Our product tester Patrick puts the newest collections through their paces. For this, he finds the perfect conditions in Japan, where he is testing the new Skiwear Collection 12/13 in the backcountry and regularly reports us about his results.
Do you want to learn more about KJUS’s comprehensive product testing procedures? Patrick gave us the opportunity to get an insight from his “office” in Hakuba, Japan:
“Product testing for KJUS is all about uncompromising performance. Each winter, I pack my bags - stuffed with all our new products – and go on a three-month skiing trip to Japan, the USA and Canada.
I’m currently in Japan, which offers perfect conditions for testing products because basically it’s a winter with extremes: Mid season lows well below -20 °C and wind gusts up to 100 km/h. Just a few days later spring like temperatures at the base area and still wintery conditions at the top. These conditions are the real challenge for each and every product.
First of all there are some practical questions I ask myself before starting to test the new products: Are the ventilation zips at the right position with the right size? What about the built-in storm-hood and its function to protect you from a massive storm and possible frostbites – not too warm, not too cold and of course the snow should not stick on it. Are the pockets of each jacket big enough to store your gloves, goggles and more while you go for a nice spring backcountry tour? Are the jackets heavier in the evening then in the morning due to absorbed water in the fabrics?
It’s the KJUS philosophy to continuously improve ski clothing, to make it even better. Therefore I put the KJUS collections to the test and check if the jackets and pants meet the objectives in terms of e.g. breathability. I’m testing our new jackets with the Dermizax® NX stretch fabric, which has an outstanding breathability of 40’000 g/m2 – 24 h, to document the huge improvements towards moisture management and comfort.
Other criteria that need to be checked are the durable water repellency of garments, overall durability of the fabrics and the processing of stitches and bondings. It’s important to test how a new piece of garment performs after 30, 40, 50 or even 60 days out in the field. If necessary pictures and test samples are being sent back to the development team at KJUS to make improvements.
Also I pay special attention to comfort and warmth. Does a jacket fit perfectly? Does its fabric stretch in 4 ways, crosswise and lengthwise and thus offers complete freedom of movement? Do our lightweight jackets with the KJUS Hybrid Insulation Concept keep you warm without constraint? These are important questions that can make the difference between a bad skiing day and a good one.
A special test concerns the jackets from the KJUS Lightweight Systems. The developers have redesigned every single component of the new Helium Jacket that weights 888 grams, only. They’ve used ultralightweigt fabrics, down and microfiber to make it the lightest fully equipped ski jacket. I’m testing it to document if it meets its promise – and be sure, it does!
I document all testing with reports and images and regularly sending this information to KJUS’ development team for fine-tuning the products. The moment I’m back in Switzerland at the headquarter, we’re having extensive in person talks with our product development team. It’s nice to see their reaction to the positive things you have to say - and there are many in case of KJUS! But it’s also great to see how they react on proposals and consider complaints. Right away the discussion starts on how to add, remove, adjust or improve things – no matter how complex the issues might be. It’s big fun being a part of the team – and I can’t wait taking the improved pieces with me on one of my next trips.“
Follow Patrick on his blog powdermania.com.