April Showers Bring ... the Need for the Right Outdoor Gear!
Spring weather in Colorado is tricky! It can go from 70 degrees to a blizzard in 12 hours! Here is a little rundown of some spring gear essentials.
Always having a trusty waterproof jacket on hand is essential, and one of the neatest fabrics invented (in my opinion!) is Gore-Tex While there is regular old nylon, what once was called the windbreaker:
|vintage frank shorter windbreaker|
these jackets really offer little protection from the elements! There is also the rubberized or PVC parka:
that unless it was freezing rain it was like wearing your own personal sweat lodge! Gore-Tex has the best of both worlds- breathable yet waterproof! There are a lot of similar fabrics on the market today, but Gore-Tex is the best known:
This is with a few minor exceptions. Gore-tex evidently sold their material to some cheaper boot manufacturers and a few garment makers, and while the Gore-tex lining is quality the rest of the product might not be. But any name brand piece of gear with Gore-tex on it/in it is likely to perform well in the wind, rain, and also allow your body to breathe a bit.
Nontheless, you don't want to be wearing Gore-tex around when there is no rain,
snow, or moisture in sight as you will sweat a bit more with it on. So consider a soft shell:
usually a water resistant fabric soft shell (notice I said water
resistant and not waterproof) which will keep you dry in a brief light rain, but
also will protect from wind much better than most fleece, and has more stretch and range of motion like fleece.
Also consider: with hiking boots, you can go leather and nylon/fabric mix, all
leather, or either of these with Gore-Tex lining. If you are going to see a
lot of moisture and have cooler weather, all leather and Gore-Tex lining is
tops. The down side is with a little bit of heat, the all leather and
waterproof lining won't breathe quite as well. Leather/fabric/and Gore-Tex mix
is nice for a bit more breathe or all leather with some good leather treatment
(I personally like BEES WAX, but it does darken the color of the leather).
Remember, leather is awesome for durability, just a another consideration!
A note on the outdoor gear manufacturers out there: If you are earth conscious
and would like to do your part: BUY USED! However, some name brand outdoor gear and clothing manufacturers have taken some steps to be greener. For example, REI and Patagonia have used recycled polyester in some of their fleece and other products. Patagonia uses organic cotton in a number of
products. And one of my favorites for a renewable resource is MERINO WOOL.
Shave that sheep! What an excellent design--breathes, insulates (it's wool!), is
soft and not scratchy (that merino sheep is special) and you don't stink when
you sweat in it nearly as much as in a poly product.
While KERMIT THE FROG said it is not easy being green, it has gotten a bit easier.
We are so happy to offer a sustainable option for your outdoor gear in Loveland! Give your gear a new life with consignment, or find something new for yourself!