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About Arctic Armor

All of our products contain Insultex®, The lightest and thinnest thermal insulation ever

100% Waterproof and Windproof Breathable Nylon Shell With Insultex® Thermal Insulation.

Innovative Designs, Inc. offers the Arctic Armor™ Ice Fishing Suit which will revolutionize all outdoor cold weather activities. It's the #1 Ice Fishing Suit available on the market today.

Arctic Armor™ on the Coldest Place on Earth!

Eric & Scott Shaman Rock Lake Biakal

This is a recent message received here at IDI Gear by a recent customer, who took our Arctic Armor Special Edition Suit on a second trip to Siberia.

Hello again,

I wanted to write and say thank you for sponsoring the “Amerikan Boyz” 2015 Pioneer ice run team. Once again Arctic Armor gets the job done.

This is not the first time Arctic Armor has been to Siberia. Back in October of 2011 I was given the opportunity to be one of 10 international teams, the only American invited, to pioneer a 2000km motorcycle run to the arctic circle in February 2012. I was short on time and had limited funds to pull everything together for this unique experience. I bought one of IDI's "Special Edition" Arctic Armor suits. I had only the information in the IDI web site to go by as to Arctic Armor's capabilities. Even after the suit arrived I had no way of vetting it as we, here in Chicago, were having an Indian summer in the middle of the winter with temps in the high 50's. Once in Siberia the other teams were convinced I was going to freeze since my suit was far thinner than the “traditional” extreme cold gear they sported.

During that trip temps were -30 on the average, dipping to -40 mornings and evenings, and as we were riding motorcycles the wind chill topped -60. Through out the journey Arctic Armor kept me warm with only a base layer and a single mid layer, jeans, a T shirt and a hoodie. Other riders with more “traditional” winter gear (think “Michelin Man” look) often complained of a chill, even with 4 or more mid layers, I more often than not had to open my jacket or remove it all together to cool down when not on the bike.

In 2014 The organizers of the Arctic circle expedition, The Adventurists, dropped me a note saying they had a new take on their winter motorcycle adventure. They were hoping I would come along and vet this new Ice Run. Once again we would return to Siberia in the dead of winter to ride our “vintage” soviet era motorbikes. This time though, we would be traveling the frozen length of Lake Biakal, the largest lake in the world, 400 miles long, 50 miles wide over a mile deep. For comparison all the Great lakes combined hold 10% of the worlds fresh water , Lake Biakal alone holds 20%. It is one very large deep lake. The catch being, Lake Biakal is lined by mountains, once on the lake we would have no choice but to continue on the ice, oh and this was the warmest winter in 60 years. Meaning that the usual 2 meters of stable ice would be replace by a much thinner, at times only inches thick, far less stable layer of ice. Did I mention the lake is over a mile deep, dropping off sharply just a few meters from shore?

Immediately after signing on I sent a note off to IDI telling them of my upcoming adventure. The next day I got a call from IDI, they were very excited that once again I wanted to make Arctic Armor part of my kit. They were kind enough to send me two complete sets of gear so my teammate could benefit from the light weight flexibility of an Arctic Armor suit. In addition to the suits we were able to try out IDI's Bamboo base layer, mittens and gloves.

Unlike my ride in 2012 temperatures were moderate, -20 or so, but this created a new problem, standing water covering vast stretches of ice. Once again Arctic Armor proved to be the right choice for this run. The temps and wind chill were easily handled by the suits. This time around though we spent several days driving through ice cold water. The water repellent qualities of the Arctic Armor worked in our favor, those on the run with down jackets didn't fare as well. Arctic Armor repelled the water that splashed on us as we drove and on the occasion where our bibs got saturated crossing open water the Arctic Armor material kept us warm even when wet. If they made nice winter socks we would have been set. An additional benefit was when we struck camp in the morning any water remaining on the suits was easily knocked off. Teams wearing other product either woke to frozen gear or if they kept it in their sleeping bags ,wet cold gear. After 2000km across Siberia to the arctic circle in -30 (or less) and 400 miles on a wet frozen lake as well as the 1000 miles of forest trails and winter roads Arctic Armor has proven to me to be the most economical and effective way to enjoy winter adventures. The fact that Arctic Armor is inherently buoyant was one of my considerations for the Lake Biakal ride, thankfully we never had to test that aspect of our gear. As for the new goodies, the base layer was soft, comfortable and didn't get “funky” after a week (or 2) of constant wear. They do seem to run a bit large compared to other products I've tried. I asked for a large but could have easily worn my team mates medium. The gloves worked well when driving/shifting the motorbike and the mittens were very comfy when riding as the passenger and needing less dexterity. Even with fewer layers of the insulating material both did an adequate job of keeping our hands warm with a pair of light weight liners.

