March 31, 2021
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Bonfire x Polartec

NeoShell's First Tracks

Bonfire is a rider's brand through and through. Founded in SoCal by pro snowboarder Brad Steward in 1989, he soon moved the brand to Portland, Oregon, as part of a new snowboarding movement that was building in the Pacific Northwest in the early ‘90’s. And to stay closer still to the year-round riding that would make Mt. Hood a required visit for serious snowboarders.

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But what endeared Bonfire to snowboarding culture was their ability to create technical garments with a style all their own. A style that would blend elements of streetwear and outdoor performance into something distinctly different than skiwear. Bonfire helped define the very look of snowboarding.

As much an homage to the PNW’s moody climate as an exploration of the future of premium snowboarding wear, Bonfire’s Apex Polartec NeoShell 3L Stretch Jacket is a top-of-the-line technical solution for all-day comfort on the slopes — the latest proof of Bonfire's position at the forefront of outerwear design. Where other jackets cut corners, the updated Apex Stretch allows unprecedented mobility and breathability you simply have to session to believe.

As Bonfire's set to release the third version of the system, we’re going deep on the fabric technology that enables their team's favorite snowboarding jacket. Polartec® NeoShell® is our three-layer (hence the "3L" part of the name) breathable waterproof fabric that makes it all possible, and you're about to learn exactly why Bonfire chose it over the stiff, swampy materials most snowboarding jackets are made of.

A Brief Collaborative History

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Before we do the dive, let's catch you up on our work with Bonfire thus far.

They released the first version of the Apex NeoShell Jacket and Pant as part of their 2019-2020 collection. It was the first time our category-defining breathable waterproof fabric was used for a premium snowboarding kit. Polartec team skier Baker Boyd marked the occasion by taking it for several spins in Japan.

The 2020-2021 update was Bonfire's headliner that year, the hero product for the entire collection. It's nearly sold out, but you can still snag one over at Evo.

Expect Bonfire to drop the 2021-2022 version of the Apex NeoShell 3L Stretch Jacket this fall / winter. They've rethought the pocket welds and other minor details, but you can bet the farm it'll be the envy of every gear lover in the snow.

Polartec NeoShell — The World's Most Breathable Waterproof

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If you’re reading this, you probably already know it and love it. Polartec NeoShell is the world’s first, and still the most, breathable waterproof fabric on the market. If you’ve felt it, you've felt the difference. The NeoShell style Bonfire uses has the softness and stretch of a knit, while achieving a fully waterproof rating of 10,000mm. How do we do it? Well, let me tell you about my 3L’s:

L1— Let's start with the microporous membrane. The brains of the operation. Our patented electrospun, hydrophobic membrane, sandwiched between L2 and L3, consists of precisely sized pores to allow positive air exchange, releasing excess body heat while remaining completely waterproof. Its unique construction is durable, stretchy, and surprisingly light — all excellent features to totally transform your next session.

L2 — Onto the face. The facing fabric is what the world sees when they’re watching you do your thing. The newest Apex NeoShell Jacket features a burly polyester woven stretch face — which will come in Black and Dark Teal for the 2021-2022 update. Woven faces add durability, so snags and rips are no longer your concern.

L3 — A soft, supple polyester-knit backing. The unheralded hero here enables membrane stretchiness to ensure the gestalt is category-leading stretch and breathability.

These three layers work together to forever change expectations around comfort and mobility in inclement conditions, creating a fabric so comfortable you'll want to wear it even when the sun's out. Tested and proven in the moodiest weather in the world, Polartec® NeoShell® keeps you dry inside and out so you can stay dialed no matter the activity or condition.

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Forget clingy, loud, and swampy shells — Bonfire's Apex Jacket made with Polartec® NeoShell® is the new standard on the slopes. No other system achieves this level of comfort and mobility because Apex is the only one with the 4-way stretch and breathability of NeoShell.

Where other snowboarding jackets overvalue waterproof ratings, you can't really get drier than… dry. Brands boasting ratings over 20,000mm do so at the expense of breathable comfort, using unyielding materials that trap heat and reduce mobility. Once you've taken the Apex system out for your own spin, you'll know there's no better slope solution.


As part of our year-long celebration of 30 years partnering with innovative Outdoor brands, we're releasing "music posters" inspired by some of our favorite bands and brands. Here's Bonfire's — find more on our ​Instagram​!

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A brand named for a ritual end-of-season sacrifice of snowboards to the heathen gods who control next season’s snowpack, the folks at Bonfire are our kind of authentic, single-minded lovers of sport and nature.

Tagged as: Snow NeoShell®

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