The Making of the Field Jacket

This story might be familiar to those who received the first issue of the Aether Journal in print form, but we wanted take the chance to expand a little upon it and share it with the rest of our readership. If you are interested in receiving the next issue of the print Aether Journal you can sign up here.

The Field Jacket

The idea for the Aether Field Jacket came to us during one of our photo shoots. When we are on location there is a tendency for us to wander off the beaten path in search of a great shot. It’s not uncommon for us to pull the truck over to the side of the road, point to something off in the distance and say “Hey, let’s go check that out.” As we tromp off, our photographer has to quickly gather his gear and hustle out after us. He’s learned to pack light but still needs to carry a small backpack with a logbook, extra memory cards, light meter, and variety of other accessories. This got us thinking about a jacket’s pocket carrying capacity and from there the idea for the Aether Field Jacket was born.

Admittedly, the basic concept of a field jacket is nothing new. The style has had many variations, including the English hunting jacket and iconic M65 military jacket. But unlike traditional wool and cotton versions, we wanted to design one that could really stand up to the elements. A jacket that would keep you warm and dry in the rain, durable enough to be dragged through the backcountry and have enough pockets to hold all your gear.

After hearing the jacket’s intended use, our design team launched into an extensive search to find the right fabric for the job. We tested countless samples from mills all over the world before we finally found the perfect material in a 3 layer waterproof Oxford shell fabric. For storage, we included front chest pockets, hand warmer pockets, an interior zippered pocket, and a dual entry hidden back pocket. Back pockets are commonly used on motorcycle and cycling jackets and offer a great place to store gloves, sunglasses and other larger items while on the go. We then borrowed the same weatherproofing features used on our most technical ski jackets, like weatherproof zippers and seam sealed construction, to make the Field Jacket an impenetrable barrier against the elements.

When we got our first prototype back we couldn’t have been happier, but in order to give it the official seal of approval we needed to “field test” the Field Jacket. It just so happened that the arrival of the prototype lined up perfectly with a trip one of our co-founders was taking to South Africa.

So off went our one and only prototype into the wild African bush. When the jacket came back it had endured torrential downpours, thickets of dry prickly brush, and all the rigors one would associated with an extended backcountry safari. Ultimately, a few alterations needed to be made, such as including a mesh vent for the back pocket and adding zippered side vents to the underarms.

While the jacket was designed to handle the harshest backcountry conditions, we also found it to be incredibly useful in the city as well. It’s always surprising how many items we carry around with us on a daily basis: wallet, keys, sunglasses, pen, notepad, headphones, camera, etc. The Field Jacket makes keeping these items “on your person” a whole lot easier. Rugged enough for the field but with a modern city aesthetic, the Field Jacket is a great fit no matter the terrain.

To buy the Field Jacket or find out more about it, you visit it under Men’s Shop in Shells.

Great City by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

The Great City by Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture is a plan for a green, pedestrian-based satellite city in China that will reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions, and improve the overall quality of life of its residents.

When thinking about China’s densely packed city centers, crowded streets and pollution choked skies is what often comes to mind. As the country continues to rapidly leap frog its way into the 21st century, many there are looking ahead in anticipation and thinking of ways to skip over the inevitable byproduct of urban development: suburban sprawl. One such idea is the Great City designed by Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture which is currently being developed by Beijing Vantone Real Estate Co., Ltd.

The city aims to house roughly 30,000 families, or 80,000 people in total.  Its compact vertical design will make it incredibly easy to get around on foot, with all locations being just a 15 minute walk from each other. Eliminating the need for automobiles not only opens up the streets for public use, but it also reduces energy consumption and carbon emission. While the city plans to be car free, it will still be connected to the rest of the world via underground public transit.

By using new energy efficient designs and sustainable construction methods, Smith + Gordon expect that Great City will use 48 percent less energy and 58 percent less water than a conventional development with a similar population size. It will also produce 89 percent less landfill waste and generate 60 percent less carbon dioxide.

