Specialty retailer Backcountry announced this week that it is releasing up to 180 SKUs of namesake house-branded gear and apparel, launching a spring/summer line in April 2018, followed by a fall/winter offering that will include the Backcountry Touring Collection: a technical product collection designed expressly for backcountry touring. Between those two will come MTB apparel, tents and duffels.
The online retail giant has previously sold Backcountry-labeled OEM product but this is the first time it has designed and manufactured Backcountry-branded product from the bottom up.
The Park City, Utah-based e-tailer says its Backcountry product line was designed in conjunction with its in-house expert Gearheads, who have honed their expertise using, testing, and listening to what consumers want and need over the past two decades and up to 15 million customer engagements per year.
Jonathan Nielsen, Backcountry Chief Executive Officer, told journalists at Backcountry HQ this week that the brand’s massive data set also played a leading role in product development. But it is really the Gearheads’ intuition and knowledge for what is trending and what really works that lead product development.
The Backcountry gear and apparel releases start this spring (4/3) with an apparel focus, and throughout summer will expand to include camp gear, travel duffels, and mountain bike apparel.
Fall/winter 2018 features a broader product offering, with fall casual apparel on one end of the spectrum, and the technical Backcountry Touring Collection on the other.
The line also includes elevated performance apparel that’s not activity-specific, but rather developed with universal technical qualities needed for a variety of outdoor activities.
The Backcountry Touring Collection is a purpose-built set of products tailored to the specific needs of ski touring and splitboarding. Every product in the Collection is engineered to fit together as a cohesive kit.
The Collection includes Backcountry branded layering and insulation pieces, as well as “co-lab” products created in partnership with leading brands including Black Diamond, Flylow, Smartwool, and DPS Skis, Wasatch neighbors to Backcountry. In addition to the innovative and collaborative nature of the line, the Backcountry Touring Collection also introduces the first instance of what is being called Gearhead Certified Product.
As adventurers and experts in gear attuned to product detail and technical performance, Backcountry says its Gearheads are the most natural fit to assist in designing and endorsing Backcountry’s first activity-specific collection.
“Twenty-two years ago, the first product we sold was an avalanche beacon,” said Diana Seung, EVP of Merchandising. “So it’s appropriate that the first technical Backcountry-branded products we’re creating are oriented around our heritage pursuit, backcountry touring.” Seung emphasized that the intention was not to compete with their more than 1,500 vendor brands, but to fill what they saw as white space in the market.
Backcountry branded gear and apparel products will be available exclusively at Backcountry.com starting in April 2018. The Backcountry Touring Collection will be available at Backcountry.com starting in October 2018.
Backcountry is the leading online retailer of premium outdoor gear and apparel for skiing, snowboarding, biking, climbing, fly fishing, hiking, camping, and more. Founded in the Park City, UT, area in 1996, Backcountry connects people to their passions by offering the best selection of outdoor products, backed up by knowledgeable, responsive customer service from its Gearheads and rapid fulfillment out of its two warehouse hubs. Backcountry operates four additional online specialty stores: Competitive Cyclist, MotoSport.com, Steep&Cheap, and Bergfreunde.de based in Germany.