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Outdoor Enthusiasts - US - March 2017

"More than three quarters of adults have participated in an outdoor activity in the last year and nearly nine in 10 claim to be at least somewhat enthusiastic about the outdoors. Although leisure outdoor participation is more prevalent, adults involved in physically active outdoor pursuits tend to be more engaged in all things related to outdoor recreation. While most outdoor enthusiasts cannot completely disconnect from technology, environmental consciousness and the dedication of active outdoor participants should maintain strong interest in outdoor activities."

John Poelking, Leisure Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Children spending too much time inside
  • Adults like to lounge
  • Frequent purchases uncommon
  • Relatively few are willing to travel

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

          • The issues
            • Children spending too much time inside
              • Figure 1: Kids’ tablet usage, 2014-16
            • Adults like to lounge
              • Figure 2: Outdoor activity participation, November 2016
            • Frequent purchases uncommon
              • Figure 3: Purchase habits, by number and type of activities, November 2016
            • Relatively few are willing to travel
              • Figure 4: Participation habits, November 2016
            • The opportunities
              • Strong enthusiasm for outdoors
                • Figure 5: Outdoor enthusiasm, November 2016
              • Active outdoor enthusiasts more engaged
                • Figure 6: Participation habits, by outdoor participation, by leisure and active nets, November 2016
              • Young adults more active outdoors
                • Figure 7: Outdoor activity participation – Leisure and active nets, by generation, November 2016
              • Almost half of outdoor enthusiasts influenced by friends/family
                • Figure 8: Engagement with the outdoors, November 2016
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • More people heading outdoors
                  • Everyday use for fitness fashion
                    • Outdoors and new experiences important to young adults
                      • Standing up for the environment
                      • Market Size

                        • Outdoor participation growing slowly in last decade
                          • Figure 9: Outdoor participation – Number of participants, 2006-15
                      • Market Perspective

                        • Activewear thriving in soft apparel market
                          • Millennial travelers seeking new experiences
                            • Larger families playing outside
                            • Market Factors

                              • People care about the outdoors
                                • Figure 10: Attitudes toward environmental responsibility, 2012-16
                              • Sizable Millennial generation aging into key spending years
                                • Figure 11: Population by age, 2012-22
                              • Outdoor recreation now part of GDP
                                • National park attendance increasing
                                  • Figure 12: Visitation to national park sites, 2006-15
                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                • Large retailers carry more influence, products
                                  • Being an outdoor enthusiast means many things
                                    • Competition for tech and events result in over saturation
                                      • Gathering new material for outdoor apparel
                                        • Take the outdoors to the digital space
                                        • Outdoor Retailers and Brands

                                          • Mass merchandisers
                                            • Amazon
                                              • General outdoor and sporting goods retailers
                                                • Dick’s Sporting Goods
                                                  • REI
                                                    • Outdoor specialty retailers
                                                      • Bass Pro Shops
                                                        • Cabela’s
                                                          • Outdoor apparel brands
                                                            • Patagonia
                                                              • The North Face
                                                                • Columbia
                                                                  • Figure 13: Columbia Sportswear, “Directors of Toughness | The Final Trip,” May 2016
                                                              • What’s Working?

                                                                • Appealing to all types of outdoorsmen
                                                                  • Practice what you preach
                                                                    • Patagonia gives back on Black Friday
                                                                      • #OptOutside
                                                                        • Figure 14: REI, “#OptOutside: Will You Go Out With Me?” October 2016
                                                                      • Fostering community
                                                                        • Hunting gear
                                                                          • Dating outdoors
                                                                            • Camping “hacks” for newcomers
                                                                            • What’s Struggling?

                                                                              • GoPro going slow
                                                                                • Races getting dragged through the mud
                                                                                  • Motivating children to go outside can be a challenge
                                                                                    • Figure 15: Kids’ tablet usage, 2014-16
                                                                                • What’s Next?

                                                                                  • Tech-inspired outdoor apparel
                                                                                    • Exploring the outdoors virtually
                                                                                      • Figure 16: Moosejaw Virtual Reality Experience-Bridging Moab, May 2016
                                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                    • Outdoor leisure activities more popular than active
                                                                                      • 83% at least somewhat enthusiastic about the outdoors
                                                                                        • Mass merchandisers, Amazon, retailers with variety dominate
                                                                                          • Offline sources of information trusted, online also well utilized
                                                                                            • Disconnecting from technology is difficult even in the great outdoors
                                                                                              • Relatively few willing to travel far distances to participate
                                                                                                • Frequent gear purchases uncommon
                                                                                                • Outdoor Activity Participation

