A

Airstream to Aviators

Airstream
Jul 30, 2015

Airstream

The original American road-trip trailer, designed in 1931 by Wally Byam, was inspired by Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis.
Anderson, Lloyd and Mary
Jul 30, 2015

Anderson, Lloyd and Mary

Founders of the Recreational Equipment Co-op (REI), which the couple started in their West Seattle home in 1938 as a way to help climber friends gain access to cheaper ice axes and harnesses by ordering bulk gear from Europe.
Appeal, Mainstream
Jul 30, 2015

Appeal, Mainstream

The surprising tendency for technical products and trends from the outdoor world to find their way into mass culture.
Authenticity
Jul 30, 2015

Authenticity

The most valuable currency in gear marketing of the past 40 years.
Avalanche Safety
Jul 30, 2015

Avalanche Safety

A category of gear that came into being in the late 1960s as more and more skiers ventured beyond resort boundaries.
Aviators
Jul 30, 2015

Aviators

Sunglasses designed to protect a pilot’s eyes against high-altitude sun.
B

Backcountry.com to Bra, Sports

Backcountry.com
Jul 30, 2015

Backcountry.com

Backcountry.com: Online retailer of a wide range of outdoor gear.
Base-Camp Duffel
Jul 30, 2015

Base-Camp Duffel

Base-Camp Duffel: A large, 155-liter bag often seen loaded on yaks in Nepal’s Khumbu region for a few simple reasons: it can take a beating, it has straps that convert it into a backpack, and mountaineers know that it can carry all their gear.
BMW GS
Jul 30, 2015

BMW GS

BMW GS: An iconic adventure motorcycle introduced in 1980 to compete in the Dakar Rally race, the famed long-distance off-road endurance event.
Bowerman, Bill
Jul 30, 2015

Bowerman, Bill

Bill Bowerman: A legendary Oregon track coach who cofounded the shoe company Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964; 14 years later, it became Nike.
Bra, Sports
Jul 30, 2015

Bra, Sports

Sports Bra: A groundbreaking invention that lets women participate comfortably in a range of vigorous athletic activities.
C

Camelbak to Crowdfunding

CamelBak
Jul 30, 2015

CamelBak

CamelBak: A hands-free hydration system that can be carried in a backpack.
Camouflage
Jul 30, 2015

Camouflage

Camouflage: A varying pattern of earth-colored prints designed to obscure the wearer from view, worn by hunters and members of the U.S. military
Canned Beer
Jul 30, 2015

Canned Beer

Canned Beer: A usually cheap, thirst-quenching alcoholic beverage in a durable package, now commonplace on rafting and camping trips.
Carabiner
Jul 30, 2015

Carabiner

Carabiner: A gated aluminum fastener used with rope and other equipment to arrest rock climbers’ falls.
Catalog
Jul 30, 2015

Catalog

Catalog: A magazine-like print presentation of a company’s or retailer’s products.
Chamois
Jul 30, 2015

Chamois

Chamois: A diaper-like pad first used by cyclists around 1900 to prevent saddle sores and chafing on their nethers.
Chip Timing
Jul 30, 2015

Chip Timing

Chip timing: The practice of using a small wearable transmitter to track race participants’ times at regular checkpoints along a course.
Cousteau, Jacques
Jul 30, 2015

Cousteau, Jacques

Jacques Cousteau: A French explorer and arguably the most prolific marine scientist and ocean conservationist of the 20th century.
Crowdfunding
Jul 30, 2015

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding: A method of raising capital to launch commercial ventures in which small individual donations are made through an online platform.
D-E

Denali Jacket to Elements of Adventure

Denali Jacket
Jul 30, 2015

Denali Jacket

Denali Jacket: A popular performance fleece garment made by the North Face and commonly seen on mountaineers and college students.
Direct to Consumer
Jul 30, 2015

