K-Way, the well-known South African outdoor technical brand, revealed the completed custom down suits designed for the four South African women who will be attempting to summit Mount Everest between March and April.
The suits have been designed with the exact specifications for Deshun Deysel, Alda Waddell, Tumi Mphahlele and Lisa Gering who will be using the bespoke suits in some of the coldest weather conditions and harshest terrains.
The manufacturing team used cutting-edge innovation, advanced knowledge and smart design to create the down suits.
The outer fabric is Pertex Endurance, which is highly abrasion resistant while providing outstanding weather protection. Each is stuffed with 850 fill-power goose down, with the average fill per suit just exceeding a kilogram, with the total suit weight averaging 2,7kg.
“The gear is made to the highest quality and standard as it must perform at an optimal level to enable the adventurers to push their bodies to the limit, while remaining protected from the elements,” said Technical Product Developer for K-Way, Stephen Hector, who directed the suits design and manufacture.
“The construction of specialised suits like these is key. The design had to ensure there are no cold spots and that each segment operates like a box – a carefully calculated box. If you put too much down into one segment, the area will attract dead air and if you put too little down, you will get a cold spot,” he said.
Other elements included practical zips and strategic openings for effective ventilation, lined pockets so the climbers can keep essentials close at hand and glove attachments to avoid loosing these crucial items.
“We often take equipment for granted – but with regards to climbing a high altitude mountain, you cannot take chances or shortcuts. Your equipment must be 100%, from your boots to your helmet,” said Hector.
The women have been preparing for this extreme adventure and will spend between 6-8 weeks on the mountain in total.