Colorado might be landlocked, but the opportunities for enjoying freshwater are well within reach. From Clear Creek to Twin Lakes, a swimsuit is essential to enjoying all of the Centennial State’s most beautiful bodies of water. But what if you’re having one of those Colorado days where you go from whitewater rafting straight to hiking then back for a soak in some hot springs? Icelantic, best known for its handcrafted skis, is launching swimwear made specifically for these kinds of outdoor pursuits.

Experts in free-ride, all-mountain, backcountry, and youth skis, the Golden-based company wanted to develop something that stayed true to its slogan, “Return to Nature,” all year long. While there are dozens of shops to buy swimwear across the Front Range, Icelantic’s MTN Swim Collection—which launches on June 18—is specific to the Colorado lifestyle.

“We’ve been trying to think about ways to keep our brand relevant during the off-season,” says Ben Anderson, owner of Icelantic.  “In Golden, we have the river down the street, and we’re always up at lake, tubing, and exploring hot springs.”

MTN Swim, which is made up of one-piece swim suits, bikinis, sun shirts, swim trunks, and towels, is intended for all water-based, mountain activities, from kayaking to alpine plunges. Built to last, each item from the collection is made from environmentally friendly materials such as organic cotton and recycled water bottles.

Each item is designed to be supportive, durable, and protective. The UV Sun Hoodie, for instance, features UPF 50 sun protection and is fast-drying, perfect for an afternoon paddleboarding in the sun. The collection also features a few lifestyle pieces made from 100 percent organic cotton, such as the women’s Summer Tunic, the men’s Breezy Button Up, and the MTN 5-panel hat.

Icelantic’s owner, Ben Anderson, holds up the MTN Swim Microfiber Towel in Peak. Photo by Victoria Carodine

“As I was looking around, the majority of the swimwear that I saw was all very ocean- and surf-based,” Anderson says. “We saw this as a niche that wasn’t being fulfilled. I think the mountains are just as aspirational as the ocean.”

When designing the collection, Anderson wanted each piece to not only look appealing and stand the test of time, but also be versatile when going from river to mountain and back. “I just thought there was a very cool opportunity to develop a line and a product that can really cater directly to the mountain culture,” he says.

Similar to Icelantic’s artistically-decorated skis, the collection’s designs are the work of artist Carly Jo Hougen, who was commissioned by Icelantic and is based in Montana. She transformed two of her paintings—one portraying Colorado’s mountains while the other looks like water—into prints for Icelantic to transfer onto their swimwear.

Artist Carly Jo Hougen. Photo by Victoria Carodine

“The whole line—if I were to name it something—would be ‘euphoria,'” Hougen says.

In addition to promoting talented artists, Icelantic wanted the collection to align with a cause they cared deeply about—water. The company partnered with the Colorado Water Trust and will donate 5 percent of its sales from the collection to their cause to return water back to rivers and streams.

“It’s a great organization,” Anderson says. “Annually, we’ll be able to give them a good-size check to continue to keep our rivers in good shape.”

And while Icelantic will continue to forge its renowned, high-performance skis, the brand hopes the new collection will stand out in Colorado’s swimwear scene. Above all, Icelantic hopes their collection inspires people to get out and return to nature.

MTN Swim will only be available online or at Icelantic’s Flagship store in Golden. 1300 Washington Ave.

Victoria Carodine
Victoria Carodine
Victoria Carodine is a Denver-based writer and a former editor on 5280's digital team.