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Sonno
01-08-2011, 00:50
Hello all, I'm new here. :D

I'm just starting to do some research for a thru-hike next year. I'm a complete and total n00b when it comes to backpacking and shopping for backpacking gear. To be honest I wouldn't know the difference between a "Nike" brand and a "Faded Glory" brand. That said...

I'm curious to know if there any decent gear companies that make their goods here in the USA. I like to support my fellow Americans' by buying American made products whenever I possibly can. What gear companies would you all recommend I check out? If I had to be a bit more specific I'd say backpack, tent, sleeping bag, boot, and apparel manufactures to start.

TIA! :)

Wags
01-08-2011, 00:57
http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/

http://www.hammockgear.com/

http://warbonnetoutdoors.com/topquilt.php

http://www.lightheartgear.com/LightHeart_Gear/Home.html
i think

http://www.westernmountaineering.com/

leaftye
01-08-2011, 01:05
http://www.zpacks.com
http://enlightenedequipment.webs.com/
http://titaniumgoat.com
http://www.theboilerwerks.com
http://www.downworks.com



If you want it to be made in this country, the easiest way to make sure of that is to buy gear from cottage industry companies.


As far as boots go, I wouldn't even worry about where it's made. Get the shoes that fits your feet the best.

Panzer1
01-08-2011, 01:14
http://www.ula-equipment.com/

http://www.moonbowgear.com/

rayovac batteries

various trail guides

http://cascadedesigns.com/Our-Story

buck knives

leaftye
01-08-2011, 01:25
http://www.mountainfitter.com/
Makes or locally contracts some of the stuff he sells. Shelters, stakes and stuff sacks are some of the items he does.


http://goosefeet.webs.com
Down booties

Wags
01-08-2011, 03:20
how can i forget ULA and goosefeet! good calls guys

Roland
01-08-2011, 06:13
Tarptent (http://www.tarptent.com)

..

Torch09
01-08-2011, 06:17
http://gossamergear.com/

Torch09
01-08-2011, 06:23
As far as boots go, I wouldn't even worry about where it's made. Get the shoes that fits your feet the best.


Just go barefoot and use those american-made feet God gave you ;)

Roland
01-08-2011, 06:24
Here are a few regional companies, for folks traveling to my neck of the woods.

Wild Things (http://www.wildthingsgear.com/)
Ragged Mountain Equipment (http://www.raggedmountain.com/)
Limmer Boots (http://www.limmercustomboot.com/)
Chuck Roast (http://www.chuckroast.com/)

leaftye
01-08-2011, 07:07
Just go barefoot and use those american-made feet God gave you ;)

I might if I didn't have a big american-made gut to haul down the trail.

Awol1970
01-08-2011, 07:14
New Balance has a factory in Maine I believe. They aren't exclusively here, as a matter of fact I think they only make one model.

leaftye
01-08-2011, 07:46
NB says they make 25% of their shoes in the USA.

http://www.newbalance.com/usa/

mweinstone
01-08-2011, 07:51
i love my country. our gear is top gun.we got msr. they dont. we got black diamond. they wish. we got patagonia. all they can do is drool. we got marmot. they hope. we got keen and asolo and we got little debbie and pringels and all manner of the best stuff.

an american hiker wakes up in american tent , puts on an american hat , picks up an american waterbag and goes out to hike with an american watch.the hikers name is tajeet van raj meta. he is from punjabe province in india. his best friend/hiking partner is matthewski . they hike to an advertized location and have an advertized ayce.

i love my country.

leaftye
01-08-2011, 07:58
Matthewski, most of those are not made in America. And Asolo is Italian, but I believe most of their shoes are outsourced too.

Tinker
01-08-2011, 11:32
Alpinlite tarps and tents
Bear Paw tents
Feathered Friends sleeping bags and down clothing.

