A lesser-known brand among North American outdoors enthusiasts, Kathmandu is a Kiwi powerhouse. It has more than 120 stores across Australia and New Zealand.
Founded In: 1987
Home: Christchurch, New Zealand
Product Range: Women’s and men’s apparel and footwear, sleeping bags, packs, tents, lighting solutions, navigational instruments, outdoors furniture, and more.
Mission: “For 30 years, we have designed our gear to take on the rugged landscapes of our homeland and to outfit the adventurous spirit of our people. With Kiwi ingenuity and an open mind, we continuously adapt our gear to endure different weather conditions, diverse terrains, and the ever-changing needs of travelers.”
Buying Tip: Kathmandu uses DownTek hydrophobic down in sleeping bags and puffy jackets. This means the down is harder to saturate, making it a better choice for wet and humid adventures.
Design Ethos: “Original. Sustainable. Engineered. Adaptive. These four principles are the foundation of every piece that carries the Kathmandu logo.”
Fun Fact: Kathmandu employs “Best in Field” testers: skilled alpinists, Search and Rescue team members, guides, mountaineers, adventure travelers, and athletes based in Australia and New Zealand to thrash its gear and look for ways to improve.
Kathmandu: Best Selling Products
Stuffed with 600-fill DownTek water repellent down, the Comet is a summer sleeping bag for temps above 40º F. At $200, this light and fairly priced bag weighs just 1.3 pounds.
This jacket has waterproof and windproof shell fabric using Pertex Shield technology. Baffle construction keeps the 750-fill DownTek insulation in place, and, storm flaps and zips keep moisture out. We tested it this winter; this jacket is bomber.
Super-light, this jacket weighs just 12 ounces. Yet the brand claims the 800-fill down results in an outstanding warmth-to-weight ratio. Slim-cut and low-profile, the jacket can be worn on its own or under a shell.