Made in Colorado: Teardrop trailers, sport packs and more
Products manufactured in Colorado vary, but are all quality-tested
A longtime wilderness guide and outdoor industry executive, John Campbell sees Alpine Luddites as a natural next step.
"Since I was in high school, I've made my own gear," he says. "I've always wanted to do a brand or company where I make all custom gear."
He's done it with Alpine Luddites, making custom packs for ice climbers, bicyclists and other recreationists since 2014.
"I sew everything myself, he says. "I design everything. Ever pack is custom-fitted."
Campbell sees Ouray as a natural base for the company, noting, "There are a lot of really good guides who work all over the world that live here."
And the name isn't anti-technology, he adds: Luddites weren't against innovation but were rather "anti-low wage and anti-low quality."
$300 – $700 direct
"I was a kid who tore apart my football to see how it was made," says Last Exit Goods founder Ryan Mayo. "I just love working with my hands."
He started the company as a "side hustle" in 2012, handcrafting leather satchels, wallets and belts, and went full-time last year.
"It's been the quintessential entrepreneurial roller-coaster ride," says Mayo, who handcrafts many products himself and also contracts with a cut-and-sew specialist in Manitou Springs.
His water-resistant Boulder Creek Multi-sport Pack was designed for anglers, but it's gained a loyal following among nurses as well.
"They carry thermometers and all sorts of things in it," he says.
After working in IT, Jeff Stout followed his passion for woodworking and started making racks to organize his own outdoor gear.
"I just had stuff leaning against the wall of my garage and kept knocking it over," he says.
So Stout started making handmade Pro Board Racks in 2010, then founded Rado Racks to make racks with a CNC (computer numerical control) machine in 2014.
"It allowed us to do some new styles of racks we couldn't do before," he says.
The Rado catalog includes models designed for bikes, skis and snowboards, skateboards and stand-up paddleboards, and a new freestanding surfboard rack is selling well on the West Coast.
$50 – $230 retail
Founder Kevin Molick worked as a cabinetmaker and general contractor before getting "obsessed" with teardrop trailers.
"I wanted to build one for my wife and I," Molick says. "One thing led to another, and I decided to make a go of it."
Since its start in early 2016, the company has quickly taken off: After delivering 25 in his first 16 months, Molick expects to ship 45 in 2017. The market is responding to the slick aesthetics and high quality, he adds.
"The design is mine from the ground up. There's nothing about them that's standard."
The base model is sold complete with a mattress, spare tire and a kitchen sink; upgrades include awnings and solar panels.
Says Molick: "You can just buy the base and go camping that night."
$17,650 and up retail