If you’re lucky enough to attend Outdoor Retailer – or just happen to watch outdoor gear trends closely – you’ve probably noticed a retro movement has been afoot in the industry over the past year or two. A number of big (and small!) gear manufacturers have created throwback products that incorporate modern fabrics and design elements into items that look like something right out of the 1970’s or 80’s. Sales of these products have been mixed, but there are a lot of old school outdoor enthusiasts who seem to love them.
Now, Outside magazine has listed their favorite pieces of retro gear that are currently available to purchase. The title of the article indicates that the list is six of the mag’s all-time favorite pieces of gear, but in reality there are seven items shared with readers. Each product has a distinct look that is all of its own. Most look like something from a by-gone era, although Outside indicates that performance is more on par with modern standards.
Some of the items that earn a spot on the Outside list include the Hatcher external frame backpack from Alite, which will certainly bring back fond memories of backpacking trips from years gone by, and the Mountain Pass Horween Rio boot from Danner, which bares a strong resemblance to boots the company made more than three decades ago. I’m also kind of partial to the Yo Eddy mountain bike from Fat Chance, which looks like it just rolled off the assembly line in the 1990’s. The bike has a steel frame and colors from that era, but has been updated to include modern disc brakes and now comes in 27.5″ and 29″ models.
Personally, I enjoy seeing this retro gear, but don’t really use much of it myself. I think the designs for these products definitely induce a sense of nostalgia, but I tend to prefer the more modern looking products instead. Still, there does seem to be a market for these throw-back items, so don’t be surprised when you see more of them on the trail in the days ahead.
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