Outdoor Research can’t be accused of putting all their eggs in one basket for spring 2013. A quick glimpse into their future includes a spring-specific glove line for mountaineers and climbers, an overhaul on their storage and dry bags, a new trail-running collection, hybrid jackets that employ both hard and soft-shell technology, an expansion of women-specific products in both the active and travel categories, and a 25 percent expansion of their hat line.
Amidst all this new product, the Sensor Dry Envelope (pictured) could be missed—but it shouldn’t. This touch screen-compatible dry bag offers killer protection for your tablet, smartphone, and other old-school documents. The VaporLock closure protects what’s inside from water, dirt, and dust, while the see-through window lets you easily interact with the devices. It’ll come in three sizes, starting at $15. This new product is part of the full revamp of dry and travel bags, which will be 10 to 40 percent lighter than their predecessors, with greater durability and more features. The Maelstrom Dry Bag ($59 for the five-liter size, the smallest of three) also wins style points; the messenger-style bag should serve nicely as a solid, weatherproof travel piece, at home in a kayak, on a commuter’s back, or tossed around a rain-streaked runway.
On the apparel side, outerwear gets a hearty update, with a variety of different tech materials integrated into the design. The Enchainment Jacket ($199) employs Schoeller soft shell panels for excellent mobility, with waterproof/breathable hard shell fabrics at key locations to keep you protected in 95 percent of the bad weather. They’ll also expand their men’s and women’s sport wear lines, introducing new, stylish shirts and dresses that should be perfect for multifunctional travel wear. And, on the other side of the spectrum, they’ll launch the HighEx collection, targeting ultra-athletes who demand high-quality performance for 16-hour days in the mountains.
Finally, their hat line expands to 85 pieces, addressing a wide array of active and travel needs. Packable hats like the Isla broad-brimmed sun hat ($35) and the Southhampton Fedora ($49) will sit alongside the more exercise-specific lids like the Throttle Cap ($26), which uses mesh panels for breathability and reflective overlays to keep you visible after hours. Hats are one of our favorite ways to indulge our gear addiction without breaking the bank, and OR is poised to be our chief enabler this spring.