On its own, Garmont is a solid company. Trail shoes, trekking boots, ski touring boots and mountaineering footwear are all products that Garmont has been offering for many years. Now they’ve expanded their reach by adding three new brands to their arsenal: Movement Skis, Life-Link Backcountry gear and Bridgedale Socks. With the addition of these three labels, Garmont has opened themselves up to new demographics, and of course, added some stellar new gear.
First and foremost, Garmont makes a range of footwear for active lifestyles. The company originated over in Northern Italy, and for 140 years they have produced high quality boots and shoes. Many of their classics have been updated, but they’ve also added some interesting new items. The Claw is a low profile hiking shoe with excellent stability. A day hiker that goes from road to trail with ease, the Claw comes in both vented and Gore-Tex versions. If you’re in the market for a light multi-day boot, the Storm GTX fits the bill. It’s stable enough to carry light backpacking loads, but light and comfortable enough to use as a day-trekker. If you need a bad-ass boot that will hold up to heavy loads and nasty conditions, then the Colorado is what you seek; aggressive lugs, leather uppers and heavy-duty hardware make this the ideal boot for big time mountain outings. All the new boots and shoes will be available in Spring 2013.
Life-Link Backcountry Travel gear is now under the Garmont umbrella, and they had a few items on display. Shovels, probes, poles and snow study kits will all stay under the Life-Link brand while undergoing updates. We’ll get to see more of their products at this year’s Winter Market. Bridgedale has also been welcomed into the fold. This company has been churning out socks from their base in Northern Ireland since World War I, so yeah, they’ve got some history backing their product. A full line of light hikers, trekkers and running booties is now a part of the Garmont family. Finally, since Garmont makes some pretty slick touring boots, they figured why not add a ski brand as well? This freeski company has been around since 1999, and again, we’ll know plenty more about them once Winter OR rolls around.
It may sound like Garmont has their hands full with three new brands, because they certainly do. It will be a juggling act to grow the newcomers while maintaing their high level of footwear products. However, from what I saw in their booth at Outdoor Retailer, they sure seem capable of pulling it off. This was a group of friendly people who clearly had a passion for their products, and any good juggler will tell you that is often all you need.