Mountain Hardwear was founded in 1993 by a small band of outdoor industry iconoclasts. They saw the industry changing, compromising quality and dumbing down products to serve less technical users. Mountain Hardwear was founded to buck this trend in order to stay true to the needs of outdoor athletes.
Designing, testing, and sewing the apparel, tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks that get us all outside. We're all trying to live up to the free-wheeling, go-your-own-way, who-cares-what-people-think attitude of the early days. We go outside because it’s the best playground we can imagine. It’s a place to be creative, express yourself, and escape from the sameness of everyday life. We do what we do because we think this desire to get out and be wild is in everybody.
Since Osprey was founded in 1974, every single product design has passed through the hands of owner and founder Mike Pfotenhauer, who created his first backpack at age 16.
In Santa Cruz, California, the young entrepreneur opened a retail shop in the front of his rental house where backpackers and travelers came for custom-fit, made-to-order packs constructed over several days by Mike himself. As the demand for the great-fitting packs increased, Osprey found itself relocating to its current home in Southwest Colorado.
Today, Osprey is a melting pot of diverse personalities, backgrounds and abilities. All share the common belief that adventure is open to everyone and found anywhere.