40 Amazing Outdoor Companies in Colorado
Chances are if you enjoy the outdoors and all the pursuits that can be found in nature, then you have spent some time in the lovely state of Colorado. That’s because this four-season state is home to the Rocky Mountains, 4 National Parks, miles of white-water rivers, 21 ski resorts, and enough trails to wear down a few pairs of shoes. With all that being said, it’s no wonder that the list for amazing outdoor companies in Colorado is so long.
Mountainsmith is on a tear, winning the prestigious 2020 Editor’s Choice award from Backpacker for their new pack, the Zerk 40. Born and raised in Golden Colorado, the company brought the fanny pack to the outdoor market, which exemplifies their values of adventure and fun and everything that goes with it. Mountainsmith is committed to building the best-made, most durable and functional packs on the market. They continue to believe that experiences are far more important than things, and with this value, they are determined to make backpacks, tents, and trekking poles that will last a lifetime.
Backcountry Access- Boulder, CO
Backcountry Access is the most trusted name in backcountry safety. Along with avalanche and snowmobile gear, they are dedicated to swapping stories and educating powder lovers to create a culture of safety and stoke in the ski and snowmobile community.
Big Agnes – Steamboat Springs, CO
Big Agnes is a small company with the mountains just minutes from their office. They test their tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads in the mountains and make gear that you can trust when you’re out there. Big Agnes makes gear specialized for every activity from bikepacking to ultralight backpacking. Even if car-camping is your jam, there is gear especially for you. They consider themselves the Mother of All Comfort, and to be honest, so do we.
BOCO gear is enthusiastic about Colorado. Their hats reflect the culture of mountain explorers and loyal Coloradans and with great quality and unforgettable designs, these hats pretty much guarantee that they’ll become your trusted trail companion.
Boker makes everything with a sharp edge that you could possibly want in the outdoors. Pocketknifes, fixed blades, axes, multitools, swords, knife sharpeners, and more: Boker makes it all and even better, they make them with excellence. Their knives are simple and sleek and backed with a guarentee that will make you come back to Boker time and time again.
Brunton designs compasses that have been perfected over a century of field testing. While there is a lot of technology today to help us explore, none of it knows the wilderness like Brunton, and none of it has the class of a Brunton compass.. To adventure like the greats, adventure with Brunton.
Crocs is quite possibly one of the happiest brands in Colorado. They value simplicity, design, comfortability, and unapologetic optimism. Crocs have been a staple since 2002, but today they serve their community as a brand who want people to like what they like, and do what they love. Plus, Zoey Deschanel loves them… so that’s the best.
Fenix Lighting extends the hours for adventure with their waterproof and durable flashlights, lanterns, headlamps, and bike lights. Their products are designed to work reliably and excellently with tested performance and shockingly high lumens.
Headsweats really likes hats. They make anything from beanies, to cycling caps, to classic trucker’s caps, all with the same goal: preventing the classic outdoor perils of sweat blindness, migrating sunscreen, and odd sunburn patterns. They also believe in their brand: if you are not overly joyous about your Headsweat purchase, they will take it back in a heartbeat. But they’re pretty sure you’re going to love what you get.
Icelantic is a ski brand built from a love for nature and a desire to grow and learn from the outdoors. Now, they have grown to not only make skis, but also clothing and swimwear all marked by the fun and unique artwork of Travis Parr.
Kelty plays hard. But they also want you to play hard, so they work to make your adventures full of fun and free of work. Their innovative backpacks, sleeping bags, and tents have years of improvements and perfections under their belt. Kelty is an easy brand to trust, and an even easier brand to love.
La Sportiva – Boulder, CO
La Sportiva made its name as a climbing brand that makes the best technical products, handcrafted and made with decades of experience. Now catering to runners, skiers, hikers, and climbers, La Sportiva continues to make excellent shoes, boots, skis, and clothing that experienced outdoor enthusiasts can’t get enough of. Not to mention, they last forever. La Sportiva doesn’t have customers, they have converts.
Meier Skis are handmade skis and snowboards from Colorado trees. Along with selling gear and fully-customizable skis and snowboards, they are striving to be the world’s most eco-friendly high-performance skis. While their products are available online, the one-of-a-kind craft skiery on location in Denver makes a trip to Colorado a necessity.
