You got your skis or snowboard all tuned up and ready to go, but what about your outfit? Okay, we all know men don’t wear outfits, they wear gear. So, whether you’re shopping for gear or an outfit, buy local and check some of these homegrown companies.
ObermeyerFounded by Klaus Obermeyer over 60 years ago, this Aspen based, family run and privately held company has been a mainstay in the skiing/winter apparel industry. They strive to produce what they call “Technically responsible” winter clothing. They are well respected and appreciated in the Aspen community and reward the locals with an awesome, open to the public warehouse sale every August.
Fly Low GearFounded in 2004 this Denver-based outfit builds Gear designed for the mountains. Their compound pants were just recently reviewed in the December issue of BackCounty Magazine while their Rudolph Jacket received raves in Outside Magazine’s December 2013 issue as well. They make men’s and women’s pants and jackets along with gloves, hats, belts and more.
MarmotStarted in the spring of 1974 in a 100 year old stone building in Grand Junction as a rental and retail business called Marmot Mountain Works, this Colorado company got their first big break when asked to provide 108 very puffy jackets for Clint Eastwood’s climbing movie “The Eiger Sanction”. Though at the time, they didn’t have any “Puffy Jackets” within a week they designed the “Golden Mantle” and were off. Marmot is the oldest customer of W.L. Gore of Gortex fame and are about to celebrate their 40th anniversary in the outdoor apparel industry.
VoormiVoormi, located in Pagosa Springs sources all their wool from local high elevation growing regions of the Rocky Mountains. They produce men’s and women’s high-end performance hoodies with water-repellant wool outer layers, along with what they call a “Perfectly-tuned thermal layer”. They also produce hats and t-shirts along with their Collaboration Project which features artistic work on some of their products.
MelanzanaLocated in Leadville and originally named “Eggplant” in 1994, Melanzana changed their name to an Italian word for Eggplant and has taken off ever since. They say they are, “Dedicated to designing and building high-performance clothing that is a little different from what you can find in the big outdoor stores.” They are a small company of a dozen employees who design, cut, sew and sell everything. They subscribe to the “Less is more” theory and keep their designs clean and simple and also less expensive.
LokiLoki from Grand Junction features jackets and pants for men and women with a few tricks up their sleeve, literally. Named after the shape-changing God of Scandinavian mythology Loki’s jackets feature built in mitts and face-shields. Perfect for spring skiing when you don’t want to carry much with you, the jacket folds up into a convenient backpack as well. There are also insulated jackets for heavier gear days along with, mitts, gloves, hats and a children’s line.
Icebox Knitting Co.From Longmont, Icebox Knitting has made their Dohm wool hats on antique hand powered knitting machines since 1994; talk about practicing sustainability. They also created Xob an up-cycled collection made with parts of recycled wool sweaters and jackets. They have diverted over sixty thousand pounds of waste from landfills with their practices. They also produce neck-warmers and headbands along with their unique selection of hats and caps.
by Michael Ryan