In 2012 iNi Cooperative began making super high quality, outdoor and lifestyle apparel using environmentally sustainable materials and manufacturing processes. Their web site displays the precept Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repeat across the front page giving you a clear idea of the ethic behind the company. Their designs are lifestyle oriented, sporty and classy. The styling features and functionality are very simple yet effective for snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding.
In March of 2012 iNi brought on Abran Abetya as their lead designer. Abran has a very impressive resume including years working as a designer for Volcom and an extensive background working overseas on environmental projects. The transition to designing snowboarding outerwear with environmentally friendly fabrics was a natural one. He brings a very fresh style to iNi and an attention to detail second to none in the industry.
The iNi 2014 winter apparel line has expanded a lot with the addition of very technical outerwear, mid-layers and base layers. They have broken their winter line into different performance categories, exosphere, thermosphere, and mesosphere.
- Exosphere: The Exosphere line consists of the Crystalize and Marsupial jackets and the Venting pants. Each piece gives you the maximum 20/20 waterproof/breathability ratings with bio-mapping insulation to cut down on bulk and regulate your body heat. The jackets have many great features including removable, built-in facemasks that you can stretch up over your face on those frigid, windy days.
- The Exosphere Venting Pants have tool pockets for on-the-fly gear adjustments, gaiter straps that loop under your boots to keep snow from getting inside, and two-way inner and outer venting zips for warmer days. All fabrics are 100% recycled poly micro denim and all seams are fully taped. The gaiter straps button up inside the pant and out of the way when not in use and the hem is cut higher in the front and back for a better fit around your boot.
- Thermosphere: The Thermosphere outerwear line consists of jackets and pants that have 15/15 water proof/breathability ratings with DWR surface coating for shedding water and all seams are fully taped. The Militant jacket looks really great with camo design and epaulets plus a “Quarterback Pocket” for storing glove liners, a baselayer, and the like, discreetly around the back/side of the jacket. The Militant also includes a removable hood, quilted elbow patches, thumb loops and bio-mapping insulation.
- The Militant Pant has the same 15/15 water proof/breathability rating as the jacket and includes waterproof zippers, cargo side pockets, fully taped seams and gaiter straps. The straps tuck up inside the pant and out of the way when not in use and the hem is custom cut for a better fit on your boot.
- The Parka Place Jacket also has a 15/15 water proof/breathability rating, waterproof zippers, DWR coating, thumb straps and bio-mapping insulation. It has plenty of big pockets and is made from 100% recycled poly/nylon blend. The Park It pants are made from recycled micro-denim and include a large cargo side pocket, as well as gaiter straps, waterproof zippers and bio-mapping insulation.
iNi also has a Mesosphere line with 10/10 water proof/breathability rating with all the same features as the Mesosphere and Thermosphere but with the addition of a truly awesome riding shirt- the Jib Shirt.
- The Jib Shirt is a good example of a very stylish top that can be used as mid-layer or as an outer piece with a 10/10 water proof/breathability rating- perfect for Spring riding! The Jib Shirt has really comfortable hood, snap front placket and elbow patches for durability and style. It is made from recycled poly tweed and three layer fleece.
- The Crewed Fleece is a fleece mid-layer (or outer layer on a spring day) with a really good DWR waterproof coating. Water literally rolls right off the shirt keeping you super dry and comfortable even if it is pouring rain. The recycled organic cotton/poly blend is light, soft and breathes well keeping you dry on the inside also.
- The Scoobaclava Hoodie is an awesome base layer that has a form-fitting hood/balaclava built in. When the weather turns frigid and nasty simply pull up the hood/balaclava and you have great coverage without sacrificing mobility or cutting down your peripheral sight. The venting holes on the balaclava allow your breath moisture to flow away from your face. The Scoobaclava is made from recycled poly and hemp fabric.
iNi has changed considerably from last year. The lines have expanded to include great functionality and high-quality materials. It is a highly innovative company and has the style to match now. With a competitive price point, these pieces should definitely be on your short list if you are in the market for new outerwear. If you find the brand in your local shop definitely check out their products- they are impressive.