The central conceit of a partnership: by working together you produce something greater than then if you went it solo. David Beckham cozying up with H&M, boutique fashion houses working with The Gap to bring style to the masses, the long string of famous designer/Target collaborations…. And so it is with travel gear—which is a decidedly good thing, as this collection aptly illustrates.
1. ZerøGrand from Cole Haan and Mountain Hardwear, starts at $375; 2. Filson and National Geographic, starting at $245; 3. Vault by Vans X and The North Face, starting at $75; 4. Snow Peak and Nau, starting at $245; 5. Pendleton and the National Park System, starting at $12.50; 6. Topo Designs and Salomon, starting at $140; 7. Adidas and Rockport, $140.
Nathan Borchelt is a gear-obsessed travel writer and adventurer whose collection of shoes, backpacks, jackets, bags, and other “essential” detritus has long-outgrown his one-bedroom apartment (and his wife’s patience).
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Take all the hardcore alpine apparel tech of one of the leading outdoor brands and meld it with the fashion-forward sensibilities of Cole Haan and you get this new line of urban-centric jackets. With three models for both men and women, you get weatherproof warmth, stylish fabrics, and hardly a hint of a mountain-man vibe—even if that's precisely who you are. Cole Haan has also introduced a new line of waterproof footwear under the ZerøGrand label.
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Much like how extreme athletes inform the creation of hardcore alpine equipment, Filson recruited National Geographic photographers David Alan Harvey and Steve McCurry to redevelop the company's heritage messenger bags and totes into camera-ready packs. The four models—messengers, backpacks, sportsmans, and totes—boast a rugged, water-resistant exterior along with removable modular internal dividers to custom-organize and protect your kit without announcing that you're lugging around thousands of dollars in lenses.
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Dubbed "the most technical Vans product to date" this recently announced partnership marries heritage Vans silhouettes with weatherizing features and other proprietary tech from The North Face. The seven-piece offering includes waterproof Chukkas and high-top lace-ups, as well as a new jacket that integrates Vans' checkerboard pattern. Tech features include winter-grip soles, water-repellent leather and suede, fleece insulation, and abrasion-resistant uppers.
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Though Japan-influenced, Oregon-based Snow Peak has recently introduced their apparel State-side, they joined forces with Nau, their Portland brothers in all things fashionable and functional, to introduce a handful of apparel a few seasons back. And a few are still highlights of the Nau line, including the Hokkaido Blazer ($475) for men—a 100% waterproof, fully seamed jacket made of worsted wool, nylon, and spandex—and the women's Felt Up Jacket ($245), a simple 19-micro felted merino wool piece with a cropped length ideal for layering.
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Pendleton's love of the United States' national parks stretches back to 1916, when they introduced their now-classic Glacier Park wool blanket. And almost a century later, you can score a host of rugged products—water bottles, coffee mugs, dish towels, travel candles, dog leashes, and blankets—inspired by the country's national parks.
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Simplicity and state-of-the-art outdoor tech merged nicely when Colorado-based Topo Designs joined forces with France-based Salomon to release twists on two of leading products. Salomon's take on Topo Design's Rover Pack
($159) updates the classic design with a few more outdoor-specific features, while Topo's version of Salomon's Instinct Pro mountain sneaker ($140) retains all the high-performance features you need alongside a fun, timeless look that reaches into Topo's distinctive palate.
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These two footwear powerhouses understand that just because conditions demand a more dressed-up appearance, you shouldn't have to sacrifice comfort. The Adiprene line in Rockport's portfolio boasts tech developed by Adidas Sports that lets the shoe flex better and provides shock absorption at the heel. But on the outside, the shoes are all business (in a good way). Go for the Trend Worthy Captoe Chukka, which lends a bit of funk to the otherwise buttoned-upon conversation.