Evolution and Integration: Fabric Technology at Stone Glacier

It might not be the sexiest topic around the campfire, but innovative fabrics are central to Stone Glacier gear.

We understand that fabric and textiles aren’t top of mind for most hunters, and that’s how it should be because it means we’re doing our job. Hunters tend to only think about fabric when it underperforms, leading to shivering glassing sessions, sleepless nights, and miserable hunts. In short, fabric matters.

“Fabrics are one of the primary pieces of the puzzle,” says Kurt Racicot, Stone Glacier Founder and Lead Designer. “We try to keep everything as light and durable as possible.”

Ultralight load-hauling hunting packs

Our fabrics come from a variety of sources to keep products both lightweight and highly durable. For instance, X-Pac® fabric is used to make sails for racing sailboats, and we incorporate it in our packs, duffels and SQ2 Gaiters. In 2012, Racicot reached out to X-Pac® just as they were getting into the retail market to see if the fabric could be employed in SG Packs.

“It was made for the ocean,” he says, “but it’s lightweight and won’t absorb moisture [like blood], so it made sense to use that in our packs.”

Another fabric sourced from “outside the box” is SG ULTRA, which is used in the Terminus Series and Tokeen 2600 pack. Racicot remembers using ropes of this industrial fabric when he worked on powerline crews in Alaska, and it’s also used to make sails. When formed into sheets, it creates a lightweight, waterproof fabric that works well in an alpine pack.

Finding a durable, lightweight fabric is just the start of the process. After that comes product design and testing, both in the lab and in the field.

Lab Testing Vs. Field Testing

In the lab, fabric is tested and rated using standards created by the American Society for Testing and Materials. Fabric is rated for stiffness, puncture resistance, tearing strength, seam strength, etc. It’s a good starting point for us to get a baseline on how a fabric might perform on the mountain.

Then comes the fun part. Stone Glacier has a crew of die-hard hunters willing to put prototypes through a season’s worth of abuse. Take the SQ2 Alpine Gaiters. We did our best to destroy every inch of these gaiters for three years, from the deserts of Sonora to the peaks of the Chugach. The result of this constant abuse and feedback is the burliest, longest-lasting gaiter we’ve ever used. These gaiters combine four different fabric technologies: X-Pac®, Dyneema® braided rope, Contrail™ Bootstrap, and HydraShield™ RS.

durable hunting gaiters

Not all fabrics pass the test. In fact, more are rejected than accepted by a wide margin. While testing different merino wool fabrics, we found shortcomings with many. Merino can and will shrink over time. What starts out as a size large can end up on the small side of a medium. That didn’t work for us, so we created our own proprietary blend of wool and nylon called Merino6. This blend of 89 percent wool with 11 percent nylon combines the best of both materials that helps regulate body temps, controls body odor and virtually eliminates shrinking.

Fabric Evolution

We design products with a specific situation in mind and consider how that product will be used and the problems you will encounter in the field. Then we identify what we need in a fabric. Sometimes our fabric manufacturers have something that meets our goals. Other times, like Merino6, we work with them to create a new product.

“It’s an evolution,” Racicot says. “I’ve worked with fabric manufacturers and developed the tech with them. And sometimes they’re able to sell it in another market. It’s a win-win for both us and the manufacturer.”

Stone Glacier hunting gear design studio

Looking ahead, we will continue to push the limits of fabric technology and our products. We remain committed to innovation and our customers, which is why we only bring to market products we have personally tested in the field. That’s the way we’ve always done it, and that’s what we will continue to do.

Guide to SG Fabrics & Tech Specs

Technical Hunting Apparel

Synthetic Base Layers Technology

Traditional base-layer fabrics hold onto body odor like it’s their job—even after washing. We use Synthetic Fabric Technology in our Avro Base Layers, incorporating Polygiene® treatment for odor and moisture management. With UPF 43+ protection, it's also perfect as a standalone piece on hot days.

Ultralight synthetic hunting insulation


Featured in our Chinook base layer line, Merino6™ is the result of extensive field testing and trial and error. It’s also one of Kurt’s favorite fabrics because it doesn’t stretch and shrinks very little over time. Merino6™ is a proprietary blend of merino wool and nylon that is soft, moisture-wicking, and naturally odor-resistant.

