Montbell's slogan is "Light & Fast," and it has earned it. Montbell products are renown for their remarkably low weight, comfort, and mobility. At the same time, Montbell gear can also be counted on for performance and durability in extreme conditions. In other words, it needs to be "light and fast, yet built to last."
Montbell was founded in 1975 by Isamo Tatsuno, a dedicated mountaineer, climber, and kayaker. Its first products were rain gear and sleeping bags that could withstand Japan's rainy climate. Montbell also made helmets, gloves, and tents through the end of the seventies, at which time it began adding clothing to its product mix. The company really hit its stride in the early '80s with outdoor apparel that used new materials and technologies like Thinsulate, Entrant, and Gore-Tex. Soon mountaineering teams from around the world were using Montbell products. By the end of the decade, mountaineers in Montbell clothing had been to the summit of several 8000+ meter peaks, across North and South America by motorcycle, and even the North Pole twice—once on foot and once by motorcycle.
During the '90s, Montbell outfitted expeditions to Mt. Mckinley, Mt. Everest, and Pumori, as well as trips to both poles and a couple of trips from Patagonia to Africa. During this time Montbell was working on innovative products like the single-wall Gore-Tex Alpine Dome tent, a clean solar power charger, and an adventure cycling bag system for extended bicycle tours.
Since the '90s Montbell has expanded its product range as well as its international presence. Its website went live in 2001, and it opened its first U.S. store in Boulder, Colorado in 2002. Montbell clothing continues to show up in the most remote corners of the Earth, and has even been worn on the Space Shuttle. Today, Montbell's probably best known for its technical wear with both high-fill-power down and Thermawrap synthetic insulation, and, of course, a full line of outerwear in every weight and for every purpose. In addition, its Down Hugger and Burrow Bag sleeping bags feature an ingenious design that has received numerous awards in recognition of its remarkable comfort.
When Isamo Tatsuno was growing up in Japan, he had two dreams: to become a famous climber and to start his own mountaineering equipment company. He accomplished both and we are the beneficiaries of his legacy. Montbell clothing and equipment has been crucial in the fulfillment of countless other dreams as well, on the remotest parts of our planet.