In short, Mountain Equipment Co-op was founded in Vancouver, BC circa 1971 by a group of individuals sick of crossing the border to shop at REI in Seattle. This malcontent for border crossings and a passion for quality outdoor goods has led to the MEC to become one of the largest co-ops of outdoorsmen in the world. The Co-op is still in operation today making gear for its user/owners with the same enthusiasm as they had 40 years ago.
The parka seen here from the early to mid 1970s is very similar to what one would have found at REI during the same time period. It is made of a 65/35 cotton/poly blend, in an ever popular color combination for the time. What excites me the most about this parka is the thought that went in to the lining. Both the lower half of the torso and sleeves are lined in a light nylon. This allows for much freer movement as friction between the parka and any under layer is greatly reduced. The alternating of Navy and Khaki is quite nice as well.
The parka appears to have been produced under contract by Winner Sportswear LTD of Vancouver. Using local and foreign manufactures to produce items is common amongst Co-ops. Here you can see a later parka contracted by REI from Korean manufacturer Natural Comfort.
This is a great parka from a rare Colorado company. First Lead exists today as an outdoor preparedness and training organization based out of Norwood Colorado, about 30 miles from Telluride. In talking with a spokesperson for First Lead I leaned the training outfit shares no direct relation to the outdoor gear company, but is cut from the same stock of friends and outdoor enthusiasts that started 1st Lead back in the 70s.
This piece is typical in many ways of other parka from this era by other Colorado companies like Holubar and Frostline. A shell constructed from a cotton blend (most likely 65/35 cotton/poly). Added weight and warmth from an inner layer of the same material. Standard parka trimmings like the yoked shoulder panel and multiple large pockets for storage. Beyond that, this parka has some major difference from its competitors. Maybe the most noticeable is the lack of a hood. It’s not that it got lost, there’s not even snaps or a zipper half to attach one too. The cut of this parka is lot shorter too, ending just below the waist as opposed to mid-thigh length. Another difference is the leather backed snaps. Not exactly sure of the purposes here, I am sure it added durability to the snaps, but it also adds weight. Peaks on the front of part of the shoulder yoke point a little more than others, and there is an absence of chest pockets. Maintains traditional accouterments like the back pocket (closed by a small talon zipper), waist cinch, and Velcro cuffs.
Can’t wait to find more gear from 1st Lead to see what other kind of things they were doing different so many years ago!
Banana Equipment is among my favorite of all the early Colorado labels. Banana’s slogan was “products with a peel” and they were one of the first companies to put Gore-Tex fabric to proper use. This simple pullover is a single light weight water/wind barrier when your out in the elements. 1/4 zip YKK zipper closure with banana embossed snaps. Great two-piece design hood with peak and underlying draw cord for a nice,functional closure. Velcro close kangaroo pouch pocket with overlaying storm flap. Velcro cinch cuffs, and bottom draw cord round out this pieces simple structure. Back of Gore-Tex label marked IV-79, it would make perfect sense for jacket to be from 1979. Seam sealant is still visible on the unlined fabric, common on early Gore-Tex goods
Banana Equipment was founded in Estes Park, Colorado in 1972 and the brand was later sold in 1980. Labels changed slightly over the years. At one time they bear the location Boulder, Colorado and later versions don’t contain a city at all. Recently the label has been resurrected and a new line of day packs are available. Find the new Banana Equipment at www.bananaequipment.com.
Alp Sport was started in Boulder Colorado in the early 60′s and later became known as Alpine Designs. This unique jacket comes from that transitional period sometime in the mid to late 1960s.
The shell is constructed from a tightly woven nylon which is light and dense, much like modern shells. The down fill is fairly lofty, but this definitely not an expedition piece. The subtle outside gives way to an all cotton, vibrant paisley lining. Talon zippers, with Alpine Designs’ edelweiss flower logo embossed on the snaps. The gommeted tab suggest it could be used as a ski jacket.
This jacket can be seen as an early example of outerwear as a fashionable piece. In the late 60s, early 70s decades of advancements in outdoor gear design started popping up on college campus’ nation wide as students embraced this new style. A sea change that helped propel companies like The North Face and Patagonia into the upper stratosphere, while giving rise to a whole new crop of labels and the eventual demise of most.
