Friday, 12 January 2018

Alps & Meters: 'Designed by Tradition' for Skiing and Outdoors

I heard recently from an interesting skiing and outdoor brand called Alps & Meters. I've written much on the blog about the benefits of traditional materials for use in the Great Outdoors. While modern materials have their place in the most extreme conditions, you can't beat tweed, Ventile, merino layers, waxed cotton, Grenfell cloth and woollen knitwear for their good looks. Bright nylon/polyester anoraks are fine for climbing the most challenging peaks, but for less harsh environments, traditional fabrics are quieter to wear, breathable, more subtly coloured and definitely more stylish. 

British Millerain Alpine Anorak and Alpine Winter Trousers from Alps & Meters

Alps & Meters, a US brand born on a trip to Sweden, takes the same view of the place of heritage-style clothing in the skiing and outdoor worlds. They describe their products as 'Designed by Tradition' which sort of encapsulates the message in a few words. But you don't have to look like extras from The Heroes of Telemark; modern design and technology can improve the use and manufacture of traditional materials: think of dry-waxed cottons and water-resistant tweeds.

Materials from the past bring texture, natural colours, improved feel and robustness to outdoor clothes, allowing you to blend in rather than bounce off the landscape. Alps & Meters recognise all this in their range of knitwear, British Millerain waxed canvas, water resistant lambswool and leather - all with waterproof membranes where needed. My favourite pieces are the tweedy Alpine Winter Trousers (which come with braces and a water resistant membrane) and the British Millerain Alpine Anorak on which you can change the orange lacing to a more sober olive if needed (both pictured below and worn above). 



All blend the contemporary with the traditional in a very pleasing way. Leather is used for reinforcement where needed and water resistant knitwear takes the place of the fleece. The collection blends style with warmth and practicality. I've been using mine very comfortably for cold weather sorties into the fells of Cumbria and my son has in eye on them for his ski trips early in the New Year; I'll report back his experiences in due course. See Alps & Meters.

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