Michael Quinones and Matt Davis met almost a decade ago in Newport Beach; both as new implants. “He and a group of friends had moved from the San Bernardino area out to Orange County just as I had moved up from San Diego. We were 21 or so, and as 21-year-olds do, we spent a lot of time having late nights and causing trouble,” recalls Quinones. “One of the earliest memories I have of those early days was jumping off Lido bridge into the back bay at 3AM. A group of us would hop on beach cruisers and ride down with a backpack full of beers and just huck flips off the bridge until the sun came up.” Setting the mind free to enjoy nature’s best (and worst) settings thoroughly would become the basis of their functional daily wear line, ourCaste.
Pieces include woven button downs and pop-over shirts with Mandarin collars, shop coats to shell jackets, and of course—being based seaside—a selection of boardshorts. Features like moisture-wicking, seamed tape pockets, and DWR (Durable Water Repellent) can be found in most descriptions, but it’s the classic-yet-not-boring styling and fits that catch the eye. “Our goal is to eliminate that ‘dual closet’ that a lot of men have, with their technical clothing sliding to one side and their daily product to the other. We’ve built a collection that blends the two easily and seamlessly,” says Quinones.
This SS16 season they’ve introduced an awesome board short with a built-in waterproof phone pouch, made in collaboration with Roark. However, we’re most taken with ourCaste’s weatherproof, bulletproof and affordable bags. Three are currently on offer: a $36 grab-and-go Dry Sack (some of their suggestions: “wet suit holder” and “impromptu ice chest”), a $86 45L duffle bag, and a $99 clean-lined backpack. Radio frequency seam welding, 500D tarpaulin PVC and special closures mean these bags can completely submerse and survive—able to keep up with nature’s spontaneous whims or accidents. “We’re constantly thinking of how we can develop better product. Not just better looking or priced, but better performing and more comfortable,” says Quinones. “Every piece has a purpose for us. For instance, pieces like the Jacque bag came out of a necessity for a completely waterproof backpack. We didn’t want another sort of waterproof bag, but something that we could trust all of our gear in on boat trips and wet rides.”
The bags and the aforementioned shorts are excluded from this, but the entire ourCaste site is currently marked 40% off. It’s a great opportunity to peruse now—especially for those who have upcoming warm weather vacations. Their next collection rolls out mid-August.
Images courtesy of ourCaste