4 outdoor adventure companies that pivoted to mask manufacturing and how they’re doing now
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
The air is crisp, the foliage is spectacular, and the mountains are calling. Fall is the perfect season for an outdoor adventure. This year, in addition to wearing your favorite cycling jersey, headband, waders, or hiking pack, you'll add a face mask. Check out how these four outdoor adventure companies pivoted to mask making and see how they're doing now.
Kitsbow is a cycling apparel company based in North Carolina. Their mission is to "create unrivaled gear made with the best materials available [and] then keeping making it better."
Known for creating apparel with timeless designs, technical performance, and superior tailoring, Kitsbow was among the first companies to pivot all of their design and production to PPE.
Led by its CEO, David Billstrom, who has experience as a first responder, the company continues to create well-fitting masks and shields. Kitsbow has successfully delivered over 100,000 pieces of PPE.
2. Sweaty Bands
Sweaty Bands, the maker of "America's #1 nonslip headband," began using their headband material for mask making, and they are still selling face masks and headbands.
Sweaty Bands makes fun and colorful hairbands that don't fall off when you sweat. You can still buy a set of hairbands and a mask for Halloween, and there are plenty of fun masks and bands for Christmas as well.
Consumers can buy all sorts of masks on their website, including pleated face masks, face masks with bling, custom face masks, and tubes. Tubes function as a cross between a face mask and a light neck gaiter.
The company sent several masks to Tennessee hospitals.
Based in Bozeman, Montana — one of the best-kept secrets among outdoor enthusiasts — is Simms, maker of waders, footwear, and technical apparel for anglers. Their brand and motto, "you get one life, fish it well," are famous worldwide.
When COVID-19 struck, Simms took a three-layer waterproof and breathable material from its inventory and created a gown that met medical requirements.
It’s still manufacturing protective gear and plans to distribute PPE more broadly.
Trail lovers probably have an Osprey hiking backpack that they've put to use this fall.
Osprey has focused on crafting exceptional equipment for backpackers, hikers, skiers, and bikers since it was founded in 1974 by Mike Pfotenhauer. The company has a philanthropic streak with a focus on environmental stewardship and health and recreation.
The warranty and repair team at Osprey has been busy making masks since the pandemic struck. They aim to sew 100 masks per day and give them to healthcare and front-line workers in the Cortez, Colorado, community, and surrounding areas.
Fall Weather Safety
As the weather grows colder, the air gets dryer. COVID-19 can spread more easily in dry air. Adventures should partake in outdoor recreation responsibly and continue to wear a face mask.
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