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 do not yet own a Patagonia vest. But my wife and children all do, and they are quality garments.
Mountain Hardwear: Richmond-based Mountain Hardware has been my go-to supplier for camping-and-backpacking clothing and gear for more than a decade. They make vests suitable for any outdoor activity, including vest-daypack hybrids that they call “racing vests.”
North Face: Alameda-based North Face makes pretty much everything an outdoors-enthusiast could want. And – judging by everything I’ve bought from them so far – they make all if it really really well. Fifteen years ago, I bought a North Face backpack. Thousands of backpacking miles later, not a stitch has popped, not a buckle has broken –the thing doesn’t even smell bad. I do not yet own a North Face vest. But I will.