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April Fools': Outdoor edition

Emily Vickerson
Mar, 2024
4 mins

April Fools' Day is the one day of the year when brands push the envelope with their mischief and humour, showcasing their playful side, (that some of us actually fall for). Outdoor brands are typically known for their reliable ‘functionality’ and’ performance’, but that’s all taking a back seat as we dive into some hilariously unexpected ways brands have engaged their audiences with April Fools' shenanigans. From comical product launches to jaw-dropping marketing stunts, we’ve rounded the most memorable April Fools' pranks from some of our favourite outdoor brands. 

Yeti’s ‘Ridicooler’

Do you know what’s better than rolling up to camp with a cooler that just chills your food and drinks? Showing up with the Yeti ‘Ridicooler’, which features built-in speakers, a blender, a shotgun rack, and even a disco ball. Yeti, known for its rugged coolers, joined the April Fools' fun with their ‘Ridicooler’, said to be the last cooler you will ever need. It’s been eight years, but we’re still on the edge of our seats, waiting for this product launch.

REI’s ‘Zipall’ 

How many zippers are too many zippers? According to REI, the limit does not exist. Long are the days of looking at the weather forecast before your next adventure, because the REI ‘Zipall’ comes equipped with over 30 zippers, giving you the option to explore over 1,000 outfit configurations. The best part? The ethically sourced removable hood made with recycled, biodegradable, genuine faux jackalope fur. Oh, did we mention it also comes with a cape? Watch out, fashion week. 

Camelbak ‘Closed Loop Hydration System’

Do you hate having to go #1 while running, biking or adventuring in the outdoors? Not to mention carrying around the excessive weight of a days worth of water with you. Well, urine luck (yes, we had to). Camelbak announced the development of the ‘Closed Loop Hydration System’ in conjunction with scientists from Stanford University. Featuring pacemaker technology, it would pump fluid from the bladder via ‘micro-vacuum’, with a uric acid filtration to remove all contaminants through nano-sieves, (almost sounds legit, right?). This one really got heads turning and while controversial, we tip our hats to Cambelbak for pulling off this successful prank. It is a prank, right? Right?!?

Kathmandu 'AdaptAll Wedding Dress’

Time to break the stereotypes of what a wedding dress should be, and lean into what it could be. Now that’s exactly what Kathmandu did with their Gore-Tex ‘Adapt All Wedding Dress’. Raining on your wedding day? No problem. This gown comes equipped with a built-in hooded poncho, so you can say ‘I do’ without getting wet… well, your hair at least.

Ready for the kicker? Kathmandu actually made one of these dresses and auctioned it off for $4,100 NZD and donated all the proceeds to the New Zealand Himalayan Trust. An April Fools' day prank for the greater good… that’s what we call a win-win. 

Sierra Designs ‘The Down Balaclava’ 

If you ever dreamed of looking like an ant-eating burglar from Antartica, ‘The Down Balaclava’ would have been the product for you. Rated for -60 F, this balaclava comfortably covers everything but your eyelids! Wearing a sleeping bag designed for your face does present some breathing challenges, so Sierra Designs created an oxygen respirator under the nose, specifically for those high-altitude adventures. Truth is, if this one wasn’t launched with the hashtag #AprilFools, there’s a good chance we would have believed it.  

Every year brands release their take on April Fools', but behind the humour lies a deeper connection between these brands and their audience. Playful stunts are a perfect way to show your entertaining and silly side in alignment with your adventurous spirit. We have noticed many of our past favorite pranks have been removed from the world wide web, perhaps they pushed the line too far, or became believable enough it caused an uproar? Who knows. But this year, be  sure to keep an eye out for the latest antics from outdoor brands – and be careful what you believe.