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Stay Warm and Keep Plastics Out of the Landfill With This Innovative New Insulation

The insulation innovator's latest ThermoPlume insulation is made from 100-percent recycled post-consumer materials but works like down.

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It looks like down, it feels like down, and even keeps the user as toasty-warm as down, but the latest version of PrimaLoft’s ThermoPlume is made entirely from post-consumer recycled materials and doesn’t have a single bird feather.

By introducing insulation made entirely from recycled content that still performs at a level comparable to bird down, PrimaLoft’s new ThermoPlume material should appeal to anyone interested in reducing waste, killing fewer animals, and those who just want a warm jacket.

The brand originally launched the first blowable synthetic insulation four years ago using some recycled content, but the latest generation moves that total to 100 percent.

PrimaLoft ThermoPlume insulation.
Is that down or some recycled water bottles? (Hint: It’s the latter.) Photo: Courtesy of PrimaLoft

“When we first developed PrimaLoft Insulation ThermoPlume back in 2017, we answered the growing demand from designers, brands, and customers for an ethical alternative to animal product—a purchase criterion that is becoming ever more important,” says Mike Joyce, president and CEO of PrimaLoft, in a press release. “At the same time, we continued to deliver the excellent performance people expect from PrimaLoft products.”

For skiers, the benefits of having 100-percent recycled insulation are obvious. Unlike down, PrimaLoft ThermoPlume maintains warmth even when wet. The small, silky fiber plumes maintain a supple, loose feel that is comfortable as a midlayer or in an insulated ski jacket.

“Its construction allows it to be blown through traditional down-blowing manufacturing equipment, simplifying the manufacturing process for brands and enabling product designers the freedom to create versatile garments that combine the look and feel of down with the water-resistant performance of a synthetic,” states Vanessa Mason, SVP of Engineering at PrimaLoft, in a press release. “Moreover, it helps to simplify the supply chain, combat the volatility of down prices and provide peace of mind when it comes to the ethical sourcing of materials.”

PrimaLoft ThermoPlume will be found in a number of skier-friendly brands next winter, including Salomon, Rossignol, Montane, La Sportiva, and Woolrich.

One key product in Salomon’s Winter 2021-’22 line that features PrimaLoft’s new insulation is the Outpeak Insulated Hoodie, which is one handsome midlayer for skiers. The Outpeak boasts strategically placed weatherproof and PFC-free Pertex outer fabric and stretch on the back and underarms. Combined with the warm, 100-percent recycled ThermoPlume fill, the jacket looks like the perfect piece to put under a shell while skiing and wear it walking through town between après and dinner.

More 2021-’22 Gear from Salomon: Preview the new Salomon QST Blank

FW21 Salomon Outpeak Primaloft Insulated Jacket
The Salomon Outpeak PrimaLoft insulated jacket for 2021-’22. Photo: Courtesy of Salomon

The other product featuring PrimaLoft ThermoPlume that certainly caught our eye is the Selk’bag Nomad. While it isn’t a down suit for climbing Mount Everest, the Nomad is a wearable sleeping bag. At first glance, it’s ideal for chilly après at the car (or sleeping in your car at the trailhead) situations. The shell and lining are made from 100-percent recycled polyester and the outer fabric has a DWR finish for weather resistance as well.

The Selk'bag Nomad in the field.
The Selk’bag Nomad in the field. Photo: Courtesy of PrimaLoft

While SKI hasn’t been able to test any products that feature PrimaLoft ThermoPlume, we are wondering what the guy in the wearable sleeping bag will do when nature calls. But otherwise, we’re sure he’s pretty warm.

Related: This Custom Outerwear Brand Wants You To Stop Settling for Ski Gear That Doesn’t Fit