Our Team USA pride is ski-high at the conclusion of this year’s Winter Olympics. As we watched skiers and snowboarders from all over the world take center-slope, we couldn’t help but be proud of how many of USA’s athletes reign from our home state. Colorado sent 35 athletes to this year’s Games, more than any other state in the nation.

It’s no secret we love playing in, on, and around snow. Being able to do so while repping brands that REIGN from the state we call home is an added bonus.

Our Top 5 Brands Made in Colorado

  1. Obermeyer

Klaus Obermeyer, founder of Obermeyer Clothing.

Observing the opportunity for positive change to the snow sports industry, Klaus Obermeyer founded this ski clothing brand in Aspen, CO in 1947. Obermeyer has contributed numerous innovations to the market, credited with the addition of staples such as the first turtleneck and the premier down parka, among other impressive accomplishments.

The brand continues to evolve, pulling inspiration from Colorado mountain life. Klaus not only supports the ski community, but has implemented the “powder rule” for his employees. If the slopes accumulate more than 6” of snow overnight, employees get the morning off to ski! Klaus has nailed the “practice what you preach” mentality and Obermeyer truly embodies a native Coloradan brand.

  1. Spyder

Photo courtesy of spider.com.

In 1977, Spyder set out to create a ski clothing line “for racing, by racers.” The brand was founded by David Jacob, who observed a lack of variety in ski race sweaters while his young sons were intertwined in the race circuit. One of his first pieces of popular apparel was a blue and yellow stripe racing pants bearing a resemblance to spider legs, so was born the brand’s creepy-crawly namesake. From its humble beginnings in Jacob’s Boulder kitchen, Spyder truly grew it’s legs when it began sponsoring the U.S. Ski Team in 1989, a bragging right they retain in this year’s Winter Olympics.

Along with stitching together the US Ski Team’s 2018 Olympic apparel, Spyder is woven into the fabric of ski culture and remains a popular brand among skiers of all ability levels. The brand is dedicated to creating high-quality gear for Olympians and first-time skiers alike.

  1. Never Summer

A look inside Never Summer’s Denver factory.

Never Summer Snowboards holds a strong commitment to hand crafting each and every one of its boards in Colorado. The brand, headquartered in Denver, distributes its durable & innovative boards all over the world. Never Summer holds a number of impressive patents for snowboard technology, including one for their hybrid camber, a popular profile included in many brands’ snowboard lines.

Never Summer rose from the ashes in 1983 and founders Tracey and Tim Canaday quote the brand’s fundamentals as “Focusing less on excessive promotion and hype, and more on using the highest quality materials, craftsmanship, and customer service has made Never Summer the world’s premier independent board company.” When cruising along I-70 to one of Colorado’s many world-renowned ski resorts, a number of cars with stickers in the shape of the brand’s logo can be found.

  1. Strafe Outerwear

Strafe Outwear proudly hails from Aspen, Colorado. This outerwear brand came to fruition when twin brothers John and Pete Gaston were skiing their choice local spot, the Highland Bowl. Whilst traversing the Aspen terrain, it dawned on the duo peak performance on the mountain required a certain level of outerwear, and so was born Strafe in 2010.

What does shopping an athlete-owned brand mean for the consumer? It means sporting gear made by passionate individuals dedicated to making the most of life in the mountains. (and the gear necessary to enjoy it) Since Strafe is 100% athlete owned and developed, they have the unique advantage of producing exactly what the athlete, or everyday skier, needs.

  1. Smartwool 

Photo courtesy of smartwool.com.

We love the idea of Smartwool existing as an uber popular outerwear brand that started with one highly underrated item: a pair of  warm socks. Forged on the Colorado slopes, the brand set out to keep toes warm and has evolved into much more over the past 20+ years. While Smartwool is still best-known for creating socks that can withstand the worst winter conditions, they also make high-quality base layers and outerwear.

The company was born in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, testing and perfecting their product in their Rocky Mountain backyard.  Producing enough yarn for 28.5 round-trip missions to the moon, (wow!) Smartwool takes a simple sheep shearing and takes it to the next level, creating head-to-toe garments constructed from merino wool.

So there you have it: If you’re not interested in rocking a “native” sticker on your car, or are a transplant/ visitor that simply can’t get enough of our beautiful state, support Colorful Colorado on the slopes with these native brands.