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Praise For Patagonia

Image for article Praise For Patagonia

Apparel and Footwear buyer LISA BERGERUD is a huge fan.

Can a brand make you feel emotional? I should buy things because I need them, but often I admit it’s because I want something. When it comes to outdoor clothing, my logical choice is based on fit and function. My trusted Arc'teryx Beta LT waterproof, Montane Atom over-trousers, Haglofs Power Stretch winter insulation; all well and good, but Patagonia is the brand that plucks at my heart strings.

Patagonia has been with me all my adult life. In all my adventures, I've had some piece of Patagonia kit with me that has become entwined in the memory of my travels.

My love affair with the Patagonia brand started about 28 years ago. Friends coming up from London were wearing these brightly coloured fleece pullovers called Snap Ts. They'd been traveling in Nepal and Thailand and proudly wore this new stuff called Capilene. I'd saved up enough money to go away for the winter, to Nepal, Thailand and Malaysia. I hardly took anything with me to the latter, but for Nepal I really did need the Capilene and Snap-T. Memory: sat at the top of a pass looking into the dry dusty landscapes of Dolpo in Nepal; I can smell the dust and see my Patagonia Snap-T, it was edged in turquoise and a strong Persian blue colour.

When I cycled up the coast of Norway I wore a Patagonia fleece vest and windshirt, it was a lovely green but met with a terrible accident on a campsite in Bodo involving a washing machine and black cycle shorts. Memory: I cried. I was tired and pregnant; a washing disaster wasn't what we needed, but it still worked (albeit dirty green) and I still think that whole trip was one of the hardest things I've done.

Memory: 1999, in Telluride we came across a shop that had baby Patagonia windshirts and fleece vests, so we passed the emotional memory connection on to a little mini-me clad in Patagonia.Memory: 2000, I bought Patagonia surf shorts in America, Van Morrison playing and golden light on the Big Sur highway; walking through the giant sequoia and tipping my head to look up to the top of El Cap in Yosemite, all done in the bright flowered pink Patagonia shorts while carrying our second baby.

The years of our children growing up. Memory: cycling around Brittany, kids in a trailer, little Patagonia cotton vests, shorts, with colouring books and buckets. Municipal campsites, sea and huge amounts of fruit.

I'm not sure when, but I remember Patagonia producing their first micro-baffle down jackets. I bought a green one and wore it everywhere, the Lycra in the cuffs is now on its way out but I still carry it in my bag as an emergency warm jacket, it’s so light. Memory: Christmas 2010, walking on the frozen lake with friends.
It's not always about the obvious items; sometimes it’s the things you haven't thought about. When you’re cycle touring, weight is everything but I hanker for something nice. Well, a Patagonia halter-neck dress covers the practical and physical; nice to wear element, brilliant travel kit. Memory: Geneva to Nice, rain, sun and more rain. Beaufort municipal campsite and cooking the worst meal I've ever cooked with dried soya mince. Whilst my cycle clothes hung out on the line drying, I was happy to walk into town in my Patagonia dress to find more food.

Memory: back to America last summer, but this time something very different, an RV Trip around the National Parks. Again, Van Morrison booming out but this time a fridge full of food and early morning running, lovely Patagonia shorts and a lightweight Capilene T-shirt, plus all the air I needed on Angels Landing in Zion.

I know we don't stock them, but Patagonia does make bikinis for its surf market, I have one and it’s been swimming in Derwentwater on some of our warm nights, great after a good run. Enjoy Keswick as it really is one of the best places in the world.

Patagonia make me feel good; here's to another 28 years and more for me.... what will this summer’s memory be for you?

20 June 2017 by LisaBergerud

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