Walking the show floor at Outdoor Retailer a few weeks back it quickly became apparent that a new trend has taken hold in the industry. Numerous companies that manufacture outdoor apparel were showing off upcoming products that combine high performance fabrics with fashionable designs that are made to be worn both on the trail and urban settings. Just like our favorite pieces of outdoor gear that we already own, these clothes are designed to be highly breathable, quick-drying, and comfortable in a variety of environments. But unlike the highly technical outdoor apparel that we’ve become accustomed to, these articles of clothing look like they could have easily come off a fashion runway as well.
Here’s an example of some of what was on display.
Sierra Designs Long Sleeve DriDown Shirt
Stylish and versatile, this lightweight shirt from Sierra Designs weighs just 9 oz., but is both wind and waterproof. Designed to be worn on its own, as a midlayer, or a light jacket, the shirt uses 800-fill hydrophobic DriDown as insulation. It also features metal buttons and double-needle stitching for an overall high quality product that is as durable as it is good looking.
ExOfficio Urban Travel Line
ExOfficio is well known for its extensive line of travel clothing, which has been popular with adventure travelers for nearly 30 years. But much of that clothing looks like travel apparel, which hasn’t always made it a good choice for wearing around town after you return home. But this fall, the company will introduce its first line of urban travel clothing, pairing its highly technical fabrics with much more fashionable designs. The new urban gear features slick looking jackets, dress slacks, fashionable shirts, and even gorgeous dresses for the ladies.
Dare2b Men’s Shadow Side Jacket
Dare2b has always tried to blend fashion and performance in their outdoor gear, but some of the products they have in the works take that formula to an entirely new level. For instance, their new Shadow Side Jacket offers excellent ventilation and breathability, along with waterproof and four-way stretch fabrics, in a package that looks great on the ski hill as well as in the lodge.
Astral Donner Water Shoes
The trend of fashionable performance isn’t just confined to clothing, as plenty of shoe companies are getting into the act as well. Take for example the new Donner shoes from Astral, which are built for use around the water – think boating and paddling sports – but look like an athletic shoe that you could wear walking around town too. Better yet, the Astral doesn’t feel like a water shoe on your foot, which means they are designed to be comfortable enough to wear no matter where you go.