Recently Jez Ainsworth from outdoor gear brand Jack Wolfskin popped into our retail outlet in Warrington (238-240 Manchester Road, WA1 3BE) to tell us about some of the features in our current Jack Wolfskin range.
Jack Wolfskin @ Cheaptents
Jack Wolfskin has been part of our family for around 12 months, and the team here at CheapTents are really impressed by what we have seen throughout their range, whether it being little things such as paw print branding on zips to larger things such as the quality of their fabrics, Jack Wolfskin is a brand which will continue to grow in the U.K.
It’s true that the brand doesn’t have the same recognition levels as for example The North Face or Berghaus, however this is changing and the advertising campaign at Liverpool’s Anfield ground has increased brand awareness, so much so that I am sure you will see their branding at more grounds in the future! The result will be the Jack Wolskin paw print logo becoming more prominent on our streets and hills.
Jez higlighted a number of interesting features, too many in truth for a short post such as this but two really made an impression, they may not be highly technical or as mindblowing as the invention of the wheel, but they caught my attention and I would like to share them with you.
One of my roles (for my sins) is to write product descriptions for our online shop (CheapTents), if I am being honest I often feel overwhelmed by the sea of terms used by manufacturers in order to “big up” their products.
So when I wrote the product description for the Jack Wolfskin Cross Trail Tee, S.Fresh Technology barely registered on my radar, it was just another jargonistic term to describe a wicking baselayer. It was only after Jez demonstrated what S.Fresh actually is that I realised what a (literally) cool idea it is.
S.Fresh is Jack Wolfskin’s system of keeping the body fresh and dry, with the aid of silver salts an additional benefit which is that it keeps the body cooler. Jez said that this cooling effect is instantly noticeable and being curious and cynical (sorry Jez!) I had to have go. With no expectations of me being able to feel anything I put my hand inside the tee, and I was shocked by the effect.
Ok, so nothing really exciting happened like my hand turning to ice, but it did feel noticeably cooler. This wasn’t after a minute or so but straight away.
Perhaps the best way to describe the feeling is that it was similar to when your in the baking hot sun and you go in the shade and you get instant relief, and even though the temperature difference may only be a few degrees, it feels so comfortable you don’t want to move.
S.Fresh seems an ideal technology to be used for a gym top or do active pursuits in. Not only is it going to effectively wick sweat away but it is also going to keep you feeling comfortable, which is ideal when you are flagging in the gym or out on the hill.
Doing the twist with a Rucksack?
Jez decided to show us how flexible the ACS back system is on the Jack Wolfskin Rambler Rucksack series, he did this by twisting a Rambler 28 from corner to corner, which the CheapTents crew first watched in disbelief and then clamoured like a bunch of rampaging Vikings to have a go.
Let’s be fair its not often you get the chance to push a product to its limits (with the shop manager watching) and its something in my time in the industry which I haven’t ever tried or dreamed of trying with a pack.
Yes we’ve all pulled at stretch fabrics, or pushed down on anti-shock trekking poles, and even in some cases (ok probably just me) used tester walking poles to practise a golf swing. But have you ever had the opportunity to flex a rucksack? If you look at the video below (which was shot on location with no expense spared!!) you can see how the ACS back system can flex, and why the team were surprised.
The idea of being flexible in this way is to give the user more freedom of movement with the pack having more flexibility to follow the body’s natural shoulder motion when hiking. This feature is just one part of Jack Wolfskin’s ACS back-system. ACS stands for Air Control System, which is a back-system whereby the frame and back padding keep the pack off the users back, channels and perforated padding allows air to flow around the users back, keeping the user comfortable and the pack stable.
It is also worth noting that the Jack Wolfskin Rambler 32 and Rambler 28 and extremely well featured and specified, making them extremely good value for money and comparable to more expensive bags.
An Eye On The Future?
A flexible back-system such as the ACS may not be everyone’s cup of tea, some may argue that having a fibreglass and flexible thermoplastic frame (as in the Rambler) is a negative as it is not as strong or rigid as a metal frame. Personally, I think the Rambler is cleverly designed and, realistically, whilst being used it would never twist to anywhere near the degree shown in our video. But what it does show is the detail the top manufacturers such as Jack Wolfskin go into to make cutting edge products. It is akin to how Formula 1 is at the ground breaking end of car development and over time it trickles down to us all. Jack Wolfskin is one of the few brands which innovates rather than follows.
I think it’s clear that in the future you’re going to hear a lot more about Jack Wolfskin in the U.K. and here at CheapTents we are already excited about some of the products from them which we will be stocking come the winter.