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Trying a “Self Healing” Jacket

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The Salt Lake City–based brand Coalatree says its new Whistler Windbreaker ($72) can heal small holes or tears by rubbing your fingers over the fabric. One of our editors tested it to see whether it actually works on different kinds of punctures.

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Video Transcript

MARIN: Hi. I'm Marin from the Outside Gear team, and today we're going to be testing Coalatree's Whistler windbreaker. It says that it has self-healing technology that can repair punctures, and we're going to test it today to see if it actually works. Coalatree sent us this jacket last week, and we were excited about it because they say that it can heal itself by rubbing your fingers over the fabric. Some of the things that they claim are that the self-adhering technology, made of nylon ripstop, can be repaired from any punctures by rubbing your fingers over the fabric. So we're going to test it out with a bunch of different sizes of punctures and see how it does.

So we're going to go through and do five different types of damage on this jacket. We're going to use a thumbtack, a small nail, a screw, a screwdriver, and a knife, and we're going to see how the self-healing technology holds up.

All right, so first, the thumbtack. You can barely see it. And then this little nail, which doesn't seem that much bigger. And the screw, which looks like it did a little bit of damage. Screwdriver, little bit more damage. And we're going to cut it with a knife, and I don't know how that one is going to heal up.

OK, so the thumbtack puncture. And you could barely see it to begin with, but it does look like it's gone now, so that's pretty good. And then the nail one. Again, wasn't that big to begin with, but it looks like it's gone. And then for the screw. It sort of went away, but there's definitely still a little pull in the fabric where you can see that it got scraped or something.

And the screwdriver, same deal. You can kind of tell that there was something there, but it's definitely closed up a little bit more. And for the knife gash, I'm pretty sure that the rubbing made that worse. It's just all frayed now. So that didn't really work.

So overall, I think it kind of worked. They said it would heal punctures, and most of the punctures were more or less healed in situations where the object went through the fabric and just sort of pushed the fibers aside. Rubbing it did make those fibers kind of realign, and with the smaller holes, they completely went away. But with the ones where the fibers were getting pulled or broken in some way, like with the screw and the screwdriver and the knife cut, they definitely didn't heal up exactly perfectly. You could still kind of see where those fibers were pushed out of the way or where they're broken, and the knife cut really didn't heal up at all.

So I think overall, it would be good for casual use. If you might get it a little bit caught on something, or maybe your cat's going to put their claws through it-- that kind of puncture, it might heal up. But if you're hiking or running and you brush past a branch, it's probably not going to just go through the jacket. It'll probably tear the jacket. And I don't think that this would be able to withstand that.

The Coalatree Whistler windbreaker is on sale right now on Indiegogo for $72, and it's expected to ship in April of 2020. The technology is pretty cool, but it's not perfect, and I'm excited to see where it will evolve to from here. Thanks for watching. See you next time.

Cutie, hi! Oh my god, you're so cute. Look at you go with your muddy paws. Hi. Hi. You want to be on video for Outside Magazine?

OK. Adorable. Sorry, where were we?

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