Americans spent 23.45 trillion dollars on clothes, electronics, books, furniture, and other consumer goods in 2017. And that number is only expected to go up. The retail industry is booming lately — but numbers in the outdoor industry are substantially smaller.

There are a variety of reasons for this, but despite declining profits, outdoor brands are making bold moves to reduce the amount of new product moving into the hands of consumers. If that seems counterintuitive to sales, you might be right. But these brands are really putting the customers’ needs first. They’re recognizing that consumers who spend time in the outdoors don’t necessarily want a new piece of gear for every activity. They want smarter gear — not more of it.

RoM Outdoors stands out as one of these companies. Their focus? Create multi-use products that make you re-think how much gear you need in your closet. This new hydration jacket is the perfect example.

Less is More with the RoM Outdoors Hydration Jacket

Picture yourself in the middle of the forest, at mile three of your 10-mile day hike. What do you have with you? You’re likely packing a puffy jacket to keep you warm as you hike into higher altitude; a backpack full of snacks; a hydration bladder; your keys and cell phone, probably. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to juggle so many separate items?

RoM Outdoors integrated a bladder into their new down jacket, which also converts to a vest for warmer temps. Whether you’re on the slopes or the trails, water is the one thing you need, no matter what.

hydration jacket

RoM Outdoors ©

Beyond functioning as both a hydration bladder and outwear, the zippered sleeves convert this hydration jacket to a vest, making it the perfect go-to for fall, winter, and spring activities — and even an alpine climb in the summer.

When I spoke with RoM’s founder, Janay Jones, he explained one of the company’s greatest barriers: “We’re trying to reframe the way people think about gear.” In an industry inundated with single-use backpacks, jackets, and shoes, it’s no easy task. Most jackets on the market serve one specific purpose: they’re good for trail running, or hiking, or skiing, but rarely all three.

With RoM, less is more, and each piece of gear they make aims to prove that.

RoM has an entire line of innovative products like a backpack that converts to a poncho and convertible hiking pants for all-weather trails. They’re releasing new products this year, and we’re pretty excited to test them out, so stay tuned.

Buy now $209


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Megan Walsh

Megan Walsh

Megan dreams of one day being a professional recreationalist, and welcomes any and all tips on how to get there. When she isn’t climbing, skiing, or enjoying shavasana, she’s drinking coffee and furiously typing away at her computer––or watching Netflix. Her work has been featured in Climbing Magazine, Utah Adventure Journal, and on Moja Gear.