The proper outdoor gear is essential to any recreational activity. Without it, consequences range from uncomfortable to life-threatening. But with the right equipment, adventures can go from good to great.
Choosing between brands can be confusing. But you’re in Colorado, so why not go with the ones that are product-tested in the heart of the Rockies? Here are some of our favorite Colorado-based products.
Warm water during hot exercise is no fun. To keep drinks cold, Boulder-based couple Robert Heiberger and Judy Amabile developed the Polar Bottle.
The insulated water bottle, with a zip-stream, high-flow cap, comes in sizes ranging from 12 to 22 ounces. They’re BPA-free, and feature fun graphics from patriotic to psychedelic.
Images Courtesy of Polar Bottle
Plus the socially-conscious company gives back to local communities through donations and cash grants, so you can feel good about keeping another plastic bottle out of the landfill and supporting a philanthropic organization at the same time.
Go with Corbeaux
Image Courtesy of Corbeaux
Husband-and-wife team Adam Moszynski and Darcy Conover are both professional mountaineers and skiers. After they grew frustrated with other company’s baselayers, they forged out to make their own.
Now, the Aspen-based line, Corbeaux Clothing, includes pants, tops, and bodysuits for wearing under ski clothing, and their summer line features the brightly-colored Everyday T-shirt. Pick up your own and shop local at the Ute Mountaineer or Hamilton Sports.
Image courtesy of Obermeyer
Ninety-five-year-old Aspenite Klaus Obermeyer is credited with creating the first down parka by wrapping blankets around himself while skiing on Aspen in its early days — the late 1940s.
Today, Obermeyer is a soft goods company that makes everything from technical outerwear to sturdy baselayers. Obermeyer makes stylish ski and snowboard wear for winter, but you can purchase a vest or fleece to stay warm on high-altitude hikes during the summer too.
Backpacks with Attitude
For 40 years, Osprey has designed and tested its products out of homebase Cortez, Colo. From male- and female-specific packs to those made for particular uses like hiking, bicycling and even commuting, Osprey has something for everyone.
Their website has a handy “Packfinder” tool to ease decision-making. Osprey will help you find the ultimate weatherproof backpack made specifically for hiking in the Rocky Mountains, with features like a hydration pack, quick-access rain-fly and external pockets to carry on-the-go snacks.
Skiing into Summer
Image courtesy of Spyder
Spyder started as a technical outerwear company for skiers, and has morphed into a brand offering style for athletes on and off the snow. Its line of baselayers and fleeces are warm enough to keep people comfortable on the coolest of winter days, and that translates to guaranteed heat during the summer. Make sure to grab one of their therma-stretch T-necks to put on for the descent after a long bike ride.
Top it with Topo
Denver-based Topo Designs makes fashion-forward equipment. From their easy-on-the-eyes line of backpacks to accessories like the Westerlind hat or climbing-rope camera strap, the company makes functional products which are also fashionable.
Images Courtesy of Topo Designs
They have four stores on the Front Range, but visitors to Aspen can pick up Topo goods at the Ute Mountaineer.
Gear with Altitude
Situated at 10,200 feet, Leadville is one of the highest towns in the state — and the country for that matter. And that’s where Melanzana opted to stake its headquarters. With just 20 employees, everything is handmade by the team. From hiking shorts to breathable sports bras, Melanzana products are designed with love, along with the technical specs to make them durable and desirable too. With every purchase, you get a hand written post card.
If you’re driving to Aspen over Independence Pass, make sure to check out their flagship store in downtown Leadville.
No Cold Feet
Image courtesy of SmartWool
Recreationalists will tout the benefits of their outerwear but every true outdoorsy-person knows the key to enjoying nature is good socks. Steamboat Springs-based SmartWool has cornered the market in that case.
The company’s line of footwear is made out of Merino wool, which is awesome at moisture management for athletes who find themselves in sticky situations. They make it all, including ski socks, cycling socks and lightweight socks for long-distance running. Stock up!
These Colorado brands are made with hard work and love of the outdoors.
Stop by local Aspen outfitters or order online. This gear is up for anything.