Direct to Consumer

Direct to Consumer: A business model in which a company sells its products via its own website, catalog, or store, reducing retail markup and passing the savings along to the consumer.
Dithering
Jul 30, 2015

Dithering

Dithering: The intentional degrading of a satellite’s signal to discourage unauthorized use, which deterred citizens from tapping into the Department of Defense’s Global Positioning System, or GPS, for ten years.
Double Plastic Mountaineering Boot
Jul 30, 2015

Double Plastic Mountaineering Boot

Double Plastic Mountaineering Boot: A highly reliable style of footwear that prevents frostbite in alpine environments.
Dropper Post
Jul 30, 2015

Dropper Post

Dropper Post: A mountain-bike component that can be raised or lowered with a button mounted on the handlebars.
Duct Tape
Jul 30, 2015

Duct Tape

Duct tape: A cloth-backed metallic gray adhesive that fixes anything worth saving.
Duluth Pack
Jul 30, 2015

Duluth Pack

Duluth pack: A heavy canvas rucksack, patented in 1882 by French Canadian Camille Poirier in Duluth, Minnesota, along the shores of Lake Superior.
Dutch Oven
Jul 30, 2015

Dutch Oven

Dutch Oven: A large cast-iron pot and the campfire cooking vessel of choice for pioneers, cowboys, and river guides.
F

Fat Bike to Footie, Sick

The Rise of the Fat Bike
Jul 30, 2015

The Rise of the Fat Bike

Blimp-tired bicycles were developed for one of the most grueling endurance races in the world. But then everyone else realized how much fun they were.
Fat Skis
Jul 30, 2015

Fat Skis

Fat Skis: Skis that are at least 115 millimeters underfoot.
Fat Shoes
Jul 30, 2015

Fat Shoes

Fat shoes: Shoes with roughly 20 millimeters of foam underfoot
Filson
Jul 30, 2015

Filson

Filson, a Seattle-based maker of high-quality leather goods.
Fin, Surfboard
Jul 30, 2015

Fin, Surfboard

Surfboard Fin: A structural element, usually made of wood or fiberglass, attached to the bottom of a surfboard to aid maneuverability.
Fisher, Gary
Jul 30, 2015

Fisher, Gary

Gary Fisher: A major figure in the development of mountain bikes.
Fly Rod
Jul 30, 2015

Fly Rod

Fly rod: A skinny stick, usually 6 to 13 feet long, used in conjunction with a reel, a line, and hand-tied simulations of in-sects to catch fish.
Footie, Sick
Jul 30, 2015

Footie, Sick

Sick Footie: A visual recording worth replaying for others.
G

Garmin Forerunner 201 to Gloves, Elk Skin

Garmin Forerunner 201
Jul 30, 2015

Garmin Forerunner 201

Garmin Forerunner 201: The world’s first all-in-one GPS-enabled running watch, released in 2003 by Kansas navigation company Garmin.
Gatorade
Jul 30, 2015

Gatorade

Gatorade: A sports drink formulated in 1965 for the University of Florida Gators football team and currently produced by PepsiCo.
Gel
Jul 30, 2015

Gel

Gel: A sugary fuel used during races and serious training, typically packed into sealed foil pouches.
Gloves, Elk Skin
Jul 30, 2015

Gloves, Elk Skin

Elk Skin Gloves: Hand protection made from the skin of the great wapiti.
H

Head, Howard to Hummer

Head, Howard
Jul 30, 2015

Head, Howard

Howard Head: The founder of ski brand Head.
Headphones
Jul 30, 2015

Headphones

Headphones: Any device used for playing music close to or within a wearer’s ears.
Heart-Rate Monitor
Jul 30, 2015

Heart-Rate Monitor

Heart-Rate Monitor: A device that measures a wearer’s heart rate; particularly useful for monitoring exertion in athletes.
Helmet
Jul 30, 2015

Helmet

Helmet: An apparatus designed to protect the wearer against head injuries.
Hummer
Jul 30, 2015

