With the amount of time the average Coloradan spends outdoors each year expected to be much higher than the national average, it should come as no surprise that the demand for outdoor gear is at an all time high. Whether you are into day hikes, backpacking treks, rafting, climbing, or any other outdoor activity a certain amount of equipment or apparel is necessary. And while many outdoor adventures themselves are free, or close to it, the gear required for embarking on your outdoor adventures is not. If you are going to spend money on the necessities, why not support local Colorado outdoor brands?
As Colorado is one of the premier spots for outdoor adventures, it makes perfect sense that there are plenty of quality Colorado brands cranking out the necessary gear for those adventures. If you are unsure of where to start, we got our hands dirty, literally, testing out some of the best gear these local brands had to offer. Allow us to introduce you to some of our favorite Colorado outdoor brands.
When it comes to understanding outdoor adventuring, Kelty just gets it. Whether you are shopping for a backpack, tent, sleeping bag, or the perfect camp chair for sitting around the fire, you will find it here. When you have a brand that clearly has a love for the outdoors that rivals their customers, you can buy their products with confidence. We tested out a few products, just to be sure we could confidently recommend their products. Here is the verdict.
Their tents are a cinch to put together. Ours, the Trail Ridge 3, took us less than two minutes from start to finish, a welcome timeframe after a long trek to our destination. The stargazing fly was just what we never knew we wanted as we settled in for the night. A place lacking so much light pollution is radiantly more beautiful at night. The Women’s Cosmic 20 sleeping bag seemed like overkill when we set off on our adventure. Afterall, why would I need a sleeping bag that would keep me warm at 20 degrees in the summer? It was a good reminder that the higher you climb, the lower the temperatures once the warm sun goes down. I was very grateful for the extra warmth, and the bag fit me like a glove, but if you are on the taller side consider another one as this only fits those up to 5’8″. Last but certainly not least, how did we get all of our stuff to camp? In the Redcloud 110 backpack, of course. Kelty has really thought of everything when designing this backpack. With features like hydration compatibility, lumbar support, front access panel, sleeping bag compartment, and their signature PerfectFIT™ adjustable suspension, this pack was the perfect companion for getting to our destination. If you are looking for a comfortable pack that will easily haul all of your gear on your backcountry adventures, the Redcloud really did us proud.
If it sounds like we have already told you the best part about Kelty, think again. They are also committed to giving back to the community. Their give back programs benefit groups like the Conservation Alliance and Big City Mountaineers. Not that we needed another reason to love Kelty, but this certainly helps. Remember, think #Keltybuilt next time you are shopping for outdoor gear to take on your next adventure.
If you find yourself lacking inspiration for your next mountain adventure, you should definitely start by following Mountain Standard on Instagram. Their envy-inducing feed is so beautiful you will likely find yourself chasing the places featured in their gorgeous shots. This local brand offers some of the best apparel, packs, and hats you could ever hope for. We tried out a few of their lightweight but uber warm jackets for some backcountry mountain adventures and we couldn’t have been happier with the result. Both the Men’s Hooded Down Jacket and the Women’s Hybrid Insulator (both currently 50 percent off!) delivered when we needed a break from the mountain chill, and equally when we needed to throw them in our pack as they added no noticeable weight to our already overloaded packs. Their apparel ranges from tees to heavy jackets, and we can’t forget their awesome hats. The RIMBY Hat is a personal favorite as we love the message behind the fun acronym (Right In My Back Yard).
Supporting a brand like Mountain Standard is easy. They share our deep love for the great outdoors and honor its beauty with their commitment to the ‘adventure ready spirit‘ in us all. Mountain Standard products will keep you adventuring for many years to come. And don’t forget to document your Colorado mountain adventures with the clever #RIMBY hashtag.
If the term ‘wearable gear’ is foreign to you, allow us to introduce you to Ultimate Direction. This Colorado outdoor brand offers some of the most advanced options on the market today. For more than thirty years Ultimate Direction has been a leader in creating products that allow you to optimize your time on the trail with little or no impact by the necessary gear required for your adventures. Since creating the very first waist pack for carrying water bottles, they have continued to push the envelope and provide the very best wearable gear to keep you active.
Our personal favorites are tailored to our own types of mountain adventures, but we think you will love them just as much. The Wink hydration pack and the AK Mountain Vest 3.0 offer the perfect way to stay hydrated on your adventures without the extra bulk that many hydration packs often bring with them. These packs offer the ultimate in comfort and wearability to keep you moving all day long. And since we all know the mountains’ reputation for afternoon showers, the Women’s Marathon Shell and the Men’s Marathon Shell allow you to stay nice and dry during any shower, but they also roll up into their own pocket so you can tuck them into your hydration or day pack with ease when not in use.
Whether you are competing in the Leadville 100 or taking a casual hike through the forest, Ultimate Direction has you covered.