Supporting small businesses is very important to me. There is something about helping out the mom and pop shops. While working with a small company there is something that screams – we actually care! In the case of Melanzana, you can see their care in the design and detail of their clothing. In their decisions to keep it simple, comfortable, and skip the bells and whistles that you see with the products lining the walls of the big outdoor stores. For a company that barely advertises, the word about Melanzana has spread far and wide.
Original, Functional, Soulful.
Melanzana is a twelve person outerwear company based out of the small mountain town of Leadville, Colorado. A dozen employees cut, sew, design, and sell everything. Buying all of their materials from Polartec, their products are 100% made and manufactured in the United States. When the company first started in 1994, they were known as Eggplant. After learning that the company name Eggplant was already trademarked, they changed the name to Melanzana – the Italian word for Eggplant. It rolls off of the tongue rather nicely as well.
What does this have to do with bikepacking? Less is more.
Melanzana’s high performance, quality outerwear is comfortable, warm, and made to last. What is even better is that their products are all of those things, AND they’re lightweight (11 oz. for a large).
Our favorite Melanzana product that we have tried so far for bikepacking is their Micro Grid Hoodie. This highly functional and uniquely cut hoodie has proven to be extremely effective while bikepacking. It stuffs easily in your saddle or handlebar bag. It is great for either layering under an outer shell, or wearing as a breathable but warm outer layer. Although it is not waterproof, it drys pretty quickly. The best part about this hoodie for bikepacking? They have designed the hoodie so that it tightens up close around the face and over the chin for the ultimate protection and warmth. I have even worn the hood over my bike helmet in extra cold conditions – especially for fat biking.
The Micro Grid Hoodie fits perfectly- not too tight, not too baggy, and the sleeves are not too long. With just a rain coat over top, I have been comfortable outside in temperatures as low as 37 degrees before needing to add an extra layer. The Micro Grid Hoodie comes in a variety of different colors and color combinations that can be seen on their website.
Melanzana makes a variety of different products. Anything from micro grid skirts, vests, soft shell jackets, socks, and beyond. At a fraction of the cost ($68.00) of a Patagonia R1 fleece, Melanzana’s Micro Grid Hoodie and other Melanzana products are perfect for your bikepacking adventures and will not disappoint. They do not distribute to any retails stores, but they can be purchased online or in the store in Leadville.