–an ongoing series spotlighting companies proudly waving the Made In America flag. bestmadeco

You’ve heard the complaints of outsourcing and the lament of “made in china” ruining the American dream.  Happily, the Made In The U.S.A. label can still be found all around, from Heritage companies that have been producing quality goods right here at home for decades, to a whole new crop of upstarts determined to restore pride of place to the U.S.  Our latest in our Made in the USA series, features outdoor gear that will keep you warm and proud to be an American this winter.


New York City based Best Made Co. started out in 2009 with its first product, a handmade axe.  An unlikely product to launch a New York City company, but, that’s American ingenuity at work.  Since ‘09, Best Made has expanded their line to include rugged outdoor clothing, camping supplies, first aid kits, tools, duffel bags and maps, mostly handmade in New York and other parts of the lower 48.  And they still make axes, a whole slew of them, and hatchets and knives, just for good measure.  When in NYC, check out their brick-and-mortar workshop-cum-headquarters in Tribeca where they have workshops covering topics such as Axe Restoration, Butchering Basics: Sausage, and Demystifying Tea. Best Made Co. debuts one new product per week (sign up for their email list), which then becomes a perennial item in their catalog.  One of our favorites is the American Wool Base Layer, a two-piece, bright red, Union Suit that’s as stylish as it is snuggly warm.


No cabin in the woods is complete without at least one wool blanket from venerable American purveyor of outdoor gear Pendleton.  Six generations of the Bishop family have been running the woolen mills of Pendleton for the past 150 years, weaving all their wool in seven facilities in the NorthWest, Pendleton blankets and clothing are synonymous with the American outdoors.  Today their product line includes everything from baby blankets to men and women’s clothing, to gear for the camp and home.   Adding an upscale edge to their clothing lines, Pendleton has launched The Portland Collection, a collection of men and women’s clothing incorporating their iconic patterns and wools with a more downtown appeal.  The Hell’s Canyon Duffle Coat would be just as at home in the Redwoods as it would on a cold winter’s day in Manhattan.  Owning a Pendleton blanket or jacket is owning a piece of American history that will last for generations.


For the best East Coast, preppy, handmade moccasins, boots, loafers and boat shoes, family-owned Eastland shoes can’t be beat.  They’ve been hand stitching their footwear since 1955, keeping up the fine Maine tradition of handmade shoes and boots with styles with names like The Falmouth, The Yarmouth and The Seneca Camp.  Their Made in Maine USA line for men brilliantly teamed up with Mark McNairy for a limited edition series of Eastland classics given a citified makeover.  Updated Chukka boots with herringbone details and mink linings personify the McNairy collection for Eastland, all handmade in the great state of Maine. Our personal favorite is the company’s Falmouth boat shoe shoe, updated in blue suede with a bright orange Vibram sole.