Tested to last

Our “Trek Lab” team uses all its know-how to test Forclaz products in order to validate their promises (comfort, warmth, waterproofing, etc.) but it deploys a very particular energy to guarantee the resistance of products over time.

THE LABORATORY TESTS

The first step in the protocol is to ensure that the materials used for our products meet our sustainability requirements. To do this, we put different components to the test by reproducing accelerated ageing in the laboratory (friction, UV exposure, etc.).

 

The results of these tests help us to determine the materials that will constitute the Forclaz component catalogue.

The Martindale process

This test is used to assess a fabric's resistance to abrasion.

How does it work? Accelerate wear with a machine that rubs it against an abrasive material for several cycles until the threads break. It is then evaluated to what extent the fabric changes colour, pills, rips or holes.

For example, the outer fabric of the Forclaz Trek 500 padded hooded jacket withstood more than 50,000 cycles in the Martindale test (DS017 NR1).

THE FIELD TESTS

If our design centre is located at the foot of Mont Blanc, it is not only to enjoy the magnificent alpine landscapes (even if we never tire of them ...), it is above all the opportunity to test our products on-field, in real life conditions!

 

How do we do this? We use a panel of testers that we equip with different products (Forclaz or not, prototype or an old product, etc.). Then Théo, our field test engineer, goes walking in the mountains with our testers to collect their impressions and monitor the wear of the products.

In 2019, Theo carried out more than 50 field tests lasting from half a day to several weeks.

Avant et après le test terrain de la chaussure

The Trek 500 Matryx® footwear test

(available en 2021)

Having pre-selected a very resistant material, we did not consider it necessary to add a stone guard but, after 35 days of trekking on a durability mission, the front zone and the inner zone of the shoe proved to show signs of wear from all the walking.

We therefore improved our prototype by adding a rubber stone guard and removing the seam on the inside of the shoe.

THE DURABILITY MISSION

Laboratory and field tests allow us to validate the resistance of prototypes but we wanted to go further in order to be able to guarantee with certainty the reliability and durability of Forclaz products. This is how the sustainability missions were born.

 

What is a “sustainability mission”? This is a field test taken to the extreme: our panel of testers goes on a trek for 5 weeks, to test our prototypes on different terrains and in different weather conditions.

Marie-Eve, leader du Trek Lab
Marie-Eve, leader of the Trek Lab

“Sustainability is the promise to which Forclaz Field Test Engineers have devoted the most time and resources since the birth of the Brand.

This involves developing the best evaluation protocols including the Sustainability Missions-Test, recruiting testers that are capable of trekking for several weeks in a row, organizing the routes, monitoring the almost day-to-day product evolution, analysing every part of each product upon their return, sharing these analyses with engineers to validate the products or make the necessary improvements."

Other initiatives at the service of durability

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