Tailored to You: Get the Look You Want (and a Better Fit) With Customizable Gear

Customizable gear man skiing through deep powder
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When shopping for new gear, you’re usually limited to the colors, patterns, and styles designed by the brand. Those shoes in electric blue might not be your vibe, but it’s either that or neon green. But by creating customization options online, some companies have begun to offer more ways for you to get exactly what you want in your gear. You can use these customizable gear platforms to unleash your creativity and make something completely unique. It’s not all aesthetic, either: In some cases, you can use the customization platform to get an improved fit and adjust features for the conditions you’ll face.

 

 

Whether you want something to match the gear you already have in your closet or you’re looking to stand out on the mountain, these nine outdoor brands will help you do it. The list below, including top custom offerings like Nike By You, will help you find ways to customize everything from shoes to ski goggles to pullovers.

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The Best Customizable Gear

Fjällräven Kånken Me Pack
Fjällräven Kånken Me Pack Courtesy Image

1. Fjällräven Kånken Me Pack

Last fall, Fjällräven debuted Kånken Me, the brand’s personalize-able iteration of its classic Kånken pack. Introduced in 1978, this particular pack featured an innovative design that redistributes the bag’s weight to help reduce back problems. Previously available only in bright solids, fans can now choose the colors of the pockets, straps, panels, buckles, and interior—14 color choices on 15 parts of the pack, which equates to over 100 billion possible combinations. An online configurator lets you experiment with the design before deciding on your final product. With this tool, no two packs will be alike.

[$140; fjallraven.com]

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Nike By You customizable gear
Nike By You Shoes (Metcon 7) Courtesy Image

2. Nike By You Shoes

First, pick the shoe. High tops? Cleats? Air Force 1s? Then, customize nearly every part of the shoe with your choice of colors, graphics, and materials. Before dipping your toe into designing, explore Nike’s compilation of tips and tricks from top designers. They’ll teach you how to avoid decision fatigue, envision yourself as a shoe, and focus on function. There’s no wrong or right way to do it, they say. The only catch is that you need a free Nike membership, which requires creating a login and downloading one of the brand’s apps.

[Prices vary; nike.com]

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customizable gear customized Chaco Z/1 Sandal
Chaco Z/1 Sandal Courtesy Image

3. Chaco MyChaco Sandals and Accessories

With the MyChaco platform, you’ll start with a blank canvas: an all-white sandal that’s just begging to be customized. You can choose to makeover a pair of Chillos, Flips, or one of the company’s four Z sandals. Opt for solid colors or one of Chaco’s many patterns, including everything from sunflowers to tie dye. When you get to designing the footbed, an extra $10 will upgrade you to Cloud for an added layer of cushioning. Lastly, you can even get them embroidered with your name or another message on the heel straps. Already have sandals? Chaco also lets you personalize accessories like belts and dog leashes.

[Prices vary; chaco.com]

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Misty Mountain Custom Harness
Misty Mountain Custom Harness Courtesy Image

4. Misty Mountain Custom Harness

This western North Carolina climbing company launched a harness builder in 2017 to give climbers more of a say in how their gear gets built. Select your belt and leg loop style, interior and exterior colors or patterns, and size from XS to XXL. You can also add or remove loops for gear management. Use the online platform to get a 3D view of your design before adding it to your cart. Just keep in mind that some add-ons cost extra, Misty Mountain won’t let you exchange or return your personalized harness, and producing it may take up to four weeks.

[Starting at $140; mistymountain.com]

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Swift Industries Custom Bandito Bag
Swift Industries Custom Bandito Bag Courtesy Image

5. Swift Industries Customizable Baggage

Seattle-based Swift Industries makes some of the sleekest, most ergonomic bike bags on the market. The brand also has a customization feature: You can select the bag’s body color from 21 bright shades like spa blue, saffron, and black heather. For some pouches, such as the Peregrine Randonneur Bag and Zeitgeist Bag, you can even choose the pocket and flap colors. Now you can match your Bandito Bar Bag with your bike frame, jersey, socks, and the rest of your cycling kit.

[Starting at $108; builtbyswift.com]

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Enlightened Equipment Custom Revelation Quilt
Enlightened Equipment Custom Revelation Quilt Courtesy Image

6. Enlightened Equipment Custom Revelation Quilt

This backpacking quilt is the Winona, MN brand’s best-selling product for a reason: Customers can personalize it to their height, width, color, and temperature preferences (down to zero degrees Fahrenheit). The company caters to long-distance hikers, and it provides thorough size charts and spec sheets so you’ll be fully informed on the weight, fit, and measurements before ordering.

[Starting at $215; enlightenedequipment.com]

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PolarFleece Andover Shearling Pullover
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7. PolarFleece Andover Shearling Pullover

You can really go nuts with color when designing a PolarFleece pullover. Even though the body and sleeve color options are limited to ivory, black, heather gray, and midnight blue, there’s a wide range of options when it comes to the pocket, ribbon, collar, button, binding, and thread. Every fleece is made out of 100-percent Polartec Thermal Pro shearling with brass snaps, and you can even watch how they’re cut, sewn, and finished in the company’s New England factory.

[$140; polarfleece.com]

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Made Custom Technical Apparel
Made Custom Technical Apparel Courtesy Image

8. Made Custom Technical Apparel

The key advantage of custom clothing over store-bought apparel is that the garments are designed to your body’s exact measurements. Made is trying to bring the tailored concept to the masses through its innovative line of ski apparel. It works like this: After selecting the features you want in a shell jacket or pants, you’ll scan your body through Made’s AI-based measurement tool. The tech records more than 75 measurements that are fed into the brand’s patterning software for a specialized fit. Once you get your item in the mail, Made will make adjustments if it isn’t perfect.

[Prices vary; madeoutdoor.ca]

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Smith I/O MAG Imprint 3D customizable gear
Smith I/O MAG Imprint 3D Courtesy Image

9. Smith I/O MAG Imprint 3D

Goggle makers have a hard job building a pair that matches every face. To make the job easier, and the customer happier, Smith introduced its new Imprint 3D Technology that maps a person’s face to create a goggle with an improved fit. To use it, choose your lens and strap, then get the Smith app to upload the dimensions of your face, which the company uses to craft your custom goggles. The precise frame paired with a thinner DriWix face foam reduces light leaks, air gaps, fogging, and hot spots. Frames are 3D printed, assembled by hand, and delivered within 14 days.

[$450; smithoptics.com]

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