Polartec Continues to Innovate Polartec® Power Air™ with 3D Knit Structures

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In 2018, Polartec introduced the Power Air platform as the first fabric technology engineered to reduce microfiber shedding. It’s part of our mission to EcoEngineer sustainable performance fabrics. By encapsulating lofted fibers within a multilayer, continuous yarn fabric construction, Polartec developed a revolutionary platform that warms more and sheds less.

As textile innovators, we’re never one to stop at version 1.0. As soon as we introduced Power Air, we were already tinkering with the machines on how to make it even better.

As much as it is a first-of-its-kind anti-shedding fabric platform, Power Air also reveals a whole new way to knit performance fleece. Its unique three-dimensional knit structure—A Polartec trademark knit construction that encases lofted fibers to make individual air pockets—created a lighter, warmer, more stable, and more sustainable-functioning fabric than we’ve developed before. Learning to improve this 3D knit structure served as the blueprint for the next evolution of fleece engineering.

By developing an I-Beam construction that props up the 3D knit structure and leaves more open space between pockets, we’ve taken Power Air even further with a more efficient, 100% polyester construction that puts warm air where it’s needed without superfluous fibers.

It’s Power Air’s best warmth-to-weight ratio yet, knit with 100% post-consumer recycled PET and no spandex. The hearty dual-surface construction—a flat jersey face with an I-Beam backing—features a continuous knit structure. The interior I-Beam structures are uniquely engineered to trap warm air within empty space for advanced thermal efficiency, achieving optimal insulation without exposed lofted fibers.

The one-of-a-kind I-Beam construction supports the concept that stability is sustainability. Not only does it shed 5x less microfibers than other premium midlayers, it’s also knit with a single material to simplify recyclability or reusability. The “mono” material approach removes elastic and spandex from the equation, allowing for recyclability at the end of its lifecycle.

Haglöfs is an instrumental partner in developing and launching the latest style within the Power Air platform. For over 100 years, the Swedish outdoor brand has been designing equipment and apparel built to survive a cold, harsh arctic winter. Sustainability and future-forward product design is an important brand pillar for Haglöfs, so they embraced the idea of a stronger and more efficient Power Air for their 2022 Spring/Summer layering collection.

The L.I.M. Zenith Collection is an advanced layering system for high-level mountaineering. It includes a construction of three Polartec fabrics that integrate to create the most breathable, heat-retaining, and expedition grade insulation system for extreme cold-weather performance. Polartec® Power Dry® serves as a moisture-managing baselayer; the new Polartec® Power Air™ will be worn as a midlayer for efficient warmth; Polartec® Alpha® will act as an insulation layer that can adapt to any activity and condition. The result is a premium layering system that Haglöfs hopes to take on high-level expeditions for further testing.

Power Air I-Beam is the latest evolution in reimagining a microfiber-free future; it also raises the standards for improved cold-weather performance, layering, and warmth-to-weight ratios. We’re excited to explore this concept further as we look forward to new iterations of performance fleece.

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