If one had to sum up the apparel makeup of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010, "tinkering" would be what we would say. Outerwear manufacturers continued to shave weight off wind shells and soft shell jackets; active apparel companies fiddled with fabrications and added more running-specific pieces; and sport bra makers focused on more support for bigger cup sizes. One company even addressed the apparel needs for active mamas.
How light can we go? In the battle to make the ever-lighter wind- and water-resistant jacket, companies continue to shave every last fraction of an ounce. Purportedly still with abrasion resistance, the new gossamer-like jackets and shells are designed for climbing, hiking, biking and as a take-along in case the weather goes south.
The North Face’s Verto jacket (photo right) will pack down to the size of an energy bar by stuffing into its own chest pocket the company claims, with a men’s medium weighing in at a mere 3.2 ounces (MSRP $99, www.thenorthface.com).
Made of Pertex Quantum 15-denier ripstop, Rab debuted the Cirrus Windtop jacket for men last year and this year added a women’s version. It weighs in at 4 ounces, about an ounce less than its male counterpart (MSRP $110, www.rab.uk.com).
Marmot’s waterproof Essence shell has 12-denier fabric and according to the company is one of the most breathable and lightest pieces in the line weighing about 6 ounces (MSRP $150). Marmot also updated its PreCip jacket by adding ceramic particles to the PU coating for more durability and waterproofness (MSRP $99, www.marmot.com).
In addition to the lightweight Torrentshell pullover (MSRP $99), Patagonia also shaved the weight of the new Ultralight Down Shirt, a zip-neck pullover with 800-fill-power European goose down, to 5.5 ounces (MSRP $250, www.patagonia.com).
Not as light as the others but with the fashion touch, the Tempest jacket in Isis’ Elements category is made of Xcelerator fabric with Cocona designed to enhance moisture transfer. It comes with a hood, as well as taped seams, watertight zippers and DWR finish for waterproofness (MSRP $139, www.isisforwomen.com).
Soft shell jackets are getting lighter with more drape, while retaining the breathability, water repellency and stretchiness that soft shell is known for.
Players include: Rab’s men’s Boreas/women’s Aurora hooded pullover (MSRP $75, www.rab.uk.com); Mountain Hardwear’s Onata jacket (MSRP $100, www.mountainhardwear.com); Sherpa Adventure Gear’s Kriti jacket (MSRP $79, www.sherpaadventure.com); Outdoor Research’s Cirque jacket (MSRP $125, www.outdoorresearch.com); and Mammut’s men’s Salbit/women’s Cengalo jacket (MSRP $149, www.mammut.com -- photo, left ).
Overriding themes in active performance apparel focused on revamped fabrications, outfitting runners and the addition of more running dresses alongside skorts/skirts.
Arc’Teryx’s new Cita series (tank, photo, right) includes athletic bras, tops, tanks and tights made of a blend of stretchy polyester for mobility and support and X-Static for odor management. The Cita tight (MSRP $79) has power mesh on the lower calf for optimal muscle compression and thermal efficiency, as well as Scotchlite reflective trim on the thighs and knees. Its Endorphin collection uses Phasic technology fabric that the company says transports sweat during the active phase, disperses it across the garment and dries quickly. Available in short- and long-sleeve Motus crews (MSRP $59-$69, www.arcteryx.com).
Carve Designs has created a separate line called Balance, which we were told, is “movement inspired” rather than pigeonholing it as a yoga line. The 18 pieces are a mix of tanks, short-sleeve tops, capris, shorts and a hoody (MSRP $38-$68, www.carvedesigns.com), using fabrics with ample stretch.
ExOfficio’s new Sol Cool collection uses Icefil technology with Xylitol yarn that dissipates heat with a cooling effect. The microdenier polyester yarns create a moisture-wicking textile that pulls moisture away from your skin and helps it evaporate. The collection includes men’s and women’s shirts (short and long sleeves), as well as a tank and skort for women (MSRP $45-$50, www.exofficio.com).
Icebreaker told SNEWS it was responding to consumer demand in launching the GT Run apparel line -- and now expanding it -- and named Deb Boswell as its first general manager of running. For men and women, the line has sleeveless tees, crews, tanks, shorts and tights. Run-specific detailing includes eyelet panels for breathability, reflective details for visibility, zippered stash pockets and cord management systems for listening to music. (www.icebreaker.com)
Reaching outside of its golf roots, Iconic (photo, right) came to its first Outdoor Retailer show with a message of UV protection using non-chemical, fine-denier micro fibers and performance fabrics. Its tops (short and long sleeves, polos, tanks, MSRP $50-$115) and bottoms (skorts, skirt, capris, pants, MSRP $105-$160) are to appeal to an active woman with a variety of stylish prints. It also offers just arm sleeves in two weights for UV protection or an extra layer of warmth (MSRP $27, www.iconicsport.com).
