Closing the Gap in Waterproof-Breathables M ost waterproof- breathable tech- nical outdoor gloves and boots come with a ma- jor drawback. Since the glove shell and bootie membranes often are separated from their interior and upper components, moisture can seep into these gaps, resulting in wet hands and feet, and unhappy customers. Enter Altexa and GHS Holdings, which this autumn re-launched HDry to the North American market. HDry technology uses a cutting-edge direct (3D) lamination process to bond the upper layer and inner membrane, re- sulting in a completely waterproof yet highly breathable solution for footwear, gloves and even packs. “HDry eliminates the cavity or the gap between a glove shell or boot up- per and its lining by creating a direct bond, preventing water from penetrat- ing through the seams,” explained GHS CEO Gary Schloss. HDry membranes are custom cut according to each upper’s design and welded along the front and heel connect- ing lines. HDry also eliminates seams and tape, further boosting the water- proofness, breathability and durability. Altexa also customizes insert pat- terns to each individual style of boot, pack and glove, reducing waste and improving comfort. “It’s about more efficient use of mem- branes and getting a custom-tailored fit with less material than random stock sizes,” Schloss said. The HDry manufacturing process, which is achieved through a partnership with Macpi, involves inflating a former with air at 572 degrees Fahrenheit, which presses the membrane against the inner surface of the upper. Glue dots are then used to adhere the two com- ponents, resulting in a one-piece water- proof and breathable barrier. The HDry compound is made of an ester-based, polyurethane breathable membrane, combined with a thin polyes- ter knit and wrapped up in a propri- etary adhesive matrix. The end result is a product that keeps water out and prevents condensation from accumulating on the inside of the membrane. HDry also helps sta- bilize interior temperatures, said the company. Best of all, HDry uses eco- friendly materials. “The material is completely PTFE free,” Schloss explained. “It has no perfluorinated com- pounds such as PFCs, PFOs or PFOAs, and it doesn’t contain any substances on the REACH or ECHA lists of banned substances.” Looking forward, Schloss and his team will continue penetrating deeper into the North American market. “We are looking for brands that want to create high-performing footwear, gloves and bags,” Schloss said. “HDry offers alternatives to traditional free-hanging glove inserts, footwear booties and taping in backpacks and bags. We’ve created a real opportunity for brands to take their waterproof-breathable requirements to a very high level.” This winter, Altexa and GHS will focus on creating field tests, enabling brands to test their current waterproof- breathables with HDry. “I hope that we can convert many of those potential partners into HDry partners for the ’22 season,” Schloss concluded. m GHS Holdings, Altexa re-launch HDry technology in North America Source: Altexa HDry Specifications Waterproofness ISO EN 20811/ >10.000 mm H20 Water Vapor Permeability JIS L 1099 B-1/ > 20.000 g/m².24hrs Elasticity >200% high tensile strength PROFILE InsideOutdoor | 39