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MFGR Interviews

November 7, 2011

We’re back at it, bringing you another installment of Meet the Manufacturers. Today’s unfortunate soul… er, interviewee, is Mike St. Pierre of Hyperlite Mountain Gear (‘HMG’ to spare some bandwidth). You may have heard about HMG’s products from the likes of Backpacker Magazine and Backpacking Light. The HMG factory is cranking out some well thought out and innovative gear from…

Read the PostHyperlite Mountain Gear with Mike St. Pierre

October 27, 2011

Got lightweight stoves? Trail Designs does! Today I had the opportunity to speak with Rand Lindsly, one of the co-founders of Trail Designs, and yet another engineer entered the backpacking gear industry. Rand hooks us up with some insight into the world of Cottage Industries and of course some the scoop on Trail Designs stove systems which are designed with…

Read the PostTrail Designs with Rand Lindsly

October 3, 2011

This summer I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to chat with both Glen Van Peski, the founder of Gossamer Gear, as well as Grant Sible who is the President of the company and involved with its daily operation. Several pieces of my own solo kit carry the Gossamer Gear logo, so needless to say I’m a fan and…

Read the PostGossamer Gear with Glen Van Peski and Grant Sible

August 26, 2011

Jotaro Yoshida is the founder, owner, concept man, and field tester behind Locus Gear of Japan. He’s a super nice guy who has an obvious passion for hiking and lightweight gear. Some of Jotaro’s interesting shelter designs first caught our attention a few months ago when they were mentioned on the forums over at BackpackingLight.com. We’re very happy that he…

Read the PostLocus Gear with Jotaro Yoshida

July 18, 2011

[Update circa 2015: Little Light Gear is no longer around, but don’t let that stop you from reading this interview…] Ron Rod is the founder of Little Light Gear who specializes in backpacking gear for kids. Our top scientists were on lunch break, so we couldn’t officially test his IQ, but we’re pretty sure he’s a genius for solving an…

Read the PostLittle Light Gear with Ron Rod

June 20, 2011

Chris McMaster and his wife Sally are the co-owners of Ultralight Adventure Equipment who manufacture fully featured lightweight packs. Judging by their popularity on the trail there are quite a few ultralight adventurers out there. Whether you are hiking 2 miles or 2000 miles ULA makes the packs that will make all your adventures more enjoyable. We had a chance…

Read the PostUltralight Adventure Equipment with Chris McMaster

June 16, 2011

Where in the world is Fritz Handel? In the remote woods of Iskut British Columbia of course! But he’s not just sitting on his laurels out there pondering the mountains and trees. When he isn’t out walking Fritz is hard at work building miniature pieces of metal art otherwise known as Bushbuddy Stoves. The craftsmanship on these has to be…

Read the PostBushbuddy with Fritz Handel

May 11, 2011

Joe Valesko is a serious guy. Usually I’d say “hey lighten up!” but it just so happens that Joe is serious about ultralight hiking – a triple crowner, and he’s already way lighter than most of us. Joe’s the man behind Zpacks whose name is synanomous with ultralight backpacks and shelters as well as other accessories, specializing in Cuben Fiber…

Read the PostZpacks with Joe Valesko

May 9, 2011

[Update circa 2015: Devin has had several business ventures go south with an avalanche of angry customers out there – we advise strong caution if you’re considering a purchase from any of his companies. Although we don’t support the way Devin has conducted himself we will leave this interview up, which was written prior to the development of the issues…

Read the PostThe Boilerwerks with Devin Montgomery

May 2, 2011

Judy Gross runs the show over at LightHeart Gear. The company attitude may be lighthearted but when it comes to building tents she takes her business very seriously. Judy offers a range of hybrid single wall tents for the solo hiker, duo, and even an offering for those of us who are bordering on Sasquatch status. Take a look at…

Read the PostLightheart Gear with Judy Gross