The Dolomites have inspired adventurers and designers for generations. It’s this combination of functional need and aesthetic beauty from which our featured partner was born: Karpos. Initially focused on climbing and mountaineering, Karpos has quickly evolved into a year-round bastion of mountain sports like trail running, mountain biking, and skiing.
Polartec® has been Karpos' trusted collaborator since the brand's launch in 2007. Over the years, they've used over a half-dozen Polartec fabrics in their designs. Two new Karpos products, Moved Evo Jersey and Lavaredo Jacket, are designed with Polartec® Delta™ and Polartec® Alpha® respectively. Read on to learn how these garments trace Karpos' expansion outside their comfort zone and are the direct result of putting the perfect fabric solution in the hands of ergonomic experts.
Karpos has always been most comfortable on the mountain. They found early success with ski mountaineering race suits, and season after season, they've elevated their craft. Now Karpos are sponsoring partners of the ski mountaineering team of the Centro Sportivo dell’Esercito, the sports section of the Italian Army. Whether they're sporting the Star of the Italian Army at the Pierra Menta or back in Courmayeur at the foot of Mont Blanc training for the winter season, the team relies on Karpos for the right gear to meet the moment.
In the summer, Karpos' athletes turn to trail running to keep fit for the colder months. This was the inspiration behind their Moved Technology, a project in collaboration with Polartec, designed for high-intensity activities in warm weather. To reduce exhaustion caused by overheating, Karpos chose Polartec® Delta™ to save athletes' energy for the trail.
Sweating depletes energy that could otherwise keep you on the mountain for longer runs and more rewarding hikes. Karpos' Moved Technology makes more of less sweat with the mechanical wicking power of Delta.
Delta is a Cooling Fabric that more efficiently utilizes sweat — the body's natural cooling process. First, Delta's next-to-skin layer creates touch points to channel moisture away from the skin and towards the fabric's outer layer to prevent saturation. Then, yarns on the exterior surface oriented across the body quickly increase the moisture's surface area, maximizing its cooling effect.
Karpos' mastery of ergonomics takes Delta to the next level in the Moved Evo Jerseys for men and women. Karpos constructed the jerseys to closely follow the body's contours. This creates optimal surface contact between the skin and fabric, allowing Delta to do what it does best. Karpos cleverly maximizes the benefits of Delta fabric with a jersey that adheres to the body without compressing and remains in contact with the skin without constricting.
Because of their partnership with Karpos, Italy's national ski mountaineering team acts as de facto testers of new Polartec technologies, using our fabrics in competitions and summer training alike. Before the Moved Technology made it to market, the team's testing data was joined by the feedback of enthusiastic trail runners who raced the Delicious Trail in 2019.
Held in Cortina, the Queen of the Dolomites, the trail running event offered participants Karpos' Moved Evo Jersey as part of their race packet. Karpos was excited to share a brand new design with athletes local to their home region before it was widely available to the public. They hope to make such sneak previews of Polartec collaborations a tradition at the Delicious Trail events and establish the garments as a sought after collector's item for athletes near and far.
Karpos constantly thinks about every possible condition on the mountain, including when temperatures start their descent. Their new Lavaredo Jacket, designed with Polartec® Alpha®, offers a lightweight insulation option to keep athletes training comfortably when conditions become more unpredictable.
To handle fluctuating temperatures during aerobic activity, you need a breathable insulator that can adapt to rapidly changing conditions. Polartec Alpha was the world's first Active Insulation, engineered to provide warmth at rest and breathe while you move, so you never have to add or shed a layer to stay comfortable. (To learn more about Alpha Active Insulation, check out our recent fabric feature.)
The Lavaredo Jacket, available for men and women, is another example of how the ergonomic experts at Karpos get the most out of our premium fabric technologies. The jacket's hybrid construction uses Alpha insulation to control airflow and increase breathability on the chest, upper sleeves, and side panels. This thoughtful design makes it the ideal solution for start-stop training activities on the mountain as the weather transitions into winter.
Polartec has a proud history of enabling burning passions for the Outdoors with the perfect design solutions to go ever higher, further, and faster. That tradition is exemplified in our partnership with Karpos. At the intersection of ergonomic wizardry and premium fabric technology lies designs greater than the year-round challenges of the Dolomites.
Whether you're one of the top athletes in the world training with the Italian Ski Mountaineering team or a weekend warrior longing to live on the mountain no matter the weather, Karpos x Polartec has a solution. We look forward to continued collaborations with Karpos that will continue to keep you out there.