Gear Geek: Cool Collaborations

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Gear Geek: Cool Collaborations

When two creative forces come together to play, it’s often the perfect storm in terms of innovation, aesthetic, and quality. Sometimes, it’s for a greater cause—to raise awareness and money for non-profits. Other times, it’s just because now you can buy a coat just like the one worn by a handful of characters in the new Star Wars flick.

1. Columbia and Star Wars Rogue One, Starting at $400; 2. Nixon and Rogue One, Starting at $150; 3. Burton and Jeff Koons, $5,000; 4. Supra and Assassin’s Creed, Starting at $75; 5. Spy and POW Goggles, $120; 6. Burton and South Park, Starting at $25; 7. Nixon and Pendleton, Starting at $25.

Nathan Borchelt is a gear-obsessed travel writer and adventurer whose collection of shoes, backpacks, jackets, bags, and other “essential” detritus has long-outgrown his one-bedroom apartment (and his wife’s patience).

Columbia and Star Wars Rogue One

J.J. Abrams' extension of the "Star Wars" franchise fired up every nostalgic synapse imaginable, a heady confection of jaw-dropping awe that ultimately faded like a sugar rush. "Rogue One" takes a more serious route. Love that approach or not, the latest flick—the first in what promises to be a long series of films not directly tied to the main narrative—sure gets the "Star Wars" aesthetic right. And now you can join the rebel forces (or the Empire) by scoring one of three limited-series jackets, each one inspired by the harsh climates of Andor and engineered to stand up to the cold and wet of our future winters. The jackets include the Jyn Erso Rebel Jacket ($400), which includes a quilted insulated vest that can be worn separately; the Captain Cassian Andor Rebel Parka ($500), outfitted with all of Columbia's warmth-giving tech; and the Imperial Death Trooper Jacket ($450), a waterproof/breathable rain jacket. Droids sold separately.

Nixon and Rogue One

Nissan announced a partnership with "Rogue One" as well, kitting out their own Rouge sedan with a host of "Star Wars"-inspired features. But the partnership between the new "Star Wars" movie and Nixon watches might make for a better impulse buy. The limited-edition capsule collection takes its aesthetic leap from Nixon's existing silhouettes and pairs them with elements inspired by the Rebel Alliance, Imperial Troopers, and the Death Star. Go subtle with the Jane or Ranger leather series, or full retro with the Unit, an all-digital watch that comes in two groovy colorways. Want more? Nixon provides with a larger line of "Star Wars"-related product.

Burton and Jeff Koons

Hand-crafted in Burton's Vermont HQ, the new Philosopher snowboard was co-designed by Jeff Burton himself in partnership with famed artist Jeff Koons. The run is limited to 50 boards, with all proceeds benefiting The Chill Foundation, a charity that inspires youth to overcome challenges through board sports. As the board's name alludes, the concept came from the narrative of Plato's Cave. As Koons describes it, "The idea of transcendence, freeing oneself and walking out of that cave into a higher state of consciousness. That's what the act of snowboarding does for me." Beyond philosophical transformation, the board itself is dialed for hard-charging all-mountain riding.

Supra and Assassin's Creed

In Supra's latest capsule collection, the shoe-maker partnered with 20th Century Fox to spin up a limited-edition series of three sneakers inspired by "Assassin's Creed," the next video game-to-movie project to hit theaters. The video game (and the movie) leans heavily on the highly acrobatic act of parkour, and the new kicks will employ Supra's skateboarding roots to deliver a firm grip on whatever concrete surface you next encounter. They'll come in a high-topped version dubbed the Skytop III ($110;pictured) as well as the Scissor ($100) and the Stack II ($75), both low-tops.

Spy and POW Goggles

The non-profit Protect Our Winters (POW) aims to leverage the snow sports community (and industry) in the fight against climate change, banking on the very simple truth that if climate change continues, the snow that all winter fanatics love will disappear. To continue their mission, they partnered with the optics experts at Spy to create a limited-edition "POW" goggle, which uses 100 percent biodegradable "Planate" materials in the frames. Beyond that, you get high-end optics, a bonus lens, and their quick-draw lens change system. A portion of the proceeds goes to the POW campaign, and—thanks to the bold graphic on the strap—you also become an advocate for saving the season you love so much.

Burton and South Park

The residents of "South Park" live in perpetual winter, so it makes sense that snow-centric Burton would collaborate with the twisted animators behind the show. The line is robust, with everything from snowboards and long-sleeved ringer t-shirts to socks and mittens. But lovers of the program will likely gravitate to the hats, sure-fire references to the characters of Kyle and Kenny. The latter is made of bonded fleece with chafe-free seams, a faux fur trim, and (presumably) a prepensely for tragi-comic death.

Nixon and Pendleton

The iconic wool from Pendleton's mills join forces with the modern Nixon aesthetic to introduce a series of watches and packs, each with a signature washed American jacquard print. The capsule collection includes three watch models, the Sentry Leather ($175) and 3B Leather ($175), and the Ranger OPS Leather ($275), each with a patch of Pendleton wool near the face, along with an array of backpacks and duffels. You can also score a few lower-cost, high-aesthetic accessories like a keychain, sync bag, watch roll, or wallet.