Outdoor Retailer Day 3: Old-Fashioned Meets Function

Retro-cool outdoor gear has a style that's more hipster than hiker

Something strange is afoot at Outdoor Retailer. What was once the sole domain of nylon-clad outdoorspeople and scruffy dirtbags is now being infiltrated by hundreds of tattooed, bearded guys in skinny jeans and flannel. Some people call them hipsters; we’ll just call them stylish guys (none of them was riding a pennyfarthing, at least).

The apparel lines on the floor reflect that trend, too. Fashion-forward outdoor gear features slimmer silhouettes than in the past, and classic/retro/throwback performance pieces are everywhere. Some of these old-school revivals are due to big anniversaries—Marmot’s 40 years old, Smith is going on 50 and Kelty turned the page on 60 in 2012—and some are just part of pop culture’s infatuation with retro-cool. Here are a few favorites from the show floor:

Danner Crater Rim Hiker Canvas

Portland, Oregon-based Danner has always been known for its honest, straightforward styling and superior workmanship, and this update on the award-winning Crater Rim GTX (left) is no different. It sheds weight by replacing leather with canvas, but retains its ruggedness with 360º abrasion-resistant rand. It’s not cheap, but this beautiful hiker will last you a lifetime.
$300; danner.com

Smith Optics Delano Sunglasses
Smith Optics is celebrating its upcoming anniversary by re-introducing sunglasses from its nearly 50-year history, including these near-exact (they’ve been updated with high-performance polarized Carbonic TLT lenses) replicas of a rad 1993 pair that exudes the same classic cool of stonewashed denim.
$119; smithoptics.com

Millet Eiger 30 Pack
The classic styling on this four-season mountaineering pack from the 93-year-old French company belies its modern functionality—a ventilated, ultra comfortable harness system with wide straps and removable hip belt; reverse-access lid that keeps the goods dry; and internal and external storage compartments that keep your gear close-at-hand when you need it.

Woolrich White Patrol Series
American heritage brand Woolrich has taken to calling itself the “original outdoor company,” and it just may be right given its 183-year history. At Outdoor Retailer, it unveiled the Woolrich White label, which updates the company’s classic outdoor and sportswear pieces with modern cuts and fitted silhouettes. Particularly notable is the Patrol Series, a collection of down insulated parkas inspired by its original, 1976 Patrol Parka. Patrol Series parkas have coyote fur-lined hoods and water-repellent fabric that protects 650 fill goose down.

Kelty 60th Anniversary Wing Pack
Famed pack builder Kelty continues celebrating six decades in business with this throwback pack—first introduced in 2012—that features old-school leather tabs, big, exposed metal zippers and classic, rugged Cordura fabric. It’s updated with an advanced organization system that includes a laptop sleeve, media pocket and panel loading.
$155; kelty.com

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