With Fourth of July just around the corner, we’re marking the occasion by celebrating small and startup outdoor gear and apparel brands that have made a commitment to domestic manufacturing – brands makin' it on Main Street.
With some of these brands, the equipment and clothing is custom made by the founders themselves. While others have gone out of their way to find manufacturing facilities located in the USA, rather than sourcing overseas.
Much like the farm-to-table movement, supporting these brands allows for a stronger connection to and clearer understanding of where our outdoor gear comes from.
And, it also, maybe, deepens our appreciation for the fact that as Americans we have the freedom to pursue creative ideas and exercise our voice without (generally speaking) fear of persecution.
Thrupack Fanny Packs
Paul “Skunk-Ape” Thomas racked up a full seven years of hardcore hiking experience before launching Thrupack, which is making a name for itself with its signature line of fanny packs designed for long-distance backpackers and hikers. Based in Norfolk, Virginia, all Thrupack fanny packs are handmade by people who take pride in their work and love nature and life.
Lawson Outdoor Equipment Cordage and Titanium Accessories
Specializing in cordage and titanium accessories, Lawson Equipment is a family-owned business based out of Florida. Lawson and Danielle Kline make all their products themselves, giving them control over every step of the process. They use the best possible materials and craftsmanship – and as a result stand behind their USA made outdoor gear with a 100% no bullshit guarantee
CloudLine’s name was inspired by that feeling you get after spending hours hiking under an overcast sky, when you finally climb high enough to break through the clouds and see the blue sky above. This is the feeling CloudLine wants you to experience as you pull your feet into their USA made merino wool hiking socks, which are available in various lengths, thicknesses and colors.
NW Alpine Outdoor Apparel
Bill Amos decided to launch NW Alpine – a Portland, Oregon outdoor clothing company – after the economy turned south in 2008. “I came to the conclusion that the only way that the economy could have a real recovery is by bringing manufacturing back to the States,” Bill said. Bill loved climbing, so he put his focus on creating an outdoor apparel brand for the core user.
Supai Adventure Gear Packrafts and Paddles
When Aaron Locander started exploring the Grand Canyon, he needed a boat light enough to carry, but durable enough to cross the Colorado River. His trial and error led to Supai Adventure Gear – an Arizona brand that makes ultralight flatwater packrafts and 4-piece paddles. Aaron and his wife Shannon Flowers make the gear themselves in Arizona, ensuring quality every step of the way.
VOORMI® Tees and Hoodies
VOORMI® is an apparel brand built around the remote and rugged lifestyle of the Southern San Juan Mountains in Colorado. Wholly manufactured in the US, and produced exclusively with its own proprietary fabrics, VOORMI® pushes the performance limits of natural fibers. The Rocky Mountain Highcountry Merino™ it uses has a higher degree of crimp, which gives the fabric a spring-like property.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Packs and Shelters
Hyperlite Mountain Gear is not about bells and whistles, nonessential features or the latest trends. The Maine company builds stripped-down, high-performance, outdoor gear that’s dialed in to meet, in as minimalist a manner as possible, the exacting requirements of goal-oriented adventurers. Hyperlite Mountain Gear makes its packs and shelters in Maine, in what was once an abandoned cotton mill.
Purple Rain Adventure Skirts
Mandy Bland wanted to try hiking in a skirt, so she made herself one. She tested it while thru hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and quickly realized she was on to something. Purple Rain Adventure Skirts are set apart by their comfortable yoga-style waistband, large Velcro-closing pockets and stretchy but durable quick-dry material. Bland makes each skirt in her home in Oregon.
Kind Apparel Women’s Clothing
When Mallory Ottariano graduated from college with a design degree and opened up an Etsy shop, she never imagined that it would grow into Kind Apparel – a company that makes bold and colorful women's clothing. Kind Apparel strives to take an environmentally responsible approach to business. Each piece is manufactured locally in Montana and made from upcycled and recycled content fabrics.
Rad Dog Collars and Accessories
Brian Dagnon loved to take his friend’s dog trail running, but didn’t love having to carry a leash around once he got to the trail and let the dog off-leash. An idea occurred to him: what if the dog carried his own leash? With the invention of the Release N Run – a collar with built-in retractable leash, Rad Dog was born. All Rad Dog gear is made in Bellingham, WA.