A Brief History: The Packable Anorak

It’s sample sale season here in NYC, so we’ve been clearing out our office and doing the inevitable, excruciating hemming-and-hawing over what to rehome (in order to not live under a towering stack of boxes). There are a few items that keep popping up and spurring bouts of nostalgia simply because we have been making them ever since Battenwear was born as Batten Sportswear in an apartment livingroom in Brooklyn in early summer 2011. The Five Pocket Island Shirt is one. The Travel Shell Parka is another. Today, we thought we’d reminisce about the Packable Anorak. Here is the very first one we made. Shinya basically took an idea and some fabric to a factory and folded everything together like origami to explain how he wanted to make it packable:

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It would be impossible for us to name our definitive favorite among Battenwear items, but it’s easy to say that the Packable Anorak is the one we most regularly have on hand. Never a suitcase zipped without it, or a trip to the beach or mountains without at least one and usually two kicking around the car or tucked into a backpack.  

The idea behind it was to have a compact, easy to carry around, lightweight jacket to pull out if the weather shifted or we just wanted an extra layer. But unlike the usual anorak, Shinya wanted one with a deep zip on the side so that it was easy to get in and out of. And he wanted comfy side entrance hand pockets to boot.

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Since then, we have been proud to learn that there are those out there who buy a couple every season we make them, adding to their collections just as we do. We’ve tried to keep it interesting by making them in a ton of different fabrics. 


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It was one of our earliest items that took off as a having unisex appeal: 

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And over the years, we’ve also been really lucky to be able to do a bunch of cool collaborations with stores and other brands using the basic Packable Anorak template.

Battenwear x Reyn Spooner for Ships (from 2014):

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Battenwear x Pilgrim Surf + Supply for Beams (also 2014):

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This season (Spring/Summer 2016), we were really pleased to release the Battenwear x Ace Hotel Packable Anorak for the Ace Hotel New Orleans outpost:  

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Anyhow, we need to stop reminiscing and start work on the next set of Packable Anoraks for Spring/Summer 2017 … but at least now without the fear of a box toppling onto our heads. 

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