Gear Review: Atayne POV Tech Shirt

Gear Review: Atayne POV Tech Shirt

The idea for Atayne, a new sports-apparel company in Arlington, Va., was sparked when red dye from a brand name running shirt unexpectedly bled onto company co-founder Jeremy Litchfield’s skin. Since then, Litchfield and his business partner Michael Hall have developed short- and long-sleeve technical shirts made from recycled plastic bottles that are free of toxic chemicals. They use natural Cocona (activated carbon from coconut shells) as a microbial inhibitor.

Patagonia Synchilla Marsupial: An "Icon"?

Patagonia Synchilla Marsupial: An “Icon”?

Among the most jaunty and bourgeoisie of gear reviews I wrote this year was a short piece for Travel + Leisure magazine on Patagonia’s Synchilla Marsupial fleece top. It appeared in the publication’s November edition. The blurb turned out fine. But it was the context that struck me, as it ran in the magazine’s “Icon” section, a column that highlights — as its name implies — iconic products in the realm of Converse Chuck Taylors and the VW Bug. . .

Outdoors Clothing Coming of Age, part II

Outdoors Clothing Coming of Age, part II

Yesterday I mused on function versus form in the apparel industry, where beauty in design often comes at the cost of versatility, performance or comfort. My argument — that a niche of young, energetic outdoors-industry companies are the only ones getting clothing right — might bump up weird with an editor at Glamour or Vogue. But I’m sticking to my guns, and here are a handful of additional apparel products I feel make my point:

Outdoors Clothing Coming of Age, part I

Outdoors Clothing Coming of Age, part I

I have a weird theory that the outdoors industry is ahead of the game in the world of clothing and apparel. My logic is that there are companies in this industry that now make nice-looking — trendy even — duds that are also — and this is the kicker — FUNCTIONAL. Form and function. That old maxim. Yes, my Icebreaker zip turtleneck — as an example — looks nice and wicks; and keeps me warm; and has eco advantages; and doesn’t need to be washed very often; and . . .

Gear Junkie Fashion Week, part I

Gear Junkie Fashion Week, part I

High style in the great outdoors used to entail a flannel shirt and some stout leather boots. Now you’re as likely to see The North Face on the back of an urban “explorer” flagging a cab in Manhattan as on the summit of K2. I take responsibility as a provocateur of this trend, wearing my Cloudveil and Arborwear and Icebreaker apparel not only in the outdoors, but now maybe just to dinner at the place around the corner. . .