July Fourth is the time to drink beer, eat hot dogs, and avoid torching the forest with fireworks. For me, it’s also a chance to think about my favorite made-in-America products. Here are five things that I have in regular rotation.
CRKT No Time Off Knife ($125)
My wife and I both love this knife. She has an eye for style and is drawn to the hearty drop blade and stubbly handle. I like that it’s heavy in hand, which makes it feel substantial and inspires confidence when I’m cutting through something burly, like the guest-bedroom carpet. The blade, which CRKT makes in Tualatin, Oregon, is still remarkably sharp after two years of heavy use and has a permanent place in my pocket or in my wife’s purse.
DPS Alchemist Wailer 112 Skis ($1,300)
It feels weird talking about $1,300 skis in the middle of summer, but they’re really that good. I’m on my third pair of 112s, which I love for their ample width and just-right rocker profile that floats over backcountry pow. The new Alchemist construction is the dampest yet, which means I get a ski that’s still plenty light for long skin-track slogs but more confident when the going gets fast and rough. Heads up: Starting July 15, DPS (based in Salt Lake City, Utah) will have its Dreamtime promotion where you can get the Wailers at a discounted $1,100.
Watershed Drybag Colorado Dry Duffel ($185)
The handles and duffel design of the Colorado Dry Duffel are perfectly mated with drybag construction. This bag comes with me on river trips, but I can also strap it to the roof of my car or use it to fly around the world. Watershed (based in Asheville, North Carolina) also developed a patented zipper system that looks like a giant Ziploc. You close this watertight zipper, then roll the top down like a normal drybag, and absolutely no water can get in. It’s a level of protection that’s legendary in boating circles.
Voormi Drift Jacket ($250)
Voormi, which is based in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, gets a lot of attention for its River Run hoodie and Inversion jacket. Both are great, but I’m also a fan of the less-technical Drift. It’s a simple but bomber full-zip wool midlayer that’s perfect for skiing because it breathes better than any synthetic and can fight off light snow thanks to a DWR coating. During summer, I pull it on to get the campfire going, and it adds just enough warmth on windy mountaintop ridges.