Eye On Apparel: 'Gearing Up' For The Outdoors

LightField Studios / EloPaint / Shutterstock.com

 

For eons, people have regarded the great outdoors as a source of peace, inspiration, tranquility and retreat. From the colors of the changing seasons and the ethereal landscapes of places both near and far, to coexisting with wildlife and listening to the dulcet sounds of crashing waves or snowflakes gently collecting on the ground, there’s a lot to take in and appreciate out-of-doors. And nowadays, in the midst of a pandemic, consumers are spending more time outside, whether that’s embarking on an adventurous hike, planning a camping trip or walking the dog around the neighborhood.

Despite the many detriments stirred by the coronavirus, one of the inadvertent benefits was swaying more Americans to spend time outside. Outdoor activities peaked in popularity in the ’80s and early ’90s, but participation has been dwindling ever since, writes Scientific American; something propelled by the advent of new consumer technologies. However, a year spent at home, indoors and, for some, isolated, has given way to a renewed interest in outdoor activities, and even in light of the pandemic, it’s still a major market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, outdoor recreation was a $374.3 billion-dollar industry last year. 

The 2021 Outdoor Participation Trends Report, a survey of 18,000 U.S. consumers published by Outdoor Foundation, found that 7.1 million more Americans (a total of 160.7 million people) ages six and over participated in at least one outdoor activity last year, reflecting the largest one-year jump on record. The survey also found that, in total, Americans participated in 11.4 billion outdoor outings in 2020, a five-percent increase from 2019, and one-fourth (25 percent) of respondents said their outdoor activity increased in the last year. The most popular activities shared by respondents were running, jogging and trail-running (21 percent); hiking (19 percent); freshwater, saltwater and fly fishing (18 percent); road biking, mountain biking and bicycle motocross (BMX) (17.3 percent); and car, backyard, backpacking and RV camping (15.8 percent). 

Accommodating all ages, needs and interests, participating in outdoor recreation doesn’t necessarily entail a high level of high physical activity, but some hobbies are more about the experience. A survey of nearly 5,550 U.S. adults by The Nature of Americans—a collaborative led by DJ Case & Associates and built on the research of the late Dr. Stephen R. Kellert on the relationship between well-being and human contact with nature—found that Americans were very interested in activities such as taking a walk outdoors (59 percent), exploring the outdoors (51 percent), visiting a zoo, aquarium, nature center, historical museum or botanical garden (46 percent), and feeding or watching birds or wildlife (37 percent).

When people step foot into nature, The Nature of Americans reports that they are often looking to create memorable experiences, whether solo or in the company of others, and thus nature itself serves as an opportunity for connection at all levels. But no matter how memorable of an experience that one is looking to create, the potential everlasting spark of that moment will be dampened if they aren’t equipped with the proper gear to suit the occasion. 

“Appropriately designed wearables are very important when choosing the right garment for your customers,” says John Hein, sales and marketing manager for Landway International Corp., a Hayward, California, supplier of outdoor and lifestyle apparel. “If they’re working outdoors in cold weather, you’ll want something that will be sufficiently insulated and waterproof to keep them comfortable all day. If they are valet drivers running around all night, they’ll want something light and breathable. And if they’re working indoors, they’ll want something light and cozy, but easy to layer. We think long and hard about all the situations our garments may be in and make sure to offer appropriately designed garments that fit every situation, from moisture-wicking polos to fully-insulated, waterproof jackets.”

Offering recipients a high-quality wearable that’s designed to withstand the elements—whether that’s an insulated winter coat with a removable hood to wear while hiking in the snow, or a form-fitting thermal that’s equipped for layering and ideal for winter runs—having your client’s brand at the forefront of these experiences and serving as a reliable ally in their outdoor excursions can translate into a long-lasting relationship with that client. And if the wearers themselves are fans of the product, they’ll recommend your client’s brand to other outdoor lovers and seekers as well as their go-to source of high-quality gear.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Do you have a top client with a known passion for off-the-grid adventuring? The Quench Hydration Pack is the perfect gift for explorers. Made from polyester/ripstop, it’s equipped with a large main compartment and a separate rear compartment that holds a two-liter water reservoir. The 20-by-nine-inch pack also features a front mesh pocket and two side zippered pockets for added storage, along with a padded back panel, waist belt and adjustable straps. 

The Magnet Group  /  PPAI 3338534, S12  /  www.themagnetgroup.com

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

When heading out to walk the dog or go for a run, a less bulky, more form-fitting glove can make the experience more enjoyable. These High Performance Running Gloves are made from a stretchy knit, which conforms to fit wearers’ hands and maintains a secure fit throughout. They're also moisture-wicking and machine-washable, and on cooler days, they can be layered underneath another glove for added warmth. Available in gray or white with yellow or blue trim, in men’s small and large.

