Today, I welcome Amy Hatch as a guest blogger to share some of her favorite USA made outdoor gear and clothes from small brands. Amy is the founder of Garage Grown Gear, an online store and magazine that features cool and innovative outdoor startups. All the brands featured in this post are available for purchase on Garage Grown Gear.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below or give her a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s an ultrarunner, adventure racer, packrafter, backpacker and skier, so has plenty of first-hand experience with this gear. Amy lives with her husband, 5-year-old daughter and two big dogs at the base of the Tetons.
This post does contain affiliate links, which means I make a small commission if you purchase the items. As always, I appreciate your support!
Supai Adventure Gear UL Packraft
The Supai Adventure Gear packraft, called the Canyon Flatwater 2, condenses down to the size of a Nalgene water bottle and weighs only 1.5 pounds! Use it to relax on high-mountain lakes or exit canyoneering adventures.
Aaron Locander and Shannon Flowers make each Supai boat themselves in Arizona, ensuring quality every step of the way. In addition to Supai’s signature Canyon Flatwater 2, the company also makes an innovative and ultralight 4-piece paddle that weighs a mere 12 ounces.
Carson Footwear Shoes
Talk about USA made outdoor gear; Everett Carson just wasn’t happy with the choices for minimalist running shoes, so he invested half a million dollars to start manufacturing his own right here in the United States. Carson Footwear now makes zero drop running shoes out of an Oregon facility.
Carson Footwear offers a variety of design choices. But when it launched in 2015, it started with the Iguana Racer. Carson chose this shoe because he once told himself “the day you make a running shoe in the USA is the day iguanas fly.”
Lawson Equipment 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 products with a 100% no bullshit guarantee. Whether next week or next decade, you can return a product, no questions asked. Check out Lawson Equipment’s reflective glowire, ultraglide bear line and titanium tent stakes.
Purple Rain Adventure Skirts
While planning a Pacific Crest Trail trip, Mandy Bland decided she wanted to try hiking in a skirt, so she made herself one. “A few miles in I knew I was onto something,” Bland said. A skirt makes peeing easy (and breezy). It’s also simple to layer longer underwear under a skirt.
After Bland returned home from the PCT, she started Purple Rain Adventure Skirts. The 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 herself from her home in Oregon.
Superior Wilderness Designs Backpacks
Superior Wilderness Designs makes ultralight backpacks suitable for weekend outings or months on the trail. The company got its start after Brandon McIntyre and Ashley Thick discovered that gear available in big box stores is unnecessarily heavy – so decided to make their own.
All Super Wilderness Designs packs are made from a small shop in Brandon and Ashley’s Michigan home. The small batch production allows them to select high-quality materials, pay attention to details and offer their ultralight packs at a reasonable price.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Packs and Shelters
When Mike St. Pierre came across Cuben Fiber – a material traditionally used for sailing – he immediately recognized its potential for ultralight backpacking gear. He ordered some of the fabric and was soon building his own equipment. That snowballed into schooling himself on production and R&D processes; and then business development.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear has grown from a one-man operation into a thriving Maine business. It makes backpacks, shelters and other equipment out of what was once an abandoned cotton mill. Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s philosophy is to build stripped-down, high-performance, minimalist gear.
Farm to Feet Socks
Farm to Feet sources 100 percent of its materials domestically, and keeps its manufacturing and packaging American made as well. This gives Farm to Feet a great local vibe, but the main reason to buy these socks is for their performance and durability.
Design features on several models include cushioning panels and ventilation channels. The socks are also compression knit for a superior fit across the arch of your foot and feature seamless toe closures that keep blisters at bay.
Out Gear Rec Hammock
Out Gear Rec offers a lightweigt hammock that is compact, comfortable and perfect for serious backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. One day, while using a brand name hammock, Nate Nieri realized he felt seriously underwhelmed by its quality. He set out to do it better and Out Gear Rec evolved from there.
Nate lives just a couple of blocks from the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania and is passionate about getting people outside and active. He frequently organizes group backpacking trips.
BONUS: Terra Rosa Tarps
Terra Rosa Tarps aren’t USA made outdoor gear, but they are Aussie made. Evan Howard’s story is one that’s probably sounding a bit familiar by now. He needed a tarp for his hammock, couldn’t find one in Australia and so decided to “have a go” at making one himself!
Evan continues to make all Terra Rosa tarps himself in his Melbourne workshop. He’s also the one who packages and ships the tarps off to customers.
From May 4 – May 10, Garage Grown Gear is donating 5% of their profits to the Adventure Mamas Initiative. For more info, click here.