Based in Spokane Valley, Washington, Mountain Gear is one of America’s leading privately held web-based outdoor specialty retailers, and is recognized as one of the nation’s fastest growing catalogue merchants.
Mountain Gear was founded in 1983 by Paul Fish and Karn Nielsen. At its inception, Mountain Gear was a custom outdoor equipment manufacturer specializing in handmade backpacks. Over time, the focus of the company shifted from manufacturing to specialty outdoor retail and grew to include a nationwide catalogue.
Mountain Gear first mailed a catalog in 1993 and developed its first website in 1995. These became the cornerstone of their multi-channel marketing efforts. In 2001, Mountain Gear acquired MountainWoman.com, one of the first women’s-specific outdoor websites. In 2003, the acquisition of Shoreline Mountain Products, a web-based retailer that specialized in rock climbing, solidified Mountain Gear’s position in these categories. MountainWoman.com has been updated and rolled into the Devi Outdoor catalog and DeviOutdoor.com website. Shoreline was discontinued as an independent website and catalog a few years after the acquisition. Mountain Gear continued to expand its direct and online sales and quickly became a national leader in the outdoor retail industry, catering to a growing clientele of individuals who seek adventure through human power and ingenuity.
From 2002 to 2006, Mountain Gear was listed by Success Magazine as one of America’s 100 fastest-growing catalog businesses. As a result of Mountain Gear’s rapid growth as a retailer in the outdoor industry, the company moved into a newly renovated, 112,000-square-foot, environmentally sustainable distribution center and corporate headquarters in 2006.
The Corporate Headquarters of Mountain Gear Inc. is located at 6021 E Mansfield, in Spokane Valley, Washington
. The Mountain Gear flagship retail store is located at 2002 N Division in Spokane, Washington. In partnership with International Mountain Guides
(IMG), Mountain Gear opened a satellite shop in Ashford, WA at the base of Mount Rainer to serve the mountaineering community.
Engaging positively within its community as well as the environment is a guiding principle of Mountain Gear. They have incorporated environmental responsibility into every facet of their business practices. It is Mountain Gear’s mission to grow its business sustainably, responsibly and profitably through innovation and a commitment to its stakeholders. As a part of its mission, Mountain Gear, Inc. is committed to fulfilling the demands of its business in a manner that maintains the integrity of the natural environment, as well as the quality of life of its employees, customers and community.
Mountain Gear is the first privately held business in Eastern Washington to achieve a LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED), meaning it has met the highest standards of green building practices for existing buildings. Mountain Gear in 2007 was honored with a Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices as a result of its commitment to sustainable business practices.
Mountain Gear, Inc.’s sustainable features include an improved building with high-performance glass; motion and daylight sensors to reduce artificial lighting use; carbon dioxide sensors that shut off the fan coil when rooms are unoccupied; an Energy Star
-rated roofing system; low-emitting adhesives, sealants and paints; and agri-fiber board for cabinetry with no or low formaldehydes. Sustainable water features include rainwater capture to supply drip irrigation and the installation of efficient, low-flow plumbing fixtures.
The building is 39% more energy efficient than conventionally designed office/warehouse facilities. This translates to an annual savings of approximately 220 barrels of oil or 2,400 kilowatt-hours of electricity. The plumbing fixtures alone save over 240,000 gallons of water each year.
Mountain Gear, Inc. is a mentor in the Green Building Education Program, featuring interactive tours along with lobby displays and web-based activities to showcase the green features of the building.
Mountain Gear, Inc. carries clothing and gear from top name brands, including: The North Face
, Mountain Hardwear
, Outdoor Research
, Marmot (company)
, Black Diamond Equipment
, Keen Footwear
and La Sportiva
Major competitors: Eastern Mountain Sports
, Sierra Trading Post
Web retailers include: Backcountry.com, Moosejaw.com, and local, independent retailers.