It’s no secret that most technical gear and fabrics are the result of some pretty harsh chemicals and require lots of water and energy to produce. Thankfully, many manufacturers are looking to embrace or develop alternatives that are better for our environment with no discernible loss of performance. A good example of this is Mountain Hardwear’s Lamina Eco AF sleeping bag, released last year, which is constructed from a recycled shell, lining, insulation, and trims—all of which are undyed to reduce water consumption.
The new Big Agnes Solution Dye is the latest technique for a more environmentally conscious tent and is actually the first instance of the unique dying process being used for tents. With traditional dying, the yarn or garment is only dyed after production, requiring large amounts of water and chemicals. With solution-dyed fabrics however, the colour has been mixed into the raw materials for manufacturing the thread. The process requires 50% less water, 80% less energy, and 80% fewer chemicals needed. Additionally, Big Agnes claims it also increases the UV resistance of their fabrics. Due to its process, solution dying is only available for synthetic fabrics at this time.
Big Agnes has rolled out solution-dyed options for their Fly Creek HV UL1 and UL2 tents, as well as the complete Tiger Wall UL lineup, including the Bikepack, mtnGLO, and standard versions. Check out their entire solution dye lineup here.
It’s worth noting that several other manufacturers use solution dye in their some of their products, including Patagonia, Burton, and Merrell, which we think is worth seeking out when you can.
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