Industry News 10/17/2014

B$Z: Outdoor Research Rolls Out Comprehensive Layering Program

Modern fabrics built for effective outdoor layering all have their benefits. Synthetics like polyester are known for their quick-drying and moisture-management capabilities. More recently, people have learned about the wicking and odor-repelling attributes of merino wool. In reality, both fibers have their benefits, and both do some things better than the other. What if you could capture the best attributes of both?

The group of chemists who invented drirelease merino found a way to meld the best properties of both synthetic and Merino into one yarn. And that yarn – drirelease merino – is the technology on which Outdoor Research founded its new 11-piece Fall 2014 layering program.


A fabric technology that combines 88 percent polyester and 12 percent merino wool, drirelease merino is blended at the fiber level, resulting in performance far superior to 100 percent wool, 100 percent synthetic, or typical blends that combine yarns with varying content. The resulting garments dry four times faster and have higher thermal insulation value than 100 percent wool. In addition, FreshGuard odor-neutralizing technology prevents the stink found in typically synthetic baselayers. It’s truly a great step forward in baselayer performance for the mountain athlete.

The Outdoor Research program is organized into three tiers. DR1 is a base layer program. DR2 offers mid-layers made with drirelease merino. And DR3 is the heaviest, warmest layer offering.

DR1: Sequence and Essence Collections – Just the right weight to serve as an all-around base layer, the Sequence and women’s Essence collections blend drirelease merino with superb function and style that works when worn as an outer layer. Flatlock-seam stitching is used for comfort. The program consists of men’s and women’s long-sleeve zip tops, a long-sleeve crew top, men’s and women’s tights, and men’s boxer briefs.

DR2: Delta Zip Top and Hoody – Built with a mid-weight drirelease merino fabric with excellent stretch, the Delta program features a men’s and women’s Hoody and a long-sleeve Zip-T. Details include flatlock seams for comfort, internal front stormflaps, zippered napoleon pockets and a balaclava-style hood on the Hoody. 

DR3: Constellation Hoody – The only fleece made with drirelease merino, the heavier-weight Constellation Hoody is a super-functional mid layer with ripstop overlay panels on the shoulders that add durability and glide when used beneath other layers. Details include a relaxed fit hood with a drawcord, thumb loops, a zippered napoleon pocket, and men’s and women’s fits.