Are these some of the coolest outdoor clothing brands you’ve never heard of? We’ve been testing a few companies that seem to slip below the radar for walking shoes, outdoor trousers, bags and jackets.
We don’t mind saying that this North American company make the absolute best outdoor trousers we’ve come across. They fit fabulously (providing you find your way around the US/UK sizing muddle) and many of the styles are as streetwise as jeans, but with all the versatility and flexibility of outdoor clothing
There are men’s and women’s ranges, though far fewer models make it to the UK than are available in the US and Canada. Let’s put some pressure on them to send us UK-ers a bit more choice!! Tops, jackets and brilliant shorts too.
Here are our favourite trousers. You’ll find a selection on Amazon, plus a range at George Fisher and Gaynors in Cumbria.
Oh my, their backpacks are lovely. And there’s something to suit everyone’s style – from quirky to minimalist. Try the roll-top retro or a bright mini. There are drybags, duffels, camera coolers and even a surfboard bag too. Clothes and kit aren’t as inspiring, but bags are great. Ranges start at around £20 for a stuffable pack.
The most minimal, lightweight, comfortable and cool-looking shoes just happen to be pretty good for your feet too. Vivo make shoes that allow your feet to move and breathe as if you were barefoot. There are running shoes, hiking boots, streetwear and all-round trainer types – for men and women.
They won’t suit everyone’s feet. If you have no arches or a serious foot problem that requires a lot of support, you might not find these help. For most of us, though, they give a fantastic sense of freedom that makes you want to hop, skip and jump.
There are some non-leather options for vegans, some that come with a training insole to get you used to the feel and some with a choice of sole for firm or soft ground.
We gave one of our testers a pair of the Primus Trail to test and she won’t take them off. We’ve now tried the boots too and they’re pretty wonderful. (See our feature on lightweight walking boots for more). Shoes from around £60, but rather more for the top of the range.
This company just seems to get it right both in terms of style and in their fantastic environmental and ethical stance. The range is huge and includes jackets, trousers, some very nice backpacks, T-shirts and more. All very minimally designed and with flattering fits.
We really liked their jackets when we were researching for our non-down padded jacket feature.
Unlike any other bike helmet, the Closca folds down and opens up to something akin to a horse-riding helmet or even a beautiful Swedish fruit bowl…almost. Not cheap at around £100, but lovely, fits in a bag and very protective.
Ventilated, adjustable, CPSC & EN1078 international safety certifications and a two-year warranty. Available in black or white.