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Materials have long been the source of outdoor gear innovation, and among all the ripstop and rubber, Dyneema still stands out as one of the most impressively futuristic (despite being around for a while now). If you're unfamiliar, Dyneema is an ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene with super-strong intermolecular bonds, but what you really need to know is that it's a fabric, and that taken ounce for ounce, it's stronger than steel.
You'll find Dyneema most commonly in ultralight backpacks and shelters and more rarely in things like trail running shoes or denim. It's notoriously difficult to work with, which is why it's all the more impressive that the Quebec-based brand Foehn used the stuff to shell a down jacket as part of their recent collection.
The Salem Dyneema Down Parka is everything you know a down jacket to be: puffy, packable, and, in this one's case, warm down to -13 Fahrenheit (thanks to a hearty helping of 800-fill down insulation). But its exterior Dyneema shell is singular—not only does it give the jacket a particularly polar look, but its extreme durability also guarantees that you'll never need to patch it up with duct tape. (Foehn also backs it up with a lifetime guarantee.)
Weighing in at 749 grams, it's not exactly ultralight, but it is loaded with features. Mainly pockets: there are four on the outside and three in the interior, which is lined with recycled Japanese nylon. Other bonuses include bungee adjustments at the hood, hem, and lumbar, so you can fix the fit and prevent the cold from getting in anywhere.
Puffy jackets aren't necessarily known for ruggedness—ultralight ripstop shells make rips and tears a constant worry—which makes the Salem Dyneema Down Parka a standout in a big crowd. But Dyneema's durability doesn't come cheap, and this jacket will run you a cool $1,000. Luckily, Foehn makes a non-Dyneema Salem for $400 and it's an impressive puffy, if not a bomb-proof one. You can also shop Foehn's entire Fall/Winter 22 collection here.