ORSM ’12 Performance Apparel Preview: Sweat more, stink less

Lighter performance apparel debuting at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 for Spring ’13 battles sweat stench while keeping consumers lookin’ fine.
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Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday leading up to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, SNEWS is previewing the top new trends and products you’ll see at the trade show in Salt Lake City, Aug. 1-5. All these stories also can be found in the print or digital flipbook edition of our Planning Guide.

Most active apparel wicks moisture from sweat, but not all of it combats leftover stench.

The quest to build superlight technical apparel that doesn’t smell like dirty laundry 20 minutes into a run, or even after it’s been freshly washed.

At Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, expect to see a lot of ultra-lightweight apparel with odor control, made from natural or recycled fabrics and designed to be used with correlating apparel within the brand.

“A lot of brands are trying to come up with their apparel response to the minimalist trend,” said Kevin Joyce, The North Face’s product director for performance.

Brands also see opportunity to sell more technical wear in the growing trail running category. Notably, SmartWool will see if merino can be a hit in the sector.

Many companies are focusing on collections and sets that are designed to work together, said Kevin King, marketing manager for Gore Running Wear. “What we’re about is focusing on the right outfit system. We take a head-to-toe philosophy.”

>> SmartWool’s push of merino wool for the running world focuses on the natural fiber’s anti-odor properties. The bottoms have recycled polyester outers, and the combination liners are woven such that merino is closest to the skin. The collection’s products include: the PhD Run for men (MSRP $75), the PhD Long Run Short for men (MSRP $80), the PhD Run Skort for women (MSRP $80) and the PhD Short-Sleeve top (MSRP $85). All the lightweight items feature SmartWool’s 4-Degree Fit system for comfort and seamless construction.

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>> Gore Running Wear provides an outfit system for all runners. New products are designed to work together so runners can increase performance while outfitted in Gore from head to toe. New items include: the Cross Running Light Active Shell (MSRP $160) for both men and women, a Gore Windstopper jacket that weighs less than 100 grams and packs down to the size of a Powerbar and the Cross Running Short (MSRP $70), which has a longer inner short designed to provide friction-free compression.

>> Nau brings the Ayre T-Shirt (MSRP $55), which has all the features of a technical piece that can be used for cycling, hiking and running, without the techie look. The recycled polyester blended with organic cotton and Tencel piece features a pocket in the side seam for Gu or a house key.

>> Outdoor Research’s stylish Growler Shirt (MSRP $75) is a polyester-nylon blend with wicking performance. It’s a summer-weight, short-sleeve shirt. The company’s women’s Bewitched Tank (MSRP $65) has adjustable straps to fit women of all torso lengths. The 84 percent polyester/16 percent spandex piece has a built-in shelf bra and beautiful mosaic print.

>> The North Face establishes its Go the Distance collection, which will offer the company’s Flash Dry technology at a lower price point. Until now, the company only offered a full Flash Dry kit in the Better than Naked line, but now it will be in lightweight Go the Distance’s women’s Eat My Dust Running Skirt (MSRP $55), the Stow-N-Go High Impact Bra (MSRP $40) and the Women’s Go The Distance Short with FlashDry (MSRP $38).

>> Patagonia takes a walk on the yoga side with a new line of yoga bottoms for women in the Pliant Collection, a nylon/spandex mix that offers everything from crops to knee-length silhouettes (MSRPs $59-$89). On the men’s side is the new Journeyman cargo-style board short made from mechanical stretch polyester (MSRP $79).

>> Sierra Designs returns to its backpacking roots with its Cloud collection, a three-piece set that includes the Cloud Air Shell (MSRP $125), the Wind Shell (MSRP $119) and the Cloud Puffy (MSRP $249), the last of which features 800-fill power goose DriDown.

>> Gramicci revamps its Natural Performance Technology line, which combines hemp and organic cotton to give it anti-odor qualities, by constructing many of the classic tees with a new technical stitching technique that makes for a more porous and breathable product. New items in the collection include a women’s performance line (which can be used for any sport) including the Sofia Racerback Tank (MSRP $40) and the Austin Polo (MSRP $56).

--Ana Trujillo

Be sure to check out many more new tent products and trends in the O.R. Daily, published live at the show Aug. 2-5, and available digital format the following day of print at SNEWS.

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