployed by U.S. Special Operations Command. There’s only one Polartec® Alpha®.
BREATHE BETTER. DRY FASTER. REGULATE COMFORT. POLARTEC ALPHa LEADS THE WAY. ®
SI A Booth: #1257