STICK
01-08-2011, 13:37
http://www.whiteboxstoves.com/

http://www.traildesigns.com/

http://www.thestickpic.com/

http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/

http://www.simpleoutdoorstore.com/

http://www.mchalepacks.com/

http://kookabay.com/

http://www.tarptent.com/

https://www.end2endtrailsupply.com/Home_Page.html

http://www.featheredfriends.com/

Luddite
01-08-2011, 13:45
Thermarest and platypus too

double d
01-08-2011, 14:05
Great post everyone, how about Kraft mac and cheese!!!

skinewmexico
01-08-2011, 14:10
I have gotten incredible customer service from ULA, Gossamer Gear, and Tarptent. Amazing. Call, and the designer answers the phone. You aren't getting that at Osprey or REI.

finskie
01-08-2011, 15:25
Don't forget the Jacks! www.jacksrbetter.com (http://www.jacksrbetter.com)

It is possible that the add on the top right corner of your screen right now will also be the link to some great bridge hammocks, quilts, and original sweet gearmade by the jacks.

pistol p
01-08-2011, 17:38
I might if I didn't have a big american-made gut to haul down the trail.


LOL!!

Too funny.

HeartFire
01-08-2011, 17:53
LightHeart Gear. I make all the custom tents here in Asheville NC, USA.
http://www.lightheartgear.com (http://www.lightheartgear.com/)
get the tent customized to your specs, color, number of doors etc

Judy

Sonno
01-08-2011, 18:35
LightHeart Gear. I make all the custom tents here in Asheville NC, USA.
http://www.lightheartgear.com (http://www.lightheartgear.com/)
get the tent customized to your specs, color, number of doors etc

Judy

I'm probably a year away from buying. But I've got to tell ya, so far your Custom Solo is at the top of my list! :)

Sonno
01-08-2011, 18:36
Thanks all for the links!

Looped
01-08-2011, 19:42
Yea, wow, thanks for all the replies. I'll be joining Sonno in 2012. So he's out gathering all kinds of info for us. Please be gentle on us n00bs :).

MEGA in '12!

weary
01-08-2011, 20:07
Hello all, I'm new here. :D

I'm just starting to do some research for a thru-hike next year. I'm a complete and total n00b when it comes to backpacking and shopping for backpacking gear. To be honest I wouldn't know the difference between a "Nike" brand and a "Faded Glory" brand. That said...

I'm curious to know if there any decent gear companies that make their goods here in the USA. I like to support my fellow Americans' by buying American made products whenever I possibly can. What gear companies would you all recommend I check out? If I had to be a bit more specific I'd say backpack, tent, sleeping bag, boot, and apparel manufactures to start.

TIA! :)
About 30 percent of New Balance shoes are still made in Maine and Massachusetts. Nikes are all imported, I believe.

Smart wool socks are made in China. Thorlo socks are made in North Carolina.

weary
01-08-2011, 20:12
New Balance has a factory in Maine I believe. They aren't exclusively here, as a matter of fact I think they only make one model.
They have three Maine factories and one Massachusetts factory. Many of their hiking shoes are made in New England.

10-K
01-08-2011, 20:21
About 30 percent of New Balance shoes are still made in Maine and Massachusetts. Nikes are all imported, I believe.

Smart wool socks are made in China. Thorlo socks are made in North Carolina.

Darn Tough socks - Vermont

leaftye
01-08-2011, 20:25
Speaking of socks, Darn Tough socks are made domestically too.

Mags
01-08-2011, 21:02
This could help:
http://www.stillmadeinusa.com/sportinggoods.html

(Check camping gear)

http://www.madeinusa.org/nav.cgi?data/camp
http://www.americansworking.com/camping.html

...and Google for more. :)

karo
01-09-2011, 00:23
I know these are not hiking gear, but I fell in love with these jeans a few years ago when they were on our company's clothing list.
http://www.gussetclothing.com/

Alien Grey 1972
01-14-2011, 00:13
WOW all these links are so good. Think I will place an order for the whitebox stove in just a few. Maybe even order a pair of those DIamond Gusset jeans.

