Gear Editor Chris Townsend introduces 17 outdoor equipment companies that have launched in recent years – and takes a look at some of their best kit.

This gear feature was first published in the May 2018 issue of The Great Outdoors.

The last few years have seen the launch of many new outdoor brands offering a wide range of gear from packs and trail shoes to solar energy and tent pegs. Often using social media and blogs for marketing, crowdfunding for finance and websites for sales, these are companies of the digital age. Many of them have environmental credentials too. The hills and wild places don’t change though, and the value of these brands will be seen in how the gear performs. Having tried items from many of them I’m quite impressed. These brands really are adding valuable options. That so many are springing up is a sign of the good health of innovation and creativity in the outdoor equipment field. Here’s a rundown on some of these brands, in no particular order.



A new Kendal-based manufacturer of rucksacks, tents and sleeping bags.

Freedom of Sleep

Freedom of Sleep offer a range of down jackets at competitive prices.


Inflatable, lightweight LED camping lights with built-in solar panels.


Merino hats, socks, and handcrafted wooden and bamboo sunglasses.

Peak to Plateau

Outdoor gear from New Zealand made from yak wool.

Tread Lite Gear

A wide range of quality ultralight backpacking accessories handmade in the UK.


Lightweight thermoplastic snowshoes.

Cortèz Outerwear

Good-value mountain jackets sold direct to consumers.

Slope Angel

A tool to gauge slope angle and help judge avalanche risk.


Lightweight running shoes ideal for backpacking.

Atom Packs

Bespoke ultralight packs handmade in the Lake District.


Solar lights and chargers made from recycled materials.

Dannah Clothing

Durable outdoor clothing with a biodegradable PFC-free DWR finish.

Uneaq Outdoor

All-terrain tent pegs and other products.


A range of sustainable clothing and equipment from Utah.


Reliable off-grid power solutions for the outdoors.


Technical mountain clothing for brutal conditions.