Story and Photos | Brad Harris
Outlast Technology


























Last fall I was speaking with one of my riding buddies about base layers and outer layers and he brought up Outlast Technology, as he was familiar with the material but was surprised it wasn’t used much in the snowmobile industry.  You may recall that Yamaha launched a line of sled gear using Outlast a few seasons ago however we haven’t heard much about it since then.  So, this past season I had the opportunity to test out Yamaha’s base layer and mid layer with Outlast Technology as well as their X-Country Outlast jacket and pants to see how, and if, this stuff really works.  My experience was better than expected. 
 
Outlast Technology - How it worksHOW OUTLAST TECHNOLOGY WORKS   
Between your skin and the base layer is a thin space which is referred to as a microclimate, which needs to be regulated to maintain a comfortable temperature and prevent sweating.  If you get too hot, you sweat, which eventually leads you to being cold.  Also, if enough heat isn’t generated in the microclimate, you get cold. 
 
Outlast Technology regulates this microclimate by absorbing the excess heat generated by your body during active riding, an increase in outside temperature, and even when you’re getting your gear on inside before hitting the trail.  By absorbing the excess heat it has a cooling effect and significantly delays the onset of sweat.  If you don’t sweat, you stay dry, and if you’re dry, you can stay warm and comfortable. 
 
Outlast Technology doesn’t just absorb heat it releases it back to your body when your skin temperature starts to decrease.  This heats up the microclimate, keeping you comfortable, and reducing a major drop in temperature.  
 
There is a limit, of course.  The material has a maximum capacity and once reached, it can no longer absorb heat. Subsequently, once all that heat is released and your skin starts to cool down, there is no heat being generated therefore no heat to absorb. 
 
Outlast Technology
MY EXPERIENCE
    
During most of my riding last season I only used the base layer under the insulated jacket and pants.  That was plenty warm enough through most of the winter.  On one memorable trip to the Cochrane, Ontario area the temperature was around -25C in the morning and wasn’t expected to rise above -12C through the day.  Almost perfect conditions to test out the gear.
 
Knowing I’d be riding wide, fairly straight, and fast trails all day and likely into the early evening when the temps drop again, I decided to add the mid layer.  It was on this ride that I realized just how well this product works and the benefits it offers to snowmobilers throughout a day of riding.  Based on past experiences when wearing multiple layers, after riding for a few hours or so I’d start to get a little too warm and maybe overheat as the temperature increased along with my activity level.  That wasn’t the case on this ride with Outlast.  As our group cruised into the restaurant parking lot for lunch I noted that I felt fine, not too warm or hot all.  Nor was I cold, just comfortable.  After lunch we hit the trail and rode for a few more hours before the temperature started to drop again.  At this time we were running a great stretch of trail that kept my activity level fairly high yet kept the windchill fairly low too.  Still no sign of overheating and nor any signs of getting cold.  It’s worth noting that the sled I was riding on this day had a windshield that offered little to no protection.
 
I was very impressed with how comfortable I felt throughout the day to that point.  What was happening was that the Outlast material was absorbing the excess heat (energy) that my body was generating and storing it in the material.  It was essentially regulating the temperature inside my gear.  Not cooling me down, just removing the excess heat to prevent me from getting too warm which leads to sweating which ultimately leads to being cold.
 
It wasn’t until the last 100 km of the ride, well after the sun went down along with the temperature that I started to feel a chill.  At this point it was time to top up our gas tanks before for the last hour of riding back to the cottage.  I decided to pay inside the warm building at the gas station to thaw out for a few minutes.  While I was inside I opened my jacket and TekVest and let the warm air into as much of my gear as possible.  Less than 10 minutes later I zipped everything back up and hit the trail.  When we arrived back at the cottage I was warm, despite the fact that I had basically no wind protection.  I asked my riding buddy Mike, who was a guest evaluator of second set of Yamaha Outlast gear, how he felt after the gas stop.  Mike was cold as he remained outside back at the gas station.
 
Outlast TechnologyDuring our ride to the gas station the material had transferred all the heat (or energy) that was stored inside it back to our bodies.  When there was nothing left to transfer, that’s when I started to cool down and feel cold.  When I went into the gas station to pay and opened my jacket, it allowed heat from the inside air to transfer into the Outlast material.  Once back on the trail it gradually released that heat as the temperature inside my gear started to decrease.  Essentially, I “recharged” my gear to keep me warm on the ride home while Mike’s gear had nothing left to transfer back to his body.  This is something I didn’t expect but can be used to make the last hours of a ride enjoyable instead of seemingly never ending.
 
At the end of that trip, and quite a few other rides, wearing the Yamaha Outlast base layer, mid layer, and jacket and pants, I was very impressed with the product.  It allows for a more comfortable ride and fewer stops to add or remove layers.  It significantly reduces the swings in the temperature inside your gear keeping the temperature much more steady and keeping you much more comfortable.  This is a very practical and functional feature for all snowmobilers regardless of whether you sit on your butt and log big km’s or ride actively off trail.
 
In summary, the product doesn’t just work, it works very well.  It exceeded my expectations.  To be honest, I’m not sure why there aren’t more products with Outlast Technology on the market for snowmobilers.
 
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