United by Blue has already shattered their Kickstarter goal, so we were especially curious to get hands on their Ultimate American Jacket. Made entirely in the USA, this isn’t like most other winter performance apparel out there. The surprisingly lightweight, waterproof zipper jacket’s outer shell covers up a proprietary B100 Fill™ insulation from bison fiber collected from ranchers across the USA. This insulation protects wearers in temperatures as low as -30°F. Bison had long been used during the foundation of the States, but appropriately tapered when the animal went on the decline. Not only is the bison population stable once again, United by Blue partnered with commercial ranches that focus on the animals’ health. Ultimately, it’s an eco-conscious, entirely American product that holds up in the toughest conditions.
There are plenty of other features worth mentioning. Yes, the jacket comes with a lifetime guarantee, but when we tried it out, the attention to detail was evident. The jacket has a whopping 14 well-placed pockets, with everything from mobile phone accessibility to ski lift passes in mind. And the interior layer, beneath the bison fiber lining of the jacket proper, is a removable vest (crafted from 100% wool fleece from North Carolina), which can be worn separately, or simply removed on days when it’s not needed. The outer shell is composed of breathable nylon fabric made in Rhode Island by a supplier that makes technical fabrics for the US military. Altogether, it’s a force against the perils of winter—and it looks good too.
The Ultimate American Jacket is on Kickstarter for an early-bird price of $298—a very sweet deal considering the expected retail price will be $598, but note that it ships at the end of winter; in February 2016.
Images courtesy of United By Blue