We believe our design philosophy at THLETE is what best distinguishes our company from others in the hunting apparel industry. Many may claim that their hunting apparel constitutes “the best-of-the best”, but few if any who claim such status can actually explain why or how their products achieve that goal. At THLETE, our design process has been built on the following four principles:
- Who is our core customer, what are their intended applications for our garments and what are their views on enhancements and product innovation.
- The importance of complimentary and integrated clothing systems to cost-effectively extend the applications for which our gear will function over the course of an entire whitetail season.
- The level of innovation on-going in the fabric industry and the importance of appropriate fabric selection to comfort and functionality of a garment.
- The significance of individual product features to enhance comfort and functionality as well as extending the applications for our garments.
We are focused on the North American whitetail hunter and design all our gear with this end user in mind. Our entire team has spent years hunting whitetails across the USA. We have a solid understanding of what works, what does not and what is missing in the marketplace. In addition, we are fortunate to have a growing base of customers and brand ambassadors who provide critical input into product design, testing and enhancements. Whether you are hunting whitetails in the late season with a bow from a tree stand in the Mid-West, placing game cameras in the pre-season in the South or stalking whitetails mid-season in the North East, the specifications for effective concealment and comfort will vary, often times significantly. Our design philosophy is driven by these variations and our end users needs.
Our customers have numerous options to choose from in the high-performance hunting apparel marketplace. Many of our competitors offer a variety of hunting systems (i.e., base, mid and outer layers) for various stages of the whitetail season (i.e., early, mid and late season). If you price out these various systems for the entire whitetail season, the costs can get very high, very quickly. At THLETE, our design philosophy is based upon our core jacket and pant systems (i.e., Phantom System) that will provide comfort and functionality for the entire season at temperatures ranging from 60 - 30 degrees Fahrenheit. From there, we complement our core systems with various base layers, vests and jackets designed to be layered with our core system to extend longevity in colder temperatures and/or provide additional comfort within the target temperature index. We have achieved this result through innovative fabrics, insulation and product features. We did so with a purpose in mind, high quality, cost effective, functional and comfortable system for the whitetail hunter.
The rate of innovation in the fabric industry today is truly remarkable. A few examples include, merino blends with enhanced wicking, odor elimination, insulation and next to skin comfort qualities, mineral infused fabrics which aid in core body temperature regulation and various fabrics which offer enhanced durability and noise reduction, as well as comfort and functionality. Certain of these fabrics have proved their functionality in other sectors (e.g., skiing, mountain climbing, biking/cycling, etc…), but have not been utilized in the hunting apparel industry due to cost and other factors. Our direct to consumer business model allows us to utilize these high end fabrics, yet remain in a competitive price range through elimination of the retail mark-up. We direct a significant portion of our R&D budget to staying abreast of new fabrics, insulations and unique applications through meetings with leading manufacturers and fabric mills across the globe to bring to market functional and effective gear. Our fabric selections have allowed us to create a complimentary and integrated, yet cost effective, layering system to extend the applications for our garments throughout the whitetail season.
In designing our gear, we focus on individual product features exclusively to enhance the comfort or functionality of a garment or to extend the applications for which the garment can be used. We do not in any way aspire to a be fashion company; we are a hunting apparel business laser focused on whitetail hunters. This core principle has led to, among other things, the following innovative product features:
- Ventilation systems to regulate body temperature while walking to the stand or spot-and-stalk hunting.
- Durable Water Repellency (DWR) treatment in select outer wear garments for water repellency when full rain wear is just overkill.
- Body contoured product designs with 4-way stretch fabrics and thumb holes for reduced bulk, improved performance and added functionality in various whitetail hunting applications.
- Best in class YKK zippers to reduce noise, regulate body temperatures and minimize water and wind slipping through the zipper seam.
- Large and distinct pocket systems in our garments to facilitate gear storage.
- Best in class fleece liners on select garments to enhance warmth and insulation while adding a next to skin comfort when worn without a complete base layer.