Melanzana – Leadville, CO
Melanzana is a small company that specializes in outdoor apparel best suited for the Rocky Mountains in which they come from. With a name that translates from Italian to “Eggplant”, this company is a representation of the success that small outdoor orientated businesses can find in Colorado. But it’s not just a cool name that keeps them going, it’s a dedicated line of high-quality multi-layer garments that keep them above the competition. Once you go Melanzana, there’s really no going back. Their gear is soft as all get out.
Newton Running Company – Boulder, CO
There is just something about Newton Running that makes you feel excited about hitting the trail. Maybe it’s there unapologetic view on colorful running shoes but Newton Running is more than just a running company, they are running advocates on a mission to sell a healthy lifestyle.
Nite Ize makes the essentials of the outdoor industry: carabiners, flashlights, gear ties, and glow sticks for grown-ups. Nite Ize values practicality and fun, and the result is a product that outdoorsmen are excited to carry and can’t leave the house without. If the LED glowsticks were not enough to get you excited about this brand, their lifetime product guarantee might do the trick.
Optic Nerve Eyewear- Wheat Ridge, CO
Optic Nerve Eyewear locally designs, hand inspects and tests their sunglasses in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Plus, their Optic Nerve line is Eco-Friendly, made with castor bean oil, and fueled by the goal to change the world one pair of sunglasses at a time.
Ortovox is your brand for avalanche safety and sophisticated protection against the elements. As true mountain people, they work to be kind to people and nature, while being aggressive in developing the safest and most reliable products. Mountain safety pioneers since 1980, Ortovox wants to offer protection as you embark towards the untouched mountain experiences.
Osprey has made their name in the outdoor industry by designing comfortable, durable, and ingenious packs. Their almighty product guarantee started a shift in the outdoor culture from purchasing new products, to making good products last a lifetime. It’s not a stretch to expect your Osprey to outlast your car, especially if you are driving your car to the start of the adventures an Osprey pack makes possible. Needless to say, Colorado is a big fan of this brand.
Otter Box – Fort Collins, CO
OtterBox is known for their waterproof, durable phone cases that protect our personal items while we pursue our outdoor passions. Built around the motto “we grow to give”, OtterBox not only looks outward to give the best product to their customers but looks out to its community through their giving foundation: OtterCares. OtterBox has made its name not through promotion or trend, but through the intense quality of their products year after year.
Pearl Izumi – Louisville, CO
Either weekend warrior or professional athlete, if you have ever gone on a bike ride, run, or swim (or all three), chances are you’ve come across the name Pearl Izumi. That’s because for over 50 years this originally Japan-based company has led the market in lightweight and effective racing apparel. Literally translated to “Fountain of Pearls”, Pearl Izumi is a much sought after brand from the clothes racks to professional sponsorship and will continue to be that way for years to come.
Point 6- Steamboat Springs, CO
Point 6 Socks know their Merino. As self-professed friends with several sheep, Point 6 socks have the best inside knowledge for making merino socks for every adventure. Beyond socks, their brillant wool tecnhiques are also availible in base layers, hats, and neck gaiters. Point 6 makes a trustworthy winter-proof sock, and they have fun doing it. We think you’ll like getting socks a lot more if they’re Point 6.
We all know that it’s hard to pick just one outdoor sport. Scarpa makes it easy for your feet to love them all with ski boots, rock climbing shoes, mountaineering boots, hiking boots, alpine runners, and casual footwear. Scarpa was born in Italy with a pioneering spirit that led them being the first to build a Gore-Tex boot.
Scott Fly Rods – Montrose, CO
Started in 1973 out of a basement in San Francisco, Scott Fly Rods moved to the Rocky Mountains in 1993. Since then and throughout their time of being in business, Scott Fly Rods has led the pack in innovation within the fly rod industry. One of the first to utilize graphite in the process, all of Scott’s Fly Rods are strong yet light, ready to travel and ready to pull in the big fish.
Sea to Summit – Boulder, CO
Sea to Summit makes a range of products from dry bags to sleeping pads meant to take you to adventures at every altitude. They pass on their experiences by designing and building gear that brings you closer to the outdoor spaces that you love. Their products firmly believe in comfort, while accommodating your need for lightweight and reliable gear.
