Four days of scouring the Outdoor Retailer trade show turned up some exciting and unique outdoor products. Here are the highlights in Specialty Apparel.
Pair a women’s cycling advocate with a veteran apparel designer and you get Velocio, a new cycling clothing brand focused primarily on the women’s market. Founded by Kristy Scrymgeour, owner of Team Specialized-lululemon, and designer Brad Sheehan, Velocio debuts with a focus on high-end quality and a unique attention to details and comfort. The collection’s Signature Bib Short for women is a standout example of this philosophy—it pairs lycra with strap-stabilizing sheer stretch mesh and a tailored, anatomical cut designed for the female form. This made-in-Italy bib also boasts a top-of-the-line chamois by Cytech and Velocio’s signature wider leg band with a lightly printed silicone finish that delivers on-the-bike flexibility and comfort.
With designers schooled in the fine art of bra craft, Moving Comfort has a real understanding of a woman’s body in motion. At Outdoor Retailer, the company debuted its very first collection solely focused on women’s sports bras (it had previously also offered active apparel and accessories). The centerpiece of this new line is the Moving Comfort Hot Shot, a style that features fashion-focused, comfortable wide strap styling. This is a bold departure from the thin yoga straps prevalent in the outdoor market. The Hot Shot also has a modern, minimal open ladder back band that stretches for hardware-free, flexible movement. This sports bra’s straps are crafted of Moving Comfort’s DriLayer Adapt, which the company says self adjust sans hardware for a more comfortable, personalized fit.
Columbia designers seem ready to run with any good idea, even if comes from the birds. Case in point: Researchers have found that in the open saltwater shallows where many fish thrive, white pelicans consistently out-fish their brown cousins. It seems fish can mistake the big white bodies for clouds while the brown anglers stand out as threats in the world of blue and white. Thus was born the Columbia Solar Camo Shirts. Starting out as a blue digital camo pattern, sections of the pattern turn white when exposed to heat—such as the solar blasts that radiate down on the southern seas. The result is a multihued field of blue that’s broken up by shifting patches of white. In short, any fish warily watching for predators will see anglers wearing the Solar Camo shirts as mere blurs in the cloud-speckled sky above their blue waters. Available in button-up collared and crew-neck pull-over versions.
Everyone loves a down sweater like Patagonia’s Nano Puff. It packs small, layers well and is surprisingly warm for its weight. Now Patagonia is matching that perennial favorite jacket with a pant. The Nano Puff Pant uses a recycled polyester shell with a DWR treatment and stuff the brick quilting with 60-grams of Primaloft Silver, a synthetic insulation that is low bulk and remains warm when wet. Patagonia put these insulated pants in their fly fishing collection, anticipating steelhead fishermen layering them under waders during winter and spring steelhead fishing, but we think they’re an ideal layer for any kind of cold weather camping. They look baggy enough to slip over soft shell pants, but still trim enough to layer under a hard shell in stormy conditions. And the reinforced seat will help keep butts from freezing.