Hummer

Hummer: The civilian version of the military’s Humvee off-road vehicle, which was produced by AM General from 1992 to 2006.
I-J

Icons to Jones, Jeremy

Jeep
Jul 30, 2015

Jeep

Jeep: A four-wheel-drive vehicle first produced for the U.S. Army during World War II.
Jogging Stroller
Jul 30, 2015

Jogging Stroller

Jogging Stroller: A stroller that allows parents to run and, theoretically, get their toddlers to nap.
Jones, Jeremy
Jul 30, 2015

Jones, Jeremy

Jeremy Jones: A pioneering big-mountain snowboarder and snowboard designer.
K

Kite to Knight, Phil

Knight, Phil
Jul 30, 2015

Knight, Phil

Phil Knight: Cofounder of athletic-shoe company Nike.
Kite
Jul 30, 2015

Kite

Kite: A lightweight aircraft—often erroneously considered a toy—propelled by the wind and controlled by a user on the ground via a line or set of lines.
Knife, Swiss Army
Jul 30, 2015

Knife, Swiss Army

Swiss Army Knife: The world’s first consumer multitool, designed by cutler Karl Elsener with two blades, a screwdriver, and a can opener.
L

Leatherman to Lumbersexual

Leatherman
Jul 30, 2015

Leatherman

Leatherman: A multitool invented by Tim Leatherman after wishing he had a pair of pliers while working on a rust-bucket Fiat with a pocket knife during a 1975 European road trip.
Lifa Shirt
Jul 30, 2015

Lifa Shirt

Lifa Shirt: The first commercially available base layer made from polypropylene, released in 1970 by Helly Hansen.
Lifetime Warranty
Jul 30, 2015

Lifetime Warranty

Lifetime Warranty: A company’s promise to repair or replace an item that breaks.
Little Things
Jul 30, 2015

Little Things

Little Things: Those items that mark the difference between a miserable experience and a joyous one—pit zips on jackets being a prime example.
Lowe, Greg
Jul 30, 2015

Lowe, Greg

Greg Lowe: Inventor of the internal-frame backpack.
Lululemon
Jul 30, 2015

Lululemon

Lululemon: A yoga-apparel brand founded by Canadian entrepreneur Chip Wilson in 1998.
Lumbersexual
Jul 30, 2015

Lumbersexual

Lumbersexual: A fashion-conscious male urbanite whose clothing and accessories project an aura of rugged manliness.
M

Montebelluna to Mycoskie, Blake

The Italian City That Probably Made Your Boots
Jul 30, 2015

The Italian City That Probably Made Your Boots

The world's leading design center for outdoor footwear—everything from featherweight climbing shoes to hard-shelled mountaineering stompers—is a small city in northern Italy where craftsmanship reigns.
Mountain House
Jul 30, 2015

Mountain House

Mountain House: Maker of 33 varieties of tasty freeze-dried meals packaged in polyester, aluminum, and nylon pouches.
Mycoskie, Blake
Jul 30, 2015

Mycoskie, Blake

Blake Mycoskie: A 38-year-old philanthropist and entrepreneur who founded Toms Shoes (originally Shoes for a Better Tomorrow) in 2006.
N-O

Nalgene Bottle to Outside Knife

Nalgene Bottle
Jul 30, 2015

Nalgene Bottle

Nalgene bottle: A durable, wide-mouthed vessel originally designed to hold chemicals.
Nike+
Jul 30, 2015

Nike+

Nike+: The original wearable technology for athletes.
Odor Control
Jul 30, 2015

Odor Control

Odor Control: The relentless attempt by apparel makers to tame human stink.
O’Neill, Jack
Jul 30, 2015

O’Neill, Jack

Jack O’Neill: A former commercial fisherman widely credited with inventing the neoprene wetsuit.
Outside Knife
Jul 30, 2015

Outside Knife

Outside Knife: A yellow knock-off Swiss Army knife given away by Outside to new subscribers from the early nineties through 2008.
P

