Everest — Gear For The Expedition

"Custom apparel and innovative outerwear never before seen in the outdoors industry." That's a goal with Expedition Hanesbrands, where a group of designers and textile scientists have formed an R&D team for the Champion and Duofold brands to build a better mountaineering suit -- from the socks on up.

SOCKS — A double-sock system with an innovative molecule phase-change material initiates the Expedition Hanesbrands mountaineering outfit. The goal: To keep climbers' feet and toes from freezing high on Mount Everest. Made from Duofold Clima phase-change material, the Inner Sock employs yarn with liquid-filled micro capsules. The capsules absorb, store and return heat to the feet by changing from solid to liquid -- and then back again -- as temps change on the mountain climb. Next up, the Outer Socks, made of a thick wool-blend fabric, insulate toes and feet inside the boot.

BASE LAYER — To create a comfortable and durable base layer, the Hanesbrands R&D team combined multiple knit techniques and more than 100 years of Duofold base-layer innovation to create a form-fitting outfit. The seamless base layer top and bottom are knit with a spandex-blend fabric to provide stretch in all directions. Built-in moisture management and anti-microbial yarn inhibits odor, bacteria, mold and mildew -- important after weeks on an expedition! Variable insulation areas -- higher insulation on exposed parts like the outside of the arms; lower insulation where the backpack sits on the upper back. Tight, rib-knit construction on calf, back of knee, and ankle area for compression and support.

INSULATION LAYER — These high-loft pieces create a layer of air to help the body retain heat. Dri-release wicking polyester with wool fabric provides insulating properties, stretch and a fast-drying fabric face. Insulation layer works in tandem with base layer fibers to prevent catching, picking and snagging. All seams are positioned to prevent overlap with seams of other layers. Thumb holes on cuffs to keep the wool fabric up on the back of the hand.

SOFT SHELL — The Champion soft shell was made to be the most versatile, lightweight garment the Expedition Hanesbrands climbers will wear -- they will don these pieces everywhere from the airport in Kathmandu to the summit of Mount Everest. The soft shell’s primary purpose is to insulate. But it also manages body temperature and moisture as well as protects from wind, snow, and cold when worn alone. The Jacket is made of three layers, including a water-repellent and wind-resistant knit outer face, a breathable vapor membrane layer, and a thermal-grid fleece inner liner. Pants employ a soft polymer-coated fleece fabric with a printed-on surface for abrasion resistance. Both pieces are breathable, water-repellant in light rain, and wind resistant.

HARD SHELL — Hanesbrands R&D scientists have created an outer shell system that is breathable, weatherproof, and flexible. The shell uses a new two-ply, stretch-woven fabric that remains pliable at cold temperatures. The mobility that the climbers enjoy in each previous layer isn’t compromised by a hard shell during extreme cold. It is waterproof and windproof. But it is breathable thanks to micro-pores that channel vapor away from the body. Construction is a lightweight, stretchable two-ply knit fabric with a laminated membrane. Features include pit zips, stretch cuffs that are adjustable for gloves, and a hood. A thin foam insert prevents jacket creep up a climber’s back when wearing a pack belt. The Pant has articulated knees with removable knee-pads. Double zippers on the legs aid in venting and allow for easy removal of the pant in camp. Silicone-sealed zippers sit above soft-shell pockets on both the jacket and pant, allowing for reach-through to items stashed away on the climb.

SUMMIT SUIT — Top secret! To be unveiled after the new year, the Champion "summit suit” will serve as the final layer of protection as Expedition Hanesbrands climbers go from high camp to the summit on Mount Everest. Hanesbrands touts the shell top and pant as "one of the most technologically advanced summit suits ever." Details forthcoming upon public unveiling before the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City in January 2010.