Move over khaki. Outdoor gear is experiencing a rainbow renaissance and the results are both colourful and comical. Below are some of our favourite colour terms that brands have come up with…

 

While we might not want to admit it, the colour of a piece of outdoor gear is likely to influence our choice to buy it as much as the performance features within. 

It follows that brands put a heck of a lot of thought into what colours will be in their range, multiple years in advance — but don’t ask us about the perennial pink in women’s clothing, we’ve written (read: lamented) about that before.

 

Outlandish Outdoor Gear Colour Names

The North Face/Pablo Durana

 

Some of the biggest brands, like Arc’teryx, even have positions such as the ‘Senior Manager of Colour Design’. A job that has, shall we say, a ‘broad spectrum’ of responsibilities…

But, while blue and red are ubiquitous in the outdoors, you’re not likely to see those humble words in any product description. Instead, blue is ‘barrier reef’ and red is now ‘goji berry’

We’re not exactly sure when this started, but it appears to be reaching its zenith. So without further ado, here are some of the colours we didn’t know existed, but are now decorating your next rain jacket.

 

BLUE

When I was in high school, I wrote an English major work on colour symbolism. Who’d have thought reading Paradise Lost would land me here, writing about nonsense colours on a nalgene and trying to work out wtf they mean. 

Aside from Salomon’s ‘barrier reef’, other blues from major brands we’ve seen include:

 

  • Indigo Bunting
  • Mood Indigo
  • Kingfisher
  • Tidepool Blue
  • Pigeon Blue
  • Andes Blue
  • Delphinium Blue
  • Clear Lake Blue
  • Enamel Blue
  • Galactic Halo
  • Cobalt Moon
  • Reflection
  • Soulsonic
  • Exosphere
  • Lumina Heather
  • Timelapse
  • Limitless

And my personal favourite. Freaking… ‘Forcefield’

Outlandish Outdoor Gear Colour Names

RED

 

Outlandish Outdoor Gear Colour Names

 

  • Astro Eden
  • Ephemera
  • Ephemera Heather
  • Dynasty
  • Evening Sand
  • Brick House Red
  • Flare
  • Fire
  • Octane
  • Wild Rose
  • Barn Red
  • Goji Berry

And another favourite…

  • Folklore

GREEN

  • Martini Olive Heather
  • Olive Night
  • Tatsu
  • Bushwhack
  • Raging Sea
  • Moonshadow
  • Bioprism
  • Laurel Wreath Green
  • Chlorophyll Green
  • Thyme
  • Evergreen
  • Agave Green
  • New Taupe Green
  • Borealis Green
  • Oak Grove Green
  • Peppergrass Green
  • Light Beryl Green
  • Dark Elysium
  • Elytron
  • Glade Runner

 

YELLOW

  • Jellyfish Yellow
  • Quantum
  • Zenith
  • Glade
  • Ignite
  • Summit Gold
  • Sundance
  • Sulphur
  • Stinger Yellow
  • Lightning Yellow

PINK

You can read all about our thoughts on the ubiquity of pink in women’s outdoor apparel. However, to many of the major brands credit there’s been a notable shift in the use of pink in recent years. Or at least a reluctance to use the term ‘pink’.

The shorts below are the closest Salomon comes on the colour wheel to the P word and these colours are called ‘brick dust’ and ‘pomegranate’ respectively.

Outlandish Outdoor Gear Colour Names

Salomon’s new XT-6 FT shoe (which belongs in our funny tech names article) has a colour profile right out of Willy Wonka’s factory: Royal Lilac/Chocolate Fondant/Fall Leaf

The most pink things I could find came in the form of some ‘ultra pink’ men’s boardshorts from Patagonia — a colour not found in the women’s range. 

Instead you’ll find from them and others:

 

  • Momentum
  • Rosehip
  • Rosewood
  • Wood Violet
  • Craft pink
  • Dakini
  • Spiced Coral

BROWN

 

Outlandish Outdoor Gear Colour Names

  • Kangaroo
  • Pinecone Brown
  • Owl Brown
  • Coriander Brown
  • Earthworm Brown
  • Henna Brown
  • Bear Brown
  • Mojave Khaki Canvas
  • Dark Ash
  • Dark Curry
  • Log Wood Brown
  • Mulch Brown
  • Walnut
  • Bear Witness Camo
  • Weimaraner Brown
  • Nest Brown
  • Umber Brown

And my personal favourite… Bipartisan Brown. Found below in The North Face’s Women’s Hedgehog Fastpack hiking shoes (a great name in itself). 

So, I’ll see you in the outdoors? You’ll be sure to see me.

I’ll be wearing my Indigo Bunting jacket, so maybe wear something like Ephemera Heather. We wouldn’t want to clash.

 

Outlandish Outdoor Gear Colour Names

 

If this tickled your fancy, you might like to check out The 10 Most Over The Top Tech Names From Outdoor Brands.