In 2015 a friend of us approached us with a problem: His butt was freezing cold when he was sailing. We sat down together and merged our zipper technology with a new thought: padding for the butt. We quickly made a prototype and put it to the test. Our friend loved it and we realized that the concept was great for a lot more people other than just sailors.
The Zipshorts Padded is a fleece shorts with padding for the butt that gives warmth and comfort. Just as important: It has zippers on each side, which makes it easy to take on and off without having to remove your pants and shoes. No more cold butts ever!
Outdoor people spend a lot of their time sitting. The butt is therefore a well known source for loosing heat. The outdoor industry has given this surprsingly little attention and somebody had to do something.
The Zipshorts will help you to sit more comfortably and be warmer and dryer in any situation. And perhaps the best part about it: the zippers. The problem with most products that keep your butt and legs warm, is that they are difficult to remove if it gets too hot. Like with all of our products, the zippers make this super easy. See the movie!
Northern Playgrounds product philosophy is to help people regulate their personal climate more easily. Check it out!
The idea for the Zipshorts padded is based on our Zipwear-concept and more specifically: Our Zipshorts. As you understand our excisting Zipshorts does not have any padding.
The normal Zipshorts works great as an extra layer, but like all other clothing, it does not give the needed warmth and protection for a person that is sitting.
When our sailing friend asked for a product with propper padding, we quickly realized that the Zipshorts was an ideal platform for working on the new product. In order to test the concept with padding we cut out pieces of an old camping sleeping pad:
After testing this combination we realized that zipshorts padded had to be produced. The sleeping pad was of course a bit too stiff and did not breathe at all, so we had to find another solution fabric for the padding. This was the first major challenge.
We spent months researching until we discovered Ariaprene. After receiving the first samples and testing it, it quickly became evident that Ariaprene was a great idea: Super flexible, great breathability, water resistant and environmentally friendly.
The second challenge was to adopt the padding into the Zipshorts. A pocket seemed like the obviuos way to go. And to be fair, we tried at least a dozen pocket options before we were finally happy. Especially the locking functionality was tricky. We tried buttons, zippers and a variety of velcro. Finally we ended up with a velcro solution that is easy to use and does not wear the fabric.
We started Northern Playground 4 years ago when we grew tired of not being able to remove our base- and mid layers without having to take of our pants and shoes. In the end we decided to make it ourselves. This has evolved into a new clothing category: Zipwear.
Zipwear is all about one thing: Personal Climate Control
When you’re out in nature, exterior conditions shift, and so does your own level of activity. With Zipwear technology you can ventilate specific parts of your body to control your temperature - in a matter of seconds. This is how we enable you to perform your best and feel comfortable, at all times.
So basically we know what a hassle it is to be too warm or too cold or too sweaty. With Zipwear you can zip in and out to stay perfectly comfortable. Get to know us and our concept better: www.northernplayground.com
Risks and challenges
We have a production line set up with our partners in Estonia and deliver each year thousands of products to customers all over Europe. Manufacturing should not be an risk. The Zipshorts padded introduces a couple of new technologies for both us and our partner, but at the current time, there are no obvious major challenges and the prototypes are performing really well.
Another aspect is of course the lead time if we exceed the pledge by a lot.Then we need to source more fabric. None of the items in the Zipshorts padded are difficult to source, but the ariaprene especially has a lead time of some weeks before we can start production. We have planned for a substantial order over the summer, but if we run out we need another two to three months to manufacture more. All backers should have their products long before xmas no matter how much support we get.
- (30 days)