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Wave of the Future

Evolution
posted: 08/15/2001

With a built-in wristop computer and pockets for a CD player and cell phone, you'll be so busy playing games in this new Schoffel jacket that the time you spend on the lifts will fly by. But when you're on the hill, you'll appreciate the smart insulation that keeps your back toasty-and the stock avalanche beacon that could save your life in a pinch.

The future is now with the introduction of Schoffel's Project 3000-as in the year 3000. "Everyone's always thought about the year 2000 as a turning point, and we really wanted to push that envelope way out to the year 3000," says Brian Enge, president of Schoffel North America.

Indeed, the Project 3000 is tricked out with the most advanced technologies available in skiwear today. "We thought about what the future holds for apparel in our industry, and this grew out of the fact that we were tired of simply changing colors and style," Enge explains. "So we said, 'Let's focus on technology that's right for our consumer.' We looked at all of the technical features from a user's standpoint and thought about which are practical and realistic and which are just hype."

The jacket was three years in development, a joint effort between Schoffel's "Advanced Technologies Team" and the R&D department of W.L. Gore & Associates. The fabric has a lightweight, breathable Gore-Tex XCR membrane, with reinforcement on the shoulders and arms that's a new mixture of XCR and Cordura, which allows the Cordura to breathe. For temperature management, Schoffel added scholler ComforTemp "smart" insulation to keep your kidney and central-back areas warm.

Other bells and whistles include a removable Suunto Altimax "wristop computer," which tracks your vertical progress in meters, current time, outside temperature and altitude. Planning to carry more gadgets? The Project 3000 also has a durable mesh pocket for a CD player, an insulated cell-phone pocket and a scratch-free moleskin pocket for goggles. "We didn't want to overdo the technology. We wanted to make it realistic for people at the resort," Enge says. Then why the need for Recco avalanche rescue beacons sewn into the jacket? That's Schoffel's nod to its European customers, who spend a great deal of time skiing off-piste. "But this is not a jacket that's made for backcountry skiing," Enge says.

"This is very much a resort-oriented product with characteristics proper for a resort-based athlete." So what's the damage for the latest and greatest in ski apparel? That'll be $850 ($650 without the watch). Call Schoffel at 800-754-8735, or visit www.schoffel.com.

Got a style question? Email mhenry@skimag.com.

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