Mountain Hardwear

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Mountain Hardwear Inc.
Industry Apparel, Outdoor Gear
Founded 1993
Headquarters Richmond, California
Key people
Topher Gaylord, President
Products Outerwear and sportswear
Parent Columbia Sportswear
Slogan Radical Thinking

Mountain Hardwear, founded in 1993, is a California (USA) -based company that manufactures high-end outdoor clothing, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, and gloves. Columbia Sportswear purchased Mountain Hardwear in 2003. The company is headquartered in Richmond, California.


In 1993, a small group of former employees of Sierra Designs decided to form Mountain Hardwear. In addition to working in the outdoor industry, the Mountain Hardwear founders were avid outdoors people themselves and included Jack Gilbert, Paul Kramer, Mike Wallenfels, Paige Boucher, Ingrid Harshbarger, Claranne Knittel, Roberta Hernandez, Alan Tabor, and John Cumming. Newly formed Mountain Hardwear had the challenge of bringing technologically-advanced products together to form a product line.

Mountain Hardwear's first sponsored athlete, Ed Viesturs, the first American to climb all fourteen 8,000 meter peaks (8000ers), helped develop several of the company's products. Two of those original products are still in the line today: the Exposure Parka [1] and the down-filled Sub Zero Jacket [2]. Viesturs no longer endorses Mountain Hardwear equipment.

The company currently has over 90 people in their 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.

Retail locations[edit]

Mountain Hardwear opened its first retail location in Portland, Oregon in April 2008. A Seattle, Washington retail store opened on December 5, 2008.


Mountain Hardwear sponsors a number of athletes. Most are alpinists, climbers, or skiers. Sponsored athletes include:

Andrew McLean, Andrew Lock, Bruce Cornell, Dawn Glanc, Erik Weihenmayer, Ethan Pringle, Matt Moniz, Freddie Wilkinson, Jake Meyer, Jamling Norgay, Janet Bergman, Jim McNeill, Julia Niles, Kenton Cool, Kevin Mahoney, Mike Libecki, Neil Gresham, Robert Jasper, Ryan Boyer, Tim Emmet, Ueli Steck.


  • 1993 Mountain Hardwear founded
  • 1995 First window use in tent flies
  • 1996 Pioneered Windstopper Fleece
  • 1997 Conduit waterproof/breathable membrane
  • 1999 Welded technology first used in apparel
  • 1999 Conical Waists (patent) on pants and rotated seams on shirts for backpacking
  • 2000 Pioneered Gore-Tex XCR
  • 2001 Partnered with Gore to develop Windstopper next-to-skin garment fabric
  • 2003 First waterproof sleeping bags
  • 2006 Exodus Backpack System
  • 2008 Introduced 25D Hollow-core tent flysheets
  • 2009 Pioneered OutDry 3D lamination technology for gloves
  • 2011 Pioneered DryQ waterproof/breathable fabrics

External links[edit]