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The Next Thing in Winter Jackets: Bison Fiber

An East Coast company uses Colorado bison wool in its new winter jacket—one that can keep you warm when the temperatures drop.

February 2016

—Photo by Paul Miller

There’s a reason the bison in classic American West paintings face into the wind, all stoic-looking and toasty. Their wool is one of the warmest natural insulators on the planet—even when it’s wet. That’s also why United By Blue decided to use bison down in its new Bison Snap Jacket ($248). Committed to making an entirely America-sourced and -produced coat, the Philadelphia company partnered with Colorado meat processor Great Range Bison to find the more than 1,500 pounds of down it needed for the jackets. (The down comes from bison that are raised for their meat; otherwise, the pelts would simply be discarded after the animals are killed.) Centennial State suppliers include Eagle’s Wing Ranch (owned by Bob Beauprez, a former U.S. representative and two-time Colorado gubernatorial hopeful) near Walden as well as Diamond Tail Ranch Co. and Cold Creek Buffalo Co., both in northern Colorado. A half pound of bison-down fiber—which is more insulating and more moisture-resistant than sheep wool—fills the water-repellent jacket’s lining. In addition to the bison-fiber insulation, the Bison Snap Jacket features a six-pocket shell, which comes in three colors, and is comfortable in temperatures from 32 to 70 degrees. Currently only available at unitedbyblue.com, the Bison Snap Jacket should hit Colorado stores this fall.