Mars Pants

The spacesuit is the greatest piece of clothing ever designed

No one set out to make the spacesuit look a certain way. The reason it looks so insane is because it’s made out of five layers of aluminised Mylar, with a surface layer of Teflon, Kevlar and Nomex. It’s the ultimate example of form following function – get it wrong, the person inside it dies. We know it works so well because it’s been central to some of humanity’s greatest achievements over the last 50 years. From the Cold War race to establish dominance in space, to the Moon landings, to the establishment of a continuous presence in low Earth orbit on the International Space Station.

Mars Pants

It’s space clothing, but not as we know it

But today’s astronauts don’t need to wear spacesuits most of the time. When they’re in a space shuttle, or visiting the International Space Station, they wear their own clothes or overalls. The most common spacesuit you’ll see these days is the orange ESS space shuttle suit, which looks a bit like a boilersuit. But as low Earth orbit gets busier with satellites, tourists and hotels, and as we venture further into the Solar System – to the Moon and Mars and beyond – we’re going to need new clothing for new missions. Your khakis aren’t going to cut it in space.

Mars

Colonising our next planet should be a bit easier

While Mars has its dangers – from galactic cosmic rays to 20,000km wide dust storms – it remains a known quantity. Manned missions will know their destination actually exists. They’ll know the speed and direction they have to travel to reach it. They’ll know they’re not going to fall off the edge of anything on the way, or be hunted down and eaten on arrival. Prehistoric man knew none of this when they headed out of Africa 50,000 years ago to colonise Earth. Every new journey was into uncharted territory. Early man was the probe and the rover. Colonising Mars should be a bit easier.

Mars Pants

Space is a hard environment for gear

Space makes life on Earth look easy. Temperatures range from hundreds of degrees below freezing, to hundreds of degrees above – especially if a spacecraft gets too close to The Sun. Each planet comes with a different atmosphere and gravity level. And even the stuff space is made of will attack you. The Moon is covered with sharp-edged and abrasive lunar dust particles. And while there are fewer sharp edges on Mars, as the soil has been worn down by wind, there’s evidence of chemical oxidants that can degrade materials like rubber and plastic. You also weigh less on the Moon and Mars, so you’ll inevitably end up lugging more gear.

Mars Pants

Made from ballistic nylon

To build the outer shell of the Mars Pants we turned to a material used to protect soldiers from flying debris and shrapnel caused by bullet and artillery-shell impact. Ballistic nylon was developed for flak jackets used by World War Two airmen. As well as being insanely durable, tough and tear-resistant, ballistic nylon features a high-tenacity filament-like fibre, giving it a utilitarian appearance. So the more you beat it up the better it will look.

Mars Pants

Ultra-comfortable against your body

While a spacesuit is an incredible piece of design, it’s not the easiest thing to wear. Putting it on or taking it off both take about 45 minutes. So our Mars Pants are made to be a bit more versatile. While the outside is built with ballistic nylon, the insides are lined with a highly elastic and windproof Cordura. It’s the same material we use to line our Ice Age Fleece to make it so soft. It means that you’ll never have any of the pants’ reinforced stitching, metal snaps or military specification zippers next to your skin.

Mars Pants

Wear them like regular sweatpants here on Earth

You can wear the Mars Pants just like regular sweatpants if you’re planning to spend the rest of your life here on Earth. They just happen to be crazily warm and windproof, built from ballistic nylon, and come with 8 pockets. They’re also the toughest pants we’ve ever made, and designed to work here, or on any planet we choose to land on. The idea was to build a single pair of pants that could protect you while you work, and keep you warm and comfortable while you’re relaxing.

Mars Pants

To build the future you have to imagine it first

Thanks to the sacrifices of early explorers, and pioneering work of material scientists, staying warm, dry and alive on Earth has been solved. But how you deal with a human being vomiting or needing to go to the bathroom in shifting gravity fields hasn’t. That’s why we’re starting work on the most important challenges we’re going to face over the next century. The future doesn’t make itself. And our future is still going to involve bodily functions.

