Tired of owning the same color and style of gear as everyone else? If you are willing to pay a bit more money, numerous outdoor brands now offer you the opportunity to customize your gear–including everything from footwear to apparel.
Back in n 2012, Chaco introduced its successful MyChacos custom footwear program where you can design your own Z sandal. Today, the company is expanding that program to include Chaco Flips. Millions of combinations are possible by personalizing eight separate elements of the Flip, including the toe post, footbed, outsole, and each side of the webbing strap. There are over 55 webbing options to choose from, including two Grateful Dead licensed designs.
Eddie Bauer recently started their custom Microtherm Stormdown Jacket program where you can choose from 24 different colors for nearly every piece of the 800-fill power down jacket–body, sleeves, stretch panels, hood, lining, zippers, zipper pulls, labels and logos. You pay an extra $80 over the $199 retail price for the opportunity to design your own jacket, however, but you are pretty much guaranteed you will not look the same as anyone else.
The North Face continues to run their custom Denali Jacket program. For $229, you can design your own iconic fleece jacket, picking from up to 22 different colors for the Polartec 300 series fleece, taslan (the abrasion-resistant fabric overlays at shoulders, chest, and elbows), zippers, zipper pulls, and logos. Even add your own custom label inside. A standard Denali Jacket comes in at $179.
Started back in 2013, KEEN unveiled their KEEN Custom program. Starting with the Newport H2 or Whisper sandal as the base form, you can choose from a variety of colors for everything from the webbing and lining right down to the stitching and laces in order to build your own unique KEEN sandal. With more than 80 colors to choose from and 65 million possible sandal color combinations, it is almost guaranteed no one will build the exact same KEEN sandal as you.
Arguably the leader in customized gear, Timbuk2 now offers 12 different bag styles in its customization program, including The Weekend Duffel and the Iconic Laptop Messenger. I have visited Timbuk2 HQ in San Francisco a few times now and it always amazes me how quickly they can churn out a custom bag and that no two bags are ever exactly alike. I can’t even count how many Timbuk2 bags I own at this point–they are great.
Question for all of you–how important is it to be able to customize your own gear and are you willing to pay more for the privilege?