Only a few things can beat the joys of exploring the great outdoors. But with the increase of interest in open-air recreation comes the challenge of creating the right outdoor gear. Knowing what's currently trending in the market will help you to keep on top of consumer demand. In the light of which, today we share our insights into what nature enthusiasts look for in their next outdoor wear garments.
First things first, durability. Contrary to fast fashion where garments lose shape and colour after just a few washes, high-quality outdoor wear is made to withstand even the most hostile weather conditions. Whether it’s hiking enthusiasts, snowboarding pros or mountain biking buffs, they are all looking for outdoor wear that’s as tough as their old boots.
That’s why recycled cotton or polyester ripstop fabrics are a huge trend in today’s outdoor wear fashion. Using such fabrics combined with seam sealed technology, manufacturers can engineer lightweight, breathable, waterproof and comfortable garments suitable for any open air adventure.
Trademarked in 1969, the Gore-Tex fabric is probably one of the best-known durable, breathable, waterproof and windproof textiles. It’s suitability for producing all-weather garments has been instrumental for the outdoor wear industry. But, as time goes by, technology evolves, allowing brands to create their own new fabrics mirroring the Gore-Tex properties.
As such, technologies like eVent, OutDry Extreme from Columbia, DryVent and Futurelight from The North Face and H2No from Patagonia have been trending as cheaper alternatives. Which in no way means that they are inferior in quality. On the contrary, many of the garments made using these advanced fabric technologies deliver complete protection from the elements.
Reflectives, pockets, adjustable hoods, velcro fastenings and elasticated cuffs are just some of the technical features that can benefit the wearer. While some of these details can be almost invisible, they act as highly strategic parts of a garment.
Elasticised binding in a hood that fits under a helmet, for example, keeps the warmth in, which is especially useful for cyclists. A zipper garage isn’t just a design detail, it safeguards a runner’s chin from chafing and stays in place when in motion. While a drop tail hem with an adjustable drawcord shelters the wearer from the rain, fences off wind and keeps the warmth in.
Inside zipper chest pockets are especially useful when out and about in rainy or snowy conditions for keeping gadgets safe and dry. An inside zipper pocket that doubles as a stuff sack for the jacket is another trend that’s used more and more in outdoor clothing. It can be conveniently clipped to a climber’s harness or hiker’s backpack for ultimate comfort.
More than ever, brands are aligning their manufacturing practices with the consumers’ values by looking for responsible ways to satisfy the demand for lightweight down jackets. The North Face, for example, has created the Responsible Down Standard to ensure their down is sourced following strict criteria.
The growing number of environmental and cruelty-free focused consumers is rapidly shaping the outdoor wear manufacturing climate. Therefore, to offer an alternative to natural down in recent years has become more than just a trend.
Made using polyfibres, the synthetic equivalent to feathers is no less, if not more, durable than the natural plume. Unlike down, it doesn’t get affected by damp weather conditions making jackets with synthetic insulation a more likely choice among sustainability-savvy customers.
If you are looking to start an outdoor activewear brand or expand your range with the help of professionals, contact us at Kirpte today. Our expert team can help you choose the best fabrics and turn your ideas into high-performance wearable garments.