Pack Raft to Pulaski

Pack Raft
Jul 30, 2015

Pack Raft

Pack Raft: A small inflatable raft that can be rolled up to fit in a backpack.
P-Cord
Jul 30, 2015

P-Cord

P-cord: Parachute cord, also known as paracord, the world’s most versatile survival tool.
Fleeced
Jul 30, 2015

Fleeced

Washing a single polyester jacket can send 1,900 tiny synthetic micro-fibers into waterways, where they can soak up toxins and get eaten by fish. So what is the outdoor industry doing about it?
Polarization
Jul 30, 2015

Polarization

Polarization: A lens technology that cuts glare created when light reflects off materials like plastic and glass.
Portaledge
Jul 30, 2015

Portaledge

Portaledge: A collapsible sleeping platform for climbers.
Pour-Over Coffee
Jul 30, 2015

Pour-Over Coffee

Pour-Over Coffee: A method of brewing coffee by passing near boiling water through grounds held in a paper filter.
PowerBar
Jul 30, 2015

PowerBar

PowerBar: The first portable energy bar.
Puffy
Jul 30, 2015

Puffy

Puffy: A lightweight jacket insulated with duck or goose down or synthetic fill.
Pulaski
Jul 30, 2015

Pulaski

Pulaski: A wildland-firefighting tool that combines an ax and an adze and is used to clear brush and small trees.
Q-R

Quantum Leap to Running Shorts

Quantum Leap
Jul 30, 2015

Quantum Leap

A rapid sequence of radical innovations, such as appeared in cycling between 1984 and 1987, the sport’s Age of Enlightenment.
Recall
Jul 30, 2015

Recall

Recall: A request by a manufacturer, and usually the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), to return a product after the discovery of safety issues.
Repurposing
Jul 30, 2015

Repurposing

Repurposing: Taking a product and adapting it for a different use.
Robbins, Royal
Jul 30, 2015

Robbins, Royal

Royal Robbins: Climber, businessman, and archetype for the modern clean-climbing ethic, which espouses the use of removable protection instead of pounding pitons into rock.
Rollerblade
Jul 30, 2015

Rollerblade

Rollerblade: A roller skate with soft, linearly arranged wheels offering fast, smooth glide.
Rubbermaid Bin
Jul 30, 2015

Rubbermaid Bin

Rubbermaid Bin: A polyethylene storage container commonly used for gear.
Running Shorts
Jul 30, 2015

Running Shorts

An instrument of mass exhibitionism.
S

Shelter to Suunto Vector

Shelter
Jul 30, 2015

Shelter

Caves, tepees, wall tents, those green canvas triangles that caused hypothermia in so many Boy Scouts—in one form or another, ideas borrowed from these flawed shelters appear in their modern descendents.
Snowboarding
Jul 30, 2015

Snowboarding

Snowboarding: A snowsports alternative to skiing.
Snurfer
Jul 30, 2015

Snurfer

A bindingless monoski invented in 1965.
Spork
Jul 30, 2015

Spork

Spork: An eating utensil that adds fork tines to a spoon and never fails to amuse its users.
Stove, Portable
Jul 30, 2015

Stove, Portable

A packable device producing fire for camp cooking.
Strava
Jul 30, 2015

Strava

A pioneering social-fitness app released in 2009.
SUP
Jul 30, 2015

SUP

SUP: Short for stand-up paddle-board, a stable floating platform that combines the cool of surfing with the practicality of a spin workout.
Suspension, Mountain Bike
Jul 30, 2015

Suspension, Mountain Bike

Telescoping front forks and articulating rear frame triangles that absorb bumps and shocks.
Suunto Vector
Jul 30, 2015

Suunto Vector

Suunto Vector: The original smartwatch.
T

Tech Binding to Tough-Ass Pants

Tech Binding
Jul 30, 2015

Tech Binding

Tech binding: A lightweight binding system that transformed backcountry skiing and put telemarking on the path to obsolescence.
Tenth Mountain Division
Jul 24, 2015

