We field a lot of questions asking how KUIU c...

We field a lot of questions asking how KUIU compares to our competition, especially my old brand. The biggest differentiator is our fabrics and the direct to consumer model to keep our prices reasonable. Otherwise our product line would be cost prohibitive as our fabrics are 3 to 4 times more expensive as our competitions.  You absolutely get what you pay for in technical fabrics.

Before developing the KUIU line I met with the world’s 3 leading technical fabric suppliers, including Switzerland’s Schoeller, The United States Polartec, and Japan’s Toray.

Toray, based in Osaka, Japan leads the technical fabric industry by fusing nanotechnology into its operations, using organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biotechnology to solve the technical fabric industry’s most challenging problems. All of KUIU’s outerwear is made exclusively with Toray’s Primeflex fabrics, which use a patented Spiral Yarn allowing stretch and recovery without elastic. The result is a lighter, more durable, and faster drying fabric.

Founded in 1926, Toray is a leading chemical manufacture based in Osaka Japan. Toray fuses nanotechnology into its operations, using organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry and biotechnology as its core technologies.  Using Chemistry to solve industries most challenging problems, Toray operates leading divisions in medical, chemical, carbon fiber and textile industries.

Toray leads the textile industry in new technology developments in all three major groups of synthetic fibers-nylon, polyester, and acrylic fibers.  Toray is setting new standards in waterproof breathable laminates and durable water repellency (DWR).

                                                                     Primeflex Spiral Yarn

Toray’s development of the patented Primeflex yarn increases fabrics durability, decreases weight, dry-time, and stretch-recovery over time. Primeflex fabrics use a patented spiral yarn technology, allowing for the yarn to stretch and recover without using elastic such as lycra or spandex.  Elastic is heavy, hydrophilic (attracts water) and has a limited life expectancy.  Toray’s Primeflex fabrics are lighter weight with much better performance and durability than competitive fabrics.

KUIU is exclusively using Primeflex fabrics for all of its outwear, which is a key ingredient to saving 4 pounds in the layering system.  The Primeflex fabric collection is a range of 100% Poly fabrics that include stretch woven, soft shell and waterproof breathable fabrics.

                                                   Waterproof Breathable

Toray has developed the highest rated 4 way-stretch waterproof breathable laminate available, which has an unmatched 20,000mmH2O/20,000g/m2 24 Hour rating.  This allows for a maximum waterproof and breathability and stretch in one package.

Kudos XR is a new DWR developed by Toray has reset the standard in durability and performance.  Kudos XR DWR performs better and last significantly longer.  DWR is critical for waterproof breathable face fabric. If DWR fails the face fabric “wets out” causing condensation build up on the inside of the garment.  As you see from Toray’s supporting data, not all DWR’s are the same.

By partnering with Toray, KUIU products have a higher performance level that weight less. Saving four pounds in KUIU’s layering system is just one result.


This article has 38 comment(s)

  1. Will Jenkins

    Very interesting! I’ve been curious to learn more about Toray and their primeflex fabric I did a little research online but this cleared it all! Very cool stuff and Thanks for posting!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Will for all the support!


  2. Greg pettinaro

    Are you existing guide jackets made of the new XR DWR or Primeflex or are they the same thing? Your are still sold out on a bunch of stuff. I on the wait list but any idea when you might start filling orders?

    • Jason Hairston

      Yes they are Greg. We began receiving product and filling all the back orders since the 5th of January. We expect to be back in stock by the end of the month.


  3. todd


    Any thoughts on Neoshell by polartec or eVent?

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Todd,

      I have a lot of thoughts.

      To create a highly breathable laminate, Polartec has sacrificed waterproofness down to the lowest rating possible at 10,000mpv. This works great for snow sports or most Outdoor activities where you can go home if the weather gets bad.

      eVent breathes very well and in some testing claims to be the most breathable on the market. PTFE or Teflon (the laminate technology that eVent and Gore-tex use) has its limitations. It dose not stretch well, is noisy and fragile.

      I hope this helps answer your questons.

    • Justin Starck

      I can vouch for Toray over Polartec. I recently picked up a Polartec Powershield Pro jacket for AT skiing and I agree with Jason that Toray is the best choice for KUIU.

  4. jerseyjohn1

    I am always interested in reading how Kuiu clothing is ahead of everyone in performance and durability. JJ

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks John!

  5. Gregory S. Jackson

    Good morning, Jason –
    Thank you for this info – probably a little more techinical than I need but it does help to know how and why some of the decisions are made in KUIU’s product design.
    In addition, I saw in the most recent edition of Eastman’s Bowhunting Journal your full page advertisement (pg. 55) and seeing South Cox dressed out in KUIU gear in his photo for his article on mental toughness.
    I would be interested in knowing how such advertising is paying off.
    As always, thanks for all you and your crew does and the spirit in which you are doing it.
    I look forward to seeing your new product line in 2012.
    All my best –

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Greg,

      Print media is certainly helpful in building a brand name and getting KUIU in front of a wider audience. The challenge with print advertising is to measure the exact ROI. Magazines like Eastmans certainly puts us infront of our customer helps to grow the brand.


  6. Phil- Las Vegas, NV

    Kuiu has really earned the trust of the backcountry hunter. The quality of the gear is top notch and durable, something many of us truly appreciate.
    The business plan of direct to the consumer is second to none and shows the real intent of the clothing line, provide quality clothes at realistic prices. Everyone wants quality gear with money left over to hit the field with bow in hand, Kuiu does just that.
    Thanks guys… Keep it up!

