History of Marmot
For many of
those who demand the best in outdoor apparel, Marmot is their company
of choice, and for good reason. Marmot is well-known as a leader
in outdoor wear especially designed for cold weather or rugged conditions.
The company's genesis is unique and worthy of note. But first, for
those who may not know what a Marmot is…
ground squirrels that most often live in mountainous areas. They
are especially found in areas such as the Eurasian steppes, the
Alps, Carpathian Mountains, and the northern Apennines. They can
also be found in the Rocky Mountains, Cascades and Black Hills.
So, why is this important when discussing the history of the Marmot
In 1971, Eric
Reynolds and Dave Huntley were mountain climbing in Alaska when
they decided to form a climbing climb named after the marmot. The
two men were, at that time, students at the University of California
Santa Cruz. They were in Alaska on a school project. In order to
become a member of their new climbing club, a person was required
to climb to the peak of a mountain in the company of another member.
Thus was formed the Marmot climbing club.
From 1971 to
1973, Reynolds and Huntley worked on designing several types of
outdoor gear, all of which used down as its insulating material.
These early prototypes were actually put together in the men's dormitory
room. These first products were mostly of down-filled vests, along
with a parka and sweater design. A short time later, they designed
a sleeping bag, again using down as the insulating material.
In 1974, the
two men (only 21 years old each, invested $3000 and started the
Marmot Mountain Works in Colorado. They rented stone building and
opened it as a retail and rental shop. When they needed cash, they
taught cross-country skiing.
"big" order came in when a filmmaker, Mike Hoover, placed
an order for 108 jackets that were to be used during the filming
of the movie "The Eiger Sanction" which starred Clint
Eastwood. The men designed and delivered what is now known as the
Golden Mantle jacket.
In 1976, Marmot
founder Eric Reynolds became interested in the new fabric that was
being introduced at the time. That fabric was Gore-Tex and has since
become famous for its use in a variety of functions including its
durability in outdoor, rugged use. Reynolds made arrangements to
use Gore-Tex in Marmot's sleeping bags as well as in some of its
This first use
of Gore-Tex was only the beginning. Marmot began an extensive design
effort and within a short time has developed a variety of gear using
the Gore-Tex fabric. They were the first to design what is known
now as the Gore-Tex bivy bag as well as a mountain tent known as
the Taku which provided not only warmth but was lighter to carry.
Back in 1974,
there were a total of seven dealers who were carrying the Marmot
line. Marmot understood at the very beginning that they would have
train and educate their dealers as to the special properties Marmot
items offered if they were to be successful. This commitment to
training and education is credited as being one of the cornerstones
of the business' success, and continues today. By 1983, Marmot had
more than 200 dealers and that number continued to grow. Much of
the company's sales today take place over the internet via the company
website where new additions to the already extensive line of products
are often showcased as soon as they are launched by the company.
is headquartered in Rohnert Park, California and has offices around
the globe including locations in Canada, UK, Hong Kong and Germany
to name a few. Marmot has earned numerous awards over the years,
which include the Editor's Choice award from Backpacker magazine
for their Oracle jacket.
The Marmot company
is currently a part of the Outdoor Solutions division of Jarden
As many apparel
companies have done, Marmot has its own online presence in the form
of a website. The website contributes to the company's overall exposure
level and offers visitors information on the company, its apparel
line, and other relevant information.