Wags
01-14-2011, 01:55
forgot what maybe the most revolutionary piece of gear in my pack (i diy'd mine though)

http://www.trailcooking.com/store/cozies-and-accessories

Tinker
01-14-2011, 10:20
Here's one for the backpacking guitarist - handmade guitars from Ca. for less than $300.00. You can email the owner of the company with questions and make custom alterations to his standard backpacking models. Parlor guitars are also available
http://www.go-guitars.com/guitars.html

4Bears
01-15-2011, 13:12
If your looking for a multi-fuel stove.

http://fourdog.com/index.htm

Tinker
01-15-2011, 16:27
If your looking for a multi-fuel stove.

http://fourdog.com/index.htm

And the lightest (titanium) one is only
EIGHT POUNDS! :eek::D:rolleyes:

4Bears
01-15-2011, 16:48
And the lightest (titanium) one is only
EIGHT POUNDS! :eek::D:rolleyes:

The BushcookerI is 2.5oz and multi fuel.

Tinker
01-15-2011, 17:35
The BushcookerI is 2.5oz and multi fuel.

My bad! :o
I didn't check the site thoroughly.
Such a small wood stove would require constant feeding, though, I would think.:-? Compact and light, I'll give it that for sure.

Wags
01-15-2011, 21:17
my homemade woodstove requires constant feeding as well. it's not really a big deal at all. boiling in just a few minutes :D

XCskiNYC
01-15-2011, 21:51
Marmot sleeping bags are "Shell Made in China, Filled in U.S.A." The bags are a good value. I suppose you get that with slave labor. It's too bad companies can't offer an option of the same product design either made in China or made in the U.S. I bet they'd be surprised how much extra people would pay to stop jobs from being our number one export. Look how much extra people will pay for "organic" food.

4eyedbuzzard
01-16-2011, 00:11
Marmot sleeping bags are "Shell Made in China, Filled in U.S.A." The bags are a good value. I suppose you get that with slave labor. It's too bad companies can't offer an option of the same product design either made in China or made in the U.S. I bet they'd be surprised how much extra people would pay to stop jobs from being our number one export. Look how much extra people will pay for "organic" food.

I think that implying that Marmot uses "slave labor" is pretty unfair and inaccurate. Yeah, they have products manufactured in China, as do many other companies. Why? To be able to compete and stay in business. If they didn't outsource some of their manufacturing, they might well lose even more jobs here due to become uncompetitive. Manufacturing the same product in two different places would likely raise the price of the foreign manufactured goods as well, hurting overall competitiveness.

My daughter just happened to return from a two week trip to Shanghai last week. It's an incredibly busy city and manufacturing center, and it's become very westernized in many ways - not you Uncle Mao's China anymore. And yeah, they are a huge economic threat to us. But maybe also we should be working harder here on education and productivity rather than just blaming all of our own failures on cheap foreign labor and outsourcing. Because the problem just isn't as one sided as people make it out to be.

Like most responsible companies that outsource manufacturing in foreign countries, Marmot's has a pretty detailed Vendor Compliance Policy (http://marmot.com/vendor_compliance_policy). And unless there is evidence to suggest they don't practice what they preach, I see no reason to doubt their integrity.


Marmot Mountain LLC. is committed to the highest standards of policy, behavior and performance on issues of social responsibility. Through this Vendor Compliance Policy, it holds all of its vendors and suppliers, referred to as ďVendor PartnersĒ, to the same high standards. Marmotís Policy is based on internationally accepted standards of conduct and the laws and regulations applicable to the country in which its merchandise is produced. Because Marmot does not own or operate any manufacturing facilities, it requires its Vendor Partners to ensure that the products sold to Marmot retailers throughout the world are manufactured in a socially responsible manner. This Policy details Marmotís expectations regarding wages, child labor, health and safety issues, prison labor, free association of workers and more. Marmotís Policy is publicly posted on its Web site at www.marmot.com

Marmotís purpose is to define a vision of shared responsibility that can be accepted by its vendor partners. Marmot commits itself to an ongoing effort to hold itself accountable to these standards while monitoring the progress of current and potential vendors. It is Marmotís firm intention that its Vendor Partners abide by these standards and ensure they understand Marmotís intention to suspend business with those who violate this Vendor Compliance Policy.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Apparel Industry Partnership, The Convention of Rights of the Child are incorporated by reference into the following Marmot Vendor Compliance Policy.