    • Jason Hairston

      Thanks Phil for taking the time to comment and the nice words.


  7. Steve Ameral

    Every time I put on my Kuiu gear it makes me happy, first I am going hunting which is always good but second is I am comfortable.
    Yesterday I went hog hunting in the coastal mountains and the weather was horrible, ice on the ground and the wind was blowing 15 or so miles per hour. It was cold. I was fine in my guide pants and coat with a spindrift jacket underneath.
    For me it’s not about how light it is as much as how well it functions. To be as warm as I was yesterday I would have needed a couple layers of bulky gear and that is heavy and gets in the way. Kuiu is perfect for archery hunters anywhere, not a bunch of clothing in the way to get hung up or touch the string when you shoot.

  8. Brent Cascaddan

    Hey Jason,
    This is a little off the direct subject. Do you have an idea as to when you might have gaiters available? I have not found a gaiter suitable for backcountry hunting.

  9. Ed Gordon

    I commend your efforts to find the best performing fabrics and trying to keep the price point down, its called VALUE. As an alpine skier I had followed Toray for a few years, but the cost of a parka was measured north of $600. As hunter who likes light without sacrifice, thanks.

    • Justin Starck

      Who makes a Toray ski jacket?

      • Jason Hairston

        Kjus is a european brand that uses Toray. Look them up and you will see the value in KUIU.


  10. Larry O. Fischer

    Thank goodness you were not in business in the 80’s, or we will still be hearing disco and watching reruns of John Travolta!
    I have never worn a more comfortable pair of pants, and my hunting partner told me they make my ass look good!

  11. johnc801

    I know from experience that Toray fabric is the best, now I know why. I wore my Attack Pants the other day for a hike with my dogs and still can’t get over how much I love them! If KUIU made a pair of pants with Toray in the same weight as the Attacks, but cut like a pair of jeans, I would buy every color and wear them to work everyday.

    Is KUIU developing a Guide Pant? When can we expect a post about the new product line? I’m looking forward to it.

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi John,

      The Attack Pants are Toray. They are a stretch woven Primeflex fabric. We will have a guide pant out later this spring.


      • johnc801

        I know they are…I was just trying to express how much I love that fabric and weight of the Attack Pants, if I could, I would wear them everyday. Really looking forward to the Guide pant.

        • Jason Hairston

          Got it:) I just tried on the final Guide Pant prototype today. They rock. 19 3/8oz!

  12. Pingback: KUIU Chugach Rain Gear – The Ultimate In Awesomeness! | goathunter

  13. Steven Shannon

    Great job! I really appreciate the transparency of KUIU. My wife mocks me, but I think it really builds customer ownership and loyalty. Keep doing what you are doing and good luck in 2012. Every piece of gear I have received so far has exceeded my expectations. I am looking forward to my Attack Pants at the end of the month.

  14. Puke

    Will the guide pants be vented with zips?

  15. Jeff Short

    great post, very informative

  16. Nick

    Have you ever thought of using multiple fabrics in a jacket to get round out breathability, durability, and Flexibility? It could be a soft shell/Hard shell hybrid.

    Westcomb did something similar to this in their Revenant jacket.

  17. Jordan

    Great write up Jason. And thanks for continually keeping us informed and part of the process. I really like the Toray fabric over the fabric used with your old company. Looking forward to continuing to replacing my older stuff with KUIU.

  18. Justin Starcl

    There is really no need to compare KUIU and Sitka. Sitka is what it is; KUIU is IT. Continuing to post on topics such as this should help everyone see to the difference (if they do their research).

  19. Wayne

    Thanks for filling us in on the technical side.. And a BIG BIG Thank you for makilng Kuiu in size small………..Others dont.. Just feed the masses

  20. Bill Tozer

    The very first morning I wore my Attack pants and Icon 3000, I was sneaking into a spot in the pitch black pre-dawn, when I walked into a single strand of abandoned and rusty old barbed wire. The wire caught me just above the knee and tripped me Toraytorso! Well the pants, and therefore my eyes too, got a small tear, my knee got quite a gash that hasn’t healed too pretty… but the pants have not ripped or torn anymore in previous use! Great products!!

  21. goathunter


    Over the past several years, I’ve read various general articles about nanotechnology products of the future and one common hypothetical example is fabric that becomes waterproof when a small electrical charge is applied to it. In your talks with fabric vendors, is this a reality or still just a pipe dream?


  22. Jason Haskell

    Hey Jason – I was just curious if there will be a pant in the new lineup that will be lighter than the Attack pant. I love, love, love the attack pants 85% of the time. My only problem comes with those early season hunts (antelope, archery deer, etc.) when they are just too hot. Just curious. Thanks for the technical breakdown of Toray. BTW, I looked at Kjus….WOW!!! $1200 for a jacket. I guess KUIU is a bargain!!!

    • Jason Hairston

      Hi Jason,

      I am testing a new fabric from Toray that will become our early season pant. It will not be available until Spring 2013 if the fabric tests out.


      • James Johnson

        This sounds like it has some potential to be a nice pair of pants.

  23. JR

    Toray is great. Love my attack pants more than any piece of clothing I have ever owned.

    Jason I was reading these comments about the guide pants. What is the diff between attack and guide? Different material but as far as performance what is the guide pant designed for compared to the attack pant?

    • Jason Hairston

      Stretch Woven (Attack) vs Soft Shell (Guide). The Guide Pant will be for later season hunts.