“Made in America” is making a comeback. Every time you turn around, someone is talking about the need to bring manufacturing back to the United States and, with it, manufacturing jobs. Outdoor manufacturers are increasingly finding ways to produce goods in the U.S. again, and American consumers are starting again to look for a “Made in America” label.
Made in the U.S.A.
Whether your activity of choice is hiking, climbing or bombing down neighborhood hills, it’s becoming easier to find the product for your passion that is manufactured in American factories. In honor of our nation’s 238th birthday, we share some of our favorite “Made in the U.S.A.” brands.
Headquarters: Portland, Oregon
While some manufacturer are finding ways to bring manufacturing back to the United States, Leatherman never left. On July 5, 1983 Tim Leatherman incorporated Leatherman Tool Group, Inc. based on a few simple, but fundamental principles: manufacture the highest quality products that deliver excellent value to the consumer, while providing good, living-wage jobs to the local workforce. It was in that same year, after nearly a decade of knocking on doors and perfecting his idea, that Leatherman sold their very first Pocket Survival Tool (PST). Thirty years after their founding, Leatherman is still going strong in the U.S. crafting their iconic multitools and knives that are as rugged as the conditions you’re testing them against.
Headquarters: White River Junction, VT
In 1997, Ibex was launched to meet a specific need in the outdoor apparel market: performance. Ever since, the brand has remained committed to uncompromising craftsmanship, and customer satisfaction – and the best way to meet that commitment? Expanding U.S. production to encompass their entire supply chain. That results in the brand being more hands-on in every process along the way — from the farm to the finished garment. And ultimately, that means higher quality garments for the consumer.
Headquarters: Yakima, Washington
The only American made metal bottle in the marketplace, Liberty Bottle Works combines an ideal blend of durable functionality, sustainability, and impressive graphics. The wine-bottle-inspired tapered neck gives you a splash-free pour, and the 1/4-turn cap is quick and leak-free. Crafted in the heart of Yakima Washington, Liberty Bottles are available in 24oz and 32 oz sizes. Grab a bottle from their Freedom Collection and sport your patriotism with every hydrating sip.
Headquarters: Trenton, New Jersey
Whether you’re setting up camp after dark, or pounding the pavement before the rooster crows, Princeton Tec produces a line of flashlights, headlamps, and other technical lighting sources. At one point, the brand had shifted production to China, but in 2007, Princeton Tec realized that overseas manufacturing resulted in less control of everything — products, quality, deadlines. So Princeton Tec moved the jobs back to New Jersey and today, 90 percent of Princeton Tec products are manufactured in three New Jersey factories.
Headquarters: Denver, Colorado
KOTA Longboards might be the new kids on the block, but they’ve already demonstrated a penchant for crafting high performance longboards with a refined style. Taking inspiration from the historic military aircraft flown by the intrepid Knights of the Air, the team at Kota has developed an all-around ride that’s smooth, responsive, and supremely fun. Every board is handcrafted in Denver, Colorado and made from American Hard Rock Maple. For an added dose of American pride, their Nieuport 17 U.S. Flag Longboard proudly sports Old Glory so you can ride a wave of patriotic fervor to wherever your destination may be.
Headquarters: Northfield, Vermont
In the Green Mountains of Northfield, Vermont stands a Hosiery Mill with a sign inside that boldly states, “Nobody ever outsourced anything for quality.” For 36 years Darn Tough Vermont has held firmly to the belief that when you’re really serious about something you make it yourself. And so it is. Made with the industry’s highest knitting density, Darn Tough socks diminish blisters and bunching for long lasting comfort from the office to the great outdoors. Each Darn Tough sock comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee and is designed, tested and manufactured in Vermont for unrivaled comfort, durability and fit.
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington
Cascade is still cranking out stoves, mattresses, and other products just a stone’s throw from the Space Needle. Founded in 1972, Cascade Designs has grown to become the parent company of some of the most respected brands in the outdoor industry—Therm-a-Rest, MSR(Mountain Safety Research), SealLine, Platypus, Tracks, PackTowl, and the newly launched Hummingbird line. While 20 percent of their manufacturing does take place overseas, the company designs and manufactures the majority of its gear in the United States with a focus on innovative, long-lasting, useful equipment for the outdoors and outstanding customer service.