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Holubar: From the Mountains to the Movies

Holubar: From the Mountains to the Movies

The Holubar story is one that embodies the  American dream and everything that’s great about the great outdoors.. It all started back in Boulder Colorado down in a basement that was packed with World War 2 mountaineering equipment that belonged to Roy and Alice Holubar home. Having married in 1937 the Holubars spent all their spare time out climbing in Colorado and by 1946 had turned this passion into a basement based business. Being members of the local climbing community they bought a job lot of army surplus equipment with which to supply them which soon developed into them designing their own down-filled sleeping bags, parkas and rucksacks.

Initially starting off as a catalogue/mail order business the business quickly grew throughout the USA thanks to the quality of their products and the progressive attitude of the Holubars. Their own technical innovations having a direct influence on many of the leading manufacturers of the day including the use of nylon as a shell material for their clothing and sleeping bags which back in the early 1950s was still an incredibly experimental fabric.

Equally pioneering was their use of nylon together with cotton, initially in a 50/50 proportion, then in a 60/40. They also invented a special process known as ‘incalescence’ that allows a down filled jacket to be made for high-altitude expeditions by increasing its thermal power more and more while using it. No less revolutionary was the creation of their reversible jackets at the end of the ‘50s including the Royalight Action Parka that was created in 1960.

Though perhaps Holubar’s greatest invention is the Mountain Parka. Made from a water-resistant cotton/nylon blend this four season jacket was designed to be worn over a down vest or jacket it became a North American classic and was copied by pretty much every other outdoor brand in the world..The Holubar Mountain parka went on to achieve cult status thanks to Robert De Niro sporting an orange coloured one in the Oscar winning Deer Hunter as well as Clint Eastwood wearing a variety of Holubar jackets (including the parka) in the Eiger Sanction.

Following a lengthy hiatus Holubar returned a few years back and is now based in the small town of Pordenone in the North East of Italy. Their iconic jackets are now made in Europe thanks to the brand developing a special relationship with one of the world’s leading fabric manufacturers, Limonta. Also based in Italy they create fabrics exclusive to this pioneering outdoor brand that today is proving as popular on the streets of Milan as it was in the mountains of the Rockies.

Holubar at The Sporting Lodge