*notcot in playful , 16:45

Gateway Camping Gear + REI EVRGRN- 05.26.15

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There’s GLAMPING (Glam-camping) and ATHLEISURE (Athletic looking leisure wear)… and there’s been a fascinating, growing space of what we’ve been referring to as GATEWAY CAMPING Gear… that bright, happy, playful, hipsterific, instagram-ready camping gear that transitions easily from apartment/patio to mountain top… it works just as well for a picnic/hike as it does for extra party seating… and it all folds right up to pop into your car or pack. Don’t get me wrong - i’m a fan. (In fact, my fascination with the space may be part of how Shawn convinced me into building the NOTFZJ Project!) It’s fun, colorful, and i love seeing more well designed, efficient, multipurpose products as well as more technical materials making their way into our everyday lives. It’s been mesmerizing to watch it all unfold! These are the products that are easier to justify to a “once in a while” camper - because you’ll probably end up using it at home and in the yard and it won’t look too out of place. It’s the perfect ‘off to college’ gift genre since it works for your dorm room and outdoor adventures.

If you’re still trying to picture the brands that embody this - think of Poler, Alite, Nomadix, and Rumpl - maybe even aspects of Snowpeak, Biolite, Treeline Outdoors, Best Made Co, and Camp Brand Goods. It is all about the lifestyle! The perfect lovely, tranquil, mosquito-free, lakeside, tree-surrounded campsite - curled up with your closest friends around the camp fire with no one else in sight… as the birds tweet around you and a gourmet meal is being prepared. You know - that ideal postcard/instagram moment! Where all is perfect with the world - and maybe you have cell signal/wifi and proper bathrooms nearby. Another example? That resurgence of enamelware mugs and more permeating our kitchens… as well as our camping kits.

I know, it may sound cynical, and i certainly don’t mean it that way - it has just been fascinating to watch the emergence of this Gateway Camping Gear that helps ease the transition from city kid to the outdoor adventurer - just like Glamping took camping to the luxurious extreme, and Athleisure made it ok to run around in workout clothes (without working out) - Gateway Camping Gear is helping made the slide from urban living into woods easier! And you’ll notice more and more traditional outdoor/adventure brands leaning towards less hardcore, more playful, lifestyle products to pull people in. The latest is definitely REI’s evrgrn collection (yes, fashionably named with arbitrary vowels dropped even). Take a peek on the next page at REI’s new evrgrn collection - it’s not hard to see where their inspiration comes from!

REI’s evrgrn collection - evrgrn1.jpg

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Their lifestyle photos certainly aren’t what i normally envision when i think REI… evrgrn3.jpg

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Here’s the full product line up… evrgrn11.jpg

I am totally intrigued with the Rocker - though it does feel a lot like the Alite and Helinox chairs. And that table and lantern make Snowpeak pop into my head. The sleeping bag pictures make me think of Poler and Alite too…

And doesn’t it all just feel like it would fit right in with Gestalten’s The Outsiders: New Outdoor Creativity?
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UPDATE - just popped into the REI in Santa Monica and had the strangest experience… good news - first thing you see when you walk in are some of the new evrgrn collection! Bad news? After talking to quite a few people, and waiting around for more, we were sternly told that it is so new nothing else is out yet, and if we made an offer on the display ones, maybe we could buy it. So we’ll have to check back to see more! But here’s a peek at what we found.

Here’s the display upon entrance… evrgrn13.jpg

The tent is off the back! evrgrn14.jpg

View of the chairs from the side. They are pretty comfy - though one sales guy did warn us to try it off the concrete so it doesn’t slide out from under you. No chance to see how it looks packed up into the messenger bag case. evrgrn15.jpg

The base of the rocker is pretty hefty - and the tubes feel nearly twice as thick as the Alite ones. There’s a little logo in the center plastic piece. evrgrn16.jpg

Every tiny detail on the tent had cute little logos. evrgrn17.jpg

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