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Wenzel Shenanigan Tent. Courtesy of Wenzel

7 Colorado-Made Summer Gear Essentials

Outfit your summer with these new, warm-weather releases from local brands.

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Not only is Colorado home to the best year-round adventures in the country—it’s also a rich environment for our many outdoor industry brands to design and test their new concepts. Here, we pair recently released (and locally crafted) gear with rad experiences across the state.

Ortovox’s 120 Cool Tec T-Shirt

Courtesy of Ortovox

This tailored t-shirt is made with a mix of lightweight Merino wool—which is durable, stretchy, and offers odor resistance—and Tencel, a fiber extracted from Eucalyptus wood that absorbs sweat better than cotton while being cooler than linen ($80, available in both men’s and women’s styles).

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Wear It: When you backpack 10 miles one-way to Lost Lake along the North Fork Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. Just don’t forget your permits. View availability and submit a reservation request for wilderness camping online ($26 per trip), plus pick up a multi-day park pass. ($30–$60)

Wenzel’s Shenanigan Tent

Wenzel’s vintage-inspired Shenanigan teepee-style tent (pictured above) is both stylish and functional. With five- and eight-person options, this three-season tent is waterproof, with zippered windows, mesh roof ventilation, and nearly an eight-foot ceiling—perfect to take you from campsites to overnight music festivals and afternoons in the park. ($119.95–$159.95)

Wear It: While you cool your feet in the St. Vrain river while Los Lobos, Regina Spektor, and other performers take the main stage at the annual Folks Festival at Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons, August 16-20. Tickets are $70–$225.

Honey Stinger’s Cracker N’ Nut Butter Snack Bar

Courtesy of Honey Stinger

Crunchy, covered in chocolate, and sprinkled with sea salt: Steamboat Springs-based Honey Stinger’s Cracker N’ Nut Butter Snack Bar will keep you energized for your summer adventures. Each bar is made with organic nut butter—cashew, almond, or peanut—that’s sweetened with honey and sandwiched between multigrain crackers.

Eat It: At 220 calories per bar, pack one (or more) for a day hike at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. From the Ralston Roost trailhead, hike clockwise on Black Bear trail (2.8 miles) and use a portion of Mule Deer trail to connect to Horseshoe trail for a solid 1.8 mile trek. ($2.20 for a single bar; $26.40 for a box)

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Deuter’s Speed Lite Daypack

Courtesy of Deuter

Deuter may be a German brand, but with its U.S. subsidiary based in Longmont, we can still claim it as a Colorado company. The Speed Lite Daypack features a new comfortable back panel (in the 22-liter size and larger) that’s made from foam and mesh, so a nice breeze can reach the back. The pack is compatible with a hydration bladder and has a streamlined exterior to avoid snagging on branches—plus it just looks good. With both men and women’s versions available, you won’t have to sacrifice style for functionality. ($60-$140)

Wear It: To kickofff fourteener season with a steady ascent of Pikes Peak. Start the round-trip day hike at Crags Campground trailhead, which encompasses 12.8 miles and more than 4,000 feet of vertical ascent.

Native Eyewear’s El Jefe Sunglasses

Courtesy of Native Eyewear

Aside from cutting-edge style, the lenses on the El Jefe sunglasses block up to four times more infrared light than regular polarized lenses and feature a nose pad that prevents sliding. Native lenses also filter out 99.9 percent of harmful UV rays that create macular degeneration and cataracts. So go ahead and tackle the trail on one of Colorado’s 300-plus sunny days—just don’t forget your sunscreen. ($129)

Wear It: On a day hike or trail run, tag South Boulder Peak and Bear Peak and then head to Sanitas Brewing for beer and tacos on the shaded patio. 

FlyLow’s Carter and Cash Mountain Bike Shorts

Courtesy of Flylow Gear

Featuring brand new colors, the women’s updated Carter mountain bike shorts are made with tough, breathable fabric that has just-enough stretch and offers 40-plus UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) sun protection. Sans chamois, the shorts are awesome for climbing or swimming, too: If you make a splash, empty the pockets first, which are zippered and large enough to stash snacks and a phone the size of an iPhone 8 Plus. The men’s pair, the Cash, boasts the same features. ($90)

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Wear It: When you mountain bike the rollercoaster singletrack through Pine forest on Rainbow Trail (outside of Salida), and then take a dip in the river or paddle a kayak at the Salida Playpark. Or, ride Apex Trail in Golden followed by a splash in Clear Creek.

Hala Gear’s Rival Playa Paddleboard

Courtesy of Hala Gear

At only 22 pounds, the Rival Playa is one of the lightest SUP boards ever made by Hala Gear. Suitable for beginners and experts alike, this board is designed for all-around conditions, and single-day or overnight tours across lakes, mangroves, island lagoons, rivers, and along sandbars. ($1,199)

Use It: Pack up the Rival in its backpack (included) and hike it up to Gilpin Lake for some paddling and a picnic.

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