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Posts Tagged ‘Albany International Corp’

PrimaLoft – Warmer Drier Softer

Monday, July 25th, 2011

The most remarkable thing about this photo of Navy SEALs undergoing cold weather training at Det-Kodiak in Alaska is the expression on their faces. Or, better yet, their lack of expression. The reason is simple. In addition to training they are wearing garments insulated with PrimaLoft. In fact, PrimaLoft is used in cold weather loft layers used by all four services as well as SOCOM. If you’ve deployed in the past few years, chances are good you’ve relied on PrimaLoft.

Originally developed during the 1980s, the US Army commissioned Albany International to work on a water resistant synthetic alternative to down. What they came up with is PrimaLoft, used for military as well as commercial applications. However, in the meantime, they hardly been sitting around resting on their laurels. For instance, they’ve recently improved the performance of PrimaLoft Sport with their Convection Technology to offer 15% more loft than previous versions.

One of several things that PrimaLoft has going for it is a waterproof treatment that is cured into its fibers. This process results in PrimaLoft fibers adsorb only about 100 to 250% weight in water while many other polyester fibers will absorb up 400% to 1000% of their weight in water. Take a look at the diagram above. As you can see, PrimaLoft Sport does a pretty good job of retaining its CLO value* whether wet or dry. Additionally, PrimaLoft uses fibers that are less than one denier (a single strand of silk is essentially one denier) in thickness. This translates to increased compressibility.

If you’ve been using clothing insulated with PrimaLoft while deployed, you might want to know that numerous manufacturers also rely on it for their commercial products. For instance, you might be interested in this Spindrift Jacket from KUIU for use while hunting. You’d be amazed to see who’s using it. What’s more, you can even get bedding featuring PrimaLoft. To learn more, visit

*One Clo represents the amount of insulation required to keep a resting person warm in an indoor room at 70°F (21.1°C). Clo ratings in oz/sq yd allow you to compare relative thermal performance of one insulation versus another.