USA-Made Gear: 20 Domestic Stand-Outs

Each year at the Outdoor Retailer trade show, the ‘Made In America Product Showcase’ recognizes U.S.-manufactured gear. Here we highlight 20 products that made the cut.

DANNER MT. ADAMS BOOTS
(Made in: Portland, Ore.)

A leather hiker that’s Gore-Tex lined for keeping out moisture, and stamped with a Vibram sole for traction, the Mt. Adams are built to go long distances and handle steep scrambles or variable trails. $225.

ZIPPO WINDPROOF LIGHTER
(Made in: Bradford, Penn.)

All of Zippo’s 799 windproof lighters are made in the USA. The epitome of Americana, Zippo stands behind its lighters with a “It works or we fix it free” guarantee. Ranging from $15 – $12,000 (for an 18k solid gold lighter!), Zippos are a long-standing staple for trips to the outback.

ENERPLEX KICKR IV SOLAR
(Made in: Thornton, Colo.)

This year’s winner of GearJunkie’s Readers’ Choice Award, EnerPlex’s 6-watt, weather resistant, foldable solar charger is gaining plenty of recognition. The $100 charger weighs just about five ounces and fits inside any hiking pack.

GERBER US-ASSIST KNIFE
(Made in: Portland, Ore.)

A recipient of GearJunkie’s Best In Show award, the Gerber US-Assist is perhaps most notable for its specialized BOSS opening technology. (That’s “Balls Of Stainless Steel” to the layperson.) Its 3-inch blade comes in S30V steel ($100) or 420HC steel ($80) options, and the design is ambidextrous for fast deployment left or right. Coming soon.

VAPUR 1.5L SHADES FLEXIBLE BOTTLE
(Made in: USA)

Currently on the market in its 0.5L line, the Vapur Shades are designed in Oxnard, Calif., and manufactured within the U.S. The simple, light bottle is worth a look for ultralight packers and campers tight on space.

KEEN RIALTO 3 POINT
(Made in: Portland, Ore.)

KEEN’s offering to the performance sandal market builds on its Rialto line. The Rialto 3 Point, available in 2017, is a more open, breathable sandal than its predecessor. It will have a removable footbed for those who need a customized fit. ($120).

LIFETIME KAYAKS
(Made in: Utah)

The 30-year-old Utah company manufactures hard-molded HDPE products, including basketball hoops, folding tables and chairs, playground equipment, and, more recently, kayaks. Lifetime kayaks are suited for entry- to intermediate-level paddlers and start at just $350.

PEET SHOE DRYER
(Made in: St. Maries, Idaho)

This propane-powered cousin to PEET’s original electric models blows hot air through boots or shoes, drying them off while you relax after a day in the slop. The dryer has two mounts (one for each shoe) and uses a 16-oz. propane canister, enough gas for 60 hours drying time. $100.

PELICAN Elite Cooler
(Made in: USA)

Pelican cut its teeth making military-grade hard cases for “transporting sensitive materials.” The Elite series coolers do the same for beer or food, and they’re available to the public. The 22-pound Pelican coolers come with a lifetime guarantee.

FARM TO FEET SOCKS
(Made in: Mt. Airy, N.C.)

Farm to Feet has a commitment to American manufacturing, as the brand sources all wool from the Rocky Mountain region then finishes production within 300 miles of its North Carolina headquarters, no importing required. Next spring, the company is honoring its roots with the Mountains-to-Sea collection, based on its Damascus Elite Hiker, but with varying designs. ($22.50)

WAZOO PARACORD BRACELET
(Made in: USA)

Wazoo launched in 2010 and has been building its line of survival tools in America ever since. The Adventure Paracord Bracelet has a fire-starter buckle, compass, ceramic knife, whistle, surgical tubing, glow light, mirror, and more, all tucked into a laced paracord strap. Perhaps most interesting is the plastic handcuff key… definitely ready for any adventure! ($90)

NEW BALANCE 990GL4
(Made in: Mass., USA)

New Balance’s iconic 990 runner goes 4th generation with a pigskin leather upper, 12mm drop, and a “new streamlined ‘N’ logo.” As a basic runner, these have always been solid, and with at least 70 percent U.S. manufacturing and materials behind the model, you can feel good about wearing them on the road. ($165).

CARHARTT DOUBLE DUCK DUNGAREE
(Made in: Kentucky)

The brand synonymous with workwear won recognition at Outdoor Retailer for its latest “super durable” pant. These dungarees are loaded with reinforced pockets for tools, clean-out openings on the knees for clearing debris and slipping in kneepads, and heavy, 12-ounce, ring-spun cotton. ($50)

WIND WARRIOR
(Made in: Johnson Creek, Wis.)

The Wind Warrior works for soccer moms and campfire cuddlers alike. The 10-foot x 6-foot nylon screen blocks winds howling up to 35 mph. Plus, no tools are required for setup. If space and weight aren’t critical, this is a small luxury that can greatly improve a camping experience. ($180)

DURANGO DOG CO. WATER BOWL
(Made in: Baltimore, Md.)

We wrote on best practices for hiking long miles with your dog. Number one: keep Fido hydrated. Enter Durango Dog Co. and the travel bag that hauls your stuff and converts to a water dish (pouch) for your pup. ($58-$63).

ORU BEACH LT KAYAK
(Made in: USA)

Featured on the show Shark Tank, Oru kicked its development of foldable “origami” kayaks into high gear. The result: a 23-pound polypropylene kayak that folds down into a backpack. The concept is ideal for urban dwellers who love to paddle but don’t have storage (or a vehicle) suited to a standard kayak. All Oru kayaks are made in the USA. ($1,175).

CROAKIES XL EYEWEAR RETAINER
(Made in: Jackson Hole, Wyo.)

Simple, straightforward, and American made. Eyewear retainers are not the most technical gear, but they’re a needed accessory in the outdoors where lakes, ledges, and forests are just waiting to swallow your sunglasses. $5 and up.

UNITED BY BLUE TEES
(Made in: Philadelphia, Penn.)

United By Blue carved its way into the outdoor world with a commitment to remove one pound of trash from the oceans for every product sold. The brand has an entire line of USA-made products but selected its graphic tee-shirts for the OR product showcase. Each cotton shirt is 100-percent organic and all polyester is derived from recycled plastic bottles.

RICHER POORER CLARK SOCKS
(Made in: USA)

Founded in 2010, Richer Poorer is still an up and coming name around the outdoors world. Its Clark socks were featured at OR this year, with a spandex-nylon-polyester-cotton blend that uses up-cycled cotton as a base material. Up-cycling uses old cotton garments and scraps to create new garments. ($20)

NATURE NATE’S RAW HONEY
(Made in: McKinney, Texas)

The original energy gel! Unlike most conventional honey on the market, Nature Nate’s does not pasteurize or filter out any pollens. New to the OR Show this year was Nature Nate’s individual honey packets. For a tasty, natural, minimally processed pick-me-up on the trail, this is a good bet. ($12/30-pack box)

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