Kolon Sport: Lifetech V7

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Smart survival, inspired by experts.

Winner: Gold iF Award, 2015.


Kolon Sport asked us to design the latest iteration of their Lifetech series of jackets, which are renowned for showcasing the company’s pioneering approach to innovation.

Our brief was to create a jacket system which applied the latest technologies in creative ways to meet the most essential of human needs such as shelter, warmth and communication. The objective was to create a genuinely lifesaving jacket system for polar environments which would then act as a showpiece for the brand.


The jacket's design and features are directly influenced by extensive research and interviews which we carried out with extreme survival experts. We worked closely with mountaineers, ski guides and polar explorers to understand the immediate challenges of these environments. We also looked beyond the obvious and spoke to experts from left of field, including a Professor of Human Thermodynamics, an ex-UK Special Forces operative and an Airport Firefighter, more familiar with extreme heat than polar conditions.

This research led to hidden insights which were invaluable and led to genuinely innovative and lifesaving features in our Lifetech series jacket.


Kolon Sport


Expert Interviews
White Space Innovation Strategy
Innovation Workshops & Sprints
Visual Language Strategy
Technical Forensics
New Product Innovation & Development
Industrial Design & Development
Rapid Prototyping & Development
First-Off Product Prototyping
Manufacturing Knowledge
Supplier Engagement


Our design team interpreted these insights and evolved them into features which define a highly desirable and compelling jacket system: one that sets the standard for the future of wearable technology in the extreme outdoors and winter sports categories.

The various technological details of the design include: a tri-layered system made up of an outer waterproof and windproof, breathable Gore PRO outer shell jacket; a thermal inner layer with a Heatex System (the world's first conductive polymer heating system); and a stretch-fabric base layer with electronic device and battery stowage with proximity to core body heat.

We were inspired by one expert who told us how he wraps huge wire loops around all his zip-pulls, so they can be undone without removing his mittens in extreme cold. We designed custom, oversized zip pulls with silicone over-moldings for use with gloves. We also designed integral, easy-access shoulder and back straps for manhandling a companion in distress and a wearable first aid and survival kit for situations where you might be away from your main backpack.

Lifesaving should be as much about preventing trouble before it’s materialised, as it is about getting out of trouble once you’re in it. The wind turbine mounted onto the sleeve of the jacket can be angled to generate power throughout the day whilst the wearer is on the move. It can also be removed and attached to the exterior of a tent to continue generating power overnight. The turbine can charge auxiliary devices, such as GPS & smartphones, for essential navigation and communication to prevent dangerous situations from ever arising. The Heatex System provides up to seven hours of potentially life saving heat (up to a temperature of 40-50°C) around vital organs. In addition, the fur liner on the hood of the jacket works effectively to retain heat in the facial zone.

Smart survival, inspired by experts.



“This jacket must withstand the harshest of conditions in extreme environments. It includes many innovative and lifesaving features such as a wearable wind turbine power generator.

We are also very impressed with the way in which such a high degree of functionality has been combined with aesthetic detailing like the perfect, top quality stitching.”