Near-indestructible puffer jackets and light-capturing outwear aren’t enough for the premium apparel brand that’s built its name on ridiculously hardy kit. Which is Vollebak – ran by British brothers Nick and Steve Tidball – have just released yet another bit of futuristic, boundary-pushing clothing. Enter the Mars jacket and pants.
They’re the brand’s attempt at future-proofing clothing by designing something that’s capable of withstanding the vagaries of interplanetary space travel while keeping its wearer comfortably warm and snug. After all, where else can our explorers go now that Earth’s more or less settled?
Says Nick Tidball: “One of the things about designing for the future is you have to spend a lot of time thinking about things that haven’t happened yet. The colonisation of space is one of those things. Which is why we’re building clothing for Mars, as well as designing clothing for a rapidly changing Earth. We need to plan for both – and we need to start early, because good design takes time.”
To that end, the two pieces from the Mars collection are lined with an outer layer of incredibly tough, tear-resistant ballistic nylon often used in flight gear. This is paired with a soft inner lining of high-stretch, pliable Cordura to keep out the wind.
As is expected from space-age gear, there’re pockets.
A lot of pockets.
For the jacket, this includes an anti-gravity pocket – essentially, a pocket the other way up so that what’s stored within doesn’t float away in outer space – as well as a vomit pocket, complete with bright orange vomit bags for, well, you know. Pretty useful when for novice spacefarers when space sickness gets to you. It also comes with a further five pockets to store the rest of your gear: think communication devices, food or a picture of your loved ones back home.
The Mars pants don’t stray too far in terms of design sensibilities. So yes, they have eight pockets, giant belt loops and two long Velcro strips built onto the left thigh, all storing any extra gear you might need. It even comes with a horizontal fly as a nod to how flight suits are designed back on Earth – helping you to get in and out faster, with lower risk of chafing.
While both pieces of the collection are rather durable, they’re no spacesuit – something that Vollebak openly acknowledges. “The reason [the spacesuit] looks so insane is because it’s made out of five layers of aluminised Mylar, with a surface layer of Teflon, Kevlar and Nomex. It’s the ultimate example of form following function – get it wrong, the person inside it dies,” their website said.
Think of Vollebak’s Mars jacket and pants as what you’d change into after removing one’s spacesuit. Something highly practical and robust enough for the day-to-day demands on the Red Planet – or a weekend jaunt in the great outdoors.
The pieces are available directly from Vollebak’s website for a nifty US$995 (S$1360) and US$645 (S$880) for the jacket and pants respectively, in two different colours.