SEATTLE, Wash. – At Outdoor Research, the last three years brought about successive seasons of large-scale growth – between 25 and 65 percent depending on the product line – in technical outdoor apparel, technical sportswear, gloves, hats and outdoor accessories from the independent, 32-year-old brand. For Fall 2013, Outdoor Research continues to grow, rounding out product lines with truly innovative styles that embody the Outdoor Research core value of beauty in function.
The result is a comprehensive, progressive collection in which every style is built to tackle a specific athlete need, with a heightened focus on performance, innovation and style.
“Fall 2012, where we grew the apparel line 65 percent, was really exciting because there were so many new styles – things that really changed people’s perception of who Outdoor Research was as a product-driven brand. But Fall 2013 takes the next step, resulting in a collection where there are just so many styles that are right on the mark, with innovation that works and beauty in function,.” said CEO Dan Nordstrom. “And that’s right in line with what the Outdoor Research brand is all about – creating better products for what nature throws our way, and helping people get outside for adventures that deepen their appreciation for wild places.”
Specific areas of focus for Fall 2013 include:
·Alpine Elevated – Continuing to innovate with athlete-led solutions to problems found in the field, and integrating the latest fabric and design technologies. Examples include: the new Maximus jacket, employing Gore-Tex’s next-generation Pro Shell technology, which is up to 28 percent more breathable but just as durably waterproof as current Pro Shell; the Speedstar Jacket, which uses Polartec Power Shield High Loft and Power Shield O2 fabrics to improve performance during high-output activities in cold conditions; and more women’s specific technical styles, like a women’s version of the Apex Award-winning Lodestar jacket and the new Conviction Pant for ice climbing.
·Blurred Lines – The line between the resort and backcountry is becoming more and more blurred. Based on that trend, OR is similarly blurring the lines in its ski-focused apparel, with pieces like the Valhalla Hoody and Pant, which meld backcountry feature sets and extremely breathable Gore Windstopper X-Fast fabric with roomier cuts and resort function to offer the best of both worlds. Products like the Riot Gloves and Stormbound Mitts complement this trend in the glove category.
·Heat Seekers – Creating more insulation options for different conditions, activities and end users: synthetic insulation, down, waterproof, highly breathable hybrid solutions, different weights for different situations. The result is a range of men’s and women’s apparel, gloves and hats that will meet an extremely broad range of needs. For instance, the Floodlight Jacket offers innovation that works in the form of a lightweight waterproof down jacket. Many companies are using down fill that is treated with waterproofing inside a non-waterproof shell; Outdoor Research created a more effective design solution by using an ultralight Pertex Shield+ waterproof/breathable exterior shell and bonding the interior lining to the exterior shell, creating channels for 800-fill down insulation on the inside of the jacket. The result is a super-light, highly packable garment that’s both a waterproof shell and a down-insulation layer all in one.
·Mountain Life – Many more offerings in the Mountain Life collection, products that offer beauty in function with outward style and underlying technical performance. Fall 2013 offers a broad range of new men’s and women’s styles in technical sportswear, gloves and hats. The men’s Bullwheel jacket and women’s Decibelle jacket, for instance, meld a yarn-dyed woven stretch softshell flannel with relaxed styling for a cross-functional outer layer. The men’s Clamor and Sawtooth Shirts bring the look and feel of yarn-dyed plaid and canvas cotton fabrics to layers that are in fact fully synthetic, with related performance. And, the San Juan Wristie, Scarf, Beanie and Headband create a unified women’s accessory program using a merino wool/acrylic blend fabric with a unique knit construction.
·Sensor Technology – Incorporating more technologies to allow the use of touchscreen devices in the field, including 11 new touch-compatible glove styles, both technical and Mountain Life styles, and an integrated touch-compatible media pocket in the new Valhalla Hoodie. Touchscreen compatible gloves range from the Northback Sensor Gloves, Outdoor Research’s warmest touch-compatible ski glove yet, to the women’s Puebla Sensor Gloves, a longer-cuff glove with buttons, a classic knitted pattern, and warm, wicking lanbswool.
As a whole, the Fall 2013 product collection grows by 10 percent in new styles, with updated styles across another 10 percent of the line. That growth, compared to the more aggressive style growth of recent years, allowed the product development team to focus even more intently on athlete-led innovation and product that is differentiated through clean, simple solutions.
A major focus internally continues to be integrating best-available ingredient-brand technologies. For Fall 2013, ingredient brand technologies include: Gore-Tex’s new Pro Shell, which is up to 28 percent more breathable than its predecessor with the same level of waterproof protection; Gore-Tex Windstopper X-Fast, which is the most breathable four-way stretch Windstopper offered; and Polartec Power Shield High Loft, an award-winning fabric that melds the best qualities of insulation, softshell and fleece into one highly functional layer for cold conditions. These innovative technologies are offered along with a wide range of best-in-class technologies from Gore-Tex, Polartec, Pertex, Schoeller, Primaloft, Pittards leather and TouchTec leather.
Growth in the Outdoor Research line follows several years of reinvestment internally at the company. Outdoor Research has grown its product development, customer service, marketing, IT and manufacturing teams with more than 40 new positions at the company since Fall 2010.
About Outdoor Research Outdoor Research® is Designed by Adventure®. We provide Innovation and Inspiration for the Relentless Adventurer. Based in Seattle – with in-house manufacturing and prototyping capabilities at our company headquarters – Outdoor Research was founded in 1981 after a failed piece of gear on an Alaskan climbing expedition inspired ideas for a better design. Ever since that first product, the X-Gaiter, put Outdoor Research on the map, we have been dedicated to building better outdoor apparel, gloves, hats and an array of other outdoor accessories informed by real-world testing. We develop innovative, functional, bomb-proof products that are beautiful in their simplicity. Design abides by the maxim ‘make it better, not just new or different,’ and our gear is backed by our Infinite Guarantee®. We listen, value and empower each other and our fellow adventurers – we invite input from our customers, athlete ambassadors and the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations Test Team. We’re independent, letting us strive to provide the best value to our customers, not shareholders. We are committed to our core sports: alpinism, rock and ice climbing, hiking, backpacking, paddling, trail running, and backcountry and sidecountry skiing. We’re growing, as a company and as individuals. And we’re having fun along the way.