                                                                                                    • Leisure trumps active outdoor activities
                                                                                                        • Figure 17: Outdoor activity participation – Leisure and active, November 2016
                                                                                                      • Younger men, parents tend to be active outdoor participants
                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Outdoor activity participation – Leisure and active nets, by key demographics, November 2016
                                                                                                      • People of all ages wish they were camping
                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Aspirational outdoor activity participation – Select items, by age, 2015
                                                                                                      • Men outbound, women homebound
                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Outdoor activity participation – Select items, by gender, November 2016
                                                                                                      • Younger adults more active outdoors
                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Outdoor activity participation – Leisure and active nets, by generation, November 2016
                                                                                                      • Older adults simplify the outdoors
                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Leisure outdoor activity participation – Select items, by generation, November 2016
                                                                                                      • Parents take their kids outside
                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Outdoor activity participation – Leisure and active nets, by parental status, November 2016
                                                                                                        • Outdoor activities more pervasive in the West and Mountain regions
                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Active outdoor activity participation, by region, November 2016
                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Leisure outdoor activity participation, by region, November 2016
                                                                                                        • Black adults least likely to participate in outdoor activities
                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Outdoor activity participation – Leisure and active nets, by race, November 2016
                                                                                                      • Enthusiasm for Outdoors

                                                                                                          • Vast majority are enthusiastic for the outdoors
                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Outdoor enthusiasm, November 2016
                                                                                                          • Active outdoor participants more enthusiastic than leisure participants
                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Outdoor enthusiasm, by leisure and active nets, November 2016
                                                                                                          • Passion for outdoors most prominent among fathers
                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Outdoor enthusiasm – Very enthusiastic, by gender and parental status, November 2016
                                                                                                          • Hispanics consider themselves very enthusiastic for the outdoors
                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Outdoor enthusiasm, by Hispanic origin, November 2016
                                                                                                        • Where Outdoor Enthusiasts Shop for Gear

                                                                                                            • Mass merchandisers offer one-stop shopping
                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Where outdoor gear and accessories are purchased, November 2016
                                                                                                            • In-store purchases drive sales
                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Where outdoor gear and accessories are purchased, in-store versus online, November 2016
                                                                                                            • Millennials often twice as likely as the average to buy mobile
                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Where outdoor gear and accessories are purchased – Online, by generation, November 2016
                                                                                                            • Mid- to high-income households go broad with their purchasing
                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Where outdoor gear and accessories are purchased, by household income, November 2016
                                                                                                            • Active outdoor enthusiasts also spread out their purchases
                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Where outdoor gear and accessories are purchased – Any shopping, by leisure and active nets, November 2016
                                                                                                          • How Outdoor Enthusiasts Stay Informed

                                                                                                              • Outdoor enthusiasts seek offline information
                                                                                                                • Trusting friends and family
                                                                                                                  • One third look to TV
                                                                                                                    • Online resources numerous, decentralizes resource destination
                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: How outdoor enthusiasts stay informed, November 2016
                                                                                                                    • Men look outward, women keep sources close
                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: How outdoor enthusiasts stay informed – Select items, by gender, November 2016
                                                                                                                    • Younger generations engage online
                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: How outdoor enthusiasts stay informed – Select items, by generation, November 2016
                                                                                                                    • Parents most likely to engage across platforms
                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: How outdoor enthusiasts stay informed – Select items, by parental status, November 2016
                                                                                                                    • Three quarters of active participants get informed offline
                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: How outdoor enthusiasts stay informed – Select items, by leisure and active nets, November 2016
                                                                                                                  • The Influence of Technology Outdoors

                                                                                                                      • Outdoor enthusiasts cannot completely disconnect
                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Attitudes toward technology outdoors, November 2016
                                                                                                                        • More men use tech to enhance experience
                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Attitudes toward technology outdoors, by gender, November 2016
                                                                                                                        • Younger generations embrace technology outdoors
                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Attitudes toward technology outdoors, by generation, November 2016
                                                                                                                        • Parents more likely to use tech while outdoors
                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Attitudes toward technology outdoors, by parental status, November 2016
                                                                                                                        • Use of technology more likely among active participants
                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Attitudes toward technology outdoors, by leisure and active nets, November 2016
                                                                                                                      • Participation Habits

                                                                                                                          • Four in 10 prefer relaxing activities outdoors to extreme adventure
                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Preference for relaxing outdoor activities, by number of active and leisure activities, November 2016
                                                                                                                          • Long-distance travel uncommon
                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Participation habits, November 2016
                                                                                                                            • Gearing up with the latest and greatest not a priority for most
                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Purchase habits, by number and type of leisure and active outdoor activities, November 2016
                                                                                                                            • Men more invested in the outdoors
                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Participation and purchase habits, by gender, November 2016
                                                                                                                            • Generations approach outdoor activities differently
                                                                                                                              • Older adults most likely to lounge
                                                                                                                                • Being active and having new experiences more important for younger generations
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Participation and purchase habits, by generation, November 2016
                                                                                                                                • Parents seek adventure outdoors
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Participation and purchase habits, by parental status, November 2016
                                                                                                                                • Active enthusiasts willing to go to greater lengths
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Participation habits, by leisure and active nets, November 2016
                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                • Data sources
                                                                                                                                  • Sales data
                                                                                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                                      • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                            • Terms
                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market

                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Outdoor activity participation, by number of participants and share of population, 2015
                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Consumer

                                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Outdoor activity participation – Teens, April 2015-June 2016
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Outdoor channel viewership – Viewed in last 7 days, July 2015-August 2016

                                                                                                                                            Outdoor Enthusiasts - US - March 2017

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