Critical Outdoor Industry Trends [Fresh Research]

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As we find ourselves navigating through an era marked by rapid technological advancements and increased environmental awareness, the outdoor industry has witnessed a significant transformation in recent years. In this blog post, we will delve into the key trends shaping the future of the outdoor industry, from sustainable manufacturing practices to innovative gear designs and the growing emphasis on inclusivity in outdoor recreation.

It is essential for industry players, consumers, and enthusiasts alike to stay informed about these developments, as they not only dictate market growth and consumer choices, but also have lasting impacts on our environment and global communities. Join us as we explore the evolving landscape of the outdoor industry and what it means for the future of adventure.

Top Outdoor Industry Trends

1. Eco-tourism and sustainable travel

As environmental concerns rise, outdoor enthusiasts are becoming more interested in eco-tours and sustainable travel experiences, choosing activities and destinations that focus on preserving and protecting natural resources.

2. Experiential and adventure travel

Outdoor enthusiasts are increasingly seeking unique and authentic experiences through activities like hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, and paragliding, emphasizing the importance of personal growth, cultural immersion, and environmental conservation in their travel choices.

3. Wellness and mindfulness retreats

The wellness and mindfulness movement has branched out into the outdoor industry, with more and more tourists seeking retreats in natural settings to unplug from technology and focus on mental and physical wellbeing.

4. Glamping and alternative accommodations

A growing interest in more comfortable camping experiences has led to the rise of glamping, where traditional camping amenities are combined with those of a hotel. Similarly, alternative accommodations like treehouses, yurts, and eco-lodges are becoming more popular.

5. Solo travel and women-led expeditions

Solo travel is on the rise, with an increasing number of people seeking independence and empowerment through outdoor experiences. Additionally, there is growing demand for tours and expeditions led by female guides and catering specifically to women.

6. Family-oriented experiences

With growing interest in work-life balance, outdoor industry trends show a focus on family-oriented experiences to help people bond and reconnect in natural settings. This includes guided trips, camping excursions and educational programs that cater to different age groups and skill levels.

7. Voluntourism and community-based tourism

The outdoor industry is seeing a rising interest in voluntourism, where travelers engage in volunteer work during their vacations, and community-based tourism, which supports local economies by providing travelers with authentic cultural experiences.

8. Multi-generational travel

Multi-generational travel is becoming popular as baby boomers retire and younger generations develop an interest in outdoor experiences. This trend includes grandparents, parents and children traveling together, encouraging family bonding and shared experiences.

9. Customization and personalization

Customized and personalized travel experiences are becoming increasingly popular, with travelers seeking outdoor activities tailored to their interests, fitness levels, and personal preferences.

10. Adaptive and inclusive outdoor recreation

Inclusivity is becoming essential in the outdoor industry, with more adaptive programs and experiences being developed for individuals with physical, cognitive, and sensory disabilities, as well as for other minority groups.

11. Virtual reality, augmented reality, and gamification

Technology is playing a role in outdoor trends, with the integration of virtual and augmented reality enhancing outdoor experiences through gamification, interactive apps and location-based services.

12. Drone photography and videography

Drone technology is becoming more accessible and affordable, leading to a rise in drone photography and videography to capture stunning outdoor landscapes and adventures.

13. Wearable technology and smart gear

The outdoor industry is embracing wearable tech and smart gear, offering innovative products that combine fashion, functionality and technology for improved safety, comfort, and performance in outdoor activities.

14. Conservation and education initiatives

As the outdoor industry reaches new levels of popularity, it is also taking on a more significant role in promoting conservation, responsible travel, and environmental education, through initiatives like citizen science projects, eco-tourism certifications, and partnerships with local communities.


The outdoor industry is rapidly evolving to meet the diverse needs and desires of its increasingly environmentally conscious and experience-driven consumers. As eco-tourism and sustainable travel gain traction, travelers are more inclined to prioritize green practices and support eco-friendly destinations. Moreover, experiential and adventure travel trends are encouraging personal growth, cultural immersion, and environmental conservation awareness. The rise in popularity of wellness and mindfulness retreats in natural settings highlights the growing desire for mental and physical well-being while escaping the noise of technology.

Alternative accommodation options like glamping, treehouses, and eco-lodges cater to those seeking more comfortable and novel experiences, while the increasing interest in solo travel and women-led expeditions empowers individuals to carve their own paths in the great outdoors. Simultaneously, multi-generational and family-oriented experiences facilitate bonding and shared memories in immersive natural environments. Voluntourism and community-based tourism strengthen local economies while offering authentic, culturally-rich experiences for travelers.

As the outdoor industry becomes more inclusive, specialized programs emerge for individuals with disabilities and underrepresented groups, offering adaptive and diverse opportunities to engage in outdoor activities. Technology continues to shape the outdoor experience, from virtual reality and gamification, enhancing visits to remote locations, to the captivating perspectives granted by drone photography and videography. The integration of wearable technology and smart gear has created functional and fashionable products that enhance safety, comfort, and performance during outdoor excursions. Finally, as the outdoor industry’s popularity grows, the sector is taking on a more significant role in promoting conservation, responsible travel, and environmental education through various initiatives and partnerships to ensure the natural world remains preserved for future generations to enjoy.


In conclusion, the outdoor industry is continuously evolving, with numerous trends shaping its future. As people increasingly seek deeper connections to nature, healthier lifestyles, and more sustainable practices, businesses in this sector must adapt and innovate accordingly. Embracing new technologies, focusing on sustainable and eco-friendly materials, and engaging in authentic storytelling are just a few ways industry players can stay abreast of these trends.

By remaining committed to meeting the needs and expectations of consumers, the outdoor industry will not only thrive but also foster more eco-conscious and health-focused communities worldwide. In this rapidly changing landscape, the outdoor industry must not only respond to these trends but also actively participate in creating a brighter, more sustainable future for all.


What are the top outdoor industry trends for 2021?

The top trends include an increased focus on sustainability, the rise in popularity of outdoor e-commerce sales, growth in adventure travel, digital technology advancements, and the blurring of lines between outdoor gear and casual, everyday clothing.

How is sustainability shaping the outdoor industry?

Companies are increasingly focusing on eco-friendly practices, such as using recycled materials in product manufacturing, adopting circular economy principles, and promoting responsible consumption. Many outdoor brands now prioritize repair services and environmental stewardship initiatives as part of their broader sustainability efforts.

How has COVID-19 impacted the outdoor industry?

The pandemic has led to a surge in demand for outdoor gear and activities, as people have adapted to social distancing guidelines by pursuing more outdoor leisure pursuits. This has created both opportunities and challenges for companies in the industry, which must adapt to shifting customer expectations and preferences while also addressing supply chain bottlenecks.

What role does technology play in the outdoor industry trends of 2021?

Technological advancements like wearable devices, navigation apps, and outdoor-focused ecommerce platforms are becoming increasingly prominent. Innovations in material science, such as lightweight and durable fabrics, contribute to the continuous improvement of outdoor products. Additionally, digital marketing strategies help brands reach new and existing customers more effectively.

Can you explain the trend of "athleisure" and its impact on the outdoor industry?

Athleisure refers to the merging of athletic wear and leisure wear, blurring the lines between performance gear and casual attire. In the outdoor industry, this trend has led to the creation of versatile products that cater to a wide range of activities - from hiking to social gatherings - as customers increasingly prioritize a blend of function, comfort, and style in their apparel choices.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

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