Form meets function |

Form meets function

Kent Roberg
Photo: Bret Hartman

Every outdoor adventurers worst nightmare is getting caught in the elements unprepared. Losing a glove or mitten even on a chair lift within resort boundaries can ruin a great day on the hill and possibly result in frostbite. In the backcountry the consequences can be fatal. It is no secret in the mountains the weather can change rapidly and without warning. How many times have you wished you brought a neck gaiter when the wind kicks up on the chair lift? What about keeping track of gloves, hats and gaiters after you’ve gotten off the hill and had a few warm up beverages and sprawled your layers over chairs in crowded bars or warming huts. It’s easy to drop a mitten or inadvertently kick a neck gaiter under a table never to be seen again.

Four outdoor entrepreneurs from Grand Junction have developed a unique and intelligent solution to these problems. Brothers Seth and Dirk Anderson, Richard Houghton and Jess Rigg are the driving forces behind Loki Designs. In fact, the crew at Loki is obsessed with solving problems. “If we’re not solving a problem, then what are we doing?” is a common question for the Loki team.

What makes Loki outerwear so cool that the staff at Tahoe Mountain Sports is calling Loki hoodies “The coolest sweatshirts ever” and wearing them daily?

One of the most revolutionary developments in outwear since Gore-Tex, the crew at Loki has integrated mittens, hoods and a neck gaiter/face shield into one garment. For those unfamiliar with the Loki coats a first glance will reveal nothing out of the ordinary, however, upon closer inspection the design features become apparent. The sleeves on all of their garments have an extended length which allows for the concealment of the mitt. Simply pull the sleeve over your hand, insert your thumb into the thumbhole and pull the flap, essentially turning the sleeve inside out, and your hands are now enveloped in a durable mitt. What makes the design of the mitt so intelligent is once you have it on there is no separation between your coat sleeve and your hand. Not only does that mean no possibility for snow working into your mitts or up your sleeves, it also allows you to share that precious body core heat with the tips of your fingers. Extra fabric sewn into the hood transforms into a neck gaiter/face shield by grabbing the extra fabric and pulling the hood up. The face shield can also be worn as a neck gaiter.

Seth and Dirk develop the concept for the first 3 in 1 hat in 1991 while still in high school. Active in many outdoor activities, the brothers spent a night in below zero weather on a ridge on Mt. Princeton and when the wind kicked up found themselves chasing down a glove as it blew across the mountain. It would be a few years before the company got off the ground and the mitt be incorporated in the design. Seth met Jess Rigg waiting tables. Jess was so impressed with the concept he invested $1000 in cash and they were on their way. The final piece of the puzzle came together when Richard Houghton joined the company in 1999 after an extensive stretch in Japan working in the outdoor clothing business. Richard had the marketing and manufacturing experience they were missing. With his extensive resources Richard added the mitt to the design and their products have been constantly evolving ever since.

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The name Loki comes from the Nordic god of mischief. Also know as the shape shifter, Loki is not to be judged on appearance. After the development of the first 3 in 1 hat, brothers Seth and Dirk started looking for a brand name. At the time Dirk was reading lots of comics. They took the image of a character in a comic, made the Norse god connection and it was then they realized Loki translated into low key, the real image and style behind the design and attitude of the clothing line. “It was short and sweet and sounded cool” said Seth Anderson about coming up with the name.

Rather than haul around a bulky trade show booth with lots of parts and plastic, the guys at Loki prefer to keep it simple, just like everything else. Instead you can try to become the fastest Loki at their trade show appearances. The record for getting the mitts and neck gaiter/face shield on stands somewhere just under four seconds. That’s pretty fast. Once you put one of their products on and discover the functionality you’ll be hooked on this ingenious, inventive and practical design. Stop by Christy Sports and check their stuff out or go to your favorite retailer and demand it. “I want my Loki!”

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