This here is a classic, light weight, 100% virgin wool Filson Cruiser. Beautiful dark olive-green, this virgin wool is tightly woven and soft enough to wear on skin.
This classic cruiser design features:
- 6 Filson embossed snap closure
- 4 front pockets with snap flap closure
- Divided pen pocket on front left breast pocket
- Smaller watch type pocket on front left hip pocket
- Rear pass through game pocket.
The name “Cruiser” stems from a term for timber surveyor’s in the Pacific Northwest for whom Filson’s original design was patterned for.
Vintage Woolrich Hudson Bay blanket inspired jacket. These Heavy weight wool jackets feature a heavy-duty two-way YKK ”sleeping bag” zipper. The zipper is hidden behind a Woolrich logo stamped snap button placket. Blanket stitched edges outline the openings and add durability to the piece. Hudson Bay woolens come in various color combinations, but he green, red and yellow may just be the very best.
This Vanson Leathers women’s size 10 motorcycle jacket is expertly crafted using top quality full grain leather. Styling is a good mix of traditional biker and cafe style jacket. racer-esque lines down the front and contour at the midriff. Fully lined with removable vest for extra warmth.
- Brass tone Talon zippers through out.
- Four front pockets
- snap down collar
- side compression buckles
- gusseted shoulders for expansion across the back
- zippered sleeves
- removable synthetic vest
This jacket is in good shape. No holes, stains, broken stitching or odors. Only visible signs of wear on shoulders, and back of arms characterized by lightnessin the leather’s color from friction. See photos. Liner in great shape. Doesn’t appear this jacket has ever been down on a motorcycle. Estimated this jacket is from the mid 60s to 70s.
This jacket is currently available, please contact me for more information.
Classic Barbour Spey waxed cotton wading jacket. These jackets have a short wide torso efficiently designed for wading while fly fishing. Made in England of high quality materials and superb craftsmanship since 1894.
Other features of the jacket are:
- Corduroy collar
- Storm fly front with Brass finish KANE snaps
- Heavy gauge YKK two-way zip
- Two hip pockets with storm flaps
- Barbour tartan lining
- Inner breast pocket and two lower large stow pockets
- Outer D rings on right breast and left side
- Adjustable inner nylon wrist gaiters
- Grommet ventilated pits
Measurements on this size medium jacket were as follows
18.5″ top of zip to bottom hem
23″ pit to pit
29.5 collar seam to cuff
21″ pit to cuff
Powder blue, diamond quilted nylon houses Eddie’s best premium down with plenty of loft. Angular EB embossed snap closer on jacket and left side pant hip. Elastic cuffs on jacket and pants with similar trimmed collar.
Nice and light weight. Perfect for winter sports or winter camping. likely to give any sleeping bag a minus 20 rating when worn for sleeping. set weighs approx. 29.5 oz
Based on that the fact the garments are marked large and snap placement is opposite what males are used to I have deemed this a woman’s set, but it would work just the same for a male. See measurements below.
pit to pit 19″
Top snap to hem 22″
pit to end of elastic cuff 19.5″
pants waist 24″ – 36″ expanded
inseam 28.5″ to end of elastic cuff
rise from crotch to waist band 15″
Unique co-branded Sierra Designs winter version of their world famous 60/40 mountain parka. Besides the iconic 60/40 label also have NM Supply Company (a Nieman Marcus Collection). Other than the branding this is a Sierra Designs Parka through and through.
60% cotton 40% nylon shell with a beautiful red/green/khaki 70% wool 30% nylon upper lining. Heavy gauge YKK 3/4 length zipper down the front with original long pull. Full length snap closed storm flap. Two Velcro top close breast pockets, two hip warmer pockets also with Velcro top entry. Drawstring at the hood with leather cord locks. Waistline draw as well without cord lock. Zippered back pocket opens up to the entirety of the lined upper portion.
22″ pit to pit
28.5″ base of hood to cuff
21.5″ pit to cuff
30″ top of zip to bottom hem