After much of ski country suffered one of the warmest, most disappointing winters on record, hope is on the horizon. The 2012-13 is weeks away, and hopefully it proves a little colder and snowier than winter 2011-12. Because the winter outerwear market, which already seems flush with competitors, is about to get even bigger. Last winter, several outdoor industry staples announced the launch of a new outerwear line, which was just a tad ironic given the warm, dry nature of that season.
Long known for its technical climbing and hiking shoes, La Sportiva will launch its first-ever apparel line. The line is based around ski mountaineering and includes two categories: Fast Forward and Performance. Fast Forward is a lightweight, stretch line, and Performance is "for mountain enthusiasts who seek safety and comfort in their outdoor activities," which we'll take to mean warmer, burlier outerwear. La Sportiva will offer both soft and hard shells, using Gore-Tex Active Shell and Pro Shell. La Sportiva will also offer base layers and insulation.
Dakine has long been a king of ski and snowboard accessories, offering gloves, hats, backpacks, tools and pretty much everything but hardware and clothing. It will check clothing off that list this season, launching a line of technical jackets and pants. Dakine's creative director Mike Madlener told Transworld last winter: "The market has been dominated by companies that were either ski or snowboard specific. We have always been fans of both sports and have been able to make great product for both."
The line will include shells, down jackets, insulated shells and pants for both men and women. Dakine will avoid stepping on the toes of sister company Billabong by offering higher end, more versatile (and of course more expensive) clothes.
I cheated a tad on this one. Adidas announced its emergence in the outdoor market n winter 2010-11 and launched winter wear in 2011-12. Timing issues aside, having a manufacturer as big as Adidas commit to an outdoor presence is big news. The company offers a variety of outerwear from lightweight fleece jackets to the $600 Gore-Tex Pro Shell Terrex Feather Jacket. You can shop Adidas' entire line at its outdoor collection website.<table cellspacing="0" border="0" width="148" cellpadding="0" style="height: 1px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td></td> </tr> </tbody> </table>