WE'VE DONE OUR HOMEWORK

+Research

For us, research never ends. The fabric and apparel industry moves at a rapid rate and innovation seems to drive technology further each year. Shifting consumer demands and advances in technology make apparel manufacturing a fascinating industry to be a part of. We do our best to follow trends and innovations by going to fabric trade shows and stay in close contact with the people who are forging the future of fabric and apparel. The margin between success and failure is razor thin, and by staying in front of trends, we have the ability to offer new products to the consumer before they go mainstream

+Outfitter Knowledge

I have been afforded the ability to see the hunting industry from multiple aspects; a consumer, a retailer and now a manufacturer. As a retailer, I was a dealer for many of the best apparel brands in the hunting industry. My background has allowed me to review and critique design features from top apparel manufacturers and has also assisted in creating a clear direction of where I wanted my brand to go)

+Trial + Error

We’ve made mistakes, a lot of them, but the cost of making them was necessary. Building a brand is a monumental task and until you get in the thick of it, you have little understanding of the man-hours it takes to prevail. Expensive mistakes made us smarter and enhanced the drive to succeed. While perfection may not be obtainable, we are continually making alterations and adjustments to improve our brand.

+We know our fabrics

At THLETE, we hunt…a lot. By mid-November, the office looks like a congregation of gypsy travelers, scruffy beards and baggy eyes are the norm. Not only do we wear our own gear, but we are always interested in what is new in the outdoor apparel industry. By attending IFAI fabric expos, we get a sneak peek at what is new and trending in fabrics and apparel manufacturing.

+Product Development

We have partnered with companies that are specifically tailored to our niche. Outdoor apparel is tricky and takes a significant amount of engineering to design and manufacture. By partnering with brand-specific design agencies, we can quickly bounce ideas off of each other to enhance the design and quality of our brand. Basically, when we have an idea, they modify and make it better

OUR PROPRIETARY CAMO

DEADFALL: Start Blending In

Most camouflage patterns are designed to appeal directly to the hunter’s eye, as opposed to effectively concealing the hunter in an outdoor setting. Ungulates, or hoofed animals, do not operate on the same set of visual keys that predators do. Most ungulates focus on shape, as opposed to color to differentiate between potential predator and a non-threatening being. This attribute makes breaking the human outline an essential aspect of effective camo design.

THLETE’s focus on creating the DEADFALL pattern was eliminating the human outline to reduce the perceived threat, as opposed to mimicking terrain realism. The most critical characteristic in designing Deadfall was creating contrast and depth to fracture the human outline at both long and close range. We created our pattern by utilizing versatile earth-tones and combining them in a format that creates deep contrast.

THE LEGEND

In the Midwest, there are a few archery pioneers that contributed to bow hunting in ways that exponentially accelerated the sport; Chuck Adams and Myles Keller are both worthy of the title “legend.” However, in my mind, nobody deserves more recognition than Bob Fratzke. Bob was an innovator in the camo industry having designed some of the earliest camo patterns that were specifically geared towards blending into natural settings to break up the human outline. Military BDU’s were swapped for the Winona Camo System, which was truly revolutionary for its time. Bob was an innovator and contributed to the evolution of some of the earliest macro patterns, utilizing high-end fabrics that were designed to keep the hunter warm in the field. Bob changed the camo industry by designing camo apparel made specifically for the hunter and then manufacturing his clothing in his hometown of Winona, MN.

SIZING + FIT

THLETE FIT

We design our garments with an athletic fit, but they are not constricting in any way. Our base layers are designed to be snug and sit close to your skin. Our outer layers allow for full range of motion and movement.

SIZE CONSISTANCY

Our size measurements and fit are consistent across all products. Any specific fit changes will be noted in the product description. Our products are intended to be layered, so if you order a size large baselayer, there is no need to order a size up for the outer layer. We design our garments as a system and size them accordingly.

FABRIC TECHNOLOGY

MERINO WOOL

  • 100% New Zealand Merino
  • No itch
  • Extremely soft
  • Warm when wet, Moisture wicking
  • Naturally odor resistant
  • Machine washable

ALPACA HYBRID

Merino is a subtle fiber and retains its shape/memory longer than alpaca. By combining the two, you get a durable and flexible fabric that will retain its shape for a long period of time.

Merino is a staple in base layers that adds warmth, comfort, and durability. But where does alpaca fit in?

Alpaca is a relatively underutilized fiber. Much of this is due to its availability and price. Quality alpaca fiber has many of the same qualities that merino has, but they are amplified in performance characteristics. At THLETE, we wanted to be the first to offer a blend of merino and alpaca. The two fibers combined create a natural fiber fabric…on steroids.

  • Warmer and lighter than traditional wool
  • Greater odor dispersal than wool
  • Hollow alpaca fiber promotes superior wicking
  • Faster dry time than Merino
  • Less itch than sheep’s wool
  • Naturally odor resistant
  • Form fit, Interlock knit
  • Machine washable

THLETE SOFTSHELL

The face of the fabric is very silent and maintains a subtle drape and soft feel. At 350gsm (weight), the Primaloft softshell is heavy enough to maintain warmth at very cold temps and knock down over 99% of the wind. To increase air circulation through the fabric, we are implementing a custom cross-vent zipper design to maximize breathability during high exertion activity.

  • Key component in apparel layering system as the “outer shell”
  • Water resistant
  • Woven fabric face for durability
  • Highly wind resistant
  • Warm
  • Stretch woven face
  • Comfortable

PRIMALOFT GOLD INSULATION

  • Highest warmth to weight ratio (CLO value) among synthetic insulations
  • Water Resistant
  • Breathable
  • Packable/compressible
  • Lightweight
  • Very Soft
  • Warm when wet
  • Exceptionally durable
  • Dries Quickly