In each edition of the Macpac Journal (Winter and Summer), we ask a member of our Product Design team to put down their sewing needle and take to the keyboard. They give us a peak Behind the Design of an upcoming range or season, explaining the philosophy behind the gear we’re focusing on. This summer, Apparel Designer, Abbey Jennings takes the spotlight, and tells us everything there is to know about our brand new Light Hiking range – the gear we’ve designed to help you move fast and light in the outdoors on shorter trips.
Have you noticed that we’re living more compact, mobile lives? We want less stuff, less clutter, less anchors to one place – and as a result we need the stuff that we do own to work harder for us. Take smart phones as an example: what was originally designed to be a portable telephone has evolved into a tool that is fundamental to how we get things done. We use them to navigate, we do our banking, we take photos, we store documents – we’ve done away with masses of material possessions thanks to a little rectangle that does everything for us. We decided that the same philosophy could be applied to outdoor apparel.
Our new Light Hiking range is the younger sibling of our traditional hiking range. It was inspired by the ‘less is more’ way of living. We saw an opportunity to capture that spirit in a range that not only complemented the lifestyle, but actually embodied it. The Light Hiking range doesn’t replace any of our heavy duty, multi-day hiking gear. Of course, there’s a time and a place where you need your gear to be bulletproof. But the other side of that coin is that bulletproof isn’t always best – in fact, sometimes heavy duty is a hindrance. We designed this series for the individual who wants to move with freedom in the outdoors, but refuses to compromise on performance. These products are lightweight compared to traditional hiking gear. The fabrics have all been chosen to serve very specific purposes, addressing the unique needs of each part of the body – it’s hybridized product design using the principle of specificity to achieve more comfortable, flexible, better performing garments. Nothing has been taken for granted in the design of these products – everything has a reason for being there.
In designing this line, we’ve intentionally ignored the traditional norms of outdoor clothing, and focused on new solutions to the problems we all face in the outdoors, and by doing so, we’ve broadened the scope of how each product can be used. While the ‘There and Back’ tights are designed for one or two day trips in warm or cool weather, they would perform perfectly well as a yoga pant or on your cycle to work, and look great at a cafe or shopping mall. The DWR stretch woven panels in the upper leg and in the seat provide water resistance in the areas that are likely to get wet when it rains, and the nylon elastane knit used throughout the rest of the garment is breathable, durable, quick dry, lightweight and has great stretch. The key is versatility. You’ll notice lots of examples of this way of thinking in the Light Hiking range, because less is more, right?