For a better idea of what we faced in this years run you can go to: http://www.theadventurists.com/ice-run If you'd like to compare it to our original trip to the arctic circle look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8frifGn-S-M

Thanks again IDI Arctic Armor is definitely my “go to” kit for winter adventuring. (Heads up, I've applied for an expedition to the North Pole in 2017, it could happen, I'll keep in touch)

Feel free to contact me especially if your interested in chatting with my Ice Run friends in the UK, I'm sure they would be quite interested. Oh, if you could send that patch and perhaps a suggestion on mending my suit it would be greatly appreciated.

Eric Krause
2015 Ice Run Pioneer team AMERIKAN BOYZ
2012 Ice Run Pioneer team Windy City Wanderers-Frost Edition

Video: Watch the Arctic Armor Suit in Action!


Eric's 2012 Letter and Story

This is a message received here at IDI Gear in 2012 by a customer, who took our Arctic Armor Special Edition Suit on his trip to Siberia.

Hello there,

Back in January 2012, I purchased one of your Special Edition Arctic Armor Suits for a February adventure in Siberia. We would be driving 2500Km on motorcycles to the arctic circle with air temperatures of -30 to-50 and wind chills, created by the exposure on a motorbike, of -50 to -70.

A friend who rides his motorcycle all year long, though he has never driven in temperatures as low as these, thought your product could meet the demand. After researching your product I felt that my friend may have been correct. Budgeting for this adventure was a major challenge and most of the “Arctic grade” apparel I had looked at was at least twice, if not more, the cost of the Arctic Armor. In hindsight had there been the flexibility in my budget I would have opted for the Arctic Armor jacket without the exposed hood since we wore helmets throughout the trip but I was counting pennies to pull this adventure off. One big down side would be that with a mild winter in the mid west,I had no way of testing my gear before leaving for Russia. So I took it on faith that the suit would live up to information found on your web site.

Upon arriving in Siberia the Arctic Armor was scrutinized by the other participants most of whom had spent many times the cash to sport the “Michelin Man” look. Puffy down jackets with 5 or more layers underneath. In contrast I wore a light wicking layer, a T shirt and a hoodie under my jacket and a wicking layer with lined jeans under the bibs. Because of the thin nature of the Arctic Armor material and my lack of layers most were sure I would have issues with the extreme cold we would be facing over the next 14 days. I am happy to say they were wrong. Not only was I warm enough with the motorcycle in motion,windchills of -50 or more, I often had to remove or at the least unzip my jacket during maintenance stops or setting up camp to avoid overheating.

Between the weather conditions and the general lack of reliability of the Ural motorcycle the padded/insulated seat and knees came in handy on more than one occasion when stopping to do repairs on the ice roads we were traveling. Sadly though, while tending to the fire at one of our camp sites I inadvertently knelt on a smoldering ember and melted a hole in one of the knees of the bib. If you could send me a decent size piece,12”x12'' would be more than sufficient, of the shell material to use as a patch it would be greatly appreciated. Again the padding was very handy at keeping my knee from getting burned.

All and all the Arctic Armor is a great product. I would make one suggestion though. The addition of more and/or larger interior pockets in the jacket and perhaps pockets on the bib portion of the pants. Here is the reasoning; traveling in true Arctic conditions it is necessary to keep things warm and accessible. For example, extreme cold kills batteries rather fast so you must keep communication devices sheltered as well as cameras and the like. Spare batteries can be kept in the inner layers but having your phone handy can save your life should there be an accident and what is the use of carrying a camera if by the time you get to it you've missed the shot? Another use for interior pockets is keeping energy bars warm enough to eat on the move. Trust me biting into a frozen meal bar is nearly impossible and you could chip a tooth.

Arctic Armor is a great find and does the job better than comparable products at a fraction of the cost. I would suggest you look into expanding your market base beyond ice fishermen and hunters. I would have never stumbled on your product had someone, who attended an ice fishing expo, not pointed me in your direction.

Since the pioneers all survived the initial outing the “Ice Run” is now to be an annual event and the organizers have asked me to inquire if Innovative Designs might be interested in possible outer gear clothing sponsorship. Perhaps even making an “Ice Run” special edition. Upcoming runs will have 25 international teams, 50 participants, and will continue to get media attention in both Russia and the UK (the organizers are based in the UK). Projects are in the works to gain more N. American exposure over the nest couple years. Last year 2 of the 10 teams were American this year another 2 ½ of the 15 teams.

Also since my return there has been a lot of interest in my suit from the motorcycle shops I worked with in preparation for the trip, you would be surprise how many bikers would ride well into the winter months if they had protective clothing that didn't restrict their movements with multiple layers underneath.

Feel free to contact me especially if your interested in chatting with my Ice Run friends in the UK, I'm sure they would be quite interested. Oh, if you could send that patch and perhaps a suggestion on mending my suit it would be greatly appreciated.


Eric Krause

Video: Watch the Arctic Armor Suit in Action!