Outdoor Report

Outdoor Report 9

Fresh news…


  • Our client Andorra, an independent principality in the heart of the Pyrenees (987 m high) where we sell 1,000 uniforms/year, will host the World Cup finals in mid-March 2023;
  • We dress Schaldming (altitude 1287 m.), the Austrian ski Mecca with its 47 ski lifts!

Ski clothing
Is your jacket warmer than that other brand?

A hiking enthusiast asked me why our jackets aren’t rated for their resistance to the cold, like his sleeping bag (rated -9 °C).
First, hikers expect three things of a sleeping bag:

  1. That it retain body heat given off during sleep
  2. That it be compressible enough to stow in a backpack
  3. That it be as light as possible

But a jacket worn for downhill skiing cuts the wind, is waterproof, breathes to let out body moisture and retains heat. It would be very difficult to find a performance indicator for all four aspects! It is even difficult to find a garment that can do all four things! A jacket is also made using several different materials, each playing a specific role in a specific location according to where the body gives off heat. And it needs other garments for optimal comfort.

This brings us to the well-known principle of layering clothing to stay warm and dry. The layers:

  1. The base layer, better known as undergarments (top and bottom), whose main role is to wick moisture away from the skin (you learned about our merino wool undergarments in the last newsletter)
  2. The middle layer, the vest or top that plays a dual role: wicking away moisture and retaining heat
  3. The insulating layer, sometimes in a self-contained garment, but often built into the jacket
  4. The outer shell, the jacket, that protects the wearer from snow, rain and wind

In addition to all this, cut and fit and the design of the openings all play a role. The salesperson will explain all this to you, but you will be a much savvier consumer if you know the basics. Thanks to the information above, you will be better equipped to make good purchases.

Véronique Dufour
VP Development, Retail, Marketing

Ski accessories
Selling like hotcakes, as my mother would say!

Business opportunities often arise out of personal experiences.
I have a hard time finding footwear, and socks, that fit my feet. By the early 2000s, I had tried dozens of ski socks. They were either too thick, too short, too tight, had stitching that hurt, were made of materials that do not breathe or made my feet cold. I ended many ski days with sore toes and shins. Nothing to write home about, but still unpleasant.

About ten years ago, I gave my team an open-ended mission: design the perfect sock that will become our next bestseller.
It didn’t take long! They designed Avalanche ski socks that are warm, breathe, fit well and are high enough to cover the lower leg, in addition to being durable and easy to clean and maintain. I was so pleased that I gave them an open-ended mission to design golf and bicycle socks. Same result: socks that are well adapted to their particular sport.

And are they bestsellers? You tell me: We sell 30,000 pairs of socks each year via our three stores, our website and a few pop-up stores. I wanted to sell 50,000 pairs to become Canada’s biggest seller, but my contacts in the industry believe that Avalanche is already the no. 1 seller… The team is still keeping this 50,000 pair goal in mind.

Want to knit yourself a pair? You’ll need merino wool (at least 35% for warmth), polyester (35% for breathability), polyamide (15% for resistance), elastane (a hint for comfort), and make them seamless, thin at the foot and a little thicker at the shin. Most importantly, be sure to use very fine needles.
Or you can simply get a pair on our website or come see us in store. They’re selling like hotcakes. And while you’re here, you’ll love our new clothes.

Jean-François Caron
CEO Avalanche