As much as we’d like to, we can’t live our whole lives on the mountaintop. So Backcountry.comw is outfitting outdoorsy types with apparel and outerwear that transitions from town to summit—or, to use the retailer’s lingo, from Basin to Range.
“We saw an opportunity with our customers, who were definitely retreating toward products that blend performance and lifestyle, not necessarily something incredibly technical,” says Meg Keller, Brand Manager for Basin and Range.
In other words, Backcountry.com is seeing brisk sales of the soft-core stuff. The Basin and Range brand, which launched on October 19, 2015 and is available exclusively through Backcountry.com, is aimed at the sporty crowd that wants clothes for dog-walking and après-drinking, not just powder shralping—though the Fall/Winter ’15 line does include storm-worthy outerwear. The Empire 3L Shell Jacket ($300) and Pant ($200) are approachably-priced pieces built for lift-served skiing and mere-mortal backcountry tours.
But most of the line caters to the bike-to-work crowd. The women’s Silver Mountain cowl-neck ($50) is made with antimicrobial, Drirelease polyester (and 15 percent cotton) that dries fast and foils stink at work or the yoga studio. The Woodside Midweight Performance Flannel Shirt ($80) looks like your standard cotton button-down, but uses hollow-core polyester to manage sweat while skiing or mountain biking.
Other pieces make no performance claims at all—they just aspire to look good on mountain-town sidewalks. We love the subtle sheen of the men’s Silver King Performance Washed Chambray Shirt ($70). And the women’s Evergreen Quilted Down Jacket ($250) is the perfect topper for anyone who gets around town by foot or bus. Its knee-length cut and 550-fill down kept us pleasantly cozy while pub-crawling one blustery night in Steamboat Springs.
“The idea for the line was born in Park City, where outdoor sports are so accessible that there’s a real fluidity to you day,” says Keller. “You wake up, take the dog for a hike, go to work, hit the mountains after work,” she says. So the line emphasizes versatility—which can also appeal to urbanites, Keller says. “Maybe you live in the city and visit the mountains on weekends. The versatility of these pieces can work for you, too,” she adds.
The brand plans big expansions in 2016, when Basin and Range will debut its first spring pieces and offer more winter outerwear. “We’re doubling our style count,” says Keller. Because après isn’t ever out of style.