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What is 686's Hydrastash® Technology?

If you looked up the word Hydrastash® in the dictionary it would say something like: “A way to stash your hydration inside your winter apparel.” But you won’t find it in the dictionary. Why? Because we invented it! It can be further explained as an innovative hydration system built into the garment that provides on demand access to water while on the mountain. That’s right: ride more, rest less, and stay hydrated without leaving slopes. Let’s get a bit more technical. Hydrastash® is an exclusive, patented hydration system discreetly hidden inside your garment. It is simple to use, sustainable, and safe. On demand access to water is provided even when you’re on the lift or in the backcountry without having to...

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What is 686's SMARTY® 3-in-1 Technology?

SMARTY® 3-in-1 Technology is the original, trademarked 3-in-1 detachable layering system that adds versatility and value to outerwear. What started as an idea that 686 founder Michael Akira West thought sounded “smart”—attaching an extra inner layer for warmth that could double as its own outfit—has become so ubiquitously used to describe layering it’s practically its own brand name. Back in the 90’s it was just another eccentric idea from 686 but its usefulness is undeniable, and it’s now found across our winter product categories. Since its inception decades ago, 686 SMARTY® 3-in-1 technology has set the integrated layering standard for the outerwear industry, adding premium versatility and value to jackets and pants. Every SMARTY® combination is specifically designed so that...

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What is 686's Thermagraph® Technology?

What’s worse: Being cold OR being too hot, sweating, and then being too cold? Choose winter apparel with Thermagraph® technology and you’ll never have to answer this question because you’ll be warm in all the right places without overheating. To put it simply Thermagraph® technology—an exclusive 686 innovation—is strategic body-mapped insulation and breathability to increase the versatility of your outerwear. Developed around your body in motion, Thermagraph® places separate zones of insulation and breathability strategically throughout your jacket or pants. These zones work together to create an ultra-lightweight, warm, and highly breathable lining that increases versatility of your jacket and pants. Insulation zones are placed where your body needs warmth the most - your vital organs, spine, knees, and seat...

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Breakdown of 686's GORE-TEX Technologies

We’re big on GORE-TEX here at 686. We drip ourselves in it whether in the harshest conditions (pass the GORE-TEX PRO please) or hiking on a blustery day (some lightweight GORE-TEX INFINIUM will do perfectly). There’s a time and a place for every type of GORE-TEX technology, so let’s break them down. GORE-TEX PRO GORE-TEX PRO garments are for serious outdoor visionaries who demand the most active, breathable, rugged, and durable protection available. The absolute pinnacle in outerwear for extreme situations. These products ensure the most active breathable, durable, and long-lasting protection—even in the most extreme conditions. The 3-layer design utilizes revolutionary membranes that are specially processed and provide high strength. The membrane is durably bonded to both the rugged...

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Behind the Scenes of the 30-Year Heritage Capsule w/ Founder Michael Akira West

686's Founder - Michael Akira West - was on The Bombhole and dove into the behind the scenes stories that make our 30-Year Heritage Capsule so meaningful.  Now that you've got the history, let's rewind and get the full picture of what we are celebrating. November 13th, 2022 marked 30 years since we shipped our first order. Founded in a college classroom at USC by Michael Akira West, 686 remains independently owned and operated by West to this day. We're celebrating this anniversary with a look back at three heritage pieces coupled with an optimistic look forward. ​A lot has changed in snowboarding and skiing since the 90's era boom and 686 has been strapped in for the ride – often leading the industry in technical...

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