Behind the GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ Anything Multi Pant with 686 Founder Michael Akira West

We all know GORE-TEX has set the gold standard for waterproof and breathable fabric technology on the market today, but are you aware that GORE-TEX offers a variety of different types of water and windproof membranes geared towards various outdoor activities and lifestyles? GORE-TEX's newly released INFINIUM™️ fabric with their WINDSTOPPER Enabling Technology places emphasis on comfort, flexibility, and breathability. This 2-layer fabric itself retains the same water and wind resistance you have come to love from GORE-TEX but, along with the absence of taped seams, offers superior breathability and flexibility. 

We caught up with 686 Founder and Creative Director Michael Akira West to pick his mind on our all-new GORE-TEX INFINIUM™️ Anything Multi Pant. Learn about his inspirations behind the new design, his experience putting them to the test, and the future of 686 x GORE-TEX products. 

Q: What inspired you to use GORE-TEX INFINIUM™️ Fabric for a version of the Anything Pant?

Mike: GORE-TEX is globally synonymous with high-end performance fabrications. We’ve been working with them on the winter product side for years and decided to integrate their new INFINIUM products into our year-round collection. From my experience, INFINIUM is a perfect mixture of casual-wear and high-performance active-wear. With our widely popular and growing Multi Pant Series, I wanted to take our current offering a step further and create something completely new to our everyday collection. The end result is the world's first everyday travel and adventure pant with GORE-TEX INFINIUM fabric.

Q: You added some new features to this version of the Anything Pant. Can you explain what inspired that?

Mike: Yes, we slightly tweaked this new version around the INFINIUM fabric to provide the optimal experience you've grown to expect from our GORE product line. Because GORE-TEX INFINIUM fabric is water-resistant, we didn’t need to tape the seams on these. The benefit of this is added comfort, breathability and increased flexibility around the seam touch points. This also allowed us to use our tried and true Nylon/Stretch Multi Pant fabric in the crotch gusset, upper back yoke and front upper pocketing. Like our other GORE-TEX products, we added YKK AquaGuard zippers to the side cargo pockets to align with our technical winter GORE-TEX products. Since the GORE-TEX INFINIUM woven fabric is not 4-way stretch like our regular Multi Pants we slightly modified the fit to replicate the feel of our current best sellers. In my opinion, the end result is an everyday casual looking pant with very unique technical features.

Q: If you could go anywhere in these where would you go?

Mike: The overall concept for our Multi Pants is to create a hybrid experience between what you do in the city and the mountains. We want to create everyday gear that works in any environment from morning to night. The GORE-TEX INFINIUM fabric we used with these offers superior protection from the elements during your daily activities. For example, I wore and tested them on a recent adventure to Peru to hike Machu Pichu and surf Chicama. From the moment I left LAX, traveled Lima and then Cusco, hiked Machu Pichu, and surfed one the longest lefts on the coast, the GORE-TEX INFINIUM Anything Pant did the trick. Water-Resistant, windproof, sun protection, lightweight and breathable - everything I needed amidst my journey.

Q: What are you personally most excited about for these?

Mike: I love to create products you can wear in multiple environments: from your morning workout, to your office meeting, and on to your late night adventures. At the same time, I enjoy products that allow me to carry my everyday items securely while offering seamlessly hidden features that provide quick access anything I need at a moment's notice. That's exactly what this pant does. We’ve had so many positive comments reiterating similar experiences with their pants and I'm excited to see how people put these GORE-TEX INFINIUM Anything Pants to the test.

Q: What do you see in the future for 686 x GORE-TEX garments?

Mike: GORE-TEX is on the same path as 686. In the future, I see us combining what they’ve done very well in terms of high-end fabrication performance to discover other ways to integrate that into our everyday active/casual products. This is just the start in our transition from woven fabrications to knits. Stay tuned for some more unique multi-environment products that will change the way you think and feel coming very soon.

Our all-new GORE-TEX Infinium Anything Multi Pant was designed using GORE-TEX’s INFINIUM™️ WINDSTOPPER enabling technology. Whether you’re looking for a stylish pant for the city or a lightweight technical pant ready the outdoors, the WINDSTOPPER enabling technology integrated into these multi-environment pants forces precipitation to bead-up and run right off the exterior. Along with light water protection, the pants membrane offers extreme wind-proofing and breathability to keep your body temperature well balanced and comfortable no matter where you are exploring. If you’re looking for technical and functional pant loaded with seamless storage and basic weather protection the GORE-TEX Anything Pant should be your first look.