Noise Does the Outdoors

Springtime is in full effect and it’s time for us to shed our winter layers and get outside. The Noise team is an active group full of hikers, bikers, rock climbers, surfers, yogis and general lovers of the outdoors (and pubs, but you already knew that). We got together to discuss some of our favorite active brands and why we love them, what trends we’re noticing in fitness, and shared our favorite places in the Bay Area to get some fresh air.

When it comes to gear (gotta get the gear!) there were a few favorites that we all agreed on. Nike is an obvious choice for everyone since they are stylish enough to work out then go out. They are also a trusted brand that makes a reliable product, something we can all appreciate. Adidas, Patagonia, and The North Face are among other staple outerwear brands we’re rocking. But we’re not just wearing the classics, local outdoor brand Alite is popular among several members of our team due to their well-made and stylish accessories with a modest price tag. Chrome Industries are another local favorite for their durable bags and good value. Fast fashion brands such as Forever 21 and UNIQLO also deserve a shout out for their inexpensive yet surprisingly good quality workout wear, making the athleisure look accessible.

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Speaking of athleisure, it was a popular topic of conversation among the group when discussing fitness trends in 2016. Even if we’re not hitting the gym after work, we might be sporting a pair of joggers and high tops as our daily uniform (do we have Kanye West to thank for this)? Wearable tech fits into the athleisure trend, with nearly everyone in Potrero Hill noticeably sporting Fit Bits and their fashion-forward designer counterparts, such as the Tory Burch and Public School collaborations. Social media is in part to thank for this trend, with everyone Instagramming their #OOTD and gym selfies these days, it’s not hard to get the wires crossed between fitness and fashion.


We’re also noticing more sustainable brands on the market. One Noisemaker commented that the people who are engaged in the outdoors are also passionate about preserving them, and there seems to be a leaning toward transferring this to the materials and processes used in making the clothes we wear outside. For example, Prana is a notable brand making stylish and sustainable yoga apparel that is still wearable on the streets after practice. Another great sustainable (and locally made) brand is Mafia Bags, crafting unique carries from recycled sailboat sails for toting surfing gear.


Along with sustainable, we’re seeing a push towards lighter-weight and more function specific goods. From shoes getting ultra lightweight to a kayak you can fold up and carry like a bag, these options give you freedom to go farther, longer. On the functionality side there are now specific sneakers for every type of activity, and many brands are customizable so you don’t need to worry about sacrificing your personal style. There are also expertise brands producing beautifully made and high performance functional gear for niche markets, such as Black Diamond for hiking and skiing and Trace Up, who makes infographics especially for surfers to track their stats while on a ride. These products are covering all the bases to ensure your adventures are accessible and stress-free.  


As far as exercise trends go, Class Pass is widely used throughout our office, keeping commitment levels low while giving us the chance to try a bunch of different workouts. Popular choices include SoulCycle and barre classes, and of course we love doing yoga. Resident surfer, Claire, loves that surfing has become less of a boys club and is moving in a more zen, female oriented direction with the implementation of yoga as a warm up. Surfing super-brand Roxy hosts a huge yoga-centric marathon for women worldwide, and local companies like Sea Surf Fun in Half Moon Bay are also taking part in the trend. Claire says that “women are into surfing more and more and they are really brave and motivated. In San Francisco, there is a great scene of women surfing big waves. If you want to start, they are plenty of surf classes, camps, retreats that include yoga and relaxation”.

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Rock climbing is another popular activity around our office and has been gaining more momentum as of late. Our mountaineering Project Manager, Niki, notes that climbing has come into the forefront of fitness thanks to movies like Wild and Everest along with mainstream stores such as Urban Outfitters carrying more climber-esque apparel. Designer Josh agrees, stating “I’ve seen so many advertisements and commercials that leverage rock climbing recently, I think there’s definitely a culture shift happening in the sport that’s connected to that. Some of it is for the better, bringing so many new climbers into the fold has made the sport much more profitable, allowing more professional climbers and gear/apparel outfitters to thrive, and some of it is…well we won’t get into that.” We’ll take your word for it, Josh!


So where are we going to get active? All over the Bay Area! Mt. Tamalpais, Muir Woods, Angel Island, Pt. Reyes, and surfing in Half Moon Bay are popular for when we need to stretch our legs and get out of the city. Within San Francisco, we love running or biking through Golden Gate Park, hiking around Lands End or Mount Sutro, Mission Cliffs for indoor climbing, and of course we get plenty of exercise pub hopping in the Mission. See you out there!



(Photo credit: Noise 13 team. Follow us on Instagram @noise13design for more!)



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