You know a jacket is awesome when the first thing you say when you see it is “I am going to look them up!” That is exactly what I said when my husband came home from work one day sporting a new swanky jacket from Klymit. I am not usually impressed with the specs of outdoor gear ( I just wanna stay dry!) but I kid you not I spent over and hour on the Klymit site oohing and ahhing over all the rad stuff they have in store and the best part- they are LOCAL!
Their site describes the company as ‘ a solutions company that challenges traditional approaches to the conception and fabrication of outdoor goods and apparel. Part engineers, part gear junkies, part mad scientists, and all outdoorsmen, Klymit was conceived under the idea that the experience of outdoor enthusiasts can be enhanced with new technologies and a different approach that yield quantifiable superior products. ‘
My husband came home sporting the Paregoria stretch jacket in black that day and he got it for a great price at their warehouse in the BDO– ‘The Paregoria named for the Greek word for comfort lives up to just that, comfort. This soft-shell jacket has the features of an all mountain shell with comfort and style for everyday wear. With its 4 way stretch bamboo carbon fabric you will have more stretch than your yoga master.’ Pretty awesome right?
Of course after drooling over his jacket and trying ( and failing) to steal it from him I had to contact them to learn more. Check out the interview I did with Cory Tholl, president of Klymit
How and when did klymit get started?
Klymit got starter back in 2006 when a couple of BYU students learned they used Argon in scuba suits and thought how great would it be to have a snowboard jacket that had that technology. Klymit went on to win several business plan competitions, eventually received funding, and the rest is history.
How did you go from an idea to a company with everything from jackets to sleeping bags?
Our team is made up of lab rats, engineers, and gear junkies. We can’t stop the multitude of ideas from flowing. When we have a good idea or see a problem in the outdoors that we think we can solve, we go at it. It has been said that the best thing about Klymit is that ‘we don’t know what we can’t achieve.’
Klymit isn’t just an outdoors company, you guys sell some pretty unique gear. Can you tell our readers about your unique technology and how it works?
The key technology behind the Klymit NobleTek insulation is noble gas. The reason why noble gases are such great insulators is because of their low thermal conductivity. It takes about 15 mm of other insulators to get the same amount of insulation as 5 mm of Argon gas. Thus we can have a thinner jacket with the same amount of insulation. Or you can inflate it with more gas for more insulation. The inflation or Variable Warmth Technology (VWT) aspect allows for a custom fit also. Notably, all other insulation are static and cannot change when temperatures vary, but noble gases are dynamic and allow you to have warmth on demand.
We have transitioned our ability to design inflatable products for comfort applications also. For example Klymit camping pads are revolutionary in that they mirror the human anatomy. By doing so, they provide a sleeping surface that is designed specifically to offer you more comfort and a better night’s sleep whether you sleep on your back, your side, or your stomach. Our loft pockets (i.e. cut outs) provide support only where you need it yet the minimalistic design allows us to offer really light weight and compact pads.
So your headquarters are located in Ogden and we want to know, what do you love about Ogden’s outdoors? Favorite hikes or rides?
What do I love about Ogden outdoors?
Where to start?….. Such an open ended question brings to mind that familiar passage from Elizabeth Barrett, “How do I love thee, let me count the ways,”…. I asked a few of the guys here and here is how they responded…
Whether it is climbing up 9th Street, riding the shoreline or birdsong and then 12thstreet to work, dropping cliffs off of Paradise at Pow Mow, bouldering up 24th, Mach-ing one of the fastest downhill runs in the world and dropping chutes at the Basin, snowmo-ing and atv-ing Monte Cristo, paddling around Causey, or dropping backcountry lines just about anywhere within 15 minutes. Where else can you rock a road bike ride and get out in the brilliant and contrasting scenery, the quick transition from cityscape to countryside, and any training day challenge yourself to the epic climbs of Trappers Loop and the North Ogden Divide. I can tell you that the Northern and Southern Skyline trail are some of the best trails I have ridden on a mountain bike ever. The open water swimming area at Pine View is awesome, and the kayak park is super fun. Even smashing the Bonneville shoreline loop from the river trail is a fantastic ride.
I’m not sure if there are any better places in the world to be if you love the outdoors. We are truly lucky to be in a place with such geological and geographical diversity. We get out on lunch rides once or twice a week, and from our headquarters in the BDO can get a quick 20 miler in that takes us to the edge of the valley on Fruitland Heights Road and south on Mountain Road. As hard as we go here in the office that ride has to be one of my favorites as the majority of it is on nice, peaceful roads and offers a cathartic departure from the laptop and lab. It also keeps me from taking this section of the Wasatch for granted. My favorite Mountain trail has to be up Northern Skyline and down Ben Lomond. It is one of my favs in the world. Ben Lomond is a perfect example of how radically vertiginous these mountains are. From the summit of Ben Lomond to the floor of the valley the horizontal distance is only ½ mile. That is an incredible amount of vert. I love the West side of the Wasatch….stupid steep, and the reason this valley is so gorgeously framed. What can I say, I love me some Ogden; Good people, tons of great, kitchy small restaurants, and unmatched access to the beauty, peace, solitude, and invigoration of the Wasatch and surrounding areas. Living in Ogden keeps us in a fairly perpetual state of stoke, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Right now you are running a kickstarter to get the Ulaar jacket to market, what is it and why is it so awesome?
Great question… our Kickstarter campaign went live on October 11 and we’re seeing a great response. We’d like to draw as much attention to it as possible until it closes on November 9th. The Ulaar jacket is the first application of our NobleTek insulation in a jacket form… all other apparel has been vests. We’re really excited about this product and we can’t not keep unveiling next-generation technology and products. We can’t keep the Ulaar Jacket to ourselves. Klymit’s proprietary VWT (Variable Warmth Technology) was designed to make your everyday outdoor experiences more comfortable. Whether you’re camping, at the game, or just simply out for a walk, the Ulaar truly takes warmth and comfort to the next level. With adjustable insulation you immediately save money from purchasing additional layers, also reducing the weight you have to carry. When the NobleTek chambers are inflated, the Ulaar conforms to your body snugly, capturing your body heat and re-circulating it throughout your core. The Ulaar will keep you warm even when wet, it’s windproof, and just looks really cool
We have to ask, just how do you test your gear out?
That’s the best part of the job. We do a lot of internal testing to see how any given product performs in different activities and environments. Whether it is taking a new raft concept down to the Ogden river, or hitting the slopes with a new jacket idea… we like to make sure that we’re believers in the product before we take it to the next stage. We also get products into the hands of other avid adventurists to get their feedback.
Where can readers get your gear?
Our camping pads have the most distribution and we’re in lots of shops including Parks Sportsmans, Recration Outlet, and REI.
Anthing you our readers must know about Klymit?
Just that we love innovating and developing solutions for the outdoors so keep an eye out for what we’ll come up with next.