Mountain Hardwear: For more than a decade, Richmond-based Mountain Hardwear has been my go-to supplier for camping-and-backpacking clothing and gear. I do not own a Mountain Hardwear backpack. Perhaps I never will – my North Face pack seems indestructible. Based on my experience with their tents and other gear, however, I certainly will shop Mountain Hardwear if I’m ever in the market for a backpack again.
Patagonia: With Ventura-based Patagonia, you get what you pay for. What you pay is a lot. What you get is exactly what you want. Patagonia’s gear and clothing looks great, it works perfectly, and it is manufactured as ethically and sustainably as reasonably possible. I own a broad cross-section of Patagonia backpacking gear, all of which may very well last me forever.