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Black Rock Gear – Sponsorship

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Black Rock GearGreetings Hikers,

I wanted to let all of my readers know that I have become a sponsor of the awesome cottage company “Black Rock Gear“, makers of the absolute best UL/SUL down hats, gloves, vests, and more.

For a numbers of years I have been using Black Rock Gear and have been a huge fan and supporter. Both here at HikeLighter.Com and my previous website, RedwoodOutdoors.Com, I have had the honor of announcing a few of their products to the hiking world.

To me, Black Rock Gear is at the very top of the list when it comes to the finest made specialty gear for hikers and runners. I have, honestly, never seen any clothing products made to such exact detail, precision, and quality. It is for this reason that BRG makes up such a large part of my gear lists in both the summer and winter hiking seasons. As a long distance hiker I demand high quality gear that can endure and be as light weight as possible with today’s fabric. A few years ago when I bought my first BRG hat I did not think a down filled hat could be any lighter weight, yet they have continued to push the edges and have been willing to invest the money in buying the leading edge material in order to keep producing even lighter weight hats and vests. Their cuben fiber rain mitts are the pinnacle of what it is I am talking about.

To me, becoming a Sponsor of Black Rock Gear means a great deal. Those who follow my articles know that I care a great deal about the hiking cottage industry. In my sponsorship letter to Black Rock Gear I made the point that the type of sponsorship I am after is not the type where I am asking for free gear, discounted gear, or gear of any kind. Sometimes sponsorships should not be about a hiker getting free gear and a company getting PR in exchange. The relationship and respect that I have had for Black Rock Gear has always been one where we drive each other to build the best that can be built (on their part) and I am out there on the trail using the gear and providing feedback on the gear. I value this type of a sponsorship more than any other – the type where a company is willing to listen to their customers and work with them to find ways to make their products better.

Over the last few years Black Rock Gear has sponsored a number of hikers, athletes and trips on Everest, K2, McKinley, the PCT, the AT, the Grand Canyon, the Machu Pichu trail, and trips to China, Pakistan, Patagonia and on both North and South Pole. A true testament of both their gear and their value to the cottage industry!

I would like to thank Black Rock Gear for trusting in me, for allowing me the honor of becoming a sponsor, and for being out there making the kind of gear that ends up in the backpacks of hikers such as myself.

-Abela

Written by John B. Abela - HikeLighter.Com

December 7, 2012 at 2:07 pm

15 Responses

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  1. Great! Just got my original BRG hat in the mail. Can’t wait to try it out in the woods.

    JT

    December 7, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    • That is awesome JT!! I hope you find it useful. I wear mine pretty much every day this time of the year.

      John B. Abela

      December 16, 2012 at 9:39 pm

  2. Good to hear it is not about free kit. Keep pushing for great kit from them and I might get some myself.

    Martin Rye

    December 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm

  3. Great accolade! Never tried their kit, but awfully tempted……..

    Andy

    December 8, 2012 at 4:25 am

    • It seems hard to justify the seemingly high costs for these, but I have found them to be worth it.

      John B. Abela

      December 16, 2012 at 9:41 pm

  4. Very good John. Waiting for them to come out with a bright green limited edition hat from their “Skittle Thug” collection. Sure would be nice to wear it next St. Patrick’s day on my hiking club’s annual trek across the Golden Gate Bridge to O’Reilly’s Pub in North Beach for corned beef and cabbage. OK Black Rock, I know you read this blog, think of the publicity. Everyone would be asking me where I got that weird hat, although weird is a relative term in San Francisco. Last year we saw a guy in a green dress who was built like a linebacker for the 49ers. Eirinn go Brah! And he had one of those on too!

    John Coyle (Bird Legs)

    December 8, 2012 at 9:31 am

    • They had a really cool bright green version here a month or so back. Think it was called the packman or some such. It would have been awesome for a St Pats time of the year!!

      John B. Abela

      December 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm

  5. Congrats on your sponsorship John! I knew it would have to happen eventually… :)

    Stick

    December 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    • Thanks Stick. Figured it was time to make the switch away from not having any sponsors, to trying to get some sponsors. Was glad BRG was willing to bring me on board!

      John B. Abela

      December 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm

  6. Hi John!

    That’s cool that you got them as a sponsor! I have a vest and the undermitts from them, as soon as they have the overmitts available I will get them. I don’t see myself getting a hat soon because my thermarest pillow cover works as a bennie for me and its pretty warm. In regards to this, I picked up a cuben breathable jacket from zpacks and its tight on me with the BRG vest. How does the vest fit under your jacket? I’m 6’2, 230lbs and the vest fits fine but the L jacket is tight because I have a pretty large chest/back. I think I’m gonna return my jacket and wait till Joe comes back from NZ so he can make me a custome XL jacket.

    fabian

    December 16, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    • Hey fabian, you and a lot of other guys seem to be waiting for the overmitts. Highly doubt they will be released at all this winter season.

      Just pick up a pair of the MLD eVent Rain Mitts and seam seal them. At ~1.5 ounces they might be around 18 or 19 grams heavier then the ZPacks WP/B CF mitts, but eVENT is *far* superior to this WPBCF material, and gloves are one of those sort of things that I just think should have the extra breathability.

      Yes, the ZPacks jackets tend to fit a little tight as a hard shell jacket. I think you should drop Matt an email and see if he could make you an XL one. Pretty sure they already have the template for an XL jacket made up. He should be able to do that while Joe is away.

      John B. Abela

      December 17, 2012 at 12:16 am

      • Hi John! Thanks for your response. Yeah, the overmitt thing is a tough choice between Zpacks, BRG, MLD and even lukesultralite.com (by the way, a little surprised you’ve never mentioned their gear, their prices look very reasonable and they have some really light stuff but I rarely read any reviews on their stuff). I already emailed Matt and he said they won’t work on anything especially jackets until Joe returns. That’s ok, my First Ascent jacket will do for winter use. I won’t need the jacket from Joe till this next summer when I do the JMT. By the way, I picked up all the different things to copy your cooking 2 oz kit and so far so good! Thanks!

        fabian

        December 17, 2012 at 1:05 am

        • I have never mentioned lukes website because I have never used any of his products. Folks out there put a lot of their purchasing decisions in gear that I give a high review of, and that makes me extremely hesitant to even mention gear I have never had on the trail.

          Bummer to hear Matt was not willing to do the xl jacket.

          Ah, you mean the little esbit cook setup that I did a video on awhile back? What was that… ummm… Zelph 2 cup flat bottom… suluk46 wind screen… esbit tray… and a little wire stand. If that is the one, yeah, love that setup for fast boil times. Totally worthless for anything but boiling water, but it rocks at doing that one simple task, and does it at almost as less weight then any other potential setup out there. Only advice I would give is not go with the CF bag and instead throw it all into a large zip lock bag. I address why in this video at the 11:30 mark.

          What First Ascent jacket do you have?? I have come soooo close a bunch of times on buying the BC MicroTherm.

          John B. Abela

          December 17, 2012 at 1:32 am

  7. […] to the market and are being used by hikers around the world, and I have had the honor of becoming a sponsor of Black Rock Gear and a Trail Ambassadorship of Gossamer Gear – thank you to both of […]


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