Most outdoor gear companies outsource their production to foreign countries. We don’t. We design and manufacture gear in a renovated textile mill located at 40 Main Street, Biddeford Maine. The reasons are intuitively simple as the gear we make. We believe “Made in the U.S.A.” is a worthwhile endeavor that benefits our customers, our company and the community where we do business. Our employees are highly skilled craftspeople who care deeply about the quality of their work. And the repurposed mill building where we operate is part of a successful effort to revitalize the local economy, fueled in part by small companies like ours.
We also believe it’s critical that our gear is designed and built in a place that’s relevant to its end use. Maine is filled with the mountains, forests, trails and rivers that initially formed our passion for the outdoors. It’s the kind of place that inspired us to found this company… the kind of place that now serves as our local test lab.
We build stripped down, high performance gear that’s dialed in to meet, in as minimalist a manner as possible, the exacting requirements of the goal-oriented adventurers who use it.
Our gear is exactly what’s needed and nothing more. This principle drives our design and innovation methodologies. It informs the technologies, materials, fabrics and the techniques we utilize to make our gear. We embrace innovations in materials technology and a shift to a simpler, refined approach to how you adventure in the outdoors. We are committed to building durable, functional packs, shelters and accessories that help our customers increase their speed, distance, efficiency, comfort and overall enjoyment in the outdoors.
The high quality of our gear directly reflects the dedication of the people who work at our manufacturing facility in Biddeford, Maine. Our team boasts business leaders, entrepreneurs, explorers and industry veterans—people who share a common vision of continuous improvement and a dedication to outdoor adventure. From our executive team to our stitchers and cutters, our people are the real deal; they are among the most experienced and knowledgeable in the industry.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear was born from dissatisfaction. Founder/CEO Mike St. Pierre realized early on that he couldn’t find good, durable, lightweight, design-driven gear for his outdoor pursuits because it didn’t exist. So he schooled himself in fabrics, technologies and production and started making his own packs and shelters. With his new, cutting-edge, ultralight gear, he could hike 30, 40 or more miles on his weekend escapes from his high-end chef job in New York City. He adopted ultralight philosophies, and never looked back. In 2011, Google and American Express selected St. Pierre’s fledgling company, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, as one of the winners of a contest that supported Small Business Saturday. The rest is history.
Dan St. Pierre graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and has 20 years of experience in both corporate finance and entrepreneurship. He has worked at large multi-nationals such as Moody’s Investor’s Service and Bristol-Myers Squibb, a Boston high-tech start-up called Commerce.TV, and has consulted for start-ups in the retail furniture, footwear manufacturing and restaurant industries. Following ten years in New York City, Dan began traveling through India studying yoga and spiritual philosophy and trekking through the Himalayas.
John Schafer brings a diverse manufacturing background and 40 years experience to the company. He started as a mechanical engineer for the Norton Company, a manufacturer of abrasive products. A third-generation employee in Worcester, Mass., his first boss was his grandfather’s apprentice. After 18 years there, he took a job as the Vice President of Manufacturing for KomTex Technologies, where he oversaw 225 steelworkers who made castings and forgings for the biomedical and aerospace industries. Schafer moved to Maine in the late 1990s where he eventually started his own fabrication company, Shape Fabrication. He planned on retiring, but was intercepted by Mike and Dan St. Pierre, who convinced him to work for Hyperlite Mountain Gear. Now, says Schafer, “This is going to be the crown jewel of my manufacturing legacy.”
A self-described “dirtbag climber” for most of her life and a former Hyperlite Mountain Gear ambassador, Lizzy Scully has an extensive background in rock climbing, expeditions and backcountry travel. However, somewhere along the way she also managed to get a master’s degree in communications/journalism and 18 years of experience in writing/editing, public relations and digital marketing. She was a senior contributing editor for Rock & Ice magazine for five years and the managing editor for various newspapers and magazines, including a women’s climbing magazine that she founded. In the 2000s, she co-founded a non-profit that provided educational opportunities for underserved girls in remote regions of the world. There, she really dove in to digital marketing and public relations. Prior to working for Hyperlite Mountain Gear, she ran her own social media/email consulting business out of a small town in Colorado.
Though Amy Kading grew up in small town Texas, she dreamed big. By 6th grade she already knew she would attend the Fashion Institute of Technology, and by 17 she had graduated early from high school and was on her way to New York City. Soon after graduation, she landed executive ecommerce positions at Zales and Texas Instruments. In 2015, she and her husband took a hiatus from work to thru hike 800 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Kading developed a new, more minimalist perspective on life and a desire to work in the outdoor industry while on the trail. The job at Hyperlite Mountain Gear was too good to be true, she says. “But now I’m here, and I’m stoked to be involved with both the ultralight community and a fast-growing, relevant brand. I look forward to helping educate people so they might experience what I have experienced in the outdoors.”
A Maine native with a passion for the outdoors, Erin O’Toole heads the R&D Department at Hyperlite Mountain Gear. After graduating from the University of Maine at Farmington with a degree in Business Economics, she traveled across the country looking to experience something completely different and landed in Las Vegas. After a couple of years of working in entertainment accounting for a major resort, lots of desert exploration, and west coast road trips, she found herself really missing the ocean, the woods, and the four seasons, and she headed back east. In 2012, O’Toole came on board first as a production stitcher and quickly learned how to manufacture the entire product line. She moved on to managing the shelter department and eventually began working with the new product development. O’Toole is an avid climber, hiker, skier and runner. Of her job, she says, “I love seeing our gear go on incredible adventures all over the world, and I love knowing I had a part in designing and building it!”
Skiing before he walked, Sam has spent half of his life in the outdoor industry as a ski instructor, specialty outdoor retail associate and outdoor industry event coordinator. After graduating from college, he moved his small media production company out to Salt Lake City, Utah and began producing branded outdoor industry content for 4FRNT Skis and Backcountry.com. Peters began his tenure with Hyperlite Mountain Gear as its first Customer Service Representative while double-timing as an in-house designer, photographer and videographer. He now heads up all in-house multi-media efforts.
Burkett Farquhar graduated from Franklin Pierce University in 2007, with a degree in Sport and Recreation Management. Since graduation, he has pursued a career in the outdoor industry working as a Retail Supervisor at Eastern Mountain Sports and Dealer Service representative for LOWA Boots in Connecticut. In his free time, he skis, bikes, hikes and boats. Burkett joins Hyperlite Mountain Gear as a Customer/Dealer Service representative. “I am excited to be a part of a group that shares the same passion for the outdoors and be located in a spot to access it all!”