Good Ol Raisins and Peanuts. That is what the “gorp” in gorpcore stands for. This is a colloquial term that refers to trail mix, which is the usual snack for avid hikers. Although hiking is synonymous with brands that the gorpcore style is comprised of, the clothes are not necessarily used for hiking. Whereas puffy jacket, insulated layers, and hiking boots are all combined to allow hikers to not freeze in extreme conditions, the fans of gorpcore have seen fit to take over that same combination for everyday usage.
Although gorpcore wearers should be wearing these fits in subzero temperatures, they are often decked out for a quick run to Starbucks. The idea behind a lot of technical clothing is to look fashionable but functional, especially that of techwear. You may not need a jacket that is waterproof, windproof, and has additional DWR treatment. It’s nice to have it though.
In fact, a lot of gorpcore items are built with that high-level of waterproof technology, which is what makes it such high-end fashion. Max capabilities of fabric technology involving, DWR, Gore-Tex, and high rated filling making these items some of those most sought after in all circles. Techwear comprises itself on clothing with the highest level of fabric, technology, and look. This is how and why styles like gorpcore have been attached to high-end fashion.
Comfort is always one of the biggest aspects of any techwear as well, and that is acheived by having some of the most expensive and well made fabrics that are put into items, especially those in the gorpcore style. Majority of gorpcore brands often spare no expense when it comes to the fabrics within. Breathable, comfortable, and highly functional is how gorpcore has been pegged as fashion.
Some of the most notable brands in the gorpcore style:
- The North Face
- Nike ACG
- Mountain Hardware.
Some of the key pieces from these companies that fans of gorpcore often find themselves purchasing are:
Arc'teryx Beta Jackets. The beta jackets boast being breathability, comfort, and Gore-Tex to protect from the harshest elements. The high function of this material is how gorpcore fans have turned jackets made for hiking and camping into a fashion staple.
A middle layer often used in gorpcore fits is from Patagonia. The Men's Classic Retro-X Fleece Jacket is one in which gorpcore fans would add to their complete look. On top of being made from recycled materials, the fleece jacket is insulated, warm, and is Fair Trade Certified sewn. High function and warmth, plus stylish.
REI is another big camping and hiking brand that gorpcore fans often incorporate in their fits. Specifically the REI Co-op pants. These 2-layer pants are waterproof, windproof, and come with a breathable nylon hell. DRW is also incorporated to give off another layer of protection from the elements. High functioning pants that can be used to complete any gorpcore fit.
Salomon is one of the biggest known hiking shoes and boots company that is often used in the gorpcore style. We even mentioned the Salomon Black XT6 Sneakers in our must have techwear shoes article. Check it out here. The Salomon XT6 Sneakers offer EVA cushioning for softer landings, mesh and TPU film construction to offer lightweight construction and durability, and downhill chassis for lug geometry for far more stability. They are used for long hikes but often make their way into plenty of techwear fits.
Take the Broad Peak IN Hooded Jacket for men from Mammut. The jacket is meant for alpine hiking, and endurance hiking at that, but this is the type of jacket one might throw into their gorpcore fit. It’s puffy, stylish, and has loads of features. Top level insulation through Pertex Quantum fabric and the Mammut down 800 cuin fill power, which is higher-level wadding. Y-fuse fabrics that help prevent punctures and moisture regulation.
All these technologies and fabrics are meant to protect the wearer from some of the harshest environments around, but the gorpcore style is taking that same jacket and turning it into a fashion statement. It looks good, but likely won’t be used for an alpine trek.
High-end fashion fans have flocked to styles like gorpcore, turning brands like The North Face and Arc’teryx into full-blown fashion brand options. This is interesting considering that both these brands have been around for decades, and both started as outdoor and climbing gear locations. They still very much are that, but now they have transitioned in offering options that have been changed into high-end fashion.
The fashion in gorpcore might come from the puffy jackets alone. Most techwear is meant to slim down or show a much thinner silhouette, whereas gorpcore offers the antithesis of that. Gorpcore concerns itself with boxier silhouettes that are not often the M.O. for most fashion brands. That is likely why it has grown the way it has. Fashion is highly subjective, and that is proof by the popularity of simple hiking clothes being turned into high-end fashion.
Gorpcore is more complete when it is placed into a layering system, much like how most techwear functions. In fact, the layering seems to be that much more important for true gorpcore fans. A comfortable and breathable base layer begins the whole fit. A longsleeve shirt is the usual go-to in starting a gorpcore outfit. That is followed up with an insulated mid layer. This is usually comprised of some sort of fleece vest or sweater. The final layer is the most important, as the gorpcore aesthetic lives and dies on brightly colored puffer jackets.
That’s not to say that all gorpcore is colorful and vibrant, but bright colors are the usual look for most fashion, and it makes sense that they are implemented into the gorpcore style. There are certainly plenty of muted and more outdoorsy colors involved as well.
Usual accessories for gorpcore might involve some sort of bag, and or, a beanie. The idea is to give off the look of someone who is about to climb Mount Everest, which a lot of fans of gorpcore brands do, but there is ton of other fans who wear gorpcore to just walk through their city.
One of the biggest aspects of gorpcore are the shoes. Hiking boots are big part of most gorpcore fashion as well. Salomon is one of those brands. Fashion model Bella Hadid and singer and fashion mogul Rihanna have both been sighted sporting some of the most expensive and functional Salomon hiking boots and shoes. Singer Frank Ocean is also a big proponent for the gorpcore style, as he has been photographed wearing both Mammut and Arc’teryx.
Gorpcore style has been blowing up on social media, more specifically the Arc’teryx brand. Tons of TikTok videos have been popping up where people are showing off the amazing capabilities of the Gore-Tex and DWR water repellency capabilities of Arc’teryx jackets. That is not even the end of it either. There is currently a song called Arc’teryx by a rapper named YT, that currently has 434,000 views on YouTube. The song is often paired with the videos on TikTok to show off everything Arc’teryx.
@yijihoon “See how it just beads off??” #arcteryx #042cargos #techwear ♬ Arc'teryx - YT
The gorpcore style seems to be breaking its way into the mainstream very quickly.
Fashion fans, specifically those of technical clothing, have found ways to take the items that are used for far different reasons and adopted them into their everyday style. That has long since driven up the pricing and turned brands that were specifically meant for colder environments into the talk of some of the deepest fashion circles. Gorpcore is certainly part of that same designation. Turning high function clothing into a fashion staple.
The name alone sounds like it wouldn’t be appealing, but that is likely what fashion comprises itself of, odd names and styles. Take something that no one would ever consider fashion and turn it into that.