Marmot Vendor Compliance Policy:

1. Forced Labor
There shall be no use of forced labor in any form, whether in the form of prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor or otherwise.

2. Child Labor
No person shall be employed at an age younger than 15 or, in the alternative, younger than the age for completing compulsory education in the country of manufacture where such age is higher than 15.

3. Harassment or Abuse
Workers shall be treated with respect and dignity. Workers shall not be subject to any physical, verbal, sexual or psychological harassment or abuse in connection with their employment.

4. Nondiscrimination
Workers should be employed and compensated based upon their ability to perform their job, not on the basis of gender, race, age, color, national origin, disability, citizenship, veteran status, marital status sexual orientation, religious or cultural beliefs.

5. Health and Safety
Employers shall provide a safe and sanitary working environment in order to avoid preventable work-related accidents and injuries.

6. Freedom of Association
Employers shall recognize and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

7. Disciplinary Practices/Coercion
Marmot works only with partners that do not use physical or mental disciplinary tactics. Further, no employee should be subject to threats of violence, sexual harassment or psychological abuse.

8. Wages and Benefits
Employers should recognize that wages are essential to meeting their employeeís basic needs. Employers shall pay workers for all work completed and shall pay at least the minimum wage required by law or the prevailing industry wage, whichever is higher, and shall provide legally mandated benefits.

9. Work Hours
Except in extraordinary business circumstances, employees shall (i) not be required to work more than the lesser of (a) 48 hours per week and 12 hours overtime or (b) the limits on regular and overtime hours allowed by the law of the country of manufacture or, where the laws of such country do not limit the hours of work, the regular work week in such country plus 12 hours overtime and (ii) be entitled to at least one day off in every seven day period. . Workers shall not be asked or required to take work home or off premises.

10. Overtime
It is understood that overtime is often required in the manufacturing process. In addition to compensation for regular hours of work, workers shall be compensated for overtime hours at such a premium rate as legally required or, in countries where there is no legal standard, at industry standards. In no event shall this be at a rate less than the regular hourly rate. Factories shall carry out operations in ways that limit overtime to a level that ensures productive and humane working conditions.

11. Compliance with Laws
All Standards set forth in this Vendor Compliance Policy are subject to compliance with applicable local law. All vendors shall operate in full compliance with the laws of their respective country of manufacture. If any standard set forth in this Policy is, in the vendorís judgment, deemed to violate an applicable local law, it must advise Marmot promptly in writing.

12. Subcontractors
Subcontracting without the prior written consent of Marmot is prohibited. Penalties for subcontracting without Marmotís prior written consent will include loss of future business. All approved agents of Contractors are held to same standards, policies, rules and regulations of principal contractors.

13. Marmotís Animal Rights Policy
We believe in the humane treatment of animals. We do not use down provided by ďlive pluckĒ operations. We only use down provided after geese have been harvested for food. Our vendors are required to certify that they are complying with our animal rights policy.

wyominglostandfound
01-16-2011, 18:09
Marmot sleeping bags are "Shell Made in China, Filled in U.S.A." The bags are a good value. I suppose you get that with slave labor. It's too bad companies can't offer an option of the same product design either made in China or made in the U.S. I bet they'd be surprised how much extra people would pay to stop jobs from being our number one export. Look how much extra people will pay for "organic" food.

100% agreed.

The Other Tom
01-16-2011, 21:35
Jacks r Better

Princeton Tec

DapperD
01-16-2011, 22:04
Polartec used to be I believe, but after searching I still am not sure if they still are:-?:http://www.polartec.com/about/

Ashevillian
01-16-2011, 22:10
LightHeart Gear. I make all the custom tents here in Asheville NC, USA.
http://www.lightheartgear.com (http://www.lightheartgear.com/)
get the tent customized to your specs, color, number of doors etc

Judy

Love your Light Heart Tents, made right here in my backyard. Where do you make them?

10-K
01-16-2011, 22:13
Not to be a buzzkill but I'd be willing to bet these vendor compliance polices are pretty hard to monitor and enforce and primarily serve to make people who have an awareness of these things feel better about buying stuff from countries with a history of questionable labor practices.

