Bye Bye Seam Tape

Jack Wolfskin introduces new “Tapeless” jacket technology.

Jack Wolfskin is one of Europe’s largest technical and most sustainable outerwear manufacturers, continuing to make inroads into the North American outdoor market. The brand says it is continuing its mission of sustainable product development with its latest innovation: the Tapeless Jacket. As in seam tape.

The Tapeless Jacket eliminates 60 feet of seam-sealing tape per garment and introduces an entirely new seam construction technology.

Seam tape is commonly known as the weakest component in the production of waterproof outdoor apparel. The weight of the seam tape and glue used to keep it in place is not only toxic but creates a weak point and compromises the breathability, mobility, and durability of jackets and pants. Jack Wolfskin says its Zero Tape Technology creates a “more breathable” alternative to seam tape that also won’t leak or fail. I have not had a chance to test this yet but it’s certainly noteworthy.

The design of the Tapeless Jacket from Jack Wolfskin has a unique cut that allows for the elimination of seam-sealing tape. Sewing technology creates a continuous membrane layer in the jacket without any perforation.
The design of the Tapeless Jacket from Jack Wolfskin has a unique cut that allows for the elimination of seam-sealing tape. Sewing technology creates a continuous membrane layer in the jacket without any perforation.

I couldn’t find any stats on how much seam tape is used globally, but, it is a market estimated to be worth $336 million by 2025 — attributed to the rise in popularity of outdoor and sports categories across the globe.

Jack Wolfskin designed the Tapeless Jacket with its proprietary Texapore Core Fuse Stretch Ripstop 3-layer fabric for superior weather protection and comfort. The design of this first piece has waterproof zippers, an adjustable hood, hem and cuff adjustments, and a chest pocket. The jacket is available in two colors and weighs 13.5 ounces at a size medium.

Additionally, the unique cut of the Tapeless Jacket features no shoulder or hip seams, helping to eliminate
rubbing (and possible irritation) when worn with a backpack. At its core, says the brand, the Tapeless Jacket is a breathable, comfortable shell “designed for hikes and adventures that demand high-quality technical apparel.”

Usual weak points, like seams on the shoulders or hips, are avoided. Instead, the seams are located in less direct places where they won't be exposed to as much stress from backpacks.
Usual weak points, like seams on the shoulders or hips, are avoided. Instead, the seams are located in less direct places where they won’t be exposed to as much stress from backpacks. 

A few key differences that set the Tapeless Jacket apart from other jackets that use welded seams:

  • There is no seam-sealing tape at all, not even on the pockets. 
  • The design has a unique cut that allows the elimination of seam-sealing tape. Usual weak points, like seams on the shoulders or hips, are avoided. Instead the seams are located where they won’t be exposed to as much stress from backpacks. 
  • The sewing technology is unique. At seams, the fusible membrane and backer layers overlap and are connected with water-resistant glue. They are then covered by the shell layer which overlaps on itself and is sewn together. The needle only penetrates the outer shell fabric instead of the all three layers (shell, fusible membrane, and backer). The technique creates a continuous membrane layer in the jacket, and there is no perforation of it.

Jack Wolfskin is the largest franchisor in the sports retail market in Germany. Jack Wolfskin products are currently available in more than 490 stores and over 4,000 points of sale worldwide. Jack Wolfskin products are renowned for their optimized functionality, high quality, and innovation. The men’s Tapeless Jacket is available on Jack Wolfskin’s website, us.jackwolfskin.com, for $479.95.

In recent years, the specialist outdoor brand has captured significant market share with numerous new products and materials. Jack Wolfskin has been a member of the Fair Wear Foundation since 2010 and was awarded FWF Leader status every year since 2014. Jack Wolfskin has been a bluesign system partner since 2011. The company is headquartered in Idstein, in the Taunus region of Germany, and currently employs over 1,440 people worldwide.

Definitely Wild is a column by EO Contributing Editor Aaron Bible. He has been writing for Elevation Outdoors and Blue Ridge Outdoors, among other outdoor publications, for more than a decade, covering cycling, skiing, gear and mountain life. The opinions expressed here are his own. Follow him on Instagram at @DefinitelyWild.

Read more from Definitely Wild:

Ride Like a Pro in Portugal

Parking Lot Camping is Back

Fly Fishing with Eleven Experiences

Coming Home with George Hincapie

Arapahoe Basin Saves the Ski Season

Touring in Tremblant

Shedhorn SkiMo

Playing Tourist in Albuquerque

Related Stories

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

Eldora is the Perfect Escape

If you’re seeking that private hill feeling with up-front parking, zero lift lines, and wide-open slopes, Eldora is your winter weekend destination. And with...

Colorado Winter Adventures for the Entire Family

Written by: Bri Golden, Outdoor Educator and BVMA Guide As the aspens change colors and the school year gets into full swing, mountain towns across...

YMCA of the Rockies, Colorado Perfect Winter

At Two Beloved Locations—Estes Park Center and Snow Mountain Ranch— YMCA of the Rockies Offers Up Top-notch Programming for the 2022–23 Winter Season That...

History. Heritage. The Great Outdoors.

Sheridan, Wyoming. Where Craft is King. The world comes out west expecting to see cowboys driving horses through the streets of downtown; pronghorn butting heads...