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With spring and summer on the horizon, the outdoors presents opportunities to venture forth and reconnect with nature. With the weather as your muse, you may find yourself ready to take on the challenges of mountain biking along trails, exploring the sea caves and rock formations that dot the coast, hiking through a coastal rainforest or surfing the waves off shore. Go ahead! Just be sure you're properly equipped for the task.
The growing number of people exploring in extreme outdoor climates and conditions, added with the demand for stylish and functional active wear has resulted in an explosion of high-tech products and fabrics to help you be well-prepared for whatever Mother Nature tosses your way. Fleeces, shell fabrics like neoprene and waterproof breathables, and wicking fabrics are common ingredients in today's active wear products.
The new soft shell fleeces have four-way stretch capability, high breathability and abrasion resistance for ultimate comfort in outdoor wear. They're thin to reduce bulk and don't wrinkle so they're ideal for travel. When combined with an outer shell fabric, there is added wind and water resistance.
Outer shells made of high-tech laminates are the next generation of waterproof breathable fabrics engineered for improved comfort. Made of nylon or polyester microfibre, these fabrics can actually adjust the moisture vapor transport rate to your level of activity. With the super water repellent finishes like Gore-tex on the face of the fabrics and a waterproof lining, you are set for all sorts of outdoor activities.
Wicking fabrics are very popular in active wear. These fabrics are often layered under other clothing and are designed to lie next to the skin lifting perspiration and keeping the wearer feeling cool and dry. Nancy Baty from Cleanline Surf in Seaside recommends Patagonia active wear products because of their quality and durability, but also for their commitment to the environment. "Their Capilene pieces feature quick dry, moisture wicking performance," said Baty, "and they are made of more than 50 percent recycled content!" Cleanline carries a large selection of Patagonia and Burton shells and accessories as well as NRS rain gear and shells, designed with kayakers in mind but great for anyone wishing to stay dry while out in the Pacific Northwest weather.
Pacific Outdoor in Seaside has nearly everything and anything you might need to get equipped for your outdoor adventures. From lightweight waterproof jackets and windbreaker shells to fleece in light, middle and heavy weights. They also carry a selection of backpacks, daypacks and hydration packs as well as Keen lightweight hiking shoes and closed-toed sandals, perfect for use in water or on the trail. "One of the newest fabrics we carry," said Matt Clark, owner of Pacific Outdoor, "is sportswear with built-in sun protection."
You'll find a combination of these and other high-tech, engineered fabrics in the outdoor wear products at many local surf and sporting goods stores along the coast. The following is a list of resources to get you started on the road to your next coastal exploration. So go forth and conquer!
GEAR UP & GO
Cannon Beach Surf 1088 S Hemlock in Cannon Beach Oregon (503) 436-0475 www.cannonbeachsurf.com
Cleanline Surf 725 1st Avenue in Seaside (888) 546-6176 www.cleanlinesurf.com
Columbia Sportswear Company 1500 SE East Devils Lake Road in Lincoln City (541) 996-5000 www.tangeroutlet.com
Eddie Bauer at Seaside Factory Outlet 1111 N Roosevelt Drive in Seaside (503) 717-1603 www.seasideoutlets.com
Eddie Bauer at Tanger Outlet 1500 SE East Devils Lake Road in Lincoln City (541) 996-5000 www.tangeroutlet.com
Lincoln City Surf Shop 4792 SE Highway 101 in Lincoln City (541) 996-7433 www.lcsurfshop.com
Ocean Pulse Surf & Skate 428 SW Coast Hwy in Newport (541) 265-7745 www.oceanpulsesurf.com
Oregon Surf Shop 3001 SW Hwy 101 in Lincoln City (877) 339-5672 www.oregonsurfshop.com
Ossies Surf Shop 4860 N Coast Hwy in Newport(541) 574-4634 www.ossiessurfshop.com
Pacific Outdoor 12 North Holladay in Seaside(888) 717-1159 www.shoppacificoutdoor.com