For the first time in more years that we’d like to recall, the Boulder Weekly had a staffer who was flitting in and out among the booths of the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City, scoping out some of the latest in outdoor gear for the coming season. Here are a few products that caught some attention.
I want to save the planet, too!
Patagonia is known for a conservation ethos and eco-friendly, low-impact designs that hold up well to wear, and they’re not overlooking the details (or the price point) when it comes to letting people buy a piece of that philosophy. To that end, all of their beanies are free of acrylic, a man-made environmental ass-kicker. They use recycled polyester or chlorine-free wool instead. And at $29-$35, a beanie is a much easier way to buy into a piece of the Patagonia action.
Wax on, wax off
Designs draw classic retro notes from the 1960s start date of the Scandinavian company, which recent Waxing isn’t just for your skis anymore. A number of Fjallraven’s jackets — from the city-ready Reporter Lite Jacket to the mountains-in-mind Sarek Trekking Jacket to the Sarek Winter Jacket (pictured at right) — are made with their G-1000 fabric, a cotton-polyester blend that can be waxed to increase water and wind resistance, then washed to make it more breathable when you know you’ve got dry days ahead. How neat is that?
They’ve used the G-1000 Heavy Duty fabric in their Keb Gaiter Trousers, which zip off to allow the lower leg to be used as gaiters. Pants are proving to be their fastest growing category.
Designs draw classic retro notes from the 1960s start date of the Scandinavian company, which recently relocated its headquarters to Boulder.
Expect the unexpected
You know who has a line of women’s footwear with some surprisingly rockin’ options? Timberland. That’s right, boys, it’s not just camel-colored work boots for you anymore. From ballerina flats (lined with 100 percent PET lining from recycled plastic bottles — the same stuff PolarTec uses in their recycling) to boots that lace a mile high (OK, knee-high), they’ve got plenty to please.
These little piggies stayed warm
Savvy outdoors folks know if you want warm toes, you’re probably going to want to go for wool. And gone are the days of wool meaning itchy, bulky or inclined to slouch. While there were many, many great entries in this category, including Colorado-based SmartWool (its neck gaiter has extended this skier’s day in the face of windy, blowing snow more than any other single purchase in the last decade), we’re going to give special props to Wigwam’s socks. Merino wool keeps the feet warm, while a cushioned sole helped pad some recent bony skiing days in Utah.