ARC'TERYX LEAF

[Concept review]
ARC'TERYX LEAF [Concept review]
Our new research article, surveying the history, philosophy, and destination of LEAF line – functional tech gear and equipment for military units and law enforcement by mastodons of outdoor-industry, Arc'Teryx.

Authorship : Alexander Denisov [TECHUNTER].
Photo, video : ARC'TERYX.
Worldwide known Canadian brand Arc'teryx – one of the main innovators in the industry of clothes and equipment for sports, outdoor activities, and daily life. Since its inception, the company is not looking for easy ways – each project is developed from scratch and worked out to the last detail. Perfectionism has become a real hallmark of Arc'teryx, although sometimes it runs counter to the commercial interests of the brand. So, the development of the first collection of clothes stretched from 6 months to 4 years, putting the company on the verge of bankruptcy. Brand designers are always aware of industry events, but do not copy or simplify other people's work, and strive to create their own, often revolutionary concepts. And it is no exaggeration to say that they have influenced the appearance of all modern functional clothing.

The approach to design in Arc'teryx is simple – the purpose of a thing is to define its details and appearance. And it applies always – in whichever direction company worked. Apparently so one of the key units for Arc'teryx is LEAF (Law Enforcement & Armed Forces) – clothing and equipment for military and law enforcement units.

Worldwide known Canadian brand Arc'teryx – one of the main innovators in the industry of clothes and equipment for sports, outdoor activities, and daily life. Since its inception, the company is not looking for easy ways – each project is developed from scratch and worked out to the last detail. Perfectionism has become a real hallmark of Arc'teryx, although sometimes it runs counter to the commercial interests of the brand. So, the development of the first collection of clothes stretched from 6 months to 4 years, putting the company on the verge of bankruptcy. Brand designers are always aware of industry events, but do not copy or simplify other people's work, and strive to create their own, often revolutionary concepts. And it is no exaggeration to say that they have influenced the appearance of all modern functional clothing.

The approach to design in Arc'teryx is simple – the purpose of a thing is to define its details and appearance. And it applies always – in whichever direction company worked. Apparently so one of the key units for Arc'teryx is LEAF (Law Enforcement & Armed Forces) – clothing and equipment for military and law enforcement units.
The history of its occurrence associated with the ILBE project started in the late 1990s Control of the Marine Corps of the United States. It involved a complete upgrade of ammunition and individual equipment of a soldier and included a competition to develop new backpacks with an integrated frame. To participate in it Arc'teryx decided in conjunction with Propper company – a major American defense contractor. The fact that originally, Canadians gained their fame in the world of outdoor thanks to the creation of breakthrough for its time backpacks with thermoformable belts and straps, which provided unprecedented comfort in carrying cargo. So it is not surprising that the competition won the prototype proposed by Arc'teryx – as it was a version of the expedition backpack Bora 90 adapted to the needs of
the military.
The history of its occurrence associated with the ILBE project started in the late 1990s Control of the Marine Corps of the United States. It involved a complete upgrade of ammunition and individual equipment of a soldier and included a competition to develop new backpacks with an integrated frame. To participate in it Arc'teryx decided in conjunction with Propper company – a major American defense contractor. The fact that originally, Canadians gained their fame in the world of outdoor thanks to the creation of breakthrough for its time backpacks with thermoformable belts and straps, which provided unprecedented comfort in carrying cargo. So it is not surprising that the competition won the prototype proposed by Arc'teryx – as it was a version of the expedition backpack Bora 90 adapted to the needs of the military.

Participation in the competition was a kind of insight into the company's management, which today recognizes that at that time they literally "stumbled" on the market of tactical clothing and equipment. In Arc'teryx before even not thought to try their forces in this direction. But when working on a backpack and accompanying communication with Marines it became clear that clothes and equipment of Canadians fighters of many divisions, mainly special purpose actively use. And this is not surprising. The key qualities of functional technological things for extreme sports are highly appreciated in the army environment – this is another world where the design of the product depends on its purpose.
The history of its occurrence associated with the ILBE project started in the late 1990s Control of the Marine Corps of the United States. It involved a complete upgrade of ammunition and individual equipment of a soldier and included a competition to develop new backpacks with an integrated frame. To participate in it Arc'teryx decided in conjunction with Propper company – a major American defense contractor. The fact that originally, Canadians gained their fame in the world of outdoor thanks to the creation of breakthrough for its time backpacks with thermoformable belts and straps, which provided unprecedented comfort in carrying cargo. So it is not surprising that the competition won the prototype proposed by Arc'teryx – as it was a version of the expedition backpack Bora 90 adapted to the needs of the military.

The approach to design in Arc'teryx is simple – the purpose of a thing is to define its details and appearance
In Arc'teryx did not exchange for little things and decided to learn a new industry with brand care, creating in 2003 a LEAF division. It originally manufactured and sold ILBE backpacks, and also carried out small orders for the manufacture of clothing coming from military units. Most often it was necessary to simply use the fabric of discreet or camouflage colors, as well as add new adjustments for a better fit for the ammunition. But the Arc'teryx has prepared a base for the creation of fundamentally new things, taking as a basis their collections for outdoor activities.
LEAF division adapted for military needs all the layers of clothing – from underwear to insulated and waterproof jackets and trousers. And we are not talking about a simple "repaint" of things in camouflage with the addition of fasteners for insignia. The same approach was applied to their development as to the design of the mountaineering jacket, the cut and the structural details of which depend on the nature of the athlete's movements and the wearable equipment. Its front is shortened for greater freedom during climbing, pockets are displaced not to overlap the belt of the backpack, and the hood can be thrown over the helmet for better protection of the athlete from the weather. Similarly, in the outer clothing of the Arc'teryx LEAF, the location and the presence of pockets itself are adapted to the carrying of unloading and/or body armor, an enlarged hood can be worn over a ballistic helmet with a night vision device, and the membrane fabric rustles less analogues and resistant to gun oils.
The successful synthesis of this approach to design with technologies and materials tested in the active recreation industry has not gone unnoticed. Arc'teryx LEAF clothing and equipment gained recognition among soldiers of military and tactical units around the world. And first of all among special forces. The company managed almost impossible – in a short time, they pushed the former giants of the market.
Over the 15 years of its existence, LEAF has evolved into a self-contained design cell inside Arc'teryx, which has become a provider of ideas to other parts of The company. For example, the backpack Khard 30 was taken as a basis for the design of climbing backpack Miura 35/45 and urban Sebring 25.

As is often the case with military-brands, practicality, and quality of LEAF was highly praised by the people who prefer to wear everyday functional things. The company could play on this and prepare a wide line of branded apparel for fans. But in Arc'teryx stayed true to their ideas and LEAF products are not for "civilian". And therefore they are realized only through specialized shops and the authorized dealers.

Thank you for your attention to the reading of our work and necessarily waiting for your feedback on the material!
Also, you may be interested in our new article of more outdoor brands, successfully integrated into the military industry here.

— TECHUNTER team.