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Danger of Muted Shades Replacing Bright Climbing Clothes

In the world of outdoor fashion, it seems muted shades, such as grey, black and white are replacing bright colour patterns.

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Many brands have been focused on body-mapping and active insulation technology for years. They shape and mold the latest and best fabrics into clothing with more comfort and durability. Function is hidden beneath a fashionable exterior.

“Consumers want to wear their performance apparel to the climbing gym, yoga studio, group fitness class and anywhere in between,” says Joanna Tomasino, Mammut softgoods category manager.

However, more consumers than ever seem to be opting for inconspicuous outfits versus the neon oranges and yellows that were popular only a few seasons ago.

Some are calling the trend in clothing “peak-to-pint” or “trail-to-tavern.”

While it might be fitting to go low-profile at the ski hill or in urban spaces, going undetectable could leave you stranded in the backcountry.

Almost all search and rescue technicians suggest wearing bright colours in the backcountry in case you require a rescue.

“In general it is challenging to see someone on the hill if they are wearing dark-coloured clothing,” said Donald Macrae of the Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team.

“I would suggest if you are lost that, if you can, wear some bright colours as they can provide great contrast to a grass or heather background.”

It’s not that bright clothing is a replacement for backcountry knowledge or gear like an avalanche beacon, radio or RECCO, but it’s a handy tool and could be the difference between your rescue or something worse.

And beside, colour is fun. Some scientists say the colour you wear reflects your personality. The internet noted the following as some common mood-altering properties given to the following bright colours:

Green = productivity and freshness
Orange = fun and impulsiveness
Red = passion and enthusiasm
Tropic (light blue) = calming and relaxing
Surf (dark blue) = wisdom and power
Grape (purple) = creativity and luxury
Raspberry (pink) = romance and happiness

Consider keeping some bright clothing for your backcountry adventures this year. If you prefer dark clothes for the pub or coffee shop, just keep an outfit change in your car.