Fast hiking:the innovations laboratory

Fast hiking | our innovations laboratory

Fast hiking is Quechua's laboratory for technologies and explorations.

Fast hiking is Quechua's laboratory for technologies and explorations, a real engine of development that brings its most relevant innovations to all ranges.
Working for the most demanding users makes it possible to bring new technologies and source new components to design tomorrow's products.

Fast hiking,
a vitamined outdoor sport

Fast hiking is a sport that was born about twenty years ago in the United States. 
It is an activity that quickly established itself alongside trail running, a sport that appeared in the 90s.

Fast Hiking has therefore attracted many athletes who started with trail running, but for whom running in the mountains was too demanding, or who were not interested in the performance side of trail running but liked to hike at a sustained pace, diverting products for intensive use that goes beyond the clock.

The sport therefore involves a faster walking pace than classic family hiking, which is generally solitary, but less intense than trail running. 
Fast hiking is exclusively done in the mountains, with a notion of elevation (from about 500m), half-day or full day.

"«When I go for a walk in the summer, I take over the hikers and I am taken over by the trail runners»
Guillaume Harmand, product manager for Quechua fast hiking and sunglasses."

When fast hiking, you must be able to go everywhere without ever having to use your hands, always staying on your feet, even if you have poles. 
You are not looking for pure performance, but you generally have an objective, such as a summit to reach, or a pass to cross.

At Quechua, Fast Hiking officially appeared in 2015, and we offer an essential range of technical products for young and athletic fast hikers. 
About 5% of hikers do Fast Hiking in the mountains, mainly among 20-45 year olds, and the movement is increasingly attractive.

Fast hiking:the innovations laboratory

An r&d laboratory with innovations shared to all ranges

Fast hiking/the innovations laboratory

Fast Hiking products are particularly interesting and instructive to develop for our teams, because the mixture of lightness, precision and robustness that characterizes the sport poses major technical challenges.
We design products for complicated and difficult environments, for example footwear should not tear on the first stone.
There is therefore a quest for high standards aimed at energetic and persevering athletes.
This veritable little laboratory nestled in our Quechua ecosystem is looking for the most advanced and exclusive products in the mountain world..
They are produced in smaller quantities, which exposes them to less economic risk.

The key word is to move forward, to innovate.
This makes it possible to challenge the component teams to look for new, even more efficient materials, even lighter fabrics, and to test new things in terms of processes or finishing technologies.

The components proven in Fast Hiking will then feed the more classic ranges.
New materials, validated by intensive use and numerous feedbacks can therefore be found in the mountain hiking ranges. 
Fast Hiking makes it possible to highlight ultra-light components that work and stand the test of time particularly well. 
This research always ends up being available to everyone.

« Fast Hiking is Quechua's laboratory that tests, goes further with innovations, in performance, in the choice of components. »
Justine Caba, textile designer for fast hiking and mountain hiking.

Fast hiking:the innovations laboratory

Like its sport, our Fast Hiking project group always continues to move forward quickly, constantly working on something even lighter and more efficient.. 
The goal is to gain 15 to 20% on weight each time . 
It might seem marginal, but for shorts that weigh around 130g in size L, that means flirting with the 100g bar, while remaining at a very competitive price (around €30, compared to €10-12 at the entry level).

To move forward so quickly in exploratory mode and continue to progress in innovation, we have significant financial, material and time resources.. 
The 3D technologies, prototyping workshops and machines available in our international design centre in France (in Passy, at the foot of Mont-Blanc) are used intensively.

Fast hiking:the innovations laboratory

Specific products for fast hiking.

The products are above all ultra light, with more flashy and committed colour codes than those of traditional hiking. 
Because we can easily recognise the fast hiker in the mountains, they are distinguished by their sustained pace, and by their outfit, more colourful, more technical and "visually light"».

Other very important characteristics of fast hiking products, beyond their technicality, is their precision, and the high degree of protection they provide to the fast hiker. 
A notion of robustness and resistance that allows you to hike with confidence and tenacity.

footwear, for example, must withstand at least 1000 km, against 200 to 300 km for high-perfomance trail footwear. 
To guarantee this longevity, we put them to the test in the Sportslab in Lille, and we test them in the mountains all year round.

The goal being to move towards the lightest products on the market, we explore new components, often outside the catalogues drawn up internally. 
The rubbers of our fast 900 footwear are a good example: they have an exceptional grip/durability ratio,, allowing the footwear to be finely tuned without losting protection or traction. 
We also imagine constructions that stand out, that open the way to allow you to discover new types of manufacturing, processes or components.

A visible feature of these products is that we have a lot of "knitted" footwear, sewn like socks to save weight . 
We are also developing footwear that rise like gaiters, a technology that is also found on some football boots, which helps maintain the ankle and prevent stones or sand from entering. 
In textiles, we have developed processes that make it possible to offer a seamless fleece and t-shirt (the latter weighs 50 grams, a record). Lightweight that goes everywhere, and that allows you to think differently about everyday products.

The fast hiking range has an equally original and exploratory "colorama", a chromatic palette of around ten colours that stands out, because innovation also involves style.. "Permanent" colours, generally dark and that "go anywhere", stand alongside "collection" colours, more original, clear or even transparent, to reinforce this "visually light" side specific to the range. Finally, there are seasonal colours that can develop trends, such as flashy neon colours, which can enter a "collection" or disappear depending on their success. Here too, the experiments will be able to shine on products from other ranges, illuminating them with new original shades.

« We have a colorama, a chromatic palette, which is “no gender”, completely unisex, because for me performance is the same whether you are a man or a woman” Justine Caba, fast hiking and mountain hiking textile designer.

Fast hiking quechua