It’s no secret that we love REI. Whenever we need gear for our adventures, it’s the first place we head. From our very first backpacking trip when we were clueless up until now, we know we can count on their knowledgeable and honest staff to point us in the right direction.
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Last Updated: Oct 17, 2018
REI's First Lifestyle Collection - Celebrating 80 Years with Wallace Lake
They recently launched a new lifestyle line called the Wallace Lake collection, which we had to check out! Before adding any pieces to our own closets, we headed to the NYC Soho store to get a sneak peek.
Interview with the Designer
REI creates a ton of amazing technical gear and clothes, but this is the brand’s very first complete lifestyle collection. We talked to Karin DeYoung-Wood, the REI Co-op Brands design lead, to find out more about what inspired this line.
We loved learning about the company’s history. The name of the collection is inspired by an old photo that they found that the co-founders took at on one of their first dates at Wallace Lake, WA in 1929. It was one of the many moments that led to the creation of the co-op in 1938 when they gathered with a group of friends to create technical gear that didn’t exist at the time.
Since 2018 marks the company’s 80-year anniversary, they also pulled designs from the archives and updated them for today’s style. Check out this original rucksack from 1958, and the new version they have today. They also have a replica of their 1978 Alpine Jacket for women and a the 1972 High Country Parka for men. Besides direct designs, they also pulled pattern and color inspirations from back in the day. Sometimes we had trouble telling which was vintage and which was the updated version.
The Fit & Feel
No doubt, the pieces are designed with form and function in mind. Although it is a lifestyle collection, they are still made for an active lifestyle. We’re always looking for versatile clothes that look good when we travel but can handle any impromptu adventures that we may stumble upon.
We have a ton of REI gear, but neither of us own much of their clothes because they don’t tend to fit our smaller frames. Even when we were looking through the new line, one of the employees mentioned the same thing. Some of the new collection still fits large on both of us, but we were excited to find a few items that fit well on us too. Hopefully this means they will continue to give more sizing options with slimmer cuts. The items we tried on were comfy and cozy, and we’ll report back when we get our hands on some of our own clothes to show you more details on the fit.
Check out the full Wallace Lake Collection here and let us know which items we should check out. Also, don’t forget that becoming a lifetime member for only $20 has amazing benefits, like exclusive deals and 10% back on your purchases. If you make a big purchase, you can make that back immediately.
Have you seen the Wallace Lake collection in stores yet? What are your favorite pieces?