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Gear

The Rocky Mountain Gear Guide: 6 International Gear Makers That Moved to Colorado

These international outfitters traveled across the globe to set up their North American headquarters right here in the Centennial State.

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Rab
Origin: England
Founded: 1981
Came to Colorado: 2008
Backstory: Broke and stuck in Buenos Aires, British climber Rab Carrington learned to craft sleeping bags to earn money. After he stitched his way home, he started this company, which makes insulative sleeping bags and apparel.

La Sportiva
Origin: Italy
Founded: 1928
Came to Colorado: 1990
Backstory: About 92 years ago, La Sportiva was a small operation that produced leather boots and clogs for residents of Italy’s Fassa and Fiemme valleys. Though the company has expanded globally—and into new sectors like ski mountaineering—it’s still owned and managed by founder Narciso Delladio’s ancestors.

Scarpa
Origin: Italy
Founded: 1938
Came to Colorado: 2005
Backstory: This family-owned outfitter started in the foothills of Italy’s Dolomites as a footwear provider for local farmers. Fast-forward almost a century, and the shoe brand has become a favorite of top mountaineers, runners, and climbers, including Boulderite Madaleine Sorkin.

Fjällräven
Origin: Sweden
Founded: 1960
Came to Colorado: 2012
Backstory: Founder Åke Nordin made Fjällräven’s first bag in his basement. Now, you can buy the Instagrammable, sustainably made packs in a rainbow of colors.

Hestra
Origin: Sweden
Founded: 1936
Came to Colorado: 2004
Backstory: The Magnusson family began crafting gloves for the lumberjacks in their small town, but when a ski slope opened nearby, they pivoted to making mitts for snowsports. Today, they sell gloves tailored to pastimes from golfing to cycling to, of course, schussing.

Sea to Summit
Origin: Australia
Founded: 1990
Came to Colorado: 2005
Backstory: A climber in Perth, Roland Tyson started sewing his own gear after not finding any he liked in Australia. His designs attracted the likes of mountaineer Tim Macartney-Snape—who commissioned Tyson to make duds for a Mt. Everest ascent—and the co-founders’ Sea to Summit products have continued to draw acolytes on multiple continents.

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