Poler gained a following for its unpretentious and inclusive approach to high-quality gear and outerwear
There was a time in our lives when “the great outdoors” meant our backyard, the neighborhood park or the woodlands and wetlands that we could walk/bike/skateboard to without getting into too much trouble from our parents. Then, slowly, things began to change.
Now, if an adventure is not epic or extreme, it’s not viewed as worthy. It seems that adventures need to involve exotic locations like Papua or Lapland or an esoteric endeavor such as wing suiting or canyoneering for any credibility. Gone are the days of the simple pleasures of being outside and enjoying life with friends.
Or are they?
I think Poler, an outdoor lifestyle retailer headquartered in Portland, is leading us back in the right direction. As reported in The Outsiders, Poler has “gained a following for its unpretentious and inclusive approach to high-quality gear and outerwear for action sports and the outdoor lifestyle, from skateboarders, snowboarders, surfers, and bicyclists to weekend campers and roadtrippers.” You only need to visit their store to understand this.
Enter the store and up front, where most retailers reserve precious square footage for feature items, you will find a set of comfortable sofas just screaming to be flopped on by you and your friends. A large “nest” hangs in a nearby tree.
Unpretentious and inclusive? I just call it fun and friendly. The buzz of good-natured people swapping tales of recent and future outings fills the store. Laughter is common. “Check this out” is heard from all corners of the store. Serving you is a staff that is friendly and helpful while not being pushy and hovering. The use of PBR and Oly as merchandising props is heartwarming. I wonder if they are working on a method to pipe the smell of s’mores through the store?
As for the product, I recommend you explore their flagship store for that. (If you do not live in the Pacific Northwest, check Poler out at http://www.polerstuff.com or on social media.)
Tee shirts of the non-technical variety? Check. Truckers caps and stocking caps? Check. Tents with a floral or camo pattern? Check. Squillet? Check. Dope dopp kits? Check. Pennants? Check. Wunder Bundler? Check. Sandwich Maker? Check. Coolers, water bottles and socks? All check. The product line is ever evolving so there is always something new to check out.
Beyond gear and clothing, you find art and publications to inspire dreams of trips and travels.
What you do not see is a bunch of gear heads debating the latest gadgets and gear. You will not see the latest GPS unit or breathable waterproof fabric. No titanium or graphite was visible on my recent visit.
The store is just filled with a collection of fun, innovative gear and clothing that will equip you for your next adventure to the shore, on the road, near the slopes or any place you may wander. (Possibly even the woods at the end of the next block.)