Odlo’s Latest Winter Apparel is Perfectly Nordic
Nonstop Innovation for Skiers on the Move
Whether you’re looking to upgrade all your Nordic skiwear before the season begins or to add a more reliable base layer beneath your tried-and-true jacket, the Norwegian-Swiss outdoor apparel maker Odlo has a cutting-edge lineup of quality winter gear just waiting to fill out your outfit.
In 1987, Odlo shook up its industry with the introduction of the Athletic Clothing System. Rather than making the customer responsible for combining random bits of (usually cotton) clothing to best regulate body temperature—as had traditionally been the relationship between winter athletes and apparel makers—Odlo began to take a wholistic approach to its winter offerings. The novel Clothing System recognized the importance of layers: that is, a base layer to manage perspiration and odors, a middle layer to provide whatever level of insulation is needed, and an outer layer to protect the wearer from the elements.
While they’ve been innovating at the leading edge of the industry since 1987 and before, Odlo has always maintained an approach to athletic clothing that thoroughly addresses each part of the body insulation-temperature regulation puzzle.
Performance Warm Eco Top
Lets take a look, first, at the latest incarnation of Odlo’s base layer: the Performance Warm Eco line. This close-fitting layer is the culmination of Odlo’s 70+ years of underwear innovations. Made from a blend of polyester and other synthetic fabrics carefully designed to maximize flexibility and durability, the Performance Warm top can keep up with any activity—while efficiently wicking away body moisture and blocking odors. A system of tiny ventilation holes spread across the sleeves and underarms ensures that those heat-producing areas get adequate airflow. These holes are highlighted in a lighter shade than the rest of the top’s color, which adds a sense of texture that’s both futuristic and comforting.
And lest we think Odlo has sacrificed its environmental values and original dedication to the outdoors for performance, this base layer lineup, as the “Eco” in the name suggests, is highly sustainable. The fabric blend consists of almost 90% recycled materials, and the durability of the product—not to mention its subtle, sporty look that’s unlikely to go out of fashion any time soon—means less resources will be used up in replacing it a few seasons down the line.
With the more intimate side of things taken care of, Odlo’s winter lineup also pays close attention to protecting the skier from temperamental weather. Made with the Nordic lifestyle in mind, the Langnes Jacket really is the ideal piece of cross country skiing outerwear, and is perfectly suited for many more winter activities. But what makes one jacket particularly great for exercising during the snowy season? As with every type of performance clothing, it all comes down to a balance: between protection and breathability.
A jacket could be totally impenetrable to wind and rain, but if it doesn’t allow excess heat and moisture to escape then sweat and discomfort can become limiting. Odlo’s solution is, again, to balance the two. The Langnes’s specialized soft shell is water repellent and practically impervious to wind, but is at the same time, breathable—only breathable like a one-way valve, from the inside out. This outflow is aided by a vent between the shoulder blades, which acts as a sort of exhaust pipe for the surplus heat produced by a long hill climb or a breakneck skate sprint.
With all these highly engineered features and specifications, Odlo’s base layers and jackets may sound more like futuristic innovations than comfortable, attractive clothing. Luckily though, the Scandinavian sensibility behind these Swiss-made products is still front and center. Both the Performance Warm Eco’s and the Langnes are made in an athletic cut that gently hugs your upper body. Not only does this keep the look clean and stylish, but it keeps the emphasis of Odlo’s gear on comfort.
Far from being so tight that it’s constricting, the base layer is designed to be both snug enough and flexible enough that it moves with you—seamlessly and naturally. In the case of the base layer, Odlo calls this feature “body-mapping”: the fabric’s sewn-in contours almost predict the movements the wearer will require it to make. Likewise, the Langnes incorporates articulating sleeves and a tapering torso, well-adapted to the twists and turns required by skiing or running. In every aspect—from the temperature management to the athletic style to the super-comfortable ductility of the stitching—Odlo’s winter layers are designed not for sitting still but for bodies in motion.