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Outdoor Retailer's Softer Side: New Apparel Lines, Triple Crown Buffs, Footwear

by Alicia MacLeay
January 22, 2012

We take a first look at some many softgoods that caught our eye at Outdoor Retailer, including new apparel from La Sportiva, The North Face, and Outdoor Research, Triple Crown Buffs, and footwear from Vasque, Timberland, and Columbia.


La Sportiva

La Sportiva is adding a full line of apparel to its quiver of ski mountaineering goods for fall/winter 2012. The extensive line includes men's and women's soft and hard shells, insulation, mid- and baselayers, plus racing apparel. La Sportiva's first apparel line is aimed at ski mountaineering racers and backcountry tourers who enjoy the up almost as much as the down.


The North Face

It's called FlashDry. And it's in nearly 100 pieces from The North Face for fall — from baselayers to waterproof shells, insulation to hats and gloves. FlashDry is a proprietary porous particle technology designed to accelerate moisture removal and dramatically improve dry time by working with your body temperature. The North Face says it's "turbocharged" and works even better when layered with other FlashDry pieces.

Outdoor Research

Outdoor Research's apparel line will grow 65 percent for fall 2012, as the brand expands its offerings for a broader range of situations and climates. Moving beyond waterproof/breathable, OR will offer more technical styles for dry, cold conditions, more pieces for light-and-fast situations, and a much larger array of winter sportswear.


For the proud Triple Crowner or aspiring thru hiker, Buff is offering special Triple Crown editions of its Original Buff. The three Trailblazer Buffs are printed with maps of either the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail, or Pacific Crest Trail. Buff will donate 5 percent of sales to each trail's preservation/management organization. Available spring 2012 ($20).



The Vasque Snow Junkie UltraDry (green, above) is a waterproof winter trail runner, hiker, and snowshoe compatible boot. It's built on the same last as the Mindbender trail runner ($130). Vasque also has the Snowblime UltraDry (brown, above) winter hiker ($140). Both boots are waterproof (that's the UltraDry), insulated with 200g of 3M Thinsulate, and have a gaiter D-ring.


Squish together each Radler insulated camp boot from Timberland and zip to store away in your pack, until you reach winter basecamp.


Columbia added its Omni-Heat technology, a reflective thermal silver dot lining in zones where warmth is critical, for warm toes. Plus its waterproof-breathable OutDry technology keeps trail shoes and runners dry. Models with OutDry and Omni-Heat include PeakFreak, MasterFly, Ravenous II.