When you see Arctic Denim for the first time, you’ll wish it had existed sooner. “I pretty much only wear jeans,” says Hawaii-born and St. Paul-based designer Salvia Lani. “I didn’t like the poofy and, frankly, ugly look of wearing snow pants or the bulky look of wearing fleece-lined jeans.”
These waterproof, windproof, warm, and stylish jeans are her solution. “The inspiration for Arctic Denim was pretty simple,” says Lani. “I was just tired of being cold! I am from Kauai and live in freezing Minnesota, so I decided to use my knowledge of fabrics and trims to create a product that provides warmth while the wearer can still look casual and fashionable.”
Lani lent me a pair to test out. A few thoughts:
- Various “outdoor” brands’ attempts at jeans with an undeniably warm fleece lining never quite worked for me. If the material makes the jeans entirely inflexible and/or leaves you in a puddle of sweat, you lose all of the benefits of wearing denim and might as well be in snow pants territory.
- I liked how Arctic Denim can use a thin layer of bonded material similar to high-end workout gear as the lining to get the job done without creating a bulky feeling. Wearing them indoors and at below-freezing temperatures was easy and comfortable.
- The jeans have enough design flourishes to be attractive, but not overly gaudy.
- At $198 per pair, these jeans run higher than many off-the-rack items you’ll find at department stores, but still in the range with a boutique jeans purchase. And, Lani has also stitched sustainable practices and U.S. manufacturing into her mission, so figure that into the equation.
Available in flattering cuts for both men and women, these jeans hold up to outdoor extremes, yet remain breathable for transitioning indoors without breaking a sweat. For your next sledding date, complete the look with a soon-to-be-released, mighty warm denim trucker jacket.