By Don Jurries
It only took 20 years, but Kama, a winter knitted apparel brand made in the Czech Republic, finally has a distributor in the US and Canada. PinkTree Distribution, with a US office in Seattle, is determined to bring the best of Czech outdoor gear to North America, with inventory ranging from camping and hiking to skiing and other snow sports.
My favorite Kama apparel product is the Kama Windstopper Pullover (model 375). The outer shell is made from 100% merino wool sourced from the Swiss fabric experts, Schoeller AG, with yarn that is Nanotech-treated. This innovative surface structure resembles naturally occurring structures in plants, such as lotus flowers, that cause staining and soiling agents to form beads that rinse off with cold water.
The inner shell of the knit sweater uses Gore Windstopper technology, including a special Windstopper membrane sandwiched between an inner and outer layer. The fabric stops the wind, retains breathability, and is snow and water resistant.
The Kama Pullover features three zippered pockets, one of which is on the left arm, an adjustable waist band, thumb slots, and a removable, adjustable hood. All this makes for a great mid layer or even outer layer for skiing, snowboarding and other wintry pursuits.
Kama was started by two women, Katerina and Mahulena, first knitting caps and sweaters out of their homes. The company has since expanded to include hats, scarves, face masks, neck warmers, gloves, and even golf apparel, all still made in the Czech Republic and now popular with numerous Olympic teams.
The Kama Windstopper Pullovers and Jackets retail for $329-$415 and are available online for the US and Canada. In Europe, you can order your knit sweaters and jackets from the Kama website for €200-€280.