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Posts Tagged ‘PrimaLoft’

PrimaLoft at Open Range Service Group’s MM&CW Workshop

Monday, April 9th, 2012

We’ve written about PrimaLoft before but we thought that the slides from their presentation at Open Range Service Group’s Military Mountain and Cold Weather Workshop was worth sharing to our readers. I don’t think we can say enough good things about that conference.

Originally developed by Albany International during the 1980s, PrimaLoft was originally intended as a water resistant synthetic alternative to down. Tim Cashell did a great job of explaining how it works and the impact it has had on military clothing programs, particularly USSOCOM’s Protective Combat Uniform.

PrimaLoft Military Workshop

Open Range Service Group Military Mountain and Cold Weather Workshop

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

In late January, Open Range Service Group coordinated the Military Mountain and Cold Weather Workshop, a two day round table workshop designed to bring together Military and DoD personnel with industry leaders in the area of military equipment for cold weather and mountainous operations. Held in Essex, Vermont the location is well known to those in military mountaineering circles. The forum of discussions provided insight on operational requirements based of lessons learned, current technology and future developments to support mission requirements and future needs. Topics covered ranged from advanced fiber technology and materials used for insulation in cold weather protection garments, individual mountain equipment to include stoves, sleep systems and lighting. A third day was dedicated to actual ice climbing training that utilized products discussed in the workshop briefings.

Denali Climb for the Fallen, 2nd Ranger BTN, Open Range Service Group from Marc Womack on Vimeo.

The conference kicked off with a presentation on the Denali Climb for the Fallen by members of the 2nd Ranger Bn and led by Open Range Service Group. This video is a synopsis of the ascent. The group summited Denali on Memorial Day of 2011. This key presentation really set off the tone of the entire event and while the climb was completed under training conditions, the environmental challenges faced by the crew were the same as in combat. This led to excellent observations on kit, nutrition, health and techniques. In later presentations, I was able to make direct correlations back to the initial address which was very helpful considering I had never undertaken a climbing expedition.

I attend a lot of seminars and trade shows and I have to say that this event was well worth my time. The subject matter was poignant and the speakers and attendees were a great mix. There was heavy attendance by military and industry personnel involved in mountain and cold weather ops. I was really impressed with the backgrounds of military and civilians alike and everyone added to the discussion but from different perspectives. While ultimately, everything is based on civilian climbing, different units adopt different techniques and gear at different speeds.

If you have the opportunity to attend one of ORSG’s events in the future, make sure you do it. I can’t think of many conferences where you can talk about new techniques and technologies and then try them out. If it’s even half as good as this one, you won’t be disappointed.

I want to give out a special thanks to my hosts Open Range Service Group and in particular, sponsor Primaloft.

Also, be sure to ask ORSG about their excellent performance t-shirts from New Balance commemorating the Denali Climb for the Fallen. Proceeds from sales of the shirts go to the Pointe du Hoc Foundation.

PCU Block 2 Preview

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

SSD recently had an opportunity to check the latest prototypes from USSOCOM’s Protective Combat Uniform Block 2.

Designed to be worn in temperatures ranging from 40 deg to -50 deg F, PCU is a 8 level environmental clothing system consisting of a variety of performance clothing items that can be configured based on conditions. For PCU, moisture management is a key feature driving its development. Keeping Operators dry, keeps them in the fight.

The original Block 0 configuration was fielded beginning in 2003 based on gear selections from PEPSE (Personal Environmental Protective Survival Equipment) and espousing wear principles from Mark Twight‘s seminal work on climbing, “Extreme Alpinism“. In 2006, USSOCOM charged their support office at Natick to make incremental improvements to the system based on user feedback and streamline the production process, facilitating a partnership between major outdoor manufacturers and National Industries for the Severely Handicapped.

Recently, to further modernize the system for the evolving needs of the SOF Operator and to insert the latest outdoor technologies, Natick’s PM-SOF sat down with representatives from the various stakeholders and went through Block 1 level by level. Based on these meetings, and some field trials of the new designs by 10th SFG(A) and NSW Det-Kodiak, the upcoming Block 2 system will feature a few changes.


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.

Marines Purchase Additional Extreme Cold Weather Gear Using PrimaLoft Insulation

Friday, December 17th, 2010

PrimaLoft® Insulation Technologyâ„¢, the research and development leader in high performance insulations used to enhance combat conditions for soldiers, has announced that the United States Marine Corps (USMC) has purchased 6,000 additional sets of the USMC Extreme Cold Weather Parkas, Trousers and Booties insulated with PrimaLoft® to equip U.S. Marines stationed in the coldest areas of Afghanistan and across the globe. This new buy brings the total number of system sets currently fielded to Marines to 50,000. Known to Marines as the “Happy Suit” the garments are manufactured by Wild Things Tactical.

Developed in partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps, PrimaLoft® insulation provides Marines with critical tactical advantages over the enemy during the most challenging extreme cold weather conditions. The Extreme Cold Weather Parka, Trouser and Booties insulated with PrimaLoft® are packable, lightweight, weather resistant, and very warm for extreme combat conditions. Notably, this technology works in conjunction with the USMC sleeping bag system also outfitted with PrimaLoft® insulation and allows Marines to carry a less bulky sleep system, while increasing protection under diverse environmental conditions.

“PrimaLoft® takes great pride in our work to provide the best possible insulation technology to meet U.S. Marine Corps mission readiness needs,” said PrimaLoft® Vice-President and General Manager Joe Rumiesz. “We began working with the DoD 25 years ago, and we continue to advance our unique technology to address the specialized gear needs of our men and women in uniform.”

The U.S. Army originally commissioned Albany International Corp. to develop a water resistant synthetic alternative to down. Today, PrimaLoft® is the premier supplier of insulation to the United States Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Forces providing them with a tactical advantage over the enemy under exceptionally wet and cold conditions in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.