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8 Outdoor Style Trends To Chase This Year

Our Merchandisers Share Their Take

What we wear in the backcountry makes a difference. While we usually focus on the performance side of things like hitting a higher waterproof rating or how many grams that jacket weighs, looking the part has its place, too. Our merchandisers tracked down eight trends so you can keep sending in style straight through 2022.

1. Workwear

We’ve always lived by the motto “work hard, play hard,” but this season the classic saying has snuck its way into our closet. With days getting shorter, no one has time to change between raking leaves, going on a hike, and grabbing a drink. Pack it all in with styles that says I’m here to play, but I’ve got sh*t to do later. Here, overalls, flannels, and boots do the heavy lifting, while accessories like bandanas or a classic Stetson put the fun in function.

“There will always be work to do, which is why Workwear looks will never really go out of style. They’re timeless and functional pieces that you’ll have in your closet for years to come” –​​Kyle, Men’s Merchandiser

2. Techwear

Similar to workwear, techwear answers all the questions for those always on the move. Comfortable yet versatile, utilitarian yet low-key—that’s where these styles come into play. Performance joggers, hoodies, baselayers, and vests are technical enough for mellow excursions on the trail, while also bringing enough style for any after-hike setting.

“Techwear has its roots in outdoor activity—a place where aesthetic meets utility. ” —Jackson, Men’s Merchandiser

3. Retro 

We’re rewinding the clock a couple decades back to the ‘90s, with pops of color and jazzy patterns that energize. These bright hues, plus high pile sherpas, hip packs, and big puffies, are just the start. We’re looking forward to wearing nostalgia.

“Layers and insulation are the ticket to a good fall and winter—and that goes for old-school looks as well as new. Don’t just add fluff, use these layers to your advantage. Throw on flannels, jackets, and baselayers to stack colors as well as warmth.” —Laura, Women’s Merchandiser

4. Natural Hues

On the flip side of those bold ‘90s vibes, many are feeling drawn towards the simpler side of things. Earth tones are having a moment, and we’re particularly excited about desert hues and shades of olive this season. And if you really want to be one with the desert landscape, tap into the monochromatic trend that’s still going strong from last winter, piecing together your whole outfit in one shade au natural.

“Sometimes less really is more when it comes to color. Look around you and see what tones nature is using. We drew inspiration from one of our favorite landscapes—the desert!” —Maxine, Women’s Merchandiser

5. The North Face Nuptse

As the ‘90s make a comeback, there’s one iconic style from that decade that’s having more than a moment. The perfect puffer has been warming us up since ‘96 and now it’s back bigger than ever. Everyone and their grom will be wearing the Nuptse this fall and winter—we guarantee it.

6. Bold Fleece 

There can’t be fall without fleece. This year, we’ve been blessed with some of the most diverse colors and patterns in fleece that we’ve ever seen. Everything from zippers and pockets are getting a pop of accent color that can be paired with any other part of your outfit. We’re satiating the desire for bold fleece with new styles from our own brands (Backcountry Gear & Apparel and Stoic), and Patagonia, Columbia, and The North Face have been turning it up, too. Find yours before the cold comes.

“Everyone needs the perfect insulator for any outdoor activity. This year, we have seen more breathable and lightweight pieces than ever before.       —Jackson, Men’s Merchandiser

7. The Hip Hiker & Trail Run Sneaker 

Did you know that in recent years, most Appalachian Trail thru-hikers have switched to sneakers? The technology is that good. But these trail runners perform well and look good doing it, and can be paired with everything from activewear to dresses. Along with trail-ready sneakers, we’re seeing unprecedented innovation in hiking boot design, from features to style-forward designs that we actually want to rock on and off the trail.

8. Ranch Hats, Beanies & Buckets 

Think beyond the baseball hat and add some style and 360-degree shade with a classic ranch hat. If you’re looking for more warmth, we’re also seeing beanies have a moment—get them in a few colorways to add a pop of hue to your après kit. And a couple casual hats everyone is loving right now are bucket hats and five-panels, which will surely ride their wave straight through spring.

“Pendleton National Parks hats, Patagonia and The North Face earflap hats, and brand newcomer Polar hats are all going to be big players this fall.” —Sabrina, Women’s Merchandiser