“This is aerogel, it holds the world record for the lightest solid known to man. It was developed by NASA to insulate equipment from the frigid temperatures of space. It can contain up to 99% air.”

Excellent look into the possible high tech future of winter jacket insulation utilizing NASA-developed aerogel.

Aerogels are a class of synthetic porous ultralight material derived from a gel where the liquid component for the gel has been replaced with a gas without significant collapse of the gel structure resulting solid with extremely low density and extremely low thermal conductivity.

Silica-based aerogels have been around for almost 100 years (first invented in the 1930s) but NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland has invented groundbreaking methods of creating new types of aerogels that could change the way we think about insulation (READ MORE HERE).

How these new aerogel materials will effect the outdoor industry is anyone’s guess but they are already available in some garments and the final products intriguing to say the least. Follow along with Steven Smith as he compares pros and cons aerogel filled jackets vs ones filled with the traditional down. Let us know what you think:

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