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Backcountry.com Launches New Apparel Brand

An army of opinionated web surfers help develop a new clothing line.

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It’s kind of like a focus group on steroids: A collection of 92,000 people with similar interests in the outdoors are free to anonymously voice their love or hatred of a piece of gear in as much detail as they’d like. There’s no moderation. In fact, it’s all encouraged.

“It’s kind of like the Wild West of online,” says Backcountry.com spokesperson Mike Geraci.

Thanks to its run-wild-with-your-opinions forum, Backcountry.com announced last week the launch of a new uber-technical apparel brand called Stoic. An under-two-pounds Bombshell insulated jacket, softshell pants and bibs made out of breathable waterproof material, and wool-lined gloves with durable goatskin palms and finger reinforcements.

Developing Stoic has been a three-year work in progress and the comments posted on Backcountry.com were a vital part of the process, says Geraci.

“What we do is harvest and monitor all the comments and reviews and feedback and that becomes part of the research and development process for Stoic gear,” Geraci says. “It’s an amazing resource to have.” [stoicgear.com]