The outdoor gear space is jam packed these days. While you could walk into any sporting goods outfitter or shopping mall and choose something off the shelf, you could also buy local. In line with Minnesota’s rich outdoor traditions, there are plenty of companies big and small designing and manufacturing some of the best quality gear on the market.
Granite Gear: Granite Gear has been peddling their packs and other adventure gear for over three decades. Their new Minnesota Made Collection includes three backpacks and two duffels perfect for urban hikes and weekend adventures. Best of all, these bags are made and hand-sewn at the company’s Two Harbors headquarters.
Heim-made: The brain child of a Minnesota mother-daughter duo, heim-made makes a variety of outerwear, but its down products are perhaps its signature. Check out the ingenious designs showcased in the LumberJacket with built-in mittens, and the Blankoat, which doubles as a blanket and coat.
Namakan: Namakan was born in the winter of 2014 when St. Paul-based co-founder Maggie Davis discovered that she was far warmer in coats that employed faux fur trim on the hood. The trouble was the hood didn’t transfer to other coats and jackets, so the Namakan faux fur ruff was born. Using a patent-pending design, the ruff attaches to any hood or collar with superstrong magnets. Building off its success, it also offer faux fur puffs for hats and faux fur throw blankets perfect for cozying up by the fire on a cold evening.
Duluth Pack: A tried and true brand, Duluth Pack’s bags are versatile enough to go from a hike in the Northwoods to a coffee date in the city. Their Scout Pack and Roll-Top Scout Pack are favorites among outdoor buffs who love the brand’s classic style.
Frost River: Frost River’s waxed canvas heritage packs, bags, mittens and other gear are as good as it gets when it comes to design and durability. Made in Duluth in the tradition of Northwoods craftsmen, trappers, miners, and makers of decades past, Frost River is a Minnesota brand through and through.
(This is part of the Big List here)
MACKENZIE LOBBY HAVEY