Tenth Mountain Division

Tenth Mountain Division: An Army outfit specializing in mountain warfare, devised during World War II around the idea that it was easier to make troops out of skiers than skiers out of troops.
Teva Sandal
Jul 31, 2015

Teva Sandal

Teva sandal: A water shoe that came to define a generation of river athletes.
Therm-a-Rest
Jul 30, 2015

Therm-a-Rest

Therm-a-Rest: The first mass-market inflatable sleeping pad.
Thule
Jul 30, 2015

Thule

Thule: A company founded by Swedish outdoorsman Erik Thulin, originally to make fishing gear.
Tompkins, Doug
Jul 30, 2015

Tompkins, Doug

Doug Tompkins: Businessman and crusading conservationist who cofounded the North Face and Esprit.
Tough-Ass Pants
Jul 31, 2015

Tough-Ass Pants

Tough-ass pants: A term for rugged work trousers that are particularly good at handling abuse.
U-V

USGS Topographical Map to Vibram

USGS Topographical Map
Jul 30, 2015

USGS Topographical Map

USGS Topographical Map: A detailed representation of a landscape, created by the United States Geological Survey, and a rare example of something every bit as beautiful as it is useful.
Utility Bike
Jul 31, 2015

Utility Bike

Utility bike: A bicycle built for hauling children, gear, or grocery bags full of organic quinoa and local honey.
Vacuum, Double
Jul 30, 2015

Vacuum, Double

Double Vacuum: A technology dating back to 1892 that suspends one container inside another, leaving a small amount of air between the two to insulate the inner contents from external temperature changes.
Vasque Sundowner
Jul 30, 2015

Vasque Sundowner

Vasque Sundowner: A svelte hiking boot that serves as a testament to how well-made products can endure despite evolving design trends.
Velcro
Jul 30, 2015

Velcro

Velcro: A two-piece fastening material that features hooks on one side and a swath of loops on the other.
Vibram
Jul 30, 2015

Vibram

Vibram: A vulcanized-rubber sole that revolutionized footwear.
W

Waffle to Wingsuit

Waffle
Jul 30, 2015

Waffle

Waffle: A repeating inverted cube shape adopted by sporting-goods manufacturers, beginning with Nike, which used the pattern on the sole of its iconic waffle trainer.
Westfalia
Jul 30, 2015

Westfalia

Westfalia: A breed of Volkswagen camper van prone to expensive repairs, yet beloved by those who own them and coveted by road-trip dreamers everywhere.
Wetsuit
Jul 30, 2015

Wetsuit

Wetsuit: An insulating garment that allows individuals to spend more time in cold water.
Wheel, The Perfect Size
Jul 30, 2015

Wheel, The Perfect Size

The Perfect Size Wheel: An elusive and controversial hoop that allows mountain bikers the ability to optimize progress over rocky terrain.
The Wind Beneath Their Wings
Jul 30, 2015

The Wind Beneath Their Wings

What do world-famous pilots like Jeb Corliss and Joby Ogwyn have in common? They all wear suits sewn by Tony Uragallo, a garden-loving designer who helps daring men zoom through the sky.
X-Z

Xtratuf Boot to Zip-Off Pants

Xtratuf Boot
Jul 30, 2015

Xtratuf Boot

A sturdy, purpose-made fishing boot that has become the gold standard of footwear in the 49th state.
Yeti
Jul 30, 2015

Yeti

A cooler company whose two-inch-thick, double-walled products are so effective that its creation, in 2006, began a new era in rafting.
YKK
Jul 30, 2015

YKK

The Young and the Tentless
Jul 30, 2015

The Young and the Tentless

Gear companies know how to make packs lighter, jackets more waterproof, and skis burlier. The only problem: young people couldn’t care less.
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