The Colorado Rapids released their new road kit on Friday, introduced as the “C5” (Class 5) and continuing the tradition of celebrating this great state.
In a nutshell, I love it! I’ve always been a fan of the tie-ins the team has done with Colorado symbols—like the 2013 blue version based on the flag—and this kit doesn’t disappoint. The Rapids have gone with not one, but two shades of green this time around. I will tell anyone within earshot that the 2001-02 Kappa green version was my favorite Rapids kit over the years. The C5 kit encompasses both of those ideas and is a home run in my book. (That said, I’m also a Forest Green Rovers fan so unique kit designs are in my wheelhouse.)
In addition to the team’s MLS Cup star on the player-issue kits, the mint green fabric is accented with the dark green adidas logo as well as the Rapids shield on the front and the C96 logo (noting Colorado as the Centennial State and the Rapids as an inaugural team of MLS) on the left hem.
Both shoulders feature the iconic three-stripes in the same darker green and “One Club” is printed inside the back collar as well. Speaking of the collar, the two buttons make a return to a new take on the crew neck. The trim around both sleeves rounds out the contrast of the jersey colors and will also feature as the main color of the shorts. The fabric is the extremely lightweight and breathable Aeroready technology from adidas.
The other standout feature is the fabric itself but a bit more subtle, nonetheless classic, Colorado style. Embossed onto the fabric of the front and sleeves are the topographical map features of six Colorado 14ers.
For flatlanders, 14ers are an immense source of pride in this state. They are mountain peaks that rise 14,000 feet above sea level and are the most plentiful in one place—Colorado! For those map-reading nerds, you may recognize the elevations of Mt. Evans, Quandary, Mt. Bierstadt, Pikes Peak, Grays Peak, and Torreys Peak spread across the front side of the Rapids this season. The Rapids note this feature is an “ode to our distinct mountain culture as well as our roots as a club.”
As part of the Class 5 jersey launch, the Rapids also announced a community kit partnership with Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI), a local nonprofit that protects and preserves Colorado’s 54 14ers. Fans may make a donation to CFI when purchasing a Class 5 jersey from Altitude Authentics. Proceeds from the sale of special Class 5 jersey patches will also be donated to CFI as they focus on these fragile ecological zones.
One obvious difference you’ll notice is the Transamerica sponsor logo from the Tim Howard era is now gone. With that, the league-wide use of predominantly white as a road kit template is also gone, which allowed clubs to use their imagination a bit.