Additional reporting by Hayley Helms.
Outdoor Retailer packed thousands of people into the city of Denver earlier this week to see the latest gear in this ever-growing lifestyle we call “outdoor.” Wellness is a huge buzzword that we heard from almost every company we visited, and more than ever, responsibly-made products are taking the spotlight.
Here’s a look at some of our favorite outdoor fitness gear spotted at the show. Plus, a look at a few of the companies focused on athlete nutrition.
adidas Outdoor has partnered with Parley for The Oceans to create trainers that are constructed from plastic waste found in the ocean. Together, they recycle plastic into a woven fabric for the shoes’ upper material and voila, you have this gem – the newest addition to adidas’ women’s footwear for 2019, retailing for $140. On the footwear design side, knitted uppers and sock-lining styles seem to be trending with many trail running footwear companies, so expect to see much more of that next season.
The Terrex Agravic Wind Weave jacket features technical fabrics in different densities throughout the jacket to provide wind protection where it’s needed and breathability in key areas for trail runs or hikes. It also boasts a DWR coating to keep you dry and protected from the elements, and is super lightweight, making it a no-brainer for packing and taking along on any outdoor trek.
OluKai is making its first big foray into the athletic cross training category, with the introduction of its Miki Trainer, featuring an engineered mesh upper that’s been reinforced in key places to protect the foot from elements when hiking or just cruising around town.
The drop-in heel, which folds down so you can slide this shoe on, is perfect for casual wear. This shoe was designed to crossover from the trail to the street and will hit retail for $130 next year.
The Olukai Men’s Alapa’ai crosstrainer also caught our eye, with its knitted upper, drop-in heel and lightweight profile.
Roxy’s POP Surf collection was designed to create balance between surf and performance. For next season, the company is introducing new swim and active gear crafted from Econyl, a 100-percent regenerated polyamide fiber made of post-consumer material. Each piece is resistant to chlorine, sunscreen and offer UV 50 sun protection.
POP Surf leggings ($75) and bra ($50) are designed to take you from the sand to the sea without an outfit change – a great idea for taking a beach run followed by a dip in the ocean. Following the same design aesthetic, the POP Surf full-sleeve onesie was also a standout.
For next season, Patagonia is building on its technical base layers for men and women, using a material called Capilene which is designed to cool down your body in hot weather, or preserve warmth in cold temps. The minimal T-shirts also include Tencel (a lightweight fabric derived from trees) for moisture wicking.
The Cool Lightweight tee is the newest addition and features mesh back and side panels to keep you cool while running, hiking, doing yoga, or anything else you want to jam-pack into your busy day.
The new packable and lightweight Hoodini Air jacket is also perfect for taking with you wherever you go. It packs down into the jacket’s front pocket, and is lightweight, stretchy and breathable for active moments.
An emerging force in the yoga and fitness space is Vuori. The booth was packed for most of the show, but we finally squeezed in to take a look at what’s new and were glad we did. Next season’s collection continues to build on what the company is known for: performance athletic wear with an elevated look.
Notable men’s items were the Ponto Performance Pant ($84), a modern-fit pant great for traveling, hiking or just hanging around the house, and the Strato Tee ($44), a poly-spandex blend material with anti-microbial properties.
Never underestimate the power of Laird Hamilton or any product that he brings to the table. Known for his physical prowess and surfing some of the biggest waves on the planet, Laird has introduced his superfood-infused line of nutrition products which are also meant to keep you fueled for the same types of big adventures you’d see him taking.
We had a chance to sample the Hydrate Coconut Water, a powder that when combined with cold water, creates a somewhat tasteless yet hydrating beverage in your water bottle. The Superfood Turmeric Creamer, also in powder form, can be combined with your morning roast or simply added to hot water to create a Golden Milk – and either option is equally delicious.
Both superfood products contain Aquamin, a nutrient-dense calcified sea algae that is rich in iron, zinc and many other minerals to help promote bone density, joint health and reduce inflammation.
What stood out most to us about Four Points is that their energy bars are made with figs and plums as their base, while most traditional bars are made with dates. The reason for this, according to their team, is that figs and plums are some of the lowest on the glycemic index, meaning that using these ingredients help prevent sugar spikes and keep energy stable. Each bar contains between 11 and 13 grams of protein, and all ingredients are gluten free, non-GMO and made in Colorado. Did we mention they are pretty tasty, too?
Fuel For Fire
Fuel For Fire has introduced something a little different in an already heavily saturated market: an energy bar in a pouch. Founder Rob Gilfeather, a former professional chef and Ironman triathlete, created the company in 2013 after burning out on protein bars and gels and searching for a real food substitute – which is exactly what he’s created.
These portable pouches are a low-calorie and high-protein snack to take with you on-the-go. We were intrigued by the Coffee Smoothie, which is the only flavor that contains 65 milligrams of caffeine in addition to 11 grams of protein. But other flavors like Cocoa Banana and Sweet Potato Apple sound just as yummy. And being able to stash a few of these in your bag (they don’t require refrigeration, but taste better cold) is key just about any time, whether that’s embarking on a multi-day hike or just making it through the Colorado Convention Center.
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