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Allez Outdoor, a US-based skincare company recently started by Colorado native and longtime climber Sonja Bjornsen, seeks to “provide sensory-rich, restorative skin care that helps seamlessly carry our community though the outdoor spaces we love, while protecting [those spaces].” They do this by using plant-based and cruelty-free ingredients, keeping all production in the USA, and donating a percentage of the profit from every item sold to the protection of public lands by supporting the Access Fund.
More specifically, Allez sponsors the Fixed Anchor Grant Program, a partnership between the Access Fund and American Alpine Club that works to replace aging hardware. The company is also a member of 1% for the Planet, a group of companies that pledge to give 1 percent of their profits to environmental causes. Says Bjornsen of her inspiration, “The idea was to create a more premium unisex line of skincare that smells great and is gentle on us and the environment, while still being effective.”
Allez outdoor recently sent Climbing a goodie box filled with an assortment of their products, which my testing notes detail below.
Cleansing Cloths ($20)
The last time I went climbing at Rifle, I gave an Allez Cleansing Cloth to each of my friends at the end of the day. Consensus was overwhelming positive for these large wipes. They are about 15 inches by 10 inches, which makes it possible to use them for a large swath of one’s body in a single go. I tend to start by wiping down my face, then my chest, then my arms and legs all with the same cloth. The fact that they are able to cover such a large bodily surface area is good, since at $1 a pop, these cloths are not cheap. The individual packaging also means that each one produces more trash, but the cleansing cloths themselves are biodegradable and made from natural, plant-based ingredients—and the individual packaging makes it easy to bring the cloths in a backpack so you can immediately get clean after a long day of climbing. Everyone really enjoyed the scents of Cactus Bloom and Chaparral, and found their skin to feel clean and residue free afterward.
Salves Everything Hand Salve ($20 for 1.5-ounce tin) and Salves Everything Hand Salve with CBD ($30 for 1.5-ounce tin)
Featuring the same calming scent of Cactus Bloom and Chaparral, these hand salves have a pleasant, natural smell that is distinct but not obtrusive. Since both salves come in screw-on-top tins that are easy to bring along as a crag accessory, a good smell that won’t distract is important—I now carry the non-CBD version in my climbing bag, and because of the pleasant smell feel assured that I’m not taking away from my neighbor’s experience when I apply it at a busy crag.
After using both of these salves, my skin felt noticeably softer and healthier—while the standard salve goes on a bit “sticky,” any leftover stickiness is gone after about 10 minutes. It has therefore become a staple within my climbing bag and I particularly like to use it after scraping myself up in cracks. On the other hand, the CBD version leaves a residue for about double that time. This comes with CBD’s central benefit of easing of aches and pains—a noticeably soothing effect. I have arthritis in my fingers, and the added CBD helped alleviate those pains after a day of climbing.
Whichever salve you choose, noticeable improvement to skin health can be expected. I tend to get rough, dry knuckles after going a few days without moisturizing, but after a few applications of either of these salves my skin has felt replenished.
Limited Edition Chalk Bag ($30)
This has become the only chalk bag I use. Firstly, is its size, which is large enough to fit the ample amount of chalk I want while still leaving plenty of space. This means I worry less about my chalk spilling. I also really like the styling—the fabrics Allez uses have low-key, yet attractive, black-and-white patterns sourced from FABSCRAP, a company that upcycles fabric from the fashion industry. To me, the best part of this chalk bag is the waist belt, which uses a closed-loop system to decrease slack without creating a tail. These chalk bags were created in collaboration with Vayu Designs, who stitched them in Boulder, Colorado.
This is a super-soft beanie made in the United States primarily from alpaca wool. It is 70-percent alpaca, 7-percent merino wool, and the rest is synthetic polyamide fibers. I have been wearing it on chilly camping nights and have found it to be comfortable and warm. I also like its cut—it’s long enough to cover my ears but not so long that there’s extra space up top. It comes in two color options, a deep forest green or a lighter heather gray. I have the green, which I like because cool colors are my favorite. This deeper color also seems like it won’t show wear or dirt over time. The one size fits all fits my small head well without stretching much, and the hat would likely fit someone with a larger dome, though would likely get perma-stretched. Also, don’t store this hat near Velcro and beware of dropping it in leaves, as things do tend to stick to it.