 

Illinois Glove Company  /  PPAI 358312, S3  /  www.honestabegloves.com 

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Depending on what recipients have planned for the day, they may only need something that can hold a few personal items, and this is when the North Vista Trail Waist Pack will certainly come in handy. Made from water-resistant 210D nylon ripstop, this nine-by-seven-inch fanny pack features water-resistant zippers, a padded mesh back with an adjustable waist band, and an interior slip pocket. Available in charcoal and orange (shown).

Crown/IMAGEN Brands  /  PPAI 113430, S10  /  www.imagenbrands.com 

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

The Radiance thermal dry performance fleece pullover is a garment recipients will grab and go when running (or walking) out the door. Made from 100-percent textured polyester Thermal Dry® performance knit, the 8.5-ounce fleece offers an athletic fit and features a grid-textured polyester interior pattern and moisture-evaporating pockets, which both work to keep wearers dry. Available in black, titanium, lagoon green and burnt orange (shown), in sizes S-4XL. Wash separately in cold water before wearing. 

Landway International Corp.  /  PPAI 243349, S1  /  www.landway.com 

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Whether prepping for an afternoon hike or running errands, the Smooth Face Vest is warm, eco-friendly and multifunctional. Made from recycled materials—its outer shell is a blend of 60-percent polyester and 40-percent polyester fine denier woven, and its insulation is made of 65-percent and 35-percent recycled polyester—each garment recycles five to seven plastic bottles. The smooth shell vest features interior Thermolite quilted lining for warmth, and it’s also water-resistant and windproof. Additional details include a drawstring cord at the lower hem for weather control, zippered chest and front pockets, and matte black zippers. Available in men’s sizes S-4XL and women’s XS-3XL in black, stone grey, navy (shown, left) and olive green (shown, right).

Storm Creek  /  PPAI  438091, S6  /  www.stormcreek.com 

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

The Matador® Freefly16 Packable Dayback will have recipients ready for whatever’s ahead. The 11-liter backpack, made from waterproof 30D Cordura® ripstop nylon, measures 11-by-17-inches and includes a water-resistant, zippered main compartment, a front organization pocket with a water-resistant zipper and a detachable, rolltop storage bag for fast packing. It also features adjustable, weight distributing, contoured shoulder straps for easy carrying.

Hirsch Gift, Inc.  /  PPAI 221823, S10 /  www.hirschgift.com 

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Offering wearers all-day style and comfort, the Ultimate Trucker Cap is something they can wear for a walk or hike, or bring along to the beach. The structured, trucker-style cap features a slight pre-curve, chino twill front panels, mesh back panels, a woven loop label and a plastic snap. Available in 60 colorways, shown in slate/grey/navy. Customize with a one-of-a-kind, on-brand patch.

Outdoor Cap Co., Inc.  /  PPAI 213485, S10  /  www.outdoorcap.com 

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Made for the coldest weather, the Providence is a full-coverage, insulated parka with trendy and convenient features. Made from an abrasion-resistant, 100-percent oxford polyester shell with 100-percent polyester interior, this classic-fit coat features a two-way front zipper with a double storm flap, a microfleece-lined collar and chin guard, an adjustable waist pull cord and cord-lock and a detachable, insulated hood with detachable faux fur trim. For storage, the parka features zippered side pockets, vertical pouch pockets with Velcro® storm flaps, a left-chest embroidery access pocket and an interior media pocket. Available in sizes S-3XL in black.

Landway International Corp.  /  PPAI 243349, S1  /  www.landway.com

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

With all-day comfort and wearability benefits, the Women’s Base Thermal 1/4 Zip offers a base for layering. Made from a blend of 95-percent polyester and five-percent spandex drop-needle double-knit fleece, the 7.08-ounce thermal features H2X-DRY® moisture management technology that keeps wearers dry, while its grid-back fleece provides warmth and allows for breathability. The fabric is also snag-resistant, with details that include contour side panels, contrast cover stitching and a reverse, coil-front quarter-inch zipper. Available in women’s sizes XS-2XL in five earthy tones, shown in raspberry. 

 

Stormtech USA, Inc.  /  PPAI 260245, S4  /  www.stormtechperformance.com  

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Made to suit a variety of weather conditions, the Women’s Matrix System Jacket offers the benefits of three jackets in one. Made from a 100-percent polyester mechanical stretch shell that’s bonded with 100-percent polyester single jersey, its H2XTREME® outer shell is both waterproof and breathable, with articulated elbows that allow for full range of movement. It also has a thermal shell liner that’s interchangeable, and can be zipped in and out as needed. Details include abrasion-resistant hand pockets, a detachable storm hood and ergonomic zipper pulls. Available in women’s sizes XS-2XL in six colors, shown in electric blue. 

Stormtech USA, Inc.  /  PPAI 260245, S4  /  www.stormtechperformance.com  

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.

Read time:
words
Comments (0)
Leave a reply