Micro-Grid Fleece

Standard issue in our Helio line, micro-grid fleece locks in heat while wicking moisture efficiently to keep you dry through periods of high activity, making it the perfect mid-layer. Treated with Polygiene®, it resists odor,and the grid pattern reduces bulk, decreasing the garment’s footprint in your pack.

DryTex fleece

Featured in our Graupel Gloves, this fleece leverages Dry-Tex laminate that provides thermal regulation for warmth and breathability while remaining highly resistant to wind and water.

AX® Synthetic Suede (Mirka Gloves)

Supple dexterity. That’s what you get when you combine high-density synthetic yarns woven with proprietary fibers in a custom knitting process. It’s called AX® Synthetic Suede, a durable, breathable material that we use in the palm and fingers of our Mirka Gloves.

Hunting gloves


For hunts in cold, especially wet, conditions, Primaloft® Gold insulation is a go-to for technical performance. With comparable warmth in construction to 750 fill goose down, Primaloft® Gold retains its ability to keep you warm even when wet. That’s why we incorporate it in a number of our products including the Cirque Series of synthetic insulation jackets and vests as well as our Altimeter Mitts and Gloves.

HyperDRY Down

In the old days, down insulation was great right until it got wet. Once it got wet, down lost its loft and ability to insulate. HyperDRY™ is a water-resistant down coated with a fluorocarbon-free treatment that adheres to the down cluster and allows down to retain its superior warmth-to-weight ratio even when wet. Our Chilkoot Sleeping Bags and Grumman Goose Down Series use this insulation.

Pertex® Quantum Air

Light and soft, Pertex® Quantum Air is a tightly woven fabric that allows insulation to fully loft while also being quiet, wind- and water-resistant, ultralight and packable. Our Chilkoot Sleeping Bags, Grumman apparel line and Cirque LITE Jacket and Vest use this external fabric.

Hydrashield (M5 apparel, Altimeter gloves, bino system)

Ultralight waterproof hunting jacket

HydraShield™ technology is a waterproof, windproof, breathable laminate featured on our M5 ultralight waterproof shells, Altimeter gloves and mitts, and Skyline Bino Harness. It blocks external moisture while allowing water vapors from sweat to escape, ensuring you stay warm and dry in all wet weather conditions. This three-layer laminate is ideal for ultralight pieces that need dependable weather protection and durability, plus the soft face fabric stays quiet during the stalk.

HydraShield™ SS and HydraShield™ RS

The HydraShield™ SS fabric featured in the M7 jacket and pant is built for the extremes. It features the waterproof, breathable HydraShield™ laminate encased in a polyester face and a fleece interior. While still breathable, this construction is designed to lock in heat while locking snow and ice out, so you don’t need to shed or add layers when the temps are extreme. HydraShield™ RS is a rip-stop version for increased durability in high-wear pieces like our SQ2 Alpine Gaiter.


Cordura 500D

Cordura is the main material used in the construction of all our packs. It has exceptional abrasion resistance, tensile and tear strength, as well as an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. Our Cordura 500D is coated with a 1.5 oz polyurethane and DWR finish, which makes it highly water-resistant.


Technology borrowed from the sailboat racing world, X-Pac® fabric is used in our packs, duffels and SQ2 gaiters. X-Pac® is light, incredibly durable and won’t absorb moisture (like blood), making it an ideal fabric for our load-shelf system and back walls of our packs.


Stone Glacier ULTRA fabric blend is an innovative fabric created in collaboration with Challenge Sailcloth. It features ultra high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) – a fiber that is 15x stronger than steel per unit of weight – blended with high-tenacity polyester. The fabric is then laminated with a waterproof film for protection from the elements. The result is a material that offers exceptional abrasion and tear resistance while remaining ultralight – ideal for alpine hunting where every ounce counts.

Ripstop Nylon

The backbone fabric of our shelter systems, ripstop nylon is highly resistant to tears and abrasion. Because it’s so lightweight, regular nylon is susceptible to catastrophic failure with only the slightest rip. Ripstop nylon is manufactured with reinforcement threads crosshatched into the weave, preventing small tears from becoming gaping holes. To keep our tents ultralight and durable, we use different weights of ripstop nylon depending on the location of the fabric within the shelter. In spots that need reinforcement and floors, we use 20D and 30D ripstop for added durability. In our tarps, rain flies, and tent bodies, we use 10D to 15D ripstop, which provides ultralight durability.

Ultralight hunting gear system