It reminds me of the code of ethics and policy and procedure manuals of some of the notorious nursing home abuse cases. Just because you have them doesn't mean their being enforced.


I think that implying that Marmot uses "slave labor" is pretty unfair and inaccurate. Yeah, they have products manufactured in China, as do many other companies. Why? To be able to compete and stay in business. If they didn't outsource some of their manufacturing, they might well lose even more jobs here due to become uncompetitive. Manufacturing the same product in two different places would likely raise the price of the foreign manufactured goods as well, hurting overall competitiveness.

My daughter just happened to return from a two week trip to Shanghai last week. It's an incredibly busy city and manufacturing center, and it's become very westernized in many ways - not you Uncle Mao's China anymore. And yeah, they are a huge economic threat to us. But maybe also we should be working harder here on education and productivity rather than just blaming all of our own failures on cheap foreign labor and outsourcing. Because the problem just isn't as one sided as people make it out to be.

Like most responsible companies that outsource manufacturing in foreign countries, Marmot's has a pretty detailed Vendor Compliance Policy (http://marmot.com/vendor_compliance_policy). And unless there is evidence to suggest they don't practice what they preach, I see no reason to doubt their integrity.

Tinker
01-16-2011, 22:20
LightHeart Gear. I make all the custom tents here in Asheville NC, USA.
http://www.lightheartgear.com (http://www.lightheartgear.com/)
get the tent customized to your specs, color, number of doors etc

Judy

Do I understand your website correctly? You only charge $10.00 more for a tent hand made by you vs. one you have made by an outside source?
If so, that's awesome! :)

Zeno Marx
01-27-2011, 19:26
Get ready to pay for the luxury of ethics. I hope none of these are repeats.

ex-Dana Design, Mystery Ranch:
http://www.mysteryranch.com/site/index.html
ex-Mountainsmith, Kifaru:
http://www.kifaru.net/
ex-Vortex:
http://www.badlandspacks.com/
Cold Cold World (highly praised by the climbing community):
http://www.coldcoldworldpacks.com/intro.htm
McHale:
http://www.mchalepacks.com/index.htm
Z Packs (taking ultralight to an extreme):
http://www.zpacks.com/
Big Agnes:
http://www.bigagnes.com/

wyominglostandfound
01-27-2011, 19:33
badlands is made in vietnam and i seriously doubt big agnes is made in the USA.

Zeno Marx
01-27-2011, 19:35
badlands is made in vietnam and i seriously doubt big agnes is made in the USA.Oh, shoot. I forgot they stopped manufacturing in Utah. Sorry for the inaccuracy.

FamilyGuy
01-27-2011, 19:51
www.rivendellmountainworks.com

A re-make of the classic Jensen, Giant Jensen, and Mariposa packs. Retro is cooooool.

skinewmexico
01-27-2011, 20:00
When I see a major manufacturer with factories overseas, talking about social responsibiltiy, it makes me want to barf.

Luddite
01-27-2011, 20:31
When I see a major manufacturer with factories overseas, talking about social responsibiltiy, it makes me want to barf.

Patagonia is one of those companies.

Zeno Marx
01-27-2011, 20:36
When I see a major manufacturer with factories overseas, talking about social responsibiltiy, it makes me want to barf.Is it really that cut and dry/black & white? I'm not convinced the world works like that. At least it doesn't for me. One step back isn't always just a step back.

Zeno Marx
01-27-2011, 23:15
www.rivendellmountainworks.com (http://www.rivendellmountainworks.com)

A re-make of the classic Jensen, Giant Jensen, and Mariposa packs. Retro is cooooool.Thanks for bringing these to my attention. I've read about a Jensen pack, but I'd never seen one. Looks sharp, but maybe not $290 sharp (how I'd want it customized). Might have to put one on my wish list.

