Danner Boots, Portland, OR
They cobble together an entire line of supple leather hiking boots that will last you a lifetime, but our art director swears by Danner’s Grouse Hunting Boots. Of course, he’s a grouse hunter, but the combination of full grain leather, Cordura, and Gore-Tex does make them worthy mountain boots no matter what your pursuit. With a leather lower and fabric upper, these Gore-Tex-lined boots don’t give you hot foot during warm hiking days, but still work well as the weather turns foul. Standing eight inches tall, they are a bit taller than most conventional hiking boots, which makes them ideal for rough, pathless terrain where rocks would cut away at your ankles. They provide excellent support, and for this reason they’re an ankle turner’s dream. $300; danner.com
Westcomb, Vancouver, BC
The Switch LT Hoody is made in Canada by Westcomb, but it’s cool because it’s crafted with a water-resistant and highly breathable Polartec NeoShell membrane. Meaning it’s one of the lightest, fully functioning, stuffable, alpine shells you can buy. Indeed, it’s one of the only ones that you can wear on the uphill without totally overheating. And oh yeah, Polartec is a U.S. company. $430; westcomb.com
Purl Ski Wax, Boulder, CO
Why load the snowpack with trace amounts of petrochemicals? Purl makes organic, biodegradable, soy- and petroleum-free ski waxes in Boulder, Colorado. We’ve tried a range of temperatures and they all work—though the Ice 9 All Natural line is better for freeskiing than racing. Racers or Nordic skiers should check out Purl’s original Microcrystalline line, which is still PFC-free and biodegradable but lasts longer and glides better. $10–$12; purlwax.com —Marc Peruzzi
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