Mountain Style Book by Isola Press

It’s only June but Isola Press just ticked ‘main present’ on our Christmas list. 

Their new book Mountain Style: British Outdoor Clothing 1953-2000 is available to back on Kickstarter. Please back this project if you can, aside from supporting a brilliant niche publisher the book itself looks incredible.  

We are biased, it’s no secret our love of late 20th century outdoor culture heavily inspired Utility Archive. This was a golden era of design and innovation. Just as the big US and European brands or uber-cool Japanese labels demand attention now, back then small homegrown brands garnered international renown for their high-level innovation.

The 300 page book covers five decades of seismic industry shifts. In the ’50’s most ordinary folk headed outdoors in what was available - a limited choice of outdoor gear supplemented with military, work and everyday wear in natural fibres and trad colours, Alfred Wainwright style. 

And then, booming demand spawned a network of British designer manufacturers who pressed fast forward with design and manufacturing innovation, performance materials, offshore sourcing and a colour explosion - it’s impossible to ignore the ’80’s was in the middle of all this.

Great to see the evolution of RAB, Mountain Equipment and Berghaus through this era into today’s popular and credible brands. Also niche makers like Buffalo, still successfully manufacturing innovative Pertex jackets out of their Sheffield factory. Troll, a big innovator through 70’s and 80’s has been recently resurrected, whilst some like Javelin are sadly no longer around, but still available on Ebay if you’re lucky enough. 

If you don’t know Isola Press be sure to check out their other books - Rough Stuff Fellowship and Bunker Research are particular favourites of ours. 

Although the above may sound like we’re affiliated with Isola, we’re not, just big fans of all things old-school outdoor, and of creative folk who put in the hard work to produce stuff like this.


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