With rapid improvements being made in outerwear technology, The North Face has upped the ante with the release of the Fuse Uno Jacket. Nicknamed by some as ‘High Tech Origami’ or the ‘Origami Jacket’, the Fuse Uno is made from a single piece of fabric, cut into an intricate shape, then folded together to form the jacket. This type of construction reduces the number of seams by up to 40%, which has numerous benefits including reduced stitching, seam tape, weight and more. Traditional jackets are normally made from a number of fabric ‘panels’ that require extra stitching and seam tape to fully waterproof, leaving the jacket exposed to potential leaks and issues of wear, tear and durability.
The construction isn’t the only technology on display in the Fuse Uno Jacket. Just as important is the fabric itself, The North Face’s proprietary HyVent® Alpha. It’s a 3 layer waterproof seamless design that fuses an outer and inner layer to an internal membrane with nearly half a million holes per square inch. Sweat passes through leaving you warm, dry and comfortable underneath, while the outer layer and the PU coating on the mid-layer keeps rain and snow out. HyVent Alpha is also lightweight, with the average Fuse Uno Jacket coming in at only 351 grams (12 oz).
HyVent Alpha is part of the new FuseForm TM fabric construction from The North Face which uses advanced manufacturing techniques to seamlessly weave materials with different properties into a single fabric. The FuseForm technique again eliminates traditional seams and stitching, allowing for less bulk, freedom of movement and lightweight durability. FuseForm also allows for the engineering of varying degrees of abrasion resistance at key points in the jacket, all within the same fabric.
FuseForm was first used in the US Freeskiing Olympic Uniforms for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Each uniform was hand cut and took over 20 months to perfect. The FuseForm construction now gives The North Face increased versatility in jacket designs. In addition to the Fuse Uno Jacket, for example, the FuseForm HyVent Alpha fabric is also used throughout the Summit SeriesTM, which The North Face considers the future of lightweight alpine protection, and in the new Steep SeriesTM, in pieces such as the Fuse Brigandine Jacket and Pant developed for big mountain athletes.
The Fuse Uno Jacket is available in limited quantities in Australia at The North Face stores and online at www.thenorthface.com.au. RRP is A$520. In New Zealand, the Fuse Uno Jacket is available through the same channels for an RRP of NZ$580. A small number of jackets are also available at Bivouac.
Featured Photos: The North Face Media Images, including Photos of Cory Richards at Telluride, Colorado taken by Keith Ladzinski