Iceaxe
01-27-2011, 23:44
Polar Equiptment makes Polar Pure the iodine based water purification system.
http://www.polarequipment.com/
What is Polar Pure? It is Crystalline Iodine.
The Polar Pure Bottle contains a small amount of crystals and has a special trap to keep them from falling or washing out.
You use a chart printed on the side of the bottle to determine how many capfuls of solution you need for a given quantity and temperature.
Then you simply top the Polar Pure Bottle back off with water and within an hour the solution inside is ready to treat more water.
At 16 bucks to treat 2,000 liters it is a bargain.
I live nearby and went over to visit the "factory".
The owner Bob Wallace is qute a character. He showed me around
his place and said:" It's a cottage industry you know.. see theres my cottage!"
He is quite an inventor too. The bottles that Polar Pure come in have a hand made thermo sensitive scale epoxied to the glass bottle to determine effective treatment time at lower ambient temperatures. Bob invented a conveyor belt and ultraviolet light system to stamp the labels on the glass and cure the epoxy over the thermal scale and stamps the crystal trap into the neck of the bottles.
His wife is the chemist behind the product and he is the inventor that created the process.
I asked him why he doesn't switch to plastic bottles since they would be cheaper, lighter, and easier to use. He said: "We use glass because the scale and dosage charts are too important to the proper use of our product to trust to plastic."
Anyhow, I am happy to say that Bob's son is learning the trade so that Polar Pure may continue to be an all American product from the packaging, to the ingedients and the labor.
I will leave you with a funny quote from Bob: "Our product last so long the only way I sell a second bottle to the same person in one lifetime is if they drop the dang thing."

Sassafras Lass
01-31-2011, 13:48
Tarptent (http://www.tarptent.com)

..

Second this!

Henry Shires sets the customer service bar extremely high - makes superior products and stands by them.

double d
01-31-2011, 15:46
New Balance has a factory in Maine I believe. They aren't exclusively here, as a matter of fact I think they only make one model.

All New Balance shoes have at least 70% material and labor made in USA. Also, NB does have a factory in Maine, not sure which shoe model they make at that location.

HeartFire
01-31-2011, 15:56
Love your Light Heart Tents, made right here in my backyard. Where do you make them?

I make them right here off of Cane Creek Rd. I have my own sweat shop - I have big glass windows by my sewing machines so I can watch the wildlife in my back yard, Star Trek movies on the computer, books on tape etc. it's a tough life.

leaftye
01-31-2011, 18:16
All New Balance shoes have at least 70% material and labor made in USA. Also, NB does have a factory in Maine, not sure which shoe model they make at that location.

New Balance really has their customers confused don't they? That 70% figure is only for the 25% of shoes that are made in the USA.

ki0eh
01-31-2011, 19:04
New Balance really has their customers confused don't they? That 70% figure is only for the 25% of shoes that are made in the USA.

Still better than the more likely 0% and 0%, respectively, for everyone else. :D

Zeno Marx
01-31-2011, 21:33
I shopped for nylon strapping for some minor repair jobs at four fabric stores, one surplus store, and one hunting outfitter. Guess where ALL the strapping was manufactured? China. How much of the fabric used in the outdoor gear world is manufactured in the USA? I'm not advocating absolutism to argue against buying USA. I'm selfish. I want the highest quality product I can buy. You know...letting the market dictate capitalist ethics (no such thing)...a truly American perspective. I happen to believe that the finest gear is made by USA workers, but that doesn't encourage me to hop on some shortsighted bandwagon.

I'm all for ethical stances (as long as they aren't merely xenophobia and/or nationalism shrouded in morality), but I also have little desire to return to Cold War mentality. It's a complicated issue, and oversimplifying it doesn't help matters.

double d
01-31-2011, 22:29
New Balance really has their customers confused don't they? That 70% figure is only for the 25% of shoes that are made in the USA.

Yep, that is true. They do make one model at the Maine factory, but I believe your statement is true.

swjohnsey
01-31-2011, 22:45
Some New Balance shoes are made in the U.S., some aren't. They are clearly labeled. If you are payin' around a hundred bucks they are. I know the 883s are.

leaftye
01-31-2011, 23:48
Yep, that is true. They do make one model at the Maine factory, but I believe your statement is true.

It says so quite clearly on the New Balance website. Three weeks ago I even posted a link in this thread to their page that says only this.