Togs for many tasks

Performance apparel for 2014 broadens scope to suit multiple activities.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show July 31 – Aug. 3. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

Consumers don’t necessarily want sport-specific apparel if they participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities. Sometimes, there’s nothing like those go-to items that seem to work in any situation.

Tim Bantle of Black Diamond said many companies are launching apparel that can span the perennial categories — like running, yoga and rock climbing — but also wrap in emerging categories like CrossFit.

It all comes back to getting more bang for the buck. Consumers, especially during an economic downturn, want to invest in a few pieces that have multiple functions. Performance apparel for spring 2014 looks to satisfy that need with features like thermal regulating components, sturdier construction to stand the test of time, two-in-one shorts and flashy, fashionable touches.

Plus, endurance sports are playing a larger role in outdoor apparel.

“We are seeing running used more often in training regimens for athletes of all kinds, not just runners,” said Jeff Garabedian, senior apparel product manager for New Balance. “The ability to have an athlete’s apparel transition seamlessly from running to other activities is more important than ever.” New Balance launches its men’s Cross Run Collection that can be used across a variety of sports.

The North Face took inspiration from its athletes who train at the Mountain Athlete Gym in Jackson, Wyo., and designed durable apparel and footwear to stand the rigors of rope climbing and other functional training activities. The company’s Mountain Athletics Kilowatt Collection is engineered to be comfortable for a wide range of motion. Key pieces include the men’s Kilowatt 1/4 Zip (MSRP $75) with reinforced seams, durable stretch woven overlay, strategically placed knit mesh and FlashDry Duro nylon face and polyester back. The pieces are snag-resistant and claim not even to catch a thread on Velcro.

Also focusing on multifunctional pieces is Marmot with its Momentum Collection, designed to maximize comfort during training. Key pieces are the Accelerator Half-Zip Short Sleeve (MSRP $95) and Accelerator Long Sleeve (MSRP $110). Salomoncombines the trends with its Salomon Sense and EXO running collections, both made with Cocona fabric. Patrick Crotty, apparel product merchandising manager said the Cocona fabric gives the products in the collection a quicker dry time, better odor control and increased UV protection.

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Salomon Park 2-in-1 Short

It isn’t all about functional training and running. Black Diamond’s second season for apparel brings rock climbing pieces both for the gym and the crag, including the Modernist Rock Shirt (MSRP $179), Rock Jean (MSRP $179) and Rock Short (MSRP $149). Those pieces infuse Schoeller with Nanosphere into comfortable and fashionable silhouettes. La Sportiva, another hardgoods veteran that recently got into apparel, debuts its first climbing collection made with 100 percent organic cotton, Cordura fabrics, merino wool and stretch wovens. The shirt uses crosscut, diagonally biased side panels to allow full freedom of movement and to eliminate underarm seams.

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Black Diamond Modernist Rock Shirt

Also targeting climbers, Outdoor Research offers its Andromeda Capri (MSRP $60) and Pant (MSRP $65) built for the company’s rock-climbing athletes to be durable enough for a day on the rock, yet comfortable enough for yoga. Gramicci launches its youth-oriented Tokyo G Pant (MSRP N/A) for climbing, which moves comfortably and protects climbers.

Moisture-wicking, quick-drying and odor-resistant fabrics that regulate body temperature remain popular in spring ’14 offerings, and among them is an abundance of two-in-one shorts.

Utilizing the power of merino wool, Smartwool launches its PhD 2-in-1 Run Short (MSRP $90), which builds off the success of its initial PhD Run line launched last market. It features the company’s body-mapping technology for thermal regulation. Helly Hansen offers its lightweight Fire Active two-in-one shorts (MSRP N/A), with laser-cut ventilations and built-in supportive boxers.

