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Gear we love: Eco-friendly products for outdoor sports

ESPN.com Illustration

When 23,000-plus people flooded the Denver Convention Center for the summer Outdoor Retailer (OR) show, one overarching theme welcomed them: sustainability. From industry efforts at better manufacturing practices to the use of plant-based materials, the show highlighted eco-friendly practices. We visited the booths and compiled a list of outdoor gear that's doing right by the planet:


Icebreaker Tech-Light Short-Sleeve Crew

This New Zealand-based company decided early on to establish ties with merino wool growers with a mutual concern for animal welfare and the environment. Its Tees for Good encourage wearers to cut down on washing, which releases up to 700,000 microfibers per wash into the ocean, by wearing its natural fiber tees up to seven times between washes. The company says that its soft merino wool can go the distance stink-free, and the designs nicely transition from sports to hanging out.

($75; icebreaker.com)


Vivobarefoot Primus Lite II Bio Shoes

Using 30% plant-based materials, Vivobarefoot has debuted its latest natural shoe, with corn and algae ingredients. It also weighs about 10% less than a typical performance shoe, and the flexible sole gives you a true ground feel for walking, hiking and running. The company has lofty ambitions, too: It has stated goals of 90% sustainable materials in 2020 and 100% by 2021.

($160; vivobarefoot.com)


CamelBak Zephyr Hydration Vest

CamelBak's new Zephyr vests -- which come in male- and female-specific fits -- combine functionality with sustainability. The main body material will be CO durable water repellent (DWR) -- the finish on most outdoor gear that allows water to bead up and roll off. Traditional DWR was a byproduct of C8, a toxic chemical with long-lasting environmental impact. By switching to CO, CamelBak is turning out a hydration vest with a far cleaner approach. The vests will be released in spring 2020 -- apologies that you'll have to wait a little longer!

($150; camelbak.com)


DUER Live Lite joggers

More and more companies are focusing on pieces that can transition from workout to work and on to happy hour. DUER is one of the leaders in this space -- and in creating sustainable clothes as well. The fabric of these joggers is TENCEL, which is made from renewable eucalyptus wood pulp and is both compostable and biodegradable.

($120; shopduer.com)


Altra Running Waheaps

This is Altra's first version of an outdoor, multi-use shoe built for everyday wear. Altra bills it as its "national park" shoe due to its built-in traction, which clings to rocks. It also features a 30% hemp upper, a renewable resource that when cultivated with regenerative agriculture techniques can contribute to improved soil.

($100; altrarunning.com)


Klean Kanteen Insulated TKwide Water Bottle

A member of 1% for the planet and certified by Climate Neutral, Klean Kanteen makes sustainability part of everything it does. The insulated bottle is designed to reduce single use waste for anything from water to sports drinks and hot beverages. As with all Klean products, the bottle features a durable, chip- and dent-proof finish, which means the bottles have staying power, too.

($27.95 to $59.95; kleankanteen.com)