When you invest in a piece of outdoor gear (whether it’s a soft shell or a simple pair of socks) you want it to last forever, regardless how hard you are on it. You’re not the only one.Gear companies are catching on to the importance of tough sustainable gear, and it turns out that making products that hold up for the long haul helps their environmental footprint, as well.
Here are our recommendations for some gear that’s sure to give you your money’s worth.
Darn Tough Classic Hiker Socks ($20)
Considering how much wear and tear your footwear gets it might seem like a bold move for Darn Tough to claim that their American-made socks last forever. The company, which still makes all their socks in Northfield, Vermont, guarantees everything they make for life. If you get holes in the toes, you can send ’em back and get a fresh pair. But, thanks to their high-density knitting and mix of durable yarns, you probably won’t have to. We like the classic hiker micro crew, but they make everything from super warm ski socks to thin running shorties.
Patagonia R1 Hoody ($159)
A lot of environmentally-minded companies, like Patagonia, have been trying to shrink the environmental footprint of their garments. But, it turns out that a lot of the ecological impact of a piece of clothing comes after you buy it — from washing it. To alleviate that, Patagonia and a host of other companies have started to incorporate Polygiene technology into their gear. It’s a silver salt fabric treatment that prevents your gear, like the multi-sport R1 Hoody, from stinking, so you don’t have to wash it as much. That extends the lifespan and shrinks the environmental impact (and simply keeps you from stinking). Triple win.
The Mystery Ranch Terraplane ($400)
In the ’80s, Dana Gleason made cult-classic Dana Design’s backpacks. They were burly and bomb-proof, and hardcore hikers became obsessed with them. Especially after Gleason sold the company and stopped making packs. And, he’s back, with Mystery Ranch, a Bozeman-based pack company that rooted in the longevity of the original Dana Designs designs. Gleason has been making packs for the military and wilderness firefighters and now you can get the packs, like the Terraplane, named after and inspired by one of the old designs.
Jungmaven Tees ($78)
Anti-stink technology isn’t the only way to make clothes last forever. Robert Jungmann started Jungmaven to spread the word about the positive impacts of using hemp fabric. As a plant, hemp doesn’t require pesticides, sucks CO2 from the air and needs much less water than cotton. And in a T-shirt it’s soft, wicking and long lasting. Jungmaven makes a range of hemp and cotton blended clothes, but we like their 100 percent hemp ones best.
Eddie Bauer Telemetry Freeride Jacket ($299)
Eddie Bauer, your dad’s favorite mall brand, has had a lifetime warranty on their gear forever. That’s even more appealing when you take into account their First Ascents outerwear, which was developed by mountain guides. You can beat the heck out of things (like their Telemetry Freeride Jacket), and not worry about how well it will hold up. It just will.
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