Gorpcore is a combination of techwear & outdoor wear with a heavy focus on style and utilitarianism. In this feature we take a look at 5 Gorpcore brands that should be on your radar.
Gorp simply means “Good ‘Ol Raisins and Peanuts”. A popular snack for those needing energy on a trail. The phrase Gorpcore was created by Jason Chen in an article he was working on for The Cut in 2017. There wasn’t a term at the time that encapsulated what Chen was trying to describe. A combination of Techwear and outdoors gear with a heavy focus on style and utilitarianism. This stood outside both of the previous style types but still blended the line between the two. Looser fitting garments with vibrant colours remain a key look today of Gorpcore brands while some opt for neutral earth tones as well. Gorpcore also brings into focus specialized materials for the full utilitarian vibe. GORE-TEX, technical nylon’s, taped vs sewn seams, lightweight and breathable fabrics that also repel water and wind.
Layering is a big part of the look and style of Gorpcore. As weather and temperatures change, pieces of the outfit are easily added or subtracted to keep the look intact while still being able to battle the elements. A lot of pieces in the Gorp style are also adjustable, which allows for a better fit depending on the situation you are in. From adjustable cinched legs and waists to specialized crotch gussets, these items are meant to keep up with whatever you throw at them. Accessories are also used to complete the look, usually backpacks, bucket hats, or sunglasses. Gorpcore is still in full swing because of its bridge between design, style and function. Nice, high-quality pieces combined with long lasting function that can remain in your rotation for years to come.
Founded in 2011, Battenwear is the brain child of Designer and Vintage Outdoor Collector, Shinya Hasegawa. Shinya went from Tokyo to NYC to study at the Fasion Institute of Technology. There he met and worked with influential designers Mark McNairy (J. Press) and Daiki Suziki (Engineered Garments). Daiki then hired him as assistant designer at Woolrich. After a stint as designer, he was talked into making his own brand and label, Battenwear. Battenwear’s focus remains on utility for everyday wear. All Battenwear is made in the USA and in close proximity to the New York design studio. This being a very important detail as they are “connoisseurs of detail” from the stitching to the buttons to the finished garments. Inspired by Surf and outdoor culture in the 60’s and 70’s and focused heavily on choice materials to withstand the elements. Nylon ripstop, canvas, poplin are common materials used for long lasting, breathable, truly live in able clothing and accessories to wear daily and take you anywhere you need to go, from Sierra Nevada to the streets of New York City.
In the late 70’s a group of climbers needed more freedom in the clothes they were wearing while climbing and hiking. Born out of necessity, Mike Graham sewed a diamond gusset in a pair of shorts to increase mobility. This small addition took off amongst climbers and thus Gramicci started. Adding a webbed nylon belt to the shorts, the perfect outdoor shorts were created. This quickly translated to a pair of trousers made with the same details in mind. These pants become a must have for both outdoor types and people in the big city. Gramicci has expanded well beyond pants and shorts with all types of clothing and accessories. The iconic “running man logo can be seen on t-shirts, nylon outerwear, linen shirts, and cotton twill pants from Gramicci are staples in many Gorpy wardrobes.
Salomon started in 1947 in the French Alps with the creation of ski binders to connect a skier’s boot to the ski itself. 45 years later in 1992 the first Salomon hiking shoe was born. While creating full collections of sporting gear, mostly skis and snow sport accessories, Salomon is most known in the Gorp and streetwear community for its shoes. With popular collaborations from famed Streetwear and Designer brands like Palace, Comme des Garcon, Boris Bidjan Saberi, and notable Gorp Kings, And Wander. Salomon shoes are most known for the quick lacing technology and quality build, materials and performance. The outdoors brand is now owned by Amer Sports whose other widely known brands consist of Wilson, Louisville Slugger, and fellow Gorpcore legends Arc’teryx.
Arc’teryx or “the Dead Bird” as it is known in the Gorp community is a Canadian based outdoor clothing gear company. Arc’teryx is best known for their high-quality Gore-Tex jackets and shells, while also offering a full range of climbing and outdoor apparel and gear. Bright colours along with muted neutrals are offered to appeal to a wide audience looking to add to their current Gorp rotation. From outdoor lovers to the Tech wear aficionados, Arc’teryx has a piece for you. Arc’teryx mainline is also supported by popular sub labels Leaf and Veilance. Leaf, standing for Law Enforcement Armed Forces, selling technical pieces designed to withstand all types of environments. Veilance sports high end pieces meant to combine stylish menswear with technical innovations.
Nike All Conditions Gear stylized as Nike ACG is the outdoor subsidiary of Nike. Formed in 1989 out of the now defunct Nike Hiking, ACG was the athletic sneaker brands’ full assault on all things outdoors. Instead of focusing on one area of the outdoors ACG took to it to all new levels. From biking, hiking, climbing, water, snow sports, and more. ACG also utilises popular outdoor materials such as nylon, GORE-TEX, rayon, and fleece. Many notable names have worked at ACG defining and redefining the Nike Gorp Tech wear label. Tinker Hatfield (iconic Nike Air Max inventor), Errolson Hughes (Creator of Techwear Label Acronym) and Taka Kasuga ( designer of Arc’teryx Veilance).