Saturday, March 1, 2014


Outdoor Retailer/SLC
Watson's, Bergans of Norway, Sherpa Adventure Gear, ColdPruf, 32 Degrees Heat, Helly Hansen

Layering got a bit re-defined this season from an outdoors system of dressing warmly for athletic pursuits-to being an absolute necessary piece of 'equipment'- for even just short dashes to cross a city street.

Many brands that probably don't even pitch an urban market-ha ha ---are never-the-less delivering style, cut and color…alongside functionality attributes for basics…joining über soft skin feel and importantly SERIOUS weather protection---for winter wardrobes. And that included typically snowflake free snowbird destinations- this winter too.

After the bi-annual tradeshow, Outdoor Retailer in SLC-we immediately switch gears/wardrobes to cover New York Fashion Week-where we make an effort to look, well,  fashion-y.

Given the snowy slush and Ice Age temps-and the realities of outdoor moments to get to the not near the subways-runway shows…the most worn apparel turned out to be a close fitting black turtleneck Watson's Performance top---that's so luxuriously soft, we thought it composed of a merino wool/silk combo. (Fyi-it's a 85% micro polyester, 15% spandex blend-brushed fabric-with moisture control/anti-microbial properties).

Underneath sweaters, L/S shirts, leather jackets or some combo thereof---we had an extra layer of bulk free, city worthy insulation that managed to adapt to temps indoors…we never over-heated….and still look stylish enough for backstage interviews in a sea of urban black apparel.

 And easy care too-good thing as we wore it A LOT.

BONUS: versatility at value prices= this Montreal- Canada company delivers performance warmth for active adults at $25 per piece…and also comes with matching black long johns-that we run in--- and hang out in. Like now.
Merino Wool

Double layer...

Look for new- all merino wool basic layers from Watson's -to deliver next summer--joining other  currently available layering options made form hypo-allergenic super soft bamboo, non-piling micro-fleece, waffle thermal, and major warm double layer performance pieces. (Adult sizes approximate range $16.99-$30/per)

Performance layers-in front (black)…print and color options for kids too!

We'd expect performance wear lines from Nordic countries to know how to make basic layers as intuitively as say, firing up a toasty steaming sauna. It goes with the territory.
Men's Soleie Tee-Sea Blue stripped (4oz)-solids colors (available now) and women's (3.5oz) too
 BERGANS of Norway…uses cruel-free from producers who do not practice muelsing--- naturally performing (warm when cold out, cool when hot, easy care, anti-odor), sustainable 100% Merino Wool  ---delivering absolutely wonderfully striped year round wearable tops from its Soleie line of lightweight woolen garments.
Soleie Lady Shirt-Hot Pink Stripe-(5oz), solids and men's version(6oz)
We think these striped bright selections-delivering A/W 2014- would look great with jeans-kinda of a retro-70's flavor- for everyday casual wear without screaming undergarments!!! We are pretty positive that is not what the Bergans folks had in mind---but it works for us.

FYI-half zip silhouette too ---L/S $89


 One of our most beloved family owned brands-SHERPA ADVENTURE GEAR-is ramping up its outdoor apparel efforts not only with new personnel on board-but also in combo with performance textiles made by the primo brands on the market.

pretty blue---and features like thumb holes for great fit
NEW: the VAYU BASE LAYERS…athletic, alpine driven but wearable anywhere.
The re-launched PrimaLoft® (another, later post)… performance fibers intro-ed a new, fast drying merino wool blend ---PriMerino®-comprised of 50-50 Bluesign® approved, ultra-fine and insulating  PrimaLoft One and Merino Wool-that Sherpa Adventure Gear exclusively put to deft use in ten styles, including the pictured women's Vayu Zip Tee ($99) …plus, for both genders- crewnecks, hoodies and tights. Warmth without the bulk…with tops that can actually comfortably tuck inside denim or performance pants.

PLUS: Great hand feel, and as always-Sherpa Adventure pieces sport refreshingly bright colors and zip pulls that ref the Nepalese flag and heritage.

PLUS PLUS: The styles are manufactured in Nepal, and a portion of every sale benefits the education of Sherpa children.

Celebrating a birthday, ColdPruf® products--in cahoots with its parent company, the North Carolina based Indera Mills, has an easy to understand Thermacore® System that helps consumers figure out what's what in terms of its base layer offerings.

Particularly helpful (and smart) for explaining what can be a confusing purchase for newbies -and expedition ready adventurers---a welcoming, get it in seconds visual that other labels might want to emulate. IMO, of course.

ColdPruf's value priced options- include 100% Merino wool Classic Layer pieces and "Green Program" worthy, Eco-Terra™+ Pro-Tek™ blends---using recycled poly-Repreve® that are next to skin worthy and performing.

looser and slim fits...v and crew neck tops, zip soft shell jacket too-for more warmth
32º was wishful thinking for temperatures the past few months, but the company named accordingly (32 Degrees Heat by Weatherproof® Perfomance collection) offered a series of tinged (including military green and camo!) basic top and bottom layers…for above and below that water freezing benchmark.

Moisture wicking, lightweight, breathable, anti-odor and static- and widely available online and in stores like Macy's... from about $19.99-$25 for l/s tops/bottoms

Bonus points always go to those people-mostly guys (DUH)…that strip off a layer and switch it up for Helly Hansen's moisture wicking Lifa® tech-laden base layer l/s tops. We guess the confidence where it matters can mean a lot of things-including faith in the insulating abilities of the best selling HH Dry Stripe Crew ($40)

Truth be told-we have three of these--- because the shy-or freezing cold can donate $ to get one-as the ultra-lightweight high performance Dry Stripe crew top version sized for women too. With the iconic race strips down the arms---black and white color options-though we still have a red one…they last forever, just about.

HH's right at the entrance locale has been enticing attendees at Outdoor Retailer's demo day for several years…and  NICE- the company donates what's swapped.
Can't say whether the Squatters beer, lovingly displayed at the nearby Native sunglass booth-was consumed in order to warm up for the Helly Hansen switcheroo...

But the warming/welcoming bonfire -courtesy of several brands including Sierra Nevada…certainly helped withstand a nip in the air.