8 Hours in Boulder: Tour of Outdoor Gear brands

We attended a top-secret media event on Monday (seriously, you’ll need to read about it on the site this coming weekend!) and used Tuesday to meet up with a few outdoor brands at their headquarters in Boulder and the surrounding towns.

The area is a Mecca for gear companies, including 30+ major brands who have offices, labs, stores, and distribution centers on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.

Scenes from our day-long brand tour in Boulder, Colo.

As a part of a larger article we’re developing on gear companies in the region we visited and photographed the people, office dogs (lots of them!), facilities, and, of course, the gear at Boulder area stalwarts Sea to Summit, Cocona, Pearl Izumi, Newton Running, La Sportiva, Kelty, Sierra Designs, Isis, and Ultimate Direction.

It was a whirlwind of a day. Here are a few candid images from the action. —Stephen Regenold

Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, as seen from American Rec HQ

Jersey wall of fame (Pearl Izumi); photo by Sean McCoy

The many soles of Newton; photo by Sean McCoy

In the lab at Newton; photo by Sean McCoy

President of La Sportiva NA (middle) in the brand’s massive shipping center; photo by Sean McCoy

Strike a pose (trying on fashion garments at Cocona); photo by Sean McCoy

Ad hoc branding meeting in halls at American Rec. “Which name is better?”; photo by Sean McCoy

Sierra Designs test table; photo by Sean McCoy

Goose down still art at American Rec; photo by Sean McCoy

Through the looking glass at American Rec, home to a half-dozen major outdoor brands. Front Range mountains reflected across the road

Ian Adamson of Newton Running gets into foot anatomy and product design in a basement lab at the company’s Boulder center

Prototype Newton Running shoe (below) from around 2005; newer progeny on shelf above (Newton MV2 model)

Boxes of boots, trail shoes, and other La Sportiva gear in the brand’s massive shipping center behind the main office

Burned on wood: La Sportiva logo on wooden wall art

Office pups at Sea to Summit

Stainless steel, polished, shimmering sign greets visitors to Cocona

Kody Riley shows off a bike jersey template destined for the Pearl Izumi sublimation-printing machine

continued on next page. . .

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.