In a recent Garage Grown Gear staff meeting we started talking about all our favorite American made outdoor gear. With the 4th of July just around the corner, we thought it would be fitting to include you all in the conversation.
Amy (CEO and Founder)
I asked our team to each pick two of their favorite USA made items from our store. Apparently, Amy is more used to giving directions than taking them, so she picked three. (Editor's note: burn, too much truth)
First up, she picked the recently added Josie sandal by Vere Sandals (pronounced “vear,” as in headed in a new direction). The company makes sandals 100% in the USA, and they're made of materials that can easily be recycled when it's time to retire them from use.
Here’s what Amy had to say about the Vere Josie Sandal … "because come summer the only shoes on my feet are flip flops ... and I love that these are USA made and somehow seem dressy enough to wear to work or a night out, but laid back enough to slip into after a day of mountain biking or trail running."
Amy’s next pick is the single hammock from Hummingbird Hammocks. This company has one of my favorite garage grown stories: Chris Loidolt is a professional parachute rigger. One day he decided he wanted a hammock so, using the material on hand, he made his own. The rest as they say “is history.”
Here’s Amy’s two cents ... “because who doesn't love hammocks, at home or in the backcountry, and I just can't get over that it only weighs 5.2 ounces and fits in the palm of your hand when packed up.”
Supai Adventure Gear
So what else was so important that Amy just couldn’t leave it out? A packraft, of course. Amy is a little addicted to these highly portable boats, and the Supai Adventure Gear packraft is one of the lightest, most packable out there. Again, here's Amy … "because a boat that rolls up to the size of a wide-mouthed water bottle and weighs a mere 1.5 pounds is awesome, and with this I'd have to learn how to canyoneer."
Erica (Wordsmith Extraordinaire)
Erica recently joined Garage Grown Gear to help us with our writing and marketing needs, but now she is off rafting the Salmon river. I think she still works here? At any rate, here are her two favorite pieces of American made outdoor gear sold through Garage Grown Gear.
Erica describes the made-in-Colorado Freeride System's Antero ski jacket better than I ever could, so I'll let her take it from here ...
“What is the best constructed and most bombproof jacket in the Garage Grown Gear store? As one who held off wearing a ski helmet for YEARS because I knew I wouldn't be able to put my hood over it, I am dying to wear one of these jackets. I curse my current jacket and my helmet every time – they just don't play together well, and I've never been as warm wearing my helmet as I was with my hat-hood combo.”
Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Erica's second choice is the Hyperlite Mountain gear Cuben Fiber stuff sacks. "I'm a total bag in bag person," she says. "I love to have a stash of small bags that go in my large bag. Keeps it all organized and everything ready to find!” (Editor's note: that innate love for organization has made her an awesome addition to the team, and yes, Chris, she still works here).
Mary Lynn (Marketing Guru)
We keep Mary Lynn pretty busy, or wait Mary Lynn keeps herself pretty busy. Either way her picks were short and sweet.
First, a pair of super puffy and warm Enlightened Equipment booties because, “nothing is better than toasty tootsies when camping.”
Kate's Real Food
Second and a local favorite, Kate’s Real Food Grizzly bars, as there is “no reason you can't eat well in the backcountry!”
Chris (E-commerce Manager)
When I’m not fulfilling orders I get to help track down new brands to feature in our store and here in our magazine. It’s the best part of my job. I’m really excited about two recent additions to our store.
My first pick is Carson Footwear. Everett Carson, the founder and CEO of Carson Footwear, just wasn’t happy with the footwear choices on the market so he did something nearly everyone thinks is a bit crazy, he started manufacturing his own running shoes right here in the USA!
He’s created quite a following with his first shoe, the “Iguana Racer.” It’s a zero drop lightweight speed machine with a surprising amount of cushion for its stack height. It is without a doubt the most comfortable shoe I have ever run in. The word “slipper” gets thrown around a lot in running shoe descriptions, but it was truly the first word I thought of when I went out on my first trail run in them. Carson Footwear is already expanding into a bigger facility and more shoes are on the horizon.
Every Day Cary Card
My second pick is the Every Day Carry card, or EDC card for short. Ever since my Dad gave me my first Leatherman at the tender age of 12, I have always carried some sort of pocket tool with me. I couldn’t wait to give the EDC card a test drive.
Designed by Tyler Lacor and succesfully funded via a Kickstarter campaign, we knew we needed a few of these for our store. The EDC card is the size of a credit card and fits nicely in your wallet. It features over 30 tools in a really ingenious design and is quite the conversation starter when opening beer at parties. It’s a great little tool to keep in your pocket, purse or glove box.
Want to check out more innovative and cool American made outdoor gear? Shop our full USA made collection.
(Editor's note: if only Chris knew that I almost include a fourth pick, because I'm also totally over the moon about NW Alpine climbing jackets, pants and shirts that are all made in Oregon).