The city will also be surround by a 480-acres of green space. This buffer landscape, filled with rolling hills and waterways, will help insulated the city from the bustle around it. It will also reduce spill over noise pollution from the nearby area and give residence of feeling of seclusion.

[ via Dezeen]

Aether Outpost Revamp and Give Away

After a month of renovation, the Aether Outpost is once again open. We’ve knocked down walls, expanded display space, and amassed a ton of cool new gear. The entire Aether product line is on display, including our brand new Fall / Winter 2012 collection.

This week only (10/29 – 11/2) all purchases over $300 made at the Aether Outpost will  receive a free Waffle Hoodie. So if you’re in the Los Angeles area, come stop by.

6100 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038

10AM to 5PM Monday through Friday
Closed weekends and federal holidays.

View Larger Map

When Outrageous Was Possible

Auto blog Petrolicious recently sat down with James Chen, self-proclaimed gearhead and owner of Axis Wheels, to talk about his prized Lamborghini Countach. This aggressively angular supercar was introduced at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show and was produced from 1974 to 1990.  The Countach was designed by a young Marcello Gandini working at Bertone design studio, whose raw ambition lead him to chose aesthetics over practical functionality.

The car’s “outrageous” design is what drew James Chen to it.  At just 40 inches tall, you have to literally stoop to get into it.  Scissor doors, slit-like windows, cramped cabin, and anemic A/C unit, all made the Countach an extremely uncomfortable ride.  However, unlike many other super cars, Chen says that Countach’s limited availability and distinctive design makes it true embodiment of the term “exotic”.  The fact that it looks like nothing else on the road is evident by the crowds it draws at gas stations and stop lights.

A relic of an different era, the Countach represents a time when design was king. It may not be the most comfortable car to drive, but it certainly one of the most stylish.

[ via Ignant via Petrolicious]

SMPLy Prefab Duplex in Yellowknife, Canada

Under the great white northern lights of the Canadian arctic, the city of Yellowknife is located in the sparsely populated Northwest Territories along the shores of Great Slave Lake. Being at such high latitude, the city experiences extremely cold winters, with average temperatures around −17 °F (-27 °C). In such a harsh climate, residents must rely heavily on heating oil to make it through the winter.

Modular home builders, ModHome Developments, has been working to build energy-efficient homes in the region to reduce resident’s oil consumption and have recently completed their first project: a modular, prefab duplex. SMPL Design Studio designed the modular home based on their SMPLyMod prefab construction system which incorporates a variety of energy saving improvements.

The modular homes were constructed near Edmonton, Alberta and offer highly efficient wall and roof assemblies to minimize energy loss. Passive solar design provides additional heating during the winter and increased daylight inside the homes. On-demand hot water heaters, a Heat Recovery Ventilator, and 95.4% efficient propane furnace ensure energy efficiency and reduce reliance on expensive fuels.

You can check out Mod Home Developments and SYMPLY MOD to find out more about the low cost, arctic ready, prefab homes.

[ Via Inhabitat]

Rizoma 77|011 Metropolitan Bike

Recently one of our readers sent us an email introducing us to Rizoma and their new sleek 77|011 Metropolitan bicycle. Based in Italy, Rizoma began in the early 1990′s designing custom motorcycle accessories with clean lines and a refined style. They’ve now taken that same modern aesthetic and attention to detail to another two-wheeled machine: the urban bicycle.

The 77|011 Metropolitan Bike has a monobloc carbon fiber frame with components milled from billet aluminum, making it incredibly light weight.  A motorcycle-inspired quick release has been used for the back wheel to allows the rider to flip from a traditional freewheel setup to fixed gear. It also has a grease free rubber drive belt that makes it easy to transport and requires almost zero maintenance.

By most anyone’s standards, the 77|011 has a pretty steep price tag of $4800, but in the world of designer bicycles it actually isn’t all that bad. It’s definitely more expensive than Hammarheads’ Duomatic [$1,250] but nowhere near the absurdly priced Aston Martin One-77  [$39,000]. While the 77|011 won’t be the bike for everyone, it will at least be the bike for some people.

