A few months ago, while visiting the guys from Outlier at their Brooklyn headquarters (more on that soon), I noticed a bright white backpack poking out from under a desk. It was my introduction to Hyperlite Mountain Gear, the brainchild of Mike St. Pierre, who has been making ultralight packs and shelters out of his small Biddeford, ME factory for almost three years now. (Before he started HMG, he was spending weekends backpacking in the Adirondacks while cooking at New York’s Per Se and Prime Meats.)

I immediately got my hands on the Windrider Ultralight (pictured above, top right), which was selected this year as BACKPACKER’s Best Ultralight Pack. The Windrider, like most of HMG’s gear, is made out of Cuben Fiber, a non-woven, rip-stop, composite laminate developed in the 1990s by a nuclear weapons physicist and an aerospace composite engineer. It’s lightweight, waterproof, and four times stronger than Kevlar, making it an extremely durable fabric for any type of adventure on the trail.

After many hours with HMG gear in the Catskills and the Whites, several emails back and forth with Mike and the HMG team, and finally, a trip up to Biddeford for a tour of the factory and a couple of beers at a nearby waterfront bar, I am extremely excited to announce that Hyperlite Mountain Gear is Cold Splinters‘ newest client.

Much more to come…


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