Ridge Merino: Ski And Ride Layers You’ll Want to Live In
Ridge Merino Wool baselayers in Hot Creek Blue and Atmospheric River. (Ridge Merino/Facebook)
Ridge Merino is an up-and-coming Merino layer company based out of Mammoth Lakes, California, and their pieces perform as well in daily life as they do in the wildest outdoor conditions. The apparel is inspired by the lifestyle in the Eastern Sierras – where you may spend one morning backcountry skiing and then go bouldering in desert sunshine that very afternoon.
Ridge was founded in 2014 by husband and wife team Jeff and Susan Russell. “I can tour in the morning and finish the day in the office without changing clothes,” Jeff told SnoCountry.com. “I discovered that if you’re out all day long, it’s comfortable against the skin and the fabric doesn’t pick up body odor.”
Because Ridge is sold direct to consumer only, the apparel is affordable, and designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind. ‘As a small manufacturer, we can afford to make small changes, like a cut that’s a little longer,” Jeff told us.
He added, “We are lucky enough to be in a unique part of the world – we’re in a geographically isolated 14,000-foot mountain range that weaves into high desert. Even in summer we can get a hit of inclement weather, so we have to dress in layers.”
The local environment inspires their design. “Each year we offer new designs. Last year, California received record snowfall, so the women’s Inversion Midweight Bottoms are inspired by the atmospheric river seen in satellite images of the area. We get inspiration from the elements and the unique geologic formations in the area,” Susan told us.
The Merino wool is sustainably sourced from select responsible sheep farmers in Australia and New Zealand. Merino wool is an entirely natural, renewable and biodegradable fiber. A portion of all sales are donated to environmental causes through their partnership with 1% For the Planet.
It might be hard to pick a favorite, but Susan told us, “I live in the leggings all the time, and I love the boy shorts –they are great utility pieces and I have them in every color.” Jeff says, “the Heist Hoodie is very versatile. I like the heavy weight - it almost feels like a sweater.”