Stormr is one of the premier designers of apparel for harsh weather, and the success of their gear in the elements is dependent on the technology they pack into each and every product. Stormr utilizes two primary technologies to make their apparel flexible yet warm and comfortable: Neoprene Core Technology and VAPR Tech. Before you decide on your next Stormr purchase, let’s examine why neoprene is so useful in outdoor apparel as well as cover both Neoprene Core Technology and VAPR Tech in more detail. We’ll finish with a short
Neoprene is a synthetic rubber that was designed and developed by the DuPont company in 1930. The scientists at DuPont immediately noticed the usefulness of neoprene as a material that could maintain its flexibility over a wide range of temperatures but not degrade as easily as rubber. It was originally patented as DuPrene, but the early materials exhibited a foul smell, and as a result the product was difficult to market. Once DuPont was able to change the manufacturing process to prevent a foul smell in the material, they decided to rename it neoprene and sell it as an ingredient to other companies rather than a finished product like the DuPrene name suggested.
Neoprene is used in a variety of applications from seals and hoses to insulation to everyday lifestyle items like laptop cases and knee and elbow pads. Recently the product has become a popular material in the women’s fashion industry. But where we’re concerned with neoprene is its uses in fishing and hunting waders and jackets. Neoprene provides excellent insulation in cold environments, which is perfect for hunters and fisherman who regularly find themselves in cold fall/winter lakes or frigid mountain streams. Neoprene jackets are useful as general outdoor wear or rain jackets as well. In apparel, neoprene is measured by it’s thickness in millimeters. Not to be overlooked, the flexibility of neoprene allows the wearer to stay active and move effectively while still benefiting from the insulation properties of the material. As a general rule, the thicker the neoprene, the more insulation you’ll receive from the material.
Now we come to how Stormr and other companies apply neoprene to their apparel. The best way Stormr utilizes neoprene is to sandwich it between two outer layers of material, hence the “core” in technology. In the middle, the neoprene provides insulation and provides buoyancy should you ever unexpectedly fall into the water. The interior layer is composed of a moisture wicking fleece that keeps sweat from pooling near your body and creating a potentially life threatening chill. On the outside, a water repellent nylon beads falling water off the jacket or wader so you don’t absorb water and add extra weight. Finally, the neoprene in Stormr products is cut very thin so you still maintain the flexibility that your active lifestyle demands, but you don’t have to sacrifice insulation as a result.
If you like the concept of the Neoprene Core Technology but you want a lighter weight solution, look no further than Stormr’s VAPR Tech (Variable-stretch Advanced Performance Raingear) for one of the best options on the market today. VAPR Tech apparel is structured around high stretch neoprene panels and is surrounded by a two-layer waterproof, windproof and breathable shell. VAPR Tech also offers the same water-beading finish found on the outside of Neoprene Core Technology products. If supreme mobility in outdoor apparel is what you’re looking for, VAPR Tech is a great choice.
The FUSION Series of Stormr apparel features VAPR Tech advancements.
Before any article on neoprene is complete, we have to cover how to care for the material. Although outdoor apparel made with neoprene like waders and jackets are less fragile than items like triathlon wetsuits, they still need distinct care to maximize the life of the product. Neoprene can be damaged when it comes in contact with prolonged heat, so you should never machine wash, machine dry or dry clean products that contain neoprene. Never leave neoprene products out in the sun to dry either. You should wash products with neoprene by hand, and it is best to only use mild detergents and fresh water. Take care of your neoprene products and never leave them in direct sunlight or in the back of your hot car, and you’ll be able to use them for seasons to come.
Images courtesy of Stormr and neoprene history courtesy of DuPont.