Sierra Designs – Boulder, CO
Sierra Designs believes there is a better way out there and they’re designing it. Whether you’re car camping over the weekend or on a mountaineering adventure to the end of the world, if you are using any Sierra Design product you are in good hands.
Skratch Labs has come up with the secret performance drink mix that every athlete has been looking for. Less sugar, more electrolytes, and awesome flavors make Skratch Labs the up and coming sports nutrition brand. Plus they make matcha green tea energy chews. It’s kinda hard not to love.
Slackline Industries- Boulder, CO
Slackline Industries is the premier brand in the fun and addictive sport of slacklining, providing a range of products to support the entire spectrum of slackline styles and users.
Slumberjack is leading the nighttime outdoor industry by innovating newer and better ways to provide outdoor enthusiasts and sportsman with a great night’s sleep in the outdoors. With tents, packs, sleeping bags, and camp furniture, Slumberjack has everything you need to make the outdoors feel like home.
SmartWool – Steamboat Springs, CO
Smartwool was the first outdoor company to make performance Merino wool ski socks, driven by the dream of skiing longer without getting cold toes. They built their brand on the desire to be comfortable on outdoor adventures—wanting to go further and experience more. Whether walking your dog or attempting a summit, Smartwool takes care of the practical so you can pursue your passions.
Obermeyer exists to make skiing easier and more fun. They develop products and customer services that make the complicated, easy; the uncomfortable, comfortable; the serious, light-hearted; the expensive, affordable; and the short-lived made to last.
Spyder Active Sports- Boulder, CO
Spyder makes incredibly high end ski apparel and they have fun doing it. Their layers and shells show an intense love and knowledge of the sports they design for, but the beautiful engineering of their gear does not stop them from having fun with their style. Spyder is for skiers who want their clothing to be just as intense and crazy as they are.
Spyderco – Golden, CO
Spyderco knows knives. In 1981, Spyderco began to mark their brand with innovation as they introduced a folding knife with a round hole to make one-handed opening possible. Since then, they have made folding, fixed, and flippers that address the nuances of each knife’s capability and efficiency. They have become a brand trusted and well-known for making products sharper and smarter than most other brands in the field.
In the fly fishing world, Tenkara USA is known as the brand that brought Tenkara fishing (a traditional Japanese form of fishing involving only a rod, line and fly) to the US. Tenkara is known as the fly rod that can be brought along with any activity. The rods retract to about 2 feet, making them convenient to tuck into a pack, climbing bag, or even attach to a mountain bike making them ideal for outdoor enthusiasts to bring along in case a fishing opportunity presents itself.
Topo Designs pairs your love for mountain culture and outdoor living with a love for exploring cities and world travel. Born in Denver, Colorado, Topo’s packs and clothing are simple, functional, and overwhelming fun. Topo often bridges the gap between city adventure and mountain exploring by partnering with brands such as Madewell and Chacos.
Trango is a climbing brand that absolutely loves what they do and the sport they do it for. They are passionate about creating innovative, solution-oriented products that help climbers pursue the sport they love. They find their innovation at the crag, not in an office. With Trango, anyone can be a climber.
Umpqua Feather Merchants- Louisville, CO
In 1972, Dennis Black decided that the world needed excellent flies in sufficient supply. Since them, Umpqua Feather Merchants have been the creators of fishing flies made with an emphasis on quality over quantity. They continue to invest in making their flies better and after 40 years of tight lines and tying flies, they have become masters of what they do.
Wagner Custom Skis- Mountain Village, CO
Wagner Custom wants to skiing more enjoyable by designing skis that match the exact needs of their customers. Each ski is completely customizable and is made up of a different combination of handpicked materials with diverse stiffness and flex patterns. Wagner offers a unique partnership with their customers, so you get to put your personality into your favorite winter passion.
See more of the mountain with Zeal Optics. They build the highest quality eyewear for people like them who live for outdoor adventure. Zeal Optics lives and creates by this motto: Use Less, Give Back, Explore More.
Zuke’s Natural Dog Treats- Durango, CO
Zuke’s makes trail ready treats for your favorite adventure buddy. Zuke’s believes that what’s good for humans, is good for pets. Their products are delicious and nutritious, and give your dog everything they need to keep up on your next adventure.
If you liked this post, check back for posts about the best outdoor companies in every state! (coming soon)
Contributions made by Brad Lane.
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