The AK457 Guide Jacket started out as a FYi initiative to design a purpose built jacket for working mountain guides. We spent a couple of seasons working with the guides at Baldface Lodge to figure out the functional architecture, and to test and improve the jacket for their needs. At the time Baldface received the entire production run, making them the most exclusively outfitted operation on the planet. A couple of seasons later AK457 was launched in Japan as a premium technical mini-collection, and the Guide Jacket evolved and went back into production. Here is the latest iteration of the Guide Jacket currently offered in Japan. Needless to say, these garments are the most technical AK outerwear we ever worked on. Japan always gets the good stuff!
The evolution of the Guide Jacket continues..
A preview of the Japanese AK457 2L Down Jacket; The 2L Down is even lighter than the global LZ Down(!) We were able to shave more weight by using tighter and lighter fabrics throughout, as well as even higher loft premium down.
A waterproof breathable down jacket goes a bit against conventional wisdom.. everybody knows down loses much of it’s insulative value when it gets wet (and being in the coast mountains, I was skeptical), however when combined with a seam sealed breathable Gore shell it performs incredibly well.
We spent a day product testing at Whistler. Here, Takashi is taking in the great B.C. views in December…. ‘ummm, I don’t see anything’…. Exactly, that’s the view of B.C. in December.
The AK 457 design and development posse; TR, Takashi, Masa, and HF.
Today we will be working with Burton Japan on the development of the upcoming AK457 program. This is a special collection for Japan launching in fall of 2010, with a focus on technical backcountry functionality. I can’t be more specific at this time, aside from saying Japan specific fit, Japan specific Gore-Tex, and that this collection will be manufactured in Japan.