686 Technical Apparel announces exclusive outerwear design collaboration with Captain Elliott Neese for the crew of the Saga. The one-of-a-kind 686 technical jackets and bibs, constructed with proprietary Infidry 20™ (20,000mm) waterproof fabric and designed exclusively with Neese for the crew of the Saga, will debut tonight on The Deadliest Catch, airing on Discovery Channel.
“It actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it,” explains 686 team captain Patrick McCarthy. “686 focuses on making highly technical outerwear to protect you from the same elements that crab fisherman fight daily – frozen wind, ice and water.”
Elliott Neese, an Alaska native with his self proclaimed “wide f@#king open” fishing style and often controversial owner and captain of the Saga fishing boat, collaborated on the one-of-a-kind jackets and bibs, incorporating specific details to battle the unique conditions presented to fisherman on the Bearing Sea.
“I used to snowboard a lot when I was younger in Alaska, and I still get to ride after Opie season in April and May with all my boys in Bellingham, Washington,” says Elliott. He goes on to provide the following feedback on the custom 686 gear, “The Saga crew has never been so dry nor had such technical and bomber gear to work in.”
Currently, the custom 686 jackets and bibs seen on Capt Neese and the crew are not available to the public, but the same Infidry 20™ fabric and construction is available in the 686 Plexus™ line of goods at retailers worldwide and at 686.com.
Below is an exclusive interview with Patrick McCarthy about the collaboration with Capt. Neese:
 What is the relationship between 686 and Elliot Neese?
[PM] Elliot Neese and I (Patrick McCarthy) have been friends for quite some time now. He was always just an Alaskan fisherman that would come down to Washington state during his off-season to hang, snowboard and recharge his batteries. We started shredding together here and there and just developed a friendship. Elliot can rub people the wrong way, but if you are down with him, he is a good homie. One year, before returning to Alaska he hit me up, wondering if he could get some gear to keep him warm and dry during the fishing season. That was right around when I was transitioning from team rider to team captain at 686, so luckily I was able to hook it up. The gear worked great, and each season after that Elliot would get some gear to battle nature’s harshest conditions in style. He may not be a professional snowboarder, but he is down for the brand and we got his back, literally.
 Why should Elliot Neese, a crab fisherman, be rocking 686?
[PM] It actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it, 686 focuses on making highly technical outerwear to protect you from the same elements crab fisherman fight. Frozen wind, ice and water combine to create the harshest combination of elements and working conditions on the planet – the perfect testing grounds for some of the most technical apparel on the planet. So far it’s been a great relationship – 686 gear has been keeping Elliot warm and dry and he has been able to provide amazing feedback as well as help design a special project. Plus, love him or hate him, Elliot walks to the beat of his own drum just like we do here at 686.
 Elliot isn’t snowboarding in his gear, isn’t that an issue?
[PM] Although we are a winter apparel snowboard specific company, our technical outerwear can be utilized in a lot of different situations from fishing, backpacking, cross country, etc. From 3-ply shells to down-sweaters and parkas we make gear that can keep you protected in any condition. Supporting Elliot Neese and the crew from the Saga allows us a new outlet to showcase our outerwear in a unique element.
 What is this special project between 686 and Elliot Neese you mentioned?
[PM] We (686) were able to do something special and work with Elliot to create custom Plexus™ series jackets and bibs for the entire crew. The jacket and bib are constructed of fluorescent yellow 3-Layer Infidry 20™ waterproof fabric in an Expedition ergonomic fit with custom detailing and custom Saga crab screen-prints on the back of the jacket developed with Elliot himself. The crew wore the gear all season, putting it to the test on the deck in arctic temperatures, blistering wind and with freezing water splashes and came back with amazing feedback. Elliot explained it best saying, “The crew has never been so dry nor had such technical and bomber gear to work in. Usually gear seems cumbersome, wears very fast and begins getting wet and cold and falling apart, but the 686 gear was easy to move in, held up day after day and shows no sign of slowing down!”
 What similarities and differences does the Elliot’s custom outerwear have from a typical snowboard jacket?
[PM] You know what’s crazy is that Elliot’s gear is almost exactly the same as our Plexus™ line with just a few extra features to battle the freezing cold Bearing Sea. Both the jacket and bib are constructed from our Infidry 20™ fabric, a 3-Layer abrasion resistant fabric that is super waterproof (20,000mm) while still being very breathable (15,000gm) with fully Bemis® taped seams, with a few more unique details. An extra high, laminated collar with hideaway hood with double Velcro stormflap closure keeps your face warm amidst frigid splashing water and frozen wind and keeps your body heat from leaving the neck of your jacket. The guys typically don’t wear goggles so the extra high collar is a great detail we get to design into the jacket, since it would normally lead to goggle fog on snow. There are 4 fleece lined handwarmer pockets for cold hands and smoke breaks and two external fold over military style pockets to keep water from splashing up into them while still being constantly accessible. Double storm flaps at every opening cover heavy-duty zippers, built to absorb the abuse crabbing seasons put no them. The most interesting detail though, is the double adjustable wrist closures. The outside closure tightens down over a longer inner adjustable gaiter with a PU seal to keep any water out of the sleeve – you don’t want below freezing water up your sleeve or in your gloves. The bibs are a bit different as they don’t have boot gaiters, but do have adjustable cuffs that can seal over boots to keep any water out of your boot and pant. Overall its amazing to see how similar the outerwear and how well it continues to work, keeping the crew warm and dry day after day, and hold up to the abuse that seasons on the unforgiving Bearing Sea can bring.