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The Price is Right

Go Lite, which opened a store on the Cooper Avenue Mall in November, traces its origins back to a 1994 New England backpacking adventure, when founders Kim and Demetri Coupounas realized their core items were excessively engineered.

By Brian Sousa February 1, 2014 Published in the Midwinter/Spring 2014 issue of Aspen Sojourner

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Image: Anne Reeser

As a result, the couple hatched a plan: create lightweight, affordable equipment for outdoor athletes, from waterproof shells to all-season sleeping bags. The idea came to fruition in 1998, with the Coupounases distributing Go Lite gear to outdoor-sports retailers. An even better, more consumer-friendly strategy came along two years ago, when Go Lite began selling directly to the public for wholesale prices. (The first time they did this, in Boulder, customers camped out in anticipation.) Two standouts: the Demeree Jacket ($100), weightless warmth made of 800-fill down and recycled fabric, and the Jam Pack Backpack ($100), a durable, compressible weekend-warrior. Go Lite uses the same materials as technical-gear stalwarts like Mountain Hardwear or Patagonia yet sells at half or even a third of the price. Here in Aspen, that model comes as welcome relief from town’s increasingly sticker-shocking retail landscape.

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