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It all started when the Director of Patrol at Mt. Hood Ski Bowl approached us with a problem: their crew was wearing trash bags over their Gore-tex and they needed a new solution, something better. We took this as a personal challenge to uproot the current norm in outerwear for mountain workers and make the most waterproof and durable kit that we've ever made.
In collaboration with the professional patrollers at Mt Hood Ski Bowl and Mt Shasta, we set out to do just this. Knowing that patrollers and resort workers are on the hill all day, every day, no matter what kind of weather they might encounter - rain, snow, sleet, some more rain, you name it - we knew that we had to prioritize weatherproofing, while also maintaining comfort, function, and high durability.
To achieve a new benchmark in waterproofness and durability, we applied an additional polyurethane coating on top of the existing membrane of our proprietary 3-layer PNW construction. The final result is a 4-layer (yes, 4-layer!!) membrane to make this a highly waterproof and incredibly durable fabric - the perfect material for the high demands of patrollers and mountain personnel working tirelessly to keep our mountains safe and fun.
The results from the hydrostatic head test show that this new 4L fabric is almost twice as waterproof as our 3-layer construction, with results over 35,000mm waterproof. Additionally, the extra coating on the membrane adds another layer of protection from dirt, oils, and saturation that can render a laminate ineffective over time.
With this revolutionary new 4L OPS fabric as a foundation, we then dove headfirst into designing a jacket and bib to fit and function as well as possible.
We mapped our 4L OPS fabric in high-wear zones - like the shoulder yoke and front chest on the jacket and the seat, front waist-to-thigh, and knees of the bibs - while utilizing the more supple, breathable 3L PNW fabric under the arms, sleeves, bib upper front + back, and leg bottoms. This thoughtful design approach gives these items the best of both worlds: ruggedly weatherproof where you need it without compromising on mobility and breathability.
With the continual guidance and input of patrollers, our OPS collection of bibs and jackets provides a long list of features and fit specifications specifically catering to the wants and needs mountain personnel; this includes a radio-specific pocket, knee pad sleeves, several secure chest pockets, strategic venting, and a fit made to work with a chest harness.
Shop the OPS Collection & enjoy the same insanely bomber gear that your patrollers trust day in and day out:
The Mountain Ops Collection is available to the general public on our site AND with ski patrol embellishments to certified patrollers via our sales team.