I recently spent a long weekend in Breckenridge, Colorado for my brothers bachelor party (check back soon for my guide to having the ultimate Breckenridge based man trip). After spending months planning the best trip possible for our group of 9 guys, which included whitewater rafting, ATVing, hiking and other general shenanigans, the next step was to figure out what to bring.
One thing to know about Breckenridge, is it’s super laid-back and no one is going to care how you look. You can roll up to a bar fresh off some outdoor adventure in shorts and a t-shirt and you’d fit in just fine. But when it comes to packing for an epic weekend in Breckenridge and the surrounding area, what you should be concerned with is being prepared – because when you’re prepared with the gear you need to excel and be comfortable, you can focus fully on what’s in front of you and on having an awesome time.
And while there might be a few places conducive to throwing some random things in your suitcase the morning of departure, remember, Colorado is not one of those places — especially when you’re visiting to get crazy with mother nature. So plan ahead. To make your life a little easier, I’ve put together a list of personally tested and approved gear recommended for use during an adventurous summer trip to Breckenridge.
TIMBERLAND – EARTHKEEPRS ORIGINAL LEATHER 6-INCH BOOT
Timberland knows how to make tough boots — they’ve been doing it for over 40 years after all. And their finest work to date (at least in my opinion) is their Earthkeepers Original Leather 6-Inch Boots. With this boot, they not only hit it out of the park in terms of sturdy, quality construction (no surprise there), they nailed it in the looks department too. Earthkeepers Original Leather 6-Inch Boots have a classic style, and after doing a 360 degree inspection, there’s nothing I’d aesthetically or functionally change about them.
While these boots are refined enough to wear to out to a nice mountain town dinner, they’re also rugged enough to take into the wild — so don’t be afraid to get them dirty. And to top it all off, they’re made using recycled and sustainably sourced materials. Timberland Earthkeepers Original Leather 6-Inch Boots - $180
GARRETT LEIGHT CALIFORNIA OPTICAL – MILWOOD SUN
The vistas of mountains, valleys, rivers and forests in Colorado are truly unbelievable. And viewing them though the polarized lenses of these Garrett Leight California Optical Milwood Sun sunglasses made it all even better. With lenses that provided a crisp view and 100% UV protection, and with lightweight and durable frames made from cured cellulose acetate, these are “buy ‘em once” glasses. What does that mean? It means that while they don’t come cheap, they’re the one pair of glasses you’ll want to keep around for the next 20 years (vs. buying several low quality frames time and time again). And with their iconic rounded frames, you’ll never need to worry about them going out of style. Garrett Leight Milwood Sun - $375
WHEELMEN & CO – BABYLON BACKPACK
Usually backpacks that are big on style suffer in substance and functionality. That’s not the case with the Wheelmen & Co. Babylon Backpack which looks incredible and over performs when it comes to usability. Hand-made in the Untied States, the waxed canvas exterior with leather accents and the durable nylon-lined interior form the bones of this bag’s well thought out design. I was surprised to find foam padded shoulder straps and an adjustable chest strap which make the bag comfortable and secure to wear — it’s really not all beauty and no brains. And while the sides can fold in at the top with buttons on either side for a slimmer profile, expand this backpack and it has a surprisingly huge interior storage space complete with laptop pocket. Wheelmen & Co Babylon Backpack – $219
EDDIE BAUER – ADVENTURER JACKET
There’s a reason this jacket is called the Adventurer — it was designed specifically for traveling. Made with ripstop nylon (making it virtually tear proof) and a water-repellent finish, this jacket is more than ready to be taken into the Colorado backcountry. It’s also wrinkle-resistant, quick drying and folds down to a small size for easy packing. I especially like how light the Adventurer Jacket is, as well as its fit, which is tailored yet unrestricting. The multiple exterior pockets also came in handy to store my phone, a GoPro and a map while ATVing. Eddie Bauer Adventurer Jacket - $99
EDDIE BAUER MICROTHERM STORMDOWN VEST
Although it is designed for hunting and shooting, the Eddie Bauer Microtherm SportDown Vest is a go-anywhere piece of travel gear. With a decent oxford shirt underneath, it’s got the style to wear out to dinner, but it’s also right at home on the hiking trail. It’s this kind of multi-use clothing that is perfect for traveling, especially in Colorado where transitioning in and out of nature can occur multiple times per day. Made with ripstop nylon, premium goose down and topped with a water-repellent finish, the Eddie Bauer Micotherm SportDown Vest is ultralight and super comfortable. My favorite part is the soft fleece-lined collar which adds just the right amount of warmth (seriously, you’ll want to just wear this vest around the house it’s so comfortable). Eddie Bauer Sport Shop Microtherm StormDown Vest – $149
SPERRY TOP SIDER – H20 ESCAPE BUNGEE SNEAKER
When you think of Sperry, you probably think sail boats, khaki shorts and of course, their famous Top-Siders. But it’s time to also get familiar with Sperry’s extensive line of shoes engineered for water-based adventures, like the H2O Escape Bungee Sneaker. Perfect for river wear, especially when walking along rocky shores, the H2O Escapes are insanely light weight, flexible yet sturdy. They also easily slip on and off when you want them to, but stay secure with their adjustable bungee tightening system when you don’t. Plus, water drains out easily through the sole and out of the holes in the side, which allows them to dry quickly. I’ll definitely be whitewater rafting with my H2O Escapes again, but I also plan to wear them paddle boarding and kayaking too. Sperry Top Sider – H2O Escape Bungee Sneaker – $90
KATIN – STRIPES TRUNK
Katin is a surf brand with a long history in Southern California. While they may have been born at the beach, they’re the perfect trunks for any body of water. Made with a soft, tri blend suede fabric and designed with a vintage look and feel, these are the most comfortable swim trunks I’ve ever owned. Katin Stripes Trunk – $59
MULLET ON THE GO – HEADBAND MULLETS (BET YOU DIDN’T SEE THIS COMING!)
Yes, headband mullets! You may have noticed in a few of the pictures above (mainly the photos of the sunglasses) that I was sporting some luscious, shoulder length brown hair. Unfortunately, that is not my own and credit must be given to Mullet on the Go’s hilarious headband mullets. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, an adventurous man trip to Colorado isn’t about looking good — it’s about have the gear you need to be prepared and to have the most fun possible. Pulling out 9 Mullet on the Go mullets from my backpack, one for every guy on the trip, was a very well received surprise. I don’t know what it is about mullets, but they hold a magical power to make everything a little better — especially shooting guns and riding ATVs.
One of the best of many great mullet memories was this: while ATVing we crossed paths with two guys off roading in a Jeep (the only other people we saw the entire time). We stopped to chat briefly — remember, we’re 9 guys with mullets (which when sticking out from the back of a helmet look even more real). No one explained, alluded to or mentioned the mullets. What are the chances of running into 9 guys, all with mullets?! Well, to those two guys, we’ll forever be that weird mullet club they ran into in the woods. Mullet on the Go Mullet Headbands - $11.99
If you can’t get in a weekend trip to Breckenridge this summer, it’s not too soon to start laying the groundwork for next summer. Plant the “We should go to Breckenridge” seed in your friends’ minds now and let it grow.
While some of these items are brand staples and will be available for a long period of time, others are seasonal and may not be available in the future.
Do you know of great travel clothing/gear/equipment that I should know about? Let me know! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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