Late fall is the perfect time of year to start prepping your holiday to do list and get some final weekend excursions on the calendar before your relatives invade your guest rooms for the holidays. Lucky enough for us, we live in Colorado where quick mountain weekenders are very doable and hip little mountain towns are abundant. We got a hold of some of our favorite items for holiday gift giving and hit Boulder, Salida and Aspen to take them all for a test drive. That being said, if you are seeing them in here - they passed muster and are something we can recommend for your special someone or even crazy aunt Liddy (we all have one). Enjoy the season and stay tuned for more shopping guides as we head into the holiday zone.
Rastaclat was born out of a creative moment from skateboarder Daniel Kasidi while waiting for a friend to pick him up for a skate sesh. He braided a pair of laces and burned them to make a seam and the rest is history. Rastaclat makes bracelets that will fit just about any style or taste. These are perfect stocking stuffers for people who love accessories - whether you are a raver or indie transformational fest lover, there will probably be a style you will vibe on in the collection.
One of our favorite little secrets spots is Salida, where you can ski, raft, hike, mountain bike or just drink beer and eat great food. The locals pronounce it SA LIE DA which will drive any Spanish speaker nuts, but we eventually got over it and joined in the mispronunciation. If you are seeking a destination that is a bit off the beaten path and doesn't wreak of "corporate ski town" (looking at you Vail) you will love it here. Despite being away from the main ski town drag, Salida has become a go to for many Denver dwellers looking for some small mountain town respite with a dash of hipster to go with their microbrew. Do we love it here? About as much as we love our New England Style IPAs - YES!
Bridge & Burn
Bridge & Burn has been one of our favorite indie brands for the last couple years. Erik Prowell and co. continue to deliver high quality threads with timeless style. Cozy overshirts, jackets, sweaters, and flannels for days - check out some of our favorite pieces from Mens/Womens Fall/Winter collection.
RUMPL (+ Helinox Collab)
RUMPL is quickly becoming a household name amongst the casual camping set, aka people who don't give two f's about stats and weight. We may not be climbing El Capitan but we certainly know a great blanket when we see one (and Poncho + beer pocket). We put their Sherpa blanket, Poncho and Helinox Chair collab to the test and they passed with flying colors. Did we mention there was a beer pocket?
Salida is so f'ing cool that it has a skate park with a full blown 80s graphic on it's sign - we love you for this Salida Skate Park. We almost feel like we are selling Salida out here, but flock you mountain hipsters, you will not be disappointed in this most epic of little mountain towns.
Converse (Winter Sneakers + Apparel)
Converse has a lot more to offer than sneakers, we tested out some pieces from their winter collection that are perfect for those chilly days in the gray murk. They've even integrated Gortex into some of their kicks - ace move for those of us that don't want to rock snow boots. Snowboarders - take note.
Mission Workshop works on the bleeding edge of technical apparel and if you are a gear fanatic they will quickly become your new favorite brand. Weighing in at 5.6 oz's this is the lightest waterproof jacket in the world. The Sans jacket packs down super small and fits nicely in your backpack to protect you from the elements. The jacket itself is actually incredibly warm for how light it is and if paired with a thin wool sweater will fight off the cold as well. Check their site to see more of their collection and incredible bags.
Stegman Clogs are OGs in the slipper game, err clog game, and are one of the more comfortable things we've ever had on our feet. Whether you are slinking around your apartment after a hard night out or unwinding your tootsies after a long festival day, these are essential. Does Jared Leto go grocery shopping in these? Probably.
No trip to Salida is complete without a stop at Howl Mercantile & Coffee. This little shop of treasures curates everything from art to coffee table books to some of our favorite gear like TOPO Designs and The Ample Creative. They even have an Airbnb apartment in the back that you can rent out so you are walking distance from just about everything. Oh, and their coffee is some of the best in town.
Tools Of The Trade - Knives, Socks, Bags & Stuff
It's the little things that can often make the biggest difference on these little trips of ours, Handy tools like a Leatherman, warm socks from WigWam, gloves/neck gators from Seirus and bags from Eagle Creek and WNDRD kept our trip in gear and running smoothly.
TOPO brings their bright color palette to their women's flannel collection with great fits, soft fabric and the perfect weight for a chilly fall/winter day. If you have a women in your life that likes to be cozy and stylish at the same time, this brand is clutch. Be warned though, they tend to sell out so get your shopping done asap.
There is nothing quite as relaxing as curling up on the couch in your sweats with a cup of coffee and some good reading material. Russell Athletic invented the sweatshirt so you know they've got their product dialed in. The line is going through a bit of a renaissance at the moment so keep an eye out for new collabs and collections. No one is going to be mad at some comfy sweats for chilling out in over the holidays - it's time to relax.
So when staying at Airbnbs we like to sometimes pack our own bedding if we are going by car, because Airbnb's can be like a box of chocolates - you never know what you are going to get. For our Salida road trip we packed a set of queen Alterra Pure Organic sheets that were sent to us to test out. It's not something we usually think about as gear for a trip, but these organic cotton sheets woven from 100% GOTS certified Organic Cotton made things a lot more comfortable in our little mountain hideaway. So if you are looking for a gift for someone that deserves a better nights sleep, we highly recommend these.
Aspen might be one of the most desirable places to live in the country, surrounded by beautiful mountains, world class skiing and billionaires. Yeah, that's the only downside it's a hamlet that only the rich can afford, but it's sure a great place to spend a couple days. We visited in mid October just as the leaves were peaking to test out some gear from Vasque, TOPO Designs, RUMPL and Stance. Check out the gallery below...
Aspen x Vasque + Stance + RUMPL
Well, that just about does it for volume one of our seasonal shopping guides, we will continue to publish suggestions right up until Xmas Eve (maybe, we might be drunk by then. Here's to getting the shopping out of the way and the party started!
Photos by David Ireland | Laura Smith-Ireland