Polartec Announces 2011 APEX Award Winners


Looking to add some great, new cold weather gear to your gear closet? Then check out the latest and greatest items that use Polartec fabrics to keep us warm and dry in even the harshest  of conditions. The company has released their annual list of APEX award winners, which they give to the best products that are manufactured using Polartec materials.

As usual, there are actually two lists of award winners, one for the North American market and the other for the European. Both lists contain excellent gear, but not all items are available in both regions, which why they are segmented in this fashion. Since Polartec doesn’t manufacture the gear directly themselves, they rely on great partners, such as The North Face, Patagonia, or Mammut to design and sell great gear for the outdoor crowd.

Some of the items that got the nod this year include Thermal Zone base layers from Cabela’s, which look surprisingly fantastic and the Zion Jacket from Marmot. Both of those items are available in North America, while European adventurers will want to check out the Norrona Lofoten Warm2 jacket or the Stretch Neo Jacket and Pants from Rab.

There are plenty of other great gear items on both lists as well, ranging from base layers to mid-layers, to outer shells and more. It may be hard to think about cold weather gear as the summer months loom closer, but now is the time to grab the things you’ll need when the snow and cold return a few months down the line. I have a number of gear items that use Polartec fabrics, and I can tell you that they are fantastic. While they are seldom put to use where I live in Texas, my forays into high altitude or cold weather zones make me very happy to have the gear. I’m sure these APEX award winners are all fantastic additions to the line-up as well.

Kraig Becker