To check out the 77|011 Metropolitan or Rizoma’s large array of motorcycle accessories check out their website:

[Via Suggestion From an Aether Journal Reader (Thanks Napoleon), Images via Rizoma]

Time-lapse of the Space Shuttle Endeavour

The city of Los Angeles has as seen a lot of bizarre things move down their streets.  Everything from the hot pink corvette of bizarro Barbie to a 340 ton boulder art installation, however it was particularly moving when Space Shuttle Endeavors made its cross-town crawl from LAX to its final destination at the California Science Center.

The three day, 12 mile trek, drew large crowds of spectators along the designated Southland route. Dozens of trees and powers lines had to be taken down to make way for the shuttle’s  78-foot wingspan. On more that a few occasions the shuttle had to navigate within just a few inches of fixed obstacles like buildings, poles, and large trees.

Documenting the shuttles journey was Los Angeles Times photographer Bryan Chan, who endured two sleepless nights to capture the precession from beginning to end. In a special Behind the Lens article, he gives a detailed account of the assignment, the result of which is this fantastic timelapse that condenses the three day trip into just 3 minutes.

[ via LA Times]

Up on the Roof: New York’s Hidden Skyline Spaces

In a city as compact as New York, much of the habitable outdoor space is taken up by roof tops. Many of these roofs are uninspired wastelands, covered in tar paper, A/C units, and heating ducts, but there are a few high rise havens that offer a much needed respite from the claustrophobia-inducing city streets.

In his book, Up on the Roof: New York’s Hidden Skyline Spaces, photographer and pilot Alex MacLean takes a tour through a part of New York that goes unseen everyday. Secret gardens, pool parties, or just a couple of lounge chairs, each roof has its own distinct characteristic. In addition to showcasing the outdoor sanctuaries of the city’s fortunate, the book also casts light on potential for expanded green space in urban environments. Imagine if each rooftop was its own little pocket park.

Up on the Roof: New York’s Hidden Skyline Spaces is available on

AirTracks: Inflatable All-Terrain Camera Slider

Kickstarter project, AirTracks, has recently debuted an inflatable all-terrain camera slider that allows photographers to capture beautiful cinematic video in even the most challenging of terrain.

For those smooth gliding dolly shots, photographers using DSLRs typically need to setup a metal slider track. However, these tracks can be cumbersome to travel with and can make shooting in a remote location a hassle.

AirTracks plans to change that by offering an inflatable slider that can fold down for easy storage. With just two deep breathes and a few squeezes on the included hand pump, the AirTrack is ready for use. It can be easily setup across any surface, including rocky gravel, mud, or sand.

You can check out a video of the AirTrack system in action here. If you can get past their uncomfortably enthusiastic pitchman “Squid”, the AirTrack system actually looks like a pretty solid concept. We hope this project gains some traction because we’d love to try one out on one of our next photo shoots.

[ via NotCot via Kick Starter]

Gibbs Quadski Amphibious Vehicle

Like something straight out of a Bond film, the Gibbs Quadski is a four-wheeled ATV that can transform into a streamlined jetski in just seconds.

This truly all-terrain vehicle is powered by a 1.3-liter four-cylinder BMW engine that churns out an impressive 175 horsepower and 103 lbs-ft of torque. It has a top speed of 45 mph, both on land and water, which is pretty sprightly if you consider its size: 1,300 pound and 10 feet long. It also comes with a standard 15 gallon tank to give riders plenty of range to go out and explore.

According to Gibbs the transition from land to water is seamless, with twin servomotors lifting and dropping the wheels in just five seconds. The company says that the Quadski can be driven into the water at speed and continue forwards without delay.

The Quadski is schedule to go on sale in the US by the end of this year for around $40,000, and Gibbs hopes to sell the vehicle worldwide by 2014. For more information, you can visit their website at

[ Via Wired]