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Summer Sweater Challenge: The Ultimate Travel Companion

Fitting into my wardrobe, luggage, and life without me having to think twice about it.
March 30, 2023
By Lia Klinchik

Over the last few weekends, I packed my Sand Dollar and Poppy  SeaCell sweaters on 5 different adventures through California, Oregon, and Nevada to see how they would perform.

Upon unboxing, I was amazed by the seaweed yarn and how soft it felt on my skin. As I dove deeper into how it was created, it made me even more excited to throw it on and take it with me on all my upcoming adventures.

At this point, my Oliver Charles Summer Sweaters have been all over the West Coast. It’s more than just a sweater; it’s a statement. A statement expressing that carrying around staple pieces can have an impact on the planet and simplify your life. The first adventure I chose to embark on was to Joshua Tree, a vast and surreal desert landscape characterized by its distinctive trees and massive boulder formations.

Come with me as I test my Summer Sweaters in the mountains, deserts, and coastlines...

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Joshua Tree, CA

We took a day trip to Joshua Tree for climbing. It was a late start to the day, and we finally got to our spot at 3 pm.

This time of year, it gets dark early, so we didn’t have too much time. I never would’ve thought the desert gets as cold as it does in the winter, so having my SeaCell sweater was a good call.

The Poppy sweater illuminated during golden hour, and if you've never seen a desert sunset, well, I would highly recommend it.

If you’re cruising through there, say hi to the Joshua trees and take a hike. There are different trails from the parking at Intersection Rock. It’s a solid spot to take photos and have a picnic as well.

Other Attractions:

  • Skull Rock
  • Keys View
  • Cholla Cactus Garden
  • Hidden Valley Nature Trail
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Bend, OR

Many, many miles away from home, I spent my birthday weekend in Bend, Oregon. I didn’t know what to expect going there; the Pacific Northwest is foreign to me. However, I had heard so many good things about this little city in Central Oregon.

I packed a segment of my capsule wardrobe, as you don’t need much for a 4-day trip out there. My new favorite thing is to repeat clothing, so I can put less in my suitcase. It pleased me to see how well the neutral Sand Dollar sweater fit with my preexisting color choices. Actually, one of the things I was most excited about was the earth tones of the SeaCell sweater collection.

Bend is a high desert, and because Oregon is a Northern state, the weather in September is already starting to get cold. I wore my sweater pretty much everywhere: from town to Smith Rock.

Bend is a wonderfully bikeable city, with the Deschutes River running right through the center and many cute restaurants to have a bite in; I can see why folks love Bend so much.

I enjoyed my peace throughout my trip, and my SeaCell sweater proved to be efficient at keeping my body heat under my coat.

Other Attractions:

  • Deschutes River Trail
  • Tumalo Falls
  • Jackson’s Corner Restaurants
  • Devil’s Lake
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Kings Canyon, CA

Kings Canyon National Park gets much less attention than the Sequoias but is an incredibly beautiful section of wilderness in California.

It is unreachable by vehicle from the eastern side of the Sierras, so you do have to drive into Sequoia National Park to enter. Taking Generals Highway to enter the main part of the park, there are many pull-offs for scenic views and a dramatic display of the mountains.

My partner and I decided to head off there for a 3-day weekend during a heat wave that stretched across the west coast. Our weekend was spent mostly hanging around Zumwalt Meadows and snacking along the river. With the intense sun bearing down on me, it was nice to have a light sweater to protect my skin from the light.

The Summer Sweater has a rating of up to UPF 50+, and also it helped protect against the army of bugs that were hanging around. I’ll never again doubt having some clothing to shield me, even on the hottest days.

Other Attractions:

  • Sequoia National Park
  • General Sherman Tree
  • Roaring River Falls
  • Hume Lake
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Mount Charleston, NV

An ideal getaway from the Nevada heat, Mount Charleston is just an hour outside of Las Vegas. Though we had originally planned to head to Red Rock Canyon, it was too hot. Charleston is a high desert similar to Bend, so the weather tends to be much cooler at a higher elevation.

Temperatures were chilly in the mountains, especially in shaded areas. Taking the road through the mountains, we stopped to see the wild horses and got on the trail. I sat beneath the aspens watching the breeze make their leaves flutter. This is how I destress after a long work week and create space for rest.

Other Attractions:

  • Mount Charleston Scenic Byways
  • Mary Jane Falls Trail
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Mammoth Lakes, CA

Mammoth Lakes, California, lies on the eastern side of the Sierras. In the winter, the ski resort is frequented by many, but throughout the warmer months, the east side is a glorious place to hike, climb, and spend the evenings lounging in hot springs.

On our last trip, my partner and I decided to take the weekend to hike the Mammoth Crest Trail. The Mammoth Crest Trail is a 12-13 mile hike with 3,000 feet of elevation gain that begins at the Lake George trailhead. A sunny, clear day provided perfect conditions for us to be up there.

My clothing’s ability to hold up in the outdoors is a dealbreaker for me. Hanging out at the midpoint of the hike around the lakes proved to be pretty exposed, and I was delighted to be sheltered from wind and sun by my sweater.

The moisture-wicking capabilities of Oliver Charles sweaters never cease to surprise me when I’m in different environments, whether that be alpine, desert, or coast.

Other Attractions:

  • Town of Bishop
  • Convict Lake
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Lightweight Sweaters Ideal For Summer Travel

A friend once asked me what I loved the most about exploring the great outdoors. And to be honest, I wasn't sure if it was the simplicity of it all or the thrill of experiencing new surroundings.

But you know what? After thinking it over, I realized that it's actually a bit of both! I find joy in keeping things simple, but I also love mixing it up when I'm craving something fresh and exciting. And having this amazing sweater with me on my adventures has been the perfect way to do just that!

Every one of my Oliver Charles sweaters has proved adaptability, warmth, wicking, and comfort.

My favorite aspect of the seaweed sweater is how lightweight it is, fitting into my wardrobe, luggage, and life without me having to think twice about it.

I think if I were to keep around a staple for outdoor adventure, it would be this sweater. And when I’m thinking forward about wintertime travel, I think having the seaweed sweater as a light undergarment is a great partner to the wool sweater. So would I do it all over again with this sweater? Absolutely. 

Lia Klinchik is a freelance blogger, content creator, and editor, who studies wellness and nutrition. She's passionate about sustainability, travel, and making the world a better place. Through her writing, she hopes to convey meaningful messages that change people's minds.

If you believe that every good wardrobe starts with owning less and owning better, consider buying yourself an OLIVER CHARLES sweater.
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