Field Testing in Chamonix, France

Chamonix Valley

I’ve heard it said that it’s all about maximizing performance. Whether you’re skiing, surfing, cycling or golfing – each of us inherently wants to improve. Improve not only our results, but our enjoyment of the things we love.

This desire is reflected in the evolution of Oakley’s technical outerwear. On a recent field-testing trip to Chamonix, France; Oakley teamed with Polartec to explore some of the biggest, most accessible mountains on the planet. The aim was to collect data from real-world conditions that will help athletes and enthusiasts get the most out of their experience in the mountains.

So I lead a crew of testers through ski tours on both sides of the Chamonix valley. I watched Oakely’s Technical Outerwear brand manager, Urs Egli, deftly ice axe/ski his way down a frozen, icy couloir. Oakley’s field testing guru Dave Steiner measured temperature readings on the skin after a sweaty, 5-hour climb up Mt Buet. We compared the breathability of various fabrics from different manufacturers with Polartec Marketing manager Allon Cohne.

All of this field testing goes into fine-tuning products like the new Oakley BioZone softshell jacket. Through the integration of different Polartec fabrics, Oakley’s new softshell will allow more breathability in the core of the jacket, while maintaining wind and waterproofness throughout. We learned from our days in Chamonix that the jacket needs only a few tweaks here and there. But we all agreed that if we get the core to breathe better, we can climb up, ski down, and cruise to après-ski more efficiently.

Hope to ski you all later,

ms