Today’s holiday gift recommendation is a double-header. While thinking of the appropriate outdoor clothing shop, I was torn between the snowboard slinging Urban Threads or the downhill ski stocking Campus Wheelworks. So I figured that it would be best to showcase both businesses due to the nature of the outdoor merchandise as well as their close proximity to each other.
Urban Threads has been kicking it for a couple of decades now, and each year the store continues stock a wide range of apparel and accessories that reflect the current trends in the fashion industry. Urban started off in a small shop selling skateboards, urban clothing and a few accessories. Today the business appeals as much to city dwellers as it does to rad boarders.
When I was young, Campus Wheelworks didn’t stock nearly as many functional gear options. Back then it was pretty much bikes and backpacks. Today you can find clothing, X-country skis, and loads of accessories for the adventurous outdoorsmen (and women).
Urban Threads Best Seller:
Wood is in. So says Urban co-owner Maureen Pinkel (lead photo). Whether it’s a crazy wood tie that’s made in the USA by Wood Thumb ($34.95), or the Proof wood sunglasses that are also made in the US ($120), it’s back to nature with a completely different look for 2012. There’s even a hot selling snowboard made by Arbor, which is manufactured using sustainable natural wood (see all three previously mentioned gifts in lead photo). The snowboard runs $560. My favorite selection is the WeWOOD sustainable wood watches that sell for $119. Every time a watch is purchased, WeWOOD plants a tree.
Urban Threads Staff Pick:
Believe it or not, this year’s staff pick is the Bottle Freaker all-in-one koozie. What makes this koozie so different is that it expands to fit over any bottle shape and size. The knitted design comes in a wide variety of designs and colors, making this the perfect last minute stocking stuffer. I tried one out this weekend and got a bunch of compliments from people. The Bottle Freaker keeps your drink cold (or hot), while keeping your hands nice and comfy. Made in the USA, the Bottle Freaker runs $7.95.
Buffalo, NY 14222
Campus Wheelworks Best Seller:
This holiday season Campus has been stocking a rather unusual style of glove. They’re called E-tip gloves, and the item is all the rage with the outdoor geek squad. Notice the fingertips? Each glove is equipped with X-Static® material at the thumbs and index fingers, which allows the wearer to effortlessly interact with modern day touch screens. Normally, when outdoors in the cold, you would have to remove a glove to operated a smart phone. Not any more. Stay warm and in control this holiday season. The Etip gloves sell for $40.
Campus Wheelworks Staff Pick:
Many skiers are still not aware that Campus stocks downhill skis and accessories. That’s why the staff pick is the K2 All Mountain ski with innovative Rocker technology. If you want to hit the slopes with the best equipment this winter, stop into Campus to check out this awesome set of Impact (for the guys) and Super Sweet (for the ladies) skis with the Marker binding system. The set range from $499 to $999. Campus also stocks Atomic ski boots and poles. Don’t forget that Campus offers ski tuning and binding services. Lead photo: Campus owner Ethan Johnson and shop mascot Handsome Dan
744 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222-1639
While you’re there:
After shopping at either Urban or Campus, you will find yourself standing in the heart of Elmwood Avenue. What should you do from that point? Well, I would have to say that it’s time to eat, drink and be merry. Take your pick from myriad restaurants and bars, including Blue Monk, O3, Sole, Acropolis, Globe Market, Wasabi, Spot Coffee, Blue Fin and Cecelia’s. Not a bad selection considering that they are all within a short stroll.