New brands sprout up each and every day. This list celebrates our favorite new outdoor startups of 2019! Gear from most of these small businesses is already available on GGG, but stay tuned for a few new additions to our store coming in the New Year. The takeaway? It’s a great time to be an ultralight backpacker and generally outdoorsy human.
When Luke Nalley started making his own compression sacks, stuff sacks, and ditty bags out of Dyneema, he didn’t necessarily plan to turn it into his full-time job. But within a few short months — thanks to strong demand — he quit his full-time job to focus on UltraliteSacks. He now runs the business out of a tiny 240-square-foot seaside home in Oregon occupied by himself, his wife and their two Boston terriers.
Chris Sanchez believes in starting his day right, with a decent cup of coffee — whether at home in Southern California or out on the trail. After testing dozens of instant coffee brands, Chris was plenty caffeinated, but still unquenched. So, he decided to tackle the problem himself, brewing up concentrated third-wave coffee and then dehydrating it. Much to his delight, it worked, and CampCraft Coffee was born.
Unlike many new pack companies that lean heavily on their ability to delve into customizations, Nashville Pack offers a single pack: The Cutaway. It comes in a couple of different materials and color combinations, and body and shoulder straps are sold separately. 28 liters at its smallest, it can expand to roughly 40 liters when using the extension collar and all 10 exterior pockets.
Ombraz is upending the status quo for sunglasses by ditching sidearms in favor of an adjustable cord. Benefits of this novel concept for sunnies include a secure fit and the ability to throw them in a bag or backpocket without worry. Weighing in at just 20 grams, Ombraz earned Backpacker Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award — and gets our thumbs up too! (Note: Ombraz Kickstarter launched in lateish 2018, but we’re still giving them 2019 props.)
Named after the founders’ cat, Space Bear, this new cottage brand out of San Diego makes custom, lightweight hiking gear with a fun flair. The brand’s signature product is a "Poop-moji" pouch made out of Dyneema, which was designed to carry the contents of a trowel kit in a clearly labeled fashion. Space Bear Bags now also offers an easily identifiable, custom-printed ‘First Aid Kit’ Dyneema pouch.
Helping people with vaginas go on the go, SheFly created outdoor pants with patent-pending zipper technology. In addition to a regular fly, these pants have a second fly that allows people with female anatomy to answer nature’s call without exposing their heiny. SheFly pants are currently available for pre-order. We have yet to try ‘em ourselves, but have met one of the founders and love the concept! #peeempowered
Backcountry Staples' first offerings are entirely breakfast meals made of creamy oats and buckwheat porridge — and are inspired by indulgent treats like cobblers, crisps, and scones. Specifically designed for thermos-cooking — an efficient way to prepare food on the go — the Washington-made meals are also gluten and dairy-free, with sugar-free and nut-free options available too.
Make your gear as unique as your journey with Hilltop Packs. This new highly customizable backpacking gear company uses ultralight and ultra-tough materials combined with custom printing to deliver its goods. Handmade in a small Pennsylvania town, offerings include bear bags featuring tongue-in-cheek warnings; dry bags with avocado and pizza prints; and backpacks made to your specs.
Rawlogy gives you the balls to practice self-care on the trail — literally. Made out of recycled cork, these ultralight massage tools made Darwin on the Trail’s top gear of 2019 list, and now they’re making our list too. While Rawlogy technically launched in 2018, in our mind the brand made its debut this year with its heavyweight presence up and down the PCT.