Clothing is always hard for me. Since everybody has their own taste, how can I pick for my customers? With that in mind, I buy clothing from a more technical viewpoint. Looks are important, but not the most important factor. That way, I feel, if you buy something from us based on the way it looks, you will be very happy with it. Its function should be superior for the price category. Cool for me. That way I can shop in the manner I am used to—form follows function. Then I pick the colors I think you all will like. Then I cross my fingers!
I buy clothing for all types of customers. I want the stuff that I want to wear available. I also want the stuff I would wear if I was taking my kids for the first time and had never skied before. We stock a “good, better, best” assortment in all categories. We use all the gear we stock. Even the “cheap stuff”. We don’t stock anything that doesn’t get the job done.
Here is a list of the major brands we stock and why we stock them. We stock many other brands with limited offerings that work well for us. The goal is to have everything anybody needs to go skiing. We certainly could never fully achieve this but we can try! Hit the links to go deeper into each brand.
Mountain Hardware- These guys rock! They are local, I know a number of them personally/socially, and they make only great clothing. That’s three reasons to love Mountain Hardware! For a while Mountain. Hardware was able to sell tons of clothing by building only technical clothing that worked awesome. In the last few years they have added a bit more style to their offerings. Also more “lifestyle” items. Good or bad? I don’t know. Not that I don’t like it- I do. I think it is great. But I think you associate MH with function and innovation. Therefore, I have not gone too far into fashion styles from MH (again) this year. We will continue to carry the forward thinking and cutting edge garments from Mountain Hardware. We will also carry the standards that have kicked butt over the years. We will know that when you buy it you will love it. That makes us happy. It also makes Mountain Hardware a valuable brand in our store. Come check them out. I think you will find that they are great values too. Also- remember that every dollar spent locally helps support workers. That’s gotta count for something. Right?
ArxTeryx- Well, what can I say. ArcTeryx is currently, and for the last few years, and in my own humble opinion, the most respected brand in technical outerwear within the industry. With stunning color combinations and great tailoring their clothing looks great. With state of the art materials and manufacturing processes they work awesome. The entire staff loves the product and most of us own a piece or more (in some cases most of our wardrobe). But just like you we must consider the cost. To use proprietary materials and using new and expensive manufacturing processes is not cheap. I look at it like this- “I will own it for 10 years. I want what is the best”. If this is your attitude (or if you want to buy it for ANY other reason) I applaud you. You will not be disappointed! We stock a limited amount of ArcTeryx gear and are happy to discuss it and/or special order it for you.
Marker- Every store needs a clothing line that feels familiar. Marker is like that for me. Unlike Mountain Hardware or ArcTeryx, Marker doesn’t care about rock climbers or kayakers. They are a ski clothing company. Marker makes very traditional ski clothing line with all the features and benefits you could want in piece of ski clothing. Lot’s of companies can make these same claims. I won’t name them but that’s not the point. The point is…of all the “traditional” clothing makers, why have I chosen Marker? Well, I will tell you. The styles are good. The colors are good.Only the best materials are used. The fit is great. The values are really great. The fleece are so yummy you will want to sleep in them. They also do very good technical pieces at a reasonable cost. You can’t beat a Gore Tex jacket from Marker for value.
Red Ledge- These guys are what I call a “cut and sew” manufacturer. Red Ledge makes most of their money (I think) from sales of their tremendous rain gear. The ski side basically designs a line, makes prototypes, and takes orders for a one time only shipment. Certainly there are some items that they warehouse to sell more of, but not a lot of the stuff I buy falls into that category. The ski specific items are pretty much a one time deal to order. The downside? The order I placed in March is coming in August and that’s all I can count on for the year. I can only hope it sells through. Also, if it sells through quickly, I probably can’t get any more. The upside? Red Ledge makes great gear. They cut no corners and use the best technology out there for their price point. The Red Ledge TH5 waterproofing technology has been fantastic. Certainly the best of the “inexpensive alternative” companies competing with Gore Tex for top dog.
Junior Clothing- We stock Jr clothing from a variety of brands. Prominent will be Marker, Red Ledge, and Snow Dragons. Snow Dragons is for the little jibbers. Marker, Red Ledge ad others are for the older juniors. We also stock items from many other manufacturers. California Ski Company tries to have every thing you need for your kids. We have a huge kids clothing section and can outfit your whole family from head to toe!
E408/Turbine- What can I say? They make the best $115 pant on the market. We do these plus a few other items.
Icewear- Incredibly beautiful clothing from Iceland. Soft shells to die for!
Getting us shipments on time has been an issue. I hope they can get their North American distribution going better. These guys could go places! We have pretty good stock right now…
Black Diamond- A blast from the past? Black diamond is still getting it done. We buy soft Shells and fleece from them. It is really nice stuff. Reasonably priced and well built.
Good or bad? I don’t know.