Historically, the Outdoor Retailer has been this ginormous gathering of outdoor recreationalists, store owners, marketing reps, buyers, sellers, promoters, and media folks like me who cover the “stuff” associated with getting outside. Think thousands of vendors and tens of thousands of visitors to the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
Last year, it was cancelled.
This year, it returned. While scores of big companies – Keen, Patagonia, The North Face, Osprey, Salomon – stayed away, citing Covid concerns, many came back, eager to reconnect and spread the word about their place in this community. I go, in part, to remind folks that horse riders are outdoor recreationalists, too!
We visited with many fine folks in downtown Denver. Here are a few that held our sway:
How often do you meet the president of a company? Mike Bertucci can be found at the Bertucci booth, talking brass tacks about his latest, American-made, bad-ass field watches. We cannot wait to review the upcoming women’s titanium field watch.
Do you get tired to trying to grip a manly mug, like a Yeti Rambler? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a travel mug that’s narrow and easy to grasp? Thank you, Klean Kanteen, for your new line of insulated bottles with narrower profiles. Plus, a cool new cap with a swivel carrying loop.
The on-the-go stainless steel drink market is a crowded one. Ecovessel stands out with its origin story and its dedication to sending five percent of its profits to organizations like the Leave No Trace and Protect Our Winters.
We love their new Wanderwear utensil set. So handy for camping and glamping.
Since 2009, Matthew and Amanda Kimes have been showing the denim world how to make the best dang jeans, back it up with great customer service, and continuously wow with new styles. All while making their product in America. Needless to say, we were happy to visit with them in Denver. Check out the new Jennifer, with the super wide flare leg, or order yourself a pair of Jolenes (my favorite). We think you’ll find your fit and toss your old ‘uns.
We are all coming to understand the massive problem of ocean plastics. This company has mobilized some good and fun from the issue. Its backpacks and accessories are made completely of plastic collected from the ocean. We’re pretty sure you could use a laptop sleeve or a shower bag. Check ‘em out here.
Horse owners and riders often put serious hurt on their gear. If it’s not kicked or dropped or stepped on, then it might just as easily be lost or left behind. Knockaround sunglasses are stylish and fun and come in myriad styles. All for 15 bucks and up.
No Ray Bans here. My momma told me, ya better Knockaround.
From its sleeping pad origins, this Utah company has expanded to tents, bags, pillows, and blankets. We’re looking forward to reviewing this travel pillow and the Nest sleeping bag liner. Our expectations are high since we have loved the Klymit pad and think they’re pretty much the best in show.
Speaking of Utah companies, Grip6 is a new company offering belts, buckles, and wool socks. The wool comes from Utah sheep and the socks are made in Utah and more affordable than Darn Tough. Tired of crew socks that cut off your circulation with a tight cuff? The Grip6 crew widens as it works up your calf. Hooray for better design!
The Colorado company makes luxurious sleep- and leisurewear. Delicious colors and styles of superfine merino wool keep you cool when you’re overheating and warm when you crave cozy. The loungewear is ideal for those of us dealing with hot flashes. And it’s ideal for those wanting soft, fun, comfortable, long-lasting, beautiful nighties to help with a good night’s sleep. Get 20 percent off your first order.
The Ballard, Washington-based company famous for hats and handbags is expanded their offerings to include fun, colorful layers. Stay tuned for upcoming reviews.
Oh, and did you know? Kavu comes from an aviation acronym: Clear (Klear) Above Visibility Unlimited.