The Blue Ridge is an outdoor epicenter and these local brands have chosen to base their businesses and build great gear right here where we love to play.
Eagles Nest Outfitters Giving Back Hammocks
For each one of these plush, easy-to-pack, double-wide hammocks it sells, Asheville-based ENO donates $10 to a worthy outdoor nonprofit, including Leave No Trace, the National Park Foundation, and—pertinent to our backyard—the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
Astral YTV SE
Another Asheville brand that has grown up around the core paddling scene in the Southeast, Astral has been at the forefront of PFD innovation, dumping toxic PVCs and crafting comfy, breathable designs. The versatile YTV SE offers up plenty of room under the arms to stay out of your way but keeps you afloat should you end up in the drink.
Diamond Brand Double Take
Proving that Asheville has been at the center of the outdoor industry since the ‘80s—1880s, that is—Diamond Brand has always built its packs and bags locally and remains committed to treating employees like family. And the brand has remained innovative in the 21st century. The Double Take combines an insulated stuff sack with a six-pack-sized soft bag.
Kitsbow Kitsuma Merino Hoodie
Soft on the skin and able to keep you warm without overheating, this merino wool warmer is a go-to piece in any season. Feeling the draw of the Asheville outdoor community, the cycling apparel brand moved its digs from California to the old Parker Hosiery facility at the end of last year and plans on doubling its manufacturing.
Farm to Feet Appalachian Trail Collection
Based in Mt. Airy, N.C., Farm to Feet is committed to manufacturing and sourcing entirely in the U.S., and making soft merino socks that can endure a tough day on the trail. Sales from this particular collection pay it forward to the grandaddy of long-distance footpaths with a portion of profits from each sale going to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
Recover Brands I Heart Pisgah Tee
I Heart Pisgah (iheartpisgah.org) is a non-profit dedicated to putting community and conservation input into the current creation of a new management plan for the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest—crucial work when public lands are facing so many threats. Charlotte-based Recover Brands is supporting that effort with this 50% post-consumer PET, 50% upcycled cotton tee and donating profits to the organization.
River guide and slalom kayak racer Eric Revels founded Watershed in 1995 with a mission to make dry bags that actually worked in the field. The Asheville, North Carolina-based brand has continued to evolve its design working with Navy SEALs. That’s evident in this sturdy dry bag duffel, which fits well in boat holds at 9”x16”x8”.