Thirty years ago, The North Face outfitted a team of six explorers hailing from the US, the United Kingdom, China, France, the Soviet Union, and Japan for the first dogsled crossing of Antarctica. It took the crew (and their 36 dogs) roughly seven months to traverse the full 3,741-mile stretch of ice, a journey that entailed temperatures as low as 100 below zero and a storm that lasted 50 days. But the slog proved worthwhile—it brought early attention to climate change and helped keep the Antarctic Treaty intact.
Decades later, it's also giving outerwear addicts something to obsess over via The North Face's reintroduction of the iconic Trans-Antarctica Collection.
The collection is lean yet luminous with retro-bright hues of orange, teal, and purple dominating. It includes a pant, hoodie, and fleece, but the keystone is the Expedition Parka. Filled with responsibly sourced, 700-fill down, it's big, baggy, covered in patches, loaded with pockets, and features a mid-body cinch. Perfect for arctic blasts in the wild and the city.
The parka is also the most like the original gear worn by the explorers who undertook the Antarctic crossing, though there are some interesting differences. The flags have changed—Russia's has been updated, and China's is absent—as have the logos emblazoned on each shoulder.
Originally it was Gore-Tex on the right and UAP on the left. The latter stands for Union des Assurances de Paris, an insurance company that put in $2 million to finance the trip (expedition leader Will Steger originally opposed the logo placement in a fight against the over-corporatization of such adventures, a struggle that remains relevant today).
Other updates of note include recycled materials and DryVent waterproof fabric. Antarctic-grade gear has become lighter and warmer in the past few decades, but the reissue is wholly worthy for frigid winters in urban locales.
Starting at $99, the collection is available in select global markets and retailers and will be available in the US on November 9.