In 1993, a small group of people who had weathered years in the outdoor industry decided to get together and form Mountain Hardwear. In addition to working in the outdoor industry, the Mountain Hardwear founders were avid outdoors people themselves and included:

  • Jack Gilbert, a practiced fly fisherman who is the former VP of Sales and Marketing at The North Face and former President of Sierra Designs.
  • Paul Kramer, also from Sierra Designs, an enthusiastic backpacker and snowboarder with numerous patents that demonstrate his love for pioneering design developments.
  • Mike Wallenfels, an experienced climber and mountaineer, whose Adventure 16 sales experience gives him strong insight into what consumers really want.
  • Paige Boucher, an avid backcountry skier with strong marketing experience from her years at Sierra Designs.

Founding Mountain Hardwear was the team's first demonstration of radical thinking; the company bet on experience and passion for innovative, technologically advanced products to bring together a product line within 90 days. Many in the industry thought the task was impossible, but the Mountain Hardwear crew worked fast and smart-and introduced two products that are still in the line today: the Exposure™ Parka and the Sub Zero™ Jacket.

More than a decade later, Mountain Hardwear has grown quite a bit. The company has over 90 people in our California office, more than 35 sales reps and associates across the United States and Europe, and representatives in Canada, Asia, South America, Australia and New Zealand. And now, with the solid financial backing of Columbia Sportswear, Mountain Hardwear is free to develop even more cutting edge designs and products.

Even with all these changes, the team at Mountain Hardwear is still small, friendly and down-to-earth. Employees and representatives continue to share a passion for the outdoors along with a passion for making innovative, technologically advanced gear. We keep our outdoor knowledge sharp by sponsoring over 20 athletes and using their real-world challenges and experiences to continue to advance the technology and fabrics we build into our products.

Mountain Hardwear has always focused on bringing radical thinking to the gear we make. That's why we have a section in our website that talks about the innovation we've built into our products: the patented Cross Flow™ tent construction, WindStopper® next-to-skin fabric development in partnership with Gore® and the patented Quantum Expander™ for sleeping bags to name just a few. We continually challenge ourselves to bring technical innovation to outdoor gear and to create detail-oriented design features that anticipate users' needs. We combine that innovation and attention to detail with superior product quality-backed with a lifetime warranty that speaks for itself. Mountain Hardwear-Radical Thinking-again and again.