The (Near) Future of Gear: 2021 Trends
An Inside Look at How We Stock the Stuff You Love
Before each season ends, our buyers are hard at work analyzing technology and design trends to put together next season’s orders. Our experts must predict industry and cultural trends (although there are some—ahem, a pandemic—that you can’t see coming) and purchase the gear, accessories, and apparel that best corresponds to those findings. After 2020’s curveball, our buyers are better equipped than ever to restock our shelves—and your gear closets—with everything you need for 2021.
Culture Trend: Maximalism & Minimalism
Gear Predictions: Lightweight backpacking gear, car camp accessories, camp furniture
Customers are tending to either go big or go light. Maximalism is growing, with campers opting for #vanlife, cush car camping setups, roomy family-sized tents, camp kitchens, outdoor living rooms, and portable furniture—anything to make their night under the stars as comfortable as possible.
On the other end of the spectrum are the minimalists—those who prefer to adventure with less. In that vein, we’re looking for ultralight backpacks, shelters, sleep systems, apparel, and accessories, tech that can take you further, and feather-light footwear.
Cultural Trend: Taking It Outside & Bringing It In
Gear Predictions: Trainers, tailgating accessories, indoor climbing equipment
If 2020 taught us anything it’s that people will pursue their passions no matter what. Living room gyms may be a product of the pandemic, but we don’t think they’re going anywhere soon. We’re buying into fingerboards so climbers can stay off of their moldings, trainers so riders can make their miles anywhere, and yoga accessories that can simulate a studio between the fridge and couch.
Alternatively, we’re also seeing a trend in bringing activities that are typically indoors outside. Lounging, cooking, and chilling can all be staged in the great outdoors with outdoor seating, fire pits, portable grills, coolers, and car accessories. After more time than we’d like lately between four walls and a ceiling, we’re hoping we can help you get you outside whenever possible.
Cultural Trend: Multi-Activity Outings
Gear Predictions: SUP boards, fishing, bikepacking gear
No one has time to do it all, so when we get out, we like to make it count. We’re always coming up with new ways of enjoying nature, from SUP fishing and bikepacking to camp climb outings, and we’re trying to determine which outdoor passions people will try to combine in order to capitalize on their time outside or put a twist on a classic adventure. Trends are pointing towards lightweight gear, storage systems, and versatile, element-proof apparel. We’re ready to gear you up to push the status quo.
Cultural Trend: Individualization
Gear Predictions: User-specific components, parts, sizes, and colors
In the age of individualization, we’re buying into whatever lets you get exactly what you want. Looking for those dark-purple pedals or that millimeter-specific build? We’ll have you covered. Want to outfit your rig to become the ultimate tailgate venue? Don’t worry, we’ll have the truck pads, generators, and hitch grills in stock for you.
A Year of Gear
Monochrome color tones, FKTs (Fastest—or Funnest—Known Times), a new era of wearable technology—there’s still a lot our experts are unpacking for next year. But we do know one thing: It’s going to be the year of gear. We’re doing our part to ensure that our shelves are stocked with everything you’ll need for whatever occasion you have to get outside.