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Champion Supersuit to be tested this spring on Mount Everest
22
Jan '10
Champion Athletic Apparel has unveiled its final prototype of its Champion Supersuit that will be the thinnest extreme-weather apparel gear ever designed and tested at high altitude on Mount Everest.

The Champion Supersuit insulation is just 3 millimeters thick, compared with a typical goose-down jacket thickness of 40 millimeters, and uses a nanotechnology insulation layer and a proprietary radiant warmth system. The result is a breakthrough ultrathin cold-weather garment that is no thicker than a typical computer mouse pad but provides equal insulating properties, greater mobility, and superior wind resistance than typical extreme weather gear.

“The Champion Supersuit uses advanced technology to conserve, capture and return heat unlike any other extreme-weather apparel currently being used on Everest,” said Mike Abbott, director of research and development for Hanesbrands Inc., the parent company of Champion apparel. “It has been a rewarding research and development project. By developing the Supersuit and other garment layers to be used on Everest, we have identified new Champion products to roll out and new features and enhancements to potentially add to our everyday line of Champion Athletic Apparel.”

Champion is outfitting a Mount Everest climbing team led by mountaineer Jamie Clarke with cutting-edge socks, base layer, insulating layers, soft shell jackets and pants, hard shell jackets and pants, and the Champion Supersuit. Clarke has been testing the gear and will wear a one-piece full-body Supersuit on Everest in April and May to keep him warm and mobile in the high winds and severe cold on the highest reaches of the 29,035-foot mountain.

“We were given the challenge to develop a summit suit that would advance the state of cold-weather gear, that wouldn't look like anything else on the market, and that would protect climbers against extreme temperatures and conditions on Mount Everest,” Abbott said. “We have worked with several technology partners in and out of the apparel industry, including Element 21 Golf Company, which supplies the nanotechnology insulating material for the Champion Supersuit. We have made some significant breakthroughs, including the ability to use the nano insulation in commercially viable apparel products for the first time.”

Hanesbrands has a booth at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City for its Champion athleticwear and Duofold base layer brands. Champion is displaying prototypes of its Supersuit jacket in the booth, and Abbott and Clarke will be in the booth from noon to 4 p.m. Friday to discuss the Champion Supersuit project and the Everest expedition.

The Making of the Champion Supersuit

The Champion Supersuit is made up of four layers, each with unique characteristics to preserve warmth. The Supersuit is designed to prevent the loss of heat via air movement (convection), promote the insulating effect of still air (prevent conduction), and capture heat produced by the body (radiant heat source). Details of the layers include:

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