Our story begins like many others: with a bad experience. As a freshman in college, I found myself trying to adapt to my new life in Portland. Adjusting to this change was tough, and I began searching for somewhere in the area that reminded me of home. The place I sought was Mt. Hood. After the Oregon snow began to fall, I found myself making the 90-minute journey with every given opportunity. It was only a few years prior that I had experienced my first taste of snowboarding, and I quickly became obsessed with the silent serenity and beauty of the Pacific Northwest outdoors. The vast mountain ranges, tall peaks, and never-ending evergreens provided the ultimate playground to use as an escape from daily life.
There was only one catch: it rains in Oregon. A lot. One day, I was headed up to the mountain to ride at Timberline Lodge. The weather was clear, and was expected to stay so for the few hours I would be there. I threw on my gear and headed out. I had only been outside for an hour, packing in about four runs, before the clouds began to move in. Just a couple runs later, the now ominous sky had begun to let loose a heavy mix of rain and snow. Because of the weather forecast, I had simply thrown on a water-resistant jacket and fleece base layer, as these would be much lighter and more comfortable than my usual shell. I made the wrong choice. I was soaked from head to toe before I knew it. After thirty minutes of extensive shivering, I decided I would have to cut the day short.
I traveled back to my university, parked in the school’s main lot, and began my half-mile walk back to my dorm in the rain. It was at this moment that I noticed the vast number of my peers walking around campus in their sweatshirts, nearly as soaked as I was. After asking why they weren’t wearing rain jackets, I received various reasons: some didn’t like the “plasticy” feel, others wanted to look fashionable, but most simply refused to lug around the extra gear when there was merely a chance of rain.
It was at that moment that I discovered the opportunity to create outerwear that protected its users from the elements, while simultaneously looking and feeling like the clothes they enjoy. A year later, after emptying my savings account into multiple prototypes, the Sentri Hoodie was born. Created using the highest-technology fleece in the world, our hoodies’ fabric is not only soft and breathable, but waterproof due to its micro-pore membrane. The result is a piece of clothing that isn’t afraid to brace a rainstorm, but still soft and cozy for relaxing. From grabbing coffee on a sunny morning, to snowboarding fresh powder, this hoodie has given people an opportunity to use something different. I now wear mine on a near-daily basis, so I’m ready for whatever crazy weather Portland wishes to throw my way.
- Michael Williamson