An expedition sponsored by Hanesbrands to test apparel made under its Champion and Duofold brands has successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest.

The climbing team, led by international mountaineer Jamie Clarke, reached the 29,035-foot summit of the world’s highest peak yesterday (17 May) after an 11-hour climb from Camp 4 on Everest’s South Col route.

The achievement tops a 30-month endeavour to design and test new Champion and Duofold apparel that improves mobility, retains heat and shields against the elements without adding weight or bulk.

Clarke began working with Hanesbrands in 2008, and put some of the clothing through its paces on a training climb on Mount Pumori in October 2009, prior to the Mount Everest expedition.

On both climbs he wore a high-tech prototype jacket known as the Champion Supersuit, an ultra-thin high-altitude extreme weather coat, which uses aerogel nanotechnology insulation instead of goose down and has a radiant foil layer to retain body heat.

Hanesbrands will continue to evaluate the use of aerogel as an apparel insulator and its prospects for potential commercialisation.

Clarke also wore socks, base layers, insulating layers and soft and hard shell garments developed by Hanesbrands’ R&D team to be worn as integrated layers – including a heavier-weight version of Duofold’s Varitherm Mid-Weight Dri-Release Wool base layer which is already on the market.

This autumn, Duofold will begin selling the form-fitting Varitherm Mid-Weight Seamless base layer tops and bottoms that were developed for the Everest expedition.

These garments use six different knit constructions to provide variable insulating, wicking, compression and support performance in different parts of the garment.

Another result of the expedition is that Champion will also begin selling cold-weather training apparel that can be layered in various combinations, similar to the way the Everest apparel was designed.