Mountain Hardwear

Richmond, CA, 97 Employees

KNOW YOUR STUFF: At this maker of performance apparel, product testing is imperative. "I've taken product managers to Rainier in storms," says director of merchandise Ted Ganio. "They need to understand what it means to be pelted by ice." HQ is on the edge of San Francisco Bay. Inside: loaner bikes for rolling to lunch and a rec room with a climbing wall and Ping-Pong table. Outside: the 240-mile-plus (and growing) Bay Trail, a kayak launch, and rooftop solar panels.


Mountain Hardwear makes cutting-edge mountaineering and outdoor equipment, apparel, and accessories for the most extreme conditions. Mountain Hardwear was established in 1993 by a group of outdoor-industry veterans and is based in Richmond, California. The company distributes its products in the United States and more than 40 countries worldwide.

We have a workout room with equipment and showers, a climbing wall, and Ping-Pong. An on-site yoga class is offered (based upon employee interest and scheduling), and a massage therapist is on site on Fridays, offering inexpensive massage to employees. Outdoor equipment, including bikes, kayaks, and camping equipment, is available for use. Departmental and company organized outdoor activities are common and encouraged to promote teamwork, test products, and support the company's Gives Back employee arm.

The company is 100 percent solar powered. Designers and marketing managers are committed to using fewer resources, and recycled materials whenever possible, as they design and package our products. Our designers are committed to researching and testing recycled content for use in our products. We have found several recycled options that provide excellent quality, and currently several styles are made with partially recycled polyester fleece, shell fabric, or insulation. In 2008, two employees initiated an Alternative Commuting Program (ACP), which is funded by the employee arm of the company's Gives Back program. Employees earn $2 a day for carpooling, biking, kayaking, walking, or using public transportation to get to work. Inside bike storage is available, as well as loaner bikes for exercise or errands. A shuttle to the nearby public transportation hub is available in the morning and evening.

Mountain Hardwear employees can take up to 40 hours of paid time off annually to volunteer for a community project or an effort that supports the company's Gives Back initiative. Funds are available for employee-initiated projects as well. In addition, employees who organize a company volunteer project or participate in three company volunteer projects are eligible for Adventure Credits, which cover up to $1,000 in expenses toward a personal, mountain-oriented goal.

Employees are highly valued. It is a very family-oriented atmosphere, and dogs are welcome. An outdoor culture is prevalent and encouraged with wall graphics. Gear is available, and the company has organized activities throughout the year. Employees are encouraged to test product samples and report back to the design department and partake in special employee versions of marketing promotions.

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