Mountainsmith’s story began with Colorado outdoorsmen who spent weeks at a time in the woods. The outdoor gear available back in 1979 didn’t meet their rugged demands. And so they built their own. Mountainsmith’s first product was a backcountry sled. Next came its iconic lumbar packs designed for backcountry skiing.
Four decades later, the company still gets ideas for new gear by identifying gaps in the industry. Some innovations are born from customer feedback, while others are the result of a professional partnership. Ideas can even come from a combination of factors, like its foray into camera bags and photography accessories. Seeing a need in the market, Mountainsmith first teamed up with National Geographic photographer Andy Man to test and design outdoor camera bags, then later partnered with legendary adventure photographer Chris Burkard for its Tough as Nails series. Other clever creations over the years include Mountainsmith’s K9 daypacks for dogs and its 6-pack Cooler Tube Sling.
Though the quality of Mountainsmith's gear—from technical backpacks to trekking poles and tents—has been setting standards of ingenuity and durability for decades, the backcountry-born brand’s ultimate goal is simply to get more people outside. Mountainsmith works with the American Alpine Club, focusing its efforts on educating new climbers about gear, technique and safety. The respect and popularity of the company continue to grow every year, which is why we’re always stoked to select new Mountainsmith products for our site.