The outdoor industry is filled with brands that claim to have a heritage that is steeped in adventure and exploration, but few can match those claims better than Sherpa Adventure Gear. Based in Kathmandu, Nepal, the company was founded – and is run – by the very people from which it derives its name. Born in the High Himalaya, the Sherpa are unmatched in terms of skill and endurance in the mountains, and who better to know what kind of gear you need to not only survive, but thrive, there.
First launched back in 2003 by Tashi Sherpa, the company was meant to be a living memorial for the men and women who perished while climbing Mt. Everest. The Sherpa people have always played a major role in guiding climbers to the top of that mountain, starting with Tenzing Norgay – who accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary to the summit on the first ascent of the mountain back in 1953. Today, they remain a vital part of just about every expedition that goes to Everest, not to mention most of the other major peaks in the Himalaya as well.
But in addition to honoring the climbers on Everest, the Sherpa Adventure Gear brand has always looked to provide economic opportunities for other Nepalis as well. Most of the company’s employees work locally in Kathmandu, helping to design the gear, manufacturing each piece to meticulous standards, and shipping the products world wide. Today, more than 1500 people are employed by Sherpa, making it a good source for local jobs, while providing an influx of money to the local economy too.
Never was this more important than after the devastating earthquake that took place in Nepal back in April of 2015. In the wake of that disaster, which claimed more than 9000 lives, the company closed down operations temporarily and focused on helping the Nepali people who were most impacted by the quake. As the country has continued to recover from that tragedy, Sherpa has played a vital role in helping to rebuild Nepal.
Although Sherpa Adventure Gear is a thoroughly modern outdoor brand, it also pays tributes in to its roots through its products as well. Each garment is made with high-quality technical fabrics that are blended nicely with the traditions of the Himalaya. For instance, the zipper pulls typically resemble miniature Buddhist prayer flags and the company logo stems from the endless knot, a symbol that represents the continual melding of spiritualism and with the passage of time, as well as the intertwining of wisdom and compassion.
While the Sherpa Adventure Gear cataglog isn’t as vast and deep as some other outdoor brands, the company does offer a fantastic array of layers, sweaters, jackets, and outerwear to fit our various needs. Each one is crafted to exceedingly high standards and are the perfect accompaniment to your own adventures – in the Himalaya or elsewhere. Here are a few of our favorites.
Tsepun Zip Tee
Made from Sherpa’s very own proprietary Dry Zone fabrics, the Tsepun Zip Tee is comfortable, fast drying, and adept at wicking moisture away from the from body. Designed to be a midlayer, the shirt features an athletic cut that moves nicely with the body without hindering motion in any way. Surprisingly thin and lightweight, the shirt makes an excellent travel companion or is perfect for those active backcountry escapes. ($75)
Another warm and cozy midlayer, the Ananta Hoodie is a bit less technical looking than the Tsepun, which makes it a great choice for lounging around a Nepali teahouse, hiking a trail, or just exploring your own hometown. Event though it doesn’t look all that technical, it still maintains the features that you’ve come to expect. For instance, the Ananta is quick drying and excellent at wicking moisture away from the body thanks to its Polartec fabrics. The warm hood is also much appreciated on blustery days outdoors too. ($110)
Featuring Primaloft Silver insulation, the Mustang Jacket is surprisingly warm without being particularly big or bulky. It features a very durable outer shell that allows it to shrug off abrasions, nicks, and other minor cosmetic issues with ease. And with its classic good looks, the Mustang fits in just about anywhere you want to wear it, although we think it is an especially a great option for adventure travelers heading to cooler climes. We also love all of the pockets that Sherpa Adventure Gear incorporated into the Mustang’s design, ensuring that there is always a place to store your important valuables while on the go. ($190)