Buy Local

Some of the world's best outdoor gear is still made right here in the USA.

Therm-A-Rest Ridgerest Solite (Photo by Inga Hendrickson)
Therm-A-Rest Ridgerest Solite

THERM-A-REST RIDGEREST SOLITE
PROPS: It's well priced, indestructible (can't pop), and warm—a space-blanket-like coating reflects heat to your body. BEHIND THE SCENES: Every Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad—along with 70 percent of the products made by parent company Cascade Designs (which includes the MSR and Platypus brands)—is still built at the family-owned company's Seattle plants. From $20; thermarest.com

TYR Torque Elite Swimskin

TYR Torque Elite Swimskin
TYR Torque Elite Swimskin (Photo by Inga Hendrickson)

PROPS: It all but eliminates drag in the water. Exhibit A: Of the 700 elite competitors at the 2010 Kona Ironman, 356 wore the Torque. BEHIND THE SCENES: Tyr is the sole remaining U.S.-based swim-apparel company and still makes most of its high-end triathlon products in California. $250; tyr.com

New Balance MR1080

New Balance MR1080

New Balance MR1080

PROPS: With generous cushioning and a plush interior, it's a top-tier comfort cruiser for neutral runners. BEHIND THE SCENES: New Balance makes a quarter of its performance running and lifestyle shoes—some seven million pairs, including this one—in one of its four New England factories. $135; newbalance.com

Smith Prophecy

Smith Prophecy

Smith Prophecy

PROPS: Great peripheral vision; sharp anti-fogging lenses; and eco-savvy touches (vegetable dyes, recycled packaging). BEHIND THE SCENES: Smith sells roughly half of the three million goggles bought in the U.S. each year. All of them are made in its Salt Lake City factory.$140; smithoptics.com

SmartWool PHD Ultra Light 3/4 Crew

Smartwool PHD Ultra Light 3/4 Crew

Smartwool PHD Ultra Light 3/4 Crew

PROPS: Like all of SmartWool's socks, the PhDs keep feet warm and dry and take a while to wear out. BEHIND THE SCENES: Yes, the merino wool is from New Zealand. But 90 percent of the socks made by SmartWool—the outdoor industry's largest sock maker—are knit in North Carolina and Tennessee. $17; smartwool.com

Lib Tech Attack Banana

Lib Tech Attack Banana

Lib Tech Attack Banana

PROPS: A bit of rocker + solid control = an ideal all-mountain board for intermediates. BEHIND THE SCENES: Mervin Manufacturing (Lib Tech, Gnu, and Roxy) churns out 100,000 boards a year at its low-impact (locally sourced wood, recycled scraps), biodiesel-heated headquarters outside Washington's Olympic National Park. $559; lib-tech.com

More Gear

Big. Crazy. Opinionated.

Thank you!

Pinterest Icon