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Gore Running Wear SURUN L2300

Saucony adds its Tech Short Sleeve Shirt to the collection (MSRP $55), made from Xstatic Fiber that has silver woven into the fabric to reduce stink. Gore Running Wear’s thermal regulation comes in its Cool Outfit System in the Urban Run Collection for cool days, and Warm Outfit System for warm days. Products include the Urban Run 2-in-1 Shorts (MSRP $130 for 8-inch inseam, and MSRP $140 for 11-inch inseam) and the Urban Run Shirt (MSRP $100). The products are made from Gore-Tex Windstopper softshell and merino wool. In its Boylston Collection, New Balance launches Adapt technology, which aids in warming the body when it’s cold and cooling it when it’s too warm.

Mammut offers lightweight and versatile options in its Alpine Performance Collection, including its MTR201 Long Sleeve Zip (MSRP $79) and the MTR121 Zip T-Shirt (MSRP $59). Both are made of Mammut’s proprietary stretchy Ventech fabric, which is highly breathable to regulate temperature during exertion.

Performance apparel that easily translates from the finish line to the post-race brunch celebration remains a big part of companies’ collections. Pretty mesh and lacy additions with performance qualities are part of the fashion push. “Just because you’re sweating doesn’t mean you can’t look good,” said Helly Hansen’s Philip Tavell, global category manager for training and wintersport.

As to be expected, Lolë offers a few items in this category, like the Speed Skirt (MSRP $60), which features a four-way stretch UPF 50 fabric, similar to its Run Capri (MSRP $60).

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Lolë’ Lively Run Capri and Speed Skirt

This Summer Market has a slew of new capri offerings with fun prints, like Lolë’s Lively Run Capri (MSRP N/A). CW-X (#7001) introduces the women’s ¾ Revolution Tight (MSRP $180), offered in black and multicolors, and expands its StabilyX collection to include 3/4 Tight (MSRP $90) in black with fuchsia and purple stitching. Skins brings its 3/4 Compression Tights (MSRP N/A) that retain abdominal support even though they’re a bit lower in the rise than before. They come in flashy black acid wash and traditional black.

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Moving Comfort Dash Tank

In line with the racy, lacy trend, Moving Comfort introduces its DriLayer Lace, which adds style, reduces weight and increases breathability. The Dash Tank (MSRP $42) incorporates DriLayer Lace inserts, is designed to look good with any Moving Comfort sports bra and pairs nicely with the Switch It Up Capri (MSRP $60) made of the DryLayer Power fabric. Pearl Izumi plays with lace in its Flash line with the women’s Flash Singlet (MSRP $40) with Power Mesh Lace down the back and across the chest, and the Two-In-One Shorts (MSRP N/A) with Power Mesh Lace liners that peek out the bottom of the shorts.

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Sherpa Adventure Gear Baato Convertible Pant

Consumers also are getting a more fashionable when they hit the trails. Stylish hiking pants come from Sherpa Adventure Gear in the Baato Convertible Hiking Pant (MSRP $80), made of lighweight canvas with four-way stretch. And Bergans of Norway brings its Unte Pants (MSRP $99), made of moisture-wicking, quick-drying four-way stretch fabric.

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Sierra Designs DriCanvas Trek Skirt

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Patagonia Pliant Side Hike Skirt

Adorable hiking and running skirts remain popular, such as Sierra Designs DriCanvas Trek Skirt (MSRP N/A); Columbia Sportswear’s Zero Rules Skort (MSRP $32); Patagonia’s Pliant Side Hike Skirt (MSRP $59); and Dynafit’s React Skirt (MSRP $80).

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Stonewear Designs Tango Climb Tank

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Oiselle Flyte Long Sleeve

Stonewear Designsmanages to roll many spring ’14 trends into its Antaeus collection, made with quick-drying, odor-resistant, breathable and lightweight Dryflex fabric. Key pieces from the line include the Kaia Halter Top (MSRP N/A) and Skipper Skort. Newcomer Oiselle Running caters to women runners with its flattering Flyte seamless collection that includes the Flyte Long Sleeve (MSRP $66).

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Eider Benz Aero TS

New entries also come from Eider, which launches its apparel in the United States, including the Benz Aero TS (MSRP $79) with Drycore Aero bi-face with polygiene treatment (for odor control) closest to the body and Drycore Aero Mesh in venting areas.

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