A brand-new Boulder-based ski apparel brand is trying to hit the sweet spot for what parents are willing to pay to outfit their little rippers.
There’s a gap in the youth skiwear market. And Shred Dog co-founders Marc Dietz and Dallas Moore, both industry and apparel veterans, are trying to fill it with right-priced performance gear.
While trying to adequately dress their own kids for mountain sports, the dads realized cheap stuff that got wet could ruin everyone’s day. But at the same time, neither was willing to throw down hundreds of dollars for a high-end ski shell or bibs that their child would outgrow in a single season.
That’s the impetus behind Shred Dog.
Basic, Premium, Convertible
“The opportunity is in making high-performance that’s more affordable based on how quickly kids outgrow it,” said Dietz, who grew up in Boulder, Colo. After living and teaching his son to ski in Tahoe, he returned to launch Shred Dog from an epicenter for outdoor sports.
“We live very active lifestyles,” Dietz said. “And if we are expecting to bring our kids, they shouldn’t have inferior gear.”
The brand is starting with the basics — four core pieces. The initial Shred Dog collection includes a waterproof-breathable hard shell and convertible bib-pant as well as an insulating midlayer and matching fleece neck gaiter.
The jacket and pants are unisex for youth sizes 4 to 6 but come in some custom Shred Dog logo camouflage options for older kids in sizes 8 to 14.
At $160, the convertible bib is the most expensive piece. Insulator jackets that can be used outside of skiing start at $70. A seamless, quarter-zip base layer and ski socks are coming soon, too.
Performance Ski Gear at the Right Price
After extensive parent surveying, Shred Dog said it has landed at a price point that resonates with families on a budget. It can make what it markets as “performance” ski pieces at a very competitive price by selling direct to consumers.
Dietz said Shred Dog doesn’t plan to ever go through retailers because the markup would defeat the purpose of the brand.
“If it costs is $50 to make a product, a retailer would buy it for $100, and parents would be paying $200,” said Moore. “It doubles each time.”
But you could eventually see a Shred Dog pop-up store or kiosk, or online through a larger outlet like Amazon, according to the co-founders.
Features Designed to Grow With Families
Besides price point, Shred Dog is differentiating its youth ski apparel through its own take on the already popular “grow-with-you” functionality. Several outdoor brands already use methods to let out hems as a child grows, extending the life of the gear.
Shred Dog does it differently. Instead of an extra trim piece that comes out and never goes back, it uses a technology called the Adjust-A-Fit System. Most parents will recognize the button-adjusting elastic used to cinch waistbands.
Shred Dog incorporated this and other features parents asked for, like adjustable stretch cuffs. The system allows apparel to last for more than one season. And it works as an instant hand-me-down when a sibling requires ski bibs, for example, at the originally purchased size.
Shred Dog also offers a lifetime warranty, a rarity in the youth ski clothing market. Dietz said he’s so confident in the proven ski-wear factories making Shred Dog that he’s willing to guarantee the gear “right out of the gates.”
Shred Dog has been selling online for a couple months. We’re not sure how long it will last, but everything is 20 percent off right now.