Industry News 12/21/2015

B$Z: Outdoor Research Pioneers 3DFit™ Glove Technology for Fall 2016

Pioneering a new approach that improves fit and dexterity in gloves, Outdoor Research is offering 3DFit Technology™ in four models of gloves and mitts for Fall 2016. 

3DFit Technology™ takes an innovative and unique approach to designing gloves, rather than relying on established approaches to patterning, fit and construction. The process re-thinks how glove patterns are developed, resulting in a glove that is less bulky, tailored to fit the human hand to perfection, has improved tactility all while retaining superb warmth and best-in-class materials. 

A leader for over 30 years in glove fit and design, this new technology showcases one of Outdoor Research’s brand pillars, ‘Innovation that Works,’ – creating innovative solutions that truly improve the user’s experience. 

“This is a philosophy of following the human body, following the contours of the hand, and challenging some of the old conceptions that we have about pattern making,” said Nathan Jenkin, a designer at Outdoor Research who specializes in gloves. “Traditional patterning obviously creates effective, functional gloves, but we thought the dynamic architecture and complexity of the human hand deserved more attention.” 

Traditional glove patterns often reduce the human hand to a two-dimensional form. That makes sense on a computer screen, but less so when the pattern is translated to a three dimensional glove. Weaknesses of the current approach are only magnified when athletes start using the glove in the backcountry to grip a ski pole, rope or ice axe.   

“In order to obtain the perfect fit and glove anatomy we had to create some new tools, ones that aren’t available in the current marketplace,” Jenkin said. Rather than starting the process with two-dimensional patterning on a computer, Outdoor Research used its dedicated in-house lab to create molds of the human hand. It then began a process of draping fabrics on the three-dimensional models, and looking at how the pattern changed shape through a range of different hand positions. 

“With 3DFit, we’re letting the human hand release its shape to us – we’re simply following the road that’s already there, and not trying to push an alternate reality on the complexity of the hand,” Jenkin said. “And as we did that, we started getting really different pattern shapes compared to the traditional patterns. We started seeing new curves and shapes that helped us minimize the bulk and increase the dexterity of a glove.” 

3DFit Technology™ will be available for Fall 2016 in two new models, the ice climbing-focused Project Gloves and the Shuksan Mitts, as well as complete redesigns of two best-selling Outdoor Research gloves, the Lodestar Sensor Gloves and the Alti Gloves. 

Outdoor Research will show its 3DFit Technology™ gloves, as well as the rest of its Fall 2016 collection, at booth 26015 at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, Jan. 7-10.