2016 American Made Outdoor Gear Awards finalists announced

ARCATA, CALIFORNIA, (November 27, 2015) – The American Made Outdoor Gear Award, which annually celebrates the best stories from companies with a commitment to American manufacturing and sourcing in the outdoor market, announces the finalists for the 2016 American Made Outdoor Gear Awards. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Friday, January 8, 2016, in Salt Lake City, UT, during the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

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• Under 10 Employees:
o Cleverhood, Providence, RI – www.cleverhood.com
o Duckworth, Bozeman, MT – www.duckworthco.com
o Skida Headwear & Accessories, Burlington, VT – www.shopskida.com
o Sport Science, Oakton, VA – www.sportsciencewear.com
o ula equipment, Logan, UT – www.ula-equipment.com

• 10 to 50 Employees:
o DPS Skis, Salt Lake City, UT – www.dpsskis.com
o Hyperlite Mountain Gear, Biddeford, ME – www.hyperlitemountaingear.com
o Misty Mountain, Banner Elk, NC – www.mistymountain.com
o Peterboro Basket Company, Peterborough, NH – www.peterborobasket.com
o SMC - Seattle Manufacturing Corporation, Ferndale, WA – www.smcgear.com

• 50-100 Employees:
o Aerostich, Duluth, MN – www.aerostich.com
o ReChaco, Rockford, MI – www.chacos.com
o Timbuk2, San Francisco, CA – www.timbuk2.com
o Werner Paddles, Sultan, WA – www.wernerpaddles.com
o Wenonah Canoe, Inc., Winona, MN – wenononah.com

• 100+ Employees:
o Farm to Feet, Mt. Airy, NC – www.farmtofeet.com
o Jackson Kayak, Sparta, TN – www.jacksonkayak.com
o Princeton Tec, Trenton, NJ – www.princetontec.com
o Wigwam Mills, Inc., Sheboygan, WI – www.wigwam.com
o Wild Things Gear, Middletown, RI – www.wildthingsgear.com

The Grand Prize winner, selected from the category finalists, receives one-year ownership of ‘Sassy,’ a hand carved, 2-foot-tall, redwood Sasquatch from Humboldt County, CA. Category winners receive miniature versions of the award, and all entrants receive a certificate of participation.

“This is the fourth season that we have honored the great stories of domestic manufacturing in our industry and we were amazed once again by the inspiring stories of all the applicants,” said Jeff Turner, Kokatat sales manager.

The American Made Outdoor Gear Award was founded in 2013 by Kokatat, the paddlesports apparel and gear company known for its longstanding commitment to American manufacturing, to recognize the leaders in American made quality, craftsmanship and creativity in the outdoor world.

Judged by a group of outdoor industry peers, the American Made Outdoor Gear Award application includes more than 30 questions regarding the size, scope and success stories of domestic production.

Past grand prize winners include Liberty Bottleworks (www.libertybottles.com) in 2013, Benchmade Knife Company (www.benchmade.com) in 2014, and Sterling Ropes (www.sterlingropes.com), in 2015.

Kokatat’s creation of the awards is rooted in its own history, as the brand’s founder and president, Steve O’Meara, recognized from the start that keeping production local was necessary in order to control quality and continually develop the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world.

“I began Kokatat at a time when there was no such thing as domestic manufacturing; all manufacturing was domestic,” O’Meara said. “In today’s global economy, companies have many choices for suppliers and manufacturers and it’s fantastic to see so many of them choosing American first and keeping manufacturing from becoming a myth like our friend Sassy.”

For additional information about the 2016 American Made Outdoor Gear Award visit www.americanmadeoutdoorgearawards.com. For more details about the program email michael@palemorning.com.

About the American Made Outdoor Gear Award:
Founded by Kokatat and shared with the Outdoor Industry, the American Made Outdoor Gear Award is a celebration of American manufacturing. First awarded in 2013, the American Made Outdoor Gear Award recognizes companies with compelling domestic manufacturing stories. Finalists are announced annually on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and the winners are recognized at an awards ceremony during the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. The company with the best “made in America” story receives one-year ownership of the ‘Sassy’ travelling trophy -- a hand carved, 2-foot-tall, redwood Sasquatch from Humboldt County, CA -- and all category winners receive miniature versions of the award. Along with highlighting company stories, the program tracks domestic manufacturing trends and insights in the outdoor industry. Learn more at www.americanmadeoutdoorgearawards.com and follow us on Twitter at @AMOGAward.

About Kokatat Inc.:
Kokatat has been manufacturing paddling gear in Arcata, California for more than 40 years. At a time when many technical apparel brands were moving manufacturing offshore, Kokatat continued to invest in infrastructure in the United States. Kokatat founder Steve O’Meara was committed to the development of the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world and recognized the need to control and continually evolve the development of our dry wear. In the early days, Kokatat worked closely with W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of GORE-TEX®, to refine the sewing and sealing techniques required for full immersion suits and tops. Today, our hands-on approach to manufacturing continues to set the standard in paddling apparel. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit www.kokatat.com and follow Kokatat on Facebook, Twitter “@kokatat” and Instagram “@kokatatusa”.

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