Outdoor Retailer is less than a week away and the product announcements are already arriving in my email inbox with surprising regularity. One of the latest press releases to catch my attention comes our way courtesy of The North Face, which has announced a new line of apparel specifically designed to meet the training needs of outdoor athletes.
The new line of gear will be available starting in January 2014 and will fall under the “Mountain Athletics” brand which will include both clothing and shoes. TNF will offer four products at launch including the Kilowatt Jacket, short sleeve shirt and shorts. The Killowatt Ultra, a lightweight minimalist training shoe will released later in the spring of 2014.
Each of these products is the result of a collaboration between The North Face and Mountain Athlete gym located in Jackson, Wyoming. The facility is a strength and conditioning center that focuses on preparing outdoor athletes for big challenges, with a particular focus on skiing and snowboarding, rock and ice climbing, mountaineering and ultrarunning. A number of TNF sponsored athletes train at the gym and played a role in creating and testing the Mountain Athletics line.
The new gear will get a tough field test later this fall when ultrarunner Mike Wolfe will attempt to set a new speed record on the John Muir Trail. The current record was set by Brett Muane, who completed the 211 mile (340 km) route in just 3 days and 9 hours back in 2009. Brett, who will be joined by fellow endurance athlete Hal Koerner, will be training for the record-setting attempt using the new Kilowatt gear. The rest of us will have to wait for it to be released next year before we can give it a go.
I’ll be on hand at OR next week to check out the gear for myself. I’m looking forward to seeing the new line and what it brings to the table for outdoor athletes. I’ll try to snag some photos that I can share on Facebook and Twitter while I’m there.
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