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adidas’s new Polartec PowerAir Fleece Jacket’s sustainability story scores major points. Five years in the making, Polartec developed a new textile process that encases the insulating lofted fibers during the knitting stage of production. The continuous yarn sheds and pills five times less than exposed fabrics. While I typically choose natural fibers for environmental reasons, the eco-friendly fabric construction—100-percent recycled from post-consumer material, and recyclable—was impressive. Beyond the innovative fabric, these are reasons people buy: warmth, breathability, and fit.
When the temperatures dropped to 18 degrees in Carrboro, North Carolina—a rare occurrence for us—I witnessed how the jacket withstood cold and wind. In the predawn bone chill of 6 a.m. one day in January, the jacket kept my winter trail-running dreams alive. For the lightweight, minimal feel of the hoody, it provides surprising warmth. I actually found myself taking off my outer layer and wearing only the hoody with just a T-shirt underneath. It’s also perfect for my bike-to-work commute, as the encapsulated fibers add substantially to wind resistance. The comfortable internal grid structure retained warmth by holding air, while simultaneously increasing breathability.
The drop hem in the back adds bonus protection and makes a very athletic jacket easy to dress up with a pair of jeans if you are late getting off the trail. The fit is flattering for all shapes and sizes. I love the pocket on the left sleeve—the perfect size for an ID and credit card, which is less likely to fall out than in one of the more spacious, front pockets right above the hemline. The cinch in the middle is meant for activewear, but I found it less comfortable when lounging post-hike or post-run in the hoody. It is an ideal piece for yoga as the stretchy fabric promotes easy movement while providing a flexible cocoon of warmth, not to mention it looks cute with a pair of leggings. I also appreciated how well the piece washed and dried without any issues or shrinking.
Disclaimer: Townsend Bertram & Company doesn’t carry adidas, and therefore wouldn’t sell this jacket. We strive to educate our customers on the importance of investing in natural fibers. This piece has a lot of appeal because it suits the customer who prefers microfiber to wool and other natural options. However, we choose not to carry adidas in our shop because as a small, mom-and-pop shop, we carry very few brands that are distributed in big box retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods. This differentiates ourselves by supporting niche brands not oversaturated in the market.
With that being said, this jacket would do well in stores that have adidas in their lineup, as it feels good, looks good, and does good in mitigating microfiber pollution. I think this jacket markets itself to anyone living an urban outdoor lifestyle looking for a layer that goes above and beyond any other hoodies.
This is Outside Business Journal’s first-ever review as part of our new Retailer Review program, written by retailers, for retailers to help guide their buying decisions and provide brands honest feedback from those selling their products.