Yet *another* Seattle tourist question, but this time involving parking and recreation equipment.
April 20, 2006 10:19 PM   Subscribe

So one of my buddies back East is flying out here to Seattle tomorrow on business (he's an apparel designer looking for cool inspirational ideas that he hopes Seattle can offer). Where should I take him?

I know this question has been asked several times already, but I have a couple specific questions.

1) he is doing research for his apparel company. Basically looking for cool outdoorsy gear, shoes, clothes. He's already planning to hit up the big REI store downtown, but where else might he be able to pick up some cool inspirational stuff with an outdoor, modern, even xtreme sportsy feel to it?

2) I live 20 minutes North and will be taking the 358 South bus into downtown while he's staying in a hotel in Renton. Where is a really easy place to meet up on a Saturday morning. That is, where is an easy parking spot for him near a easily recognizable location? oh, and since I haven't entered the 20th century and got myself a cell phone, we can't "cheat" and call each other when we get close.

posted by johnstein to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (6 answers total)
I wish my boss would let me fly cross country to go to REI.

I would suggest getting out of town, there's nothing in Seattle chain stores that he can't see wherever he comes from or on the internet (unless he's the rare fashion designer that lives in a tiny village with no web connection of course). Go to the Olympic penninsula or head for Rainier to see some action gear, in action.

Failing that I guess you could go to more sporting and skate stores but most of them will carry the same brands. Feathered Friends is the only indie store I can think of offhand and there's nothing inspirational about sleeping bags and down jackets, I hope. You could also go down to the docks and check out some of the sailing and boating gear.
posted by fshgrl at 11:05 PM on April 20, 2006

I still figure all the action gear in action is going to be REI c. 2004. there's useful gear, and then there's fashion gear. the former doesn't change a whole damn much and when it does, it's because some dude using the stuff realized there's a way to make it more functional. my advice is to buy some gear and use it, and then fix it. :)
posted by kcm at 11:23 PM on April 20, 2006

Actually, there's a few other places you could check out:
Kavu, in Ballard - they make some cool stuff and you can see the stuff REI doesn't carry here.
Ex Officio also has a store in Belltown - they are "travel" clothes, but it's another opportunity to see stuff in their line that REI doesn't carry.
The North Face also has a full-line store in First Avenue downtown.
While you're at the REI store, check out their best local competitor, Feathered Friends, they have only one store, and so they can carry more small brands, and have more of an "outdoor boutique" feel to them.
posted by dbmcd at 9:09 AM on April 21, 2006

Oh, and just meet up at the coffee stand at the REI store - they have a parking garage (under the store). There's seating and everything.
posted by dbmcd at 9:10 AM on April 21, 2006

Outdoor Research in Seattle does their own gear design. I think they have a factory outlet where they sometimes sell experiments.

You should check out the various climbing gyms and public climbing walls (UW near the stadium , Volunteer Park water tower, Marymoore park in Redmond). Maybe some of the skate parks too.
posted by Good Brain at 9:40 AM on April 21, 2006

Outdoor Research is on 1st Avenue south of downtown. On your right headed south. If you pass the Starbuck's building you've missed it.

I'd take your friend to Greenlake, Kirkland, and the Burke-Gilman trail. That should round up the gamut of Seattle outdoorsy haute couture.
posted by macinchik at 4:12 PM on April 21, 2006

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