Made of a poly/Spandex blend, Ojai’s new Cross Training line offers versatility and customization with shorts (4-inch and 7-inch inseams) and a capri that can be worn alone or matched with the Cross Training skirt. Also available is a tank and T-shirt that have geometric or water color prints that complement the colors of all the bottoms. (MSRP $24-$54, www.ojaiclothing.com).
Patagonia has revamped the textiles in its Velocity trail running category. The men’s Airflow products, like the Airflow T-shirt (MSRP $59), are made with a quick-drying, recycled/recyclable polyester mesh with air permeability. The women’s Draft line combines the mesh with a lightweight poly jersey for moisture management, and includes two running dresses: Draft (MSRP $65 -- photo, left) and All Weather (MSRP $55, www.patagonia.com).
Prana unveiled several new fabrics for its women’s performance line of tanks, shorts, capris and skirts. Chakara fabric is the company’s most technical with compression and shape retention, moisture management and durability, and is in the new Victoria halter bra top (MSRP $40, www.prana.com). Veeda fabric is lighter with drape, breathability and support in a number of tank tops for light- to moderate-impact activities.
Skirt Sports’ WonderGirl dress is made of a lightweight jersey that is moisture-managing and fast-drying, with a semi-compressive mesh for ventilation. Form-fitting but not tight, it has a shelf bra, racer back and hits about mid-thigh (MSRP $70, www.skirtsports.com).
Underwear & bras
And increasing number of companies are breaking into the underwear category -- and some are offering more support in sport bras for larger cup sizes.
ExOfficio’s new Lacy Lu underwear collection for women has embraced lacy trim and a variety of colors, including light pastels. It’s still moisture wicking, quick drying and treated with Aegis Microbe Shield to control odor-causing bacteria. Styles include a thong, low- and high-rise bikini, full-cut brief, shelf bra cami and tank (MSRP $18-$38, www.exofficio.com).
New for Icebreaker is the women’s Siren (photo, left) and men’s Beast merino wool underwear with a silky soft hand and easy care. Women get a bikini brief, cami and tank (MSRP $28-$50), and men get three briefs/boxers and two T-shirts (MSRP $38-$60). Its new Anatomica underwear adds Lycra to the merino for a better fit in a brief, boxer and crew T-shirt ($43-$60, www.icebreaker.com). Part of its new GT Run line, the Rush racer-back sport bra comes in sizing support for A-D cups (MSRP $50).
Providing more support is Isis’ Henna C/D bra with double layer cups, rib-knit support channels and a Hindu-inspired pattern (MSRP $46, www.isisforwomen.com).
Designed by a former professional golfer, Kalyx sport bras (photo, below right) went through three years of scrutiny as Kimberly Cayce said she researched breast biomechanics, bra fitting, and emerging trends in nanotechnology and sustainable fabrics. Eight designs are available like the Stayput with double straps to reduce pressure on neck and shoulders and a four-tier adjustable back closure for custom fit. (MSRP $40-$48, www.gokalyx.com)
The Luna bra from Moving Comfort has a hybrid design that blends characteristics of a sport bra with the comfort of an everyday bra to multi-task throughout the day. The contoured cups are lined with S.Cafe’s recycled coffee grounds, which maximize moisture transfer and odor control, the company says. Hidden support features encapsulate the breasts to provide high-impact support for B and C cups and moderate impact for D and DD cups (MSRP $52, www.movingcomfort.com).
In addition to the new Crossover and Overhead sport bras, Patagonia’s Switchback bra has a patent-pending wrap design with a clasp in front for adjustability and stable fit. The company says the bras are appropriate for high-impact activities and D-cup ladies (MSRP $59, www.patagonia.com).
For the mom-to-be
And for something a little different…
Debuting its first spring line, Mountain Mama is a technical apparel brand for pregnant women and nursing mothers who want to stay active. Developed with Antex, its proprietary EstiraTec fabric in tanks, tees and hoodies is a super-stretchy, wicking fabric that is designed to keep its shape in all stages of pregnancy (MSRP $49-$59). A double-layer design on the Olema and Marin shirts keeps tummies covered while nursing (MSRP $39-$49). Also available are bathing suits, a board short, base layers (MSRP $29-$54), capris and pants ($39-$85), and a jacket and vest (MSRP $75-$119, www.mountain-mama.com).
The SNEWS® team of seasoned reporters covers a trade show to seek out product highlights, indications of a trend (to a product category, a company or the industry) or products that are new to the market. In our post-show reports, we do not write about every last piece of gear or equipment we have seen, although, promise, we have most likely seen nearly everything. Even if not in a show report, you never know how information may be included in a future report, trend watch, product review or story. If you have any comments or questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.