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As you might imagine after over a decade of designing and manufacturing outerwear and apparel, we know gear. Our designs are intentional, with careful thought and care put into each and every detail. From the materials we use to the workmanship behind the scenes, there's a reason we do what we do, why we do it, and how we do it.
With the goals of transparency and communication in mind, we've created this Gear FAQ page to help answer some of your gear-related questions...because with a decade of experience comes a decade of TREW gear inquiries from customers like yourself. So why not share our answers for all to see, right?
‘Wetting/Leaking”: If TREW Gear is so waterproof, why do I still get wet sometimes?
Highly-humid environments are difficult for waterproof-breathable fabrics to manage. When the face fabric becomes fully saturated, the membrane will become overloaded with moisture and will swell to a degree that moisture from the inside will no longer pass through. The volume of condensation that forms on the inside of your fabric will surprise anyone, but the effect is similar to the moisture build-up on the inside of your car window due to condensation. The vapor that forms is not always due to sweat produced by your body but just the combination of warm air + cold surface = condensation.
It's unlikely that moisture is actually coming through the membrane, there is just absolutely nothing escaping when the face fabric is saturated.
The most common areas that this will show itself is in the butt/crotch region and on your back. If you are riding in the resort, you will find that sitting on the lift will exacerbate this feeling - primarily because you are sitting and leaning back on a cold surface for a prolonged time period. If you are in the backcountry, this condensation will be more spread out but will be focused on areas where you have less venting (ex. near your back-pack straps, etc.). Taking advantage of your vents and using them effectively will help tremendously in mitigating this wetness, allowing for proper airflow of the hot air from inside to escape without creating as much moisture.
Vent mesh: why don't TREW vents have mesh coverage?
We have had a few customers ask for mesh in the leg vents of bibs, but the vast majority of people do not like this. We have also found that mesh on these vents are one of the first things to fail as the mesh can easily get caught in the vent zippers and tear. Because of this, we have opted to keep mesh out of the designs - but if you are interested in adding it on your own, a local seamstress who specializes in outerwear can definitely help customize your bibs with mesh for somewhere near $30-$50.
Cuff zippers: your leg openings are too big/tight, why don't you have cuff zippers?
We used to have zippers and buttons on the cuffs of our bibs for easier access to boots while skiing and transitioning, but these consistently proved to be the first thing to fail on any pant leg - and subsequently, ended up costing a lot of money to both TREW and the customer over time. We have moved away from them so as to keep our product prices lower and to negate unnecessary repairs over the lifetime of the product, as many other companies have begun to do as well. Instead, we have made our leg openings a bit larger to accommodate all boot shapes and sizes and keep it easy for people to reach their boots when needed.
One thing that more and more backcountry riders (ourselves included) are doing is keeping their cuffs and pant legs rolled up over the buckles while hiking, which just makes it easier to adjust as you go - as well as keeps the fabric from rubbing and getting caught while skinning and boot packing.
Side zippers on bibs: what's the deal with the 3/4 zippers on your bibs?
The 3/4 zips and openings serve different purposes for both of our bib offerings. The Capow Bib has a front zipper which is meant for getting in and out of the bib comfortably, but while you are out on snow and nature calls the side zip with the top opening serves as an easy way to 'do your business'. The TREWth bib does not have a front zip like the Capow, and so both side zips on this model have top openings which make getting in and out easy - while still serving the same 'easy access' purpose as the Capow.
Logos: what happened to the old embroidered logos?
We now use laser-cut polyurethane instead of embroidery. Embroidery, for obvious reasons, compromises the waterproofing of the fabric. While the PU looks like a sticker, and I guess you could call it that, it is stuck on with a thermo-plastic adhesive that chemically bonds with our water-proof fabrics. It will last way longer than embroidery and actually enhances the durability instead of detracts.
Materials: Your PNW 3L feels thin, should I be worried about its durability or performance?
The new PNW 3L fabric does feel thin, when in fact the finished weight of the fabric is the heaviest we've used in years (200gsm). The fabrics we've used in the past 5yrs have been around 170-180gsm. The reason it feels so light is because it's such a compact weave, meaning there's a higher density of fibers in a small area. The compact structure of the weave helps the waterproofing and durability.
The Hood elastic: what's up with this updated hood design?
We changed the Cosmic/Stella jackets to have a single-point adjustment in the back of the hood instead of the three-point. We felt like the two adjustments in the front weren't as effective as the adjustment in the back so we opted to simplify the design. We tried this design out last season on the Capow Jacket and we got a lot of positive feedback.
Two-way zippers: where did they go, and why don't any of the new TREW jackets have them?
There's no doubt that two-way zippers have some great benefits, and we still use them in some aspects of our designs: pit zips on jackets, leg vents on bibs, etc. But two-way zippers are much more prone to zipper malfunctions and issues than their one-way counterparts - especially when used as the main zipper on jackets where someone is threading and unthreading the zipper (zipping and unzipping) on a regular basis and they are required to use an insertion pin in the process.
Where pit zips and leg vents have no need for insertion pins, therefore keeping the zipper automatically on the correct track, a main zipper on a jacket needs to come apart completely (or else it's a pullover or anorak) and with this the chance of threading the zipper on the incorrect track increases greatly. Because of this, we have switched all of our jacket zippers to one-way, saving time and money for both our customers and our team here
Note: At the end of the day, design is subjective and industry trends are just that - trends. We work hard to create products that we want to wear, while also taking into account what our customers want, too. We take customer's feedback seriously. If you have any further questions or want to get in touch, just shoot us an email at email@example.com - we're all ears!