Mars Pants

A horizontal fly based on flight suits

While space flight sounds glamorous and the rockets look cool, the human body remains a very fragile thing to send out into the solar system. Lunar landers and Mars Rovers are designed to exist in space, but the human body isn’t. It’s a liability. It needs food, water, oxygen, companionship, purpose, sleep, light, dark and bathroom breaks. So as well as being built from ballistic nylon, the Mars Pants have a horizontal fly based on flight suits back on Earth. It zips from left to right, and it’s designed to help you get in and out faster and with less chance of chafing.

Mars Pants

Eight pockets for all your gear

While our Mars Jacket comes with a pocket designed for Space Adaptation Syndrome – also known as puking in space – the Mars Pants come with the eight pockets you’ll need for carrying your gear. First you’ll find two fleece-lined side pockets exactly where you’d expect to find them on regular pants. These are for keeping your hands warm. And layered directly beneath these pockets are two zipped side pockets for storing gear. These are also fleece lined.

Mars Pants

One massive thigh pocket on the right

There’s a giant vertical zipped pocket on the right leg. It’s covered with a storm flap and a metal snap fastener, so you can use it faster when you’re out on reconnaissance. It’s big enough for tools, cables, and maps of places no human has ever set foot.

Mars Pants

Two pockets on the front of the left leg

On the left leg you’ll find a secret pocket just above the knee. It’s zipped and concealed beneath a storm flap for anything you want to keep hidden. And at the bottom of the left leg there’s a zipped pocket large enough for storing any loose pieces of gear.

Mars Pants

Elasticated and rope tied waist

The Mars Pants are elasticated at the waist and fasten with a rope tie. The rope is woven through reinforced eyelets. There are six giant belt loops either for a belt, or for attaching extra gear. There’s also a zipped back pocket on the right hand side.

Mars Pants

Velcro acts as a gravity surrogate

On the International Space Station you’ll find Velcro patches on almost everything. They act as ‘gravity surrogates’ to stop things floating away. As Velcro doesn’t rely on anything other than itself, astronauts know they can count on it in the event of a mechanical or electrical malfunction. So everything from scientific instruments, to screwdrivers, to food bags are secured this way. And that’s why our Mars Pants come with two long Velcro strips built into the left thigh – so you’ll always have what you need within reach.

Mars Pants

We’ve turned ballistic nylon stretchy

Our Mars Pants are the toughest pants ever built for two planets. They might also be the only pants ever built for two planets. So you can either let them protect you here on Earth. Or you can store them in a cool dry place until the rockets are ready. When you first put them on, you’ll find every part of the pants is cut and engineered to move with you. The bottom of each leg is also built with an elasticated panel of ballistic nylon to create a seal around your boots to keep cold air out, and warm air in. Stretchy and grippy, they’re designed to protect you from any debris you might encounter on your voyage.

Mars gear

Reusable packaging for future missions

All our Mars gear comes in its own industrial orange Mars bags with endlessly reusable black cable ties. Working in deep space for months or years will mean astronauts have limited access to supplies. There’s no Amazon Prime up there yet. The further we go into deep space, the more important it will be to generate products with local materials – something called in-situ resource utilisation (ISRU). In space you’ll have to create things with the stuff you already have. Everything needs to be high performance and low impact. So we can’t tell you exactly what other uses you will find for the packaging yet. We just know that you will.

Mars Pants

Wear the pants with the Mars Jacket

There’s a reason normal jackets don’t come with a vomit pocket. And that’s because Earth’s gravity is really good at keeping you upright. Up in space it’s a different story. Space Adaptation Syndrome is what happens when the body’s vestibular system – which helps you keep your balance on the ground – goes a bit haywire when it encounters a lack of gravity for the first time. That’s why our Mars Jacket comes with a 3D printed vomit pocket built in. Open up the screw cap and you’ll find the Vomit Bag inside stored inside it just in case.

Works well with