MEC: A Heritage of Awesome Gear

If you’ve been an outdoor adventurer for a while, it’s likely you’ve heard of Mountain Equipment Company. You might even own some of their gear! Known widely as MEC, the business has been around since 1971.

For those not in the know, Mountain Equipment Company began as an outdoor gear co-op based out of British Columbia. Before too long, they not only retailed outdoor gear, but they started creating their own products made to support human-powered adventure.

MEC has been innovating since the 1970s.

MEC Label gear is designed and sold in-house, which allows the business to keep costs über affordable while maintaining the level of quality you’d expect from a company that’s been in the industry for decades.

Backpacking with MEC

Enabling human-powered adventure remains MEC’s top priority.

The long history of MEC is admirable, and as a company, they have held on to the values that set them apart from much of the competition. For decades, MEC has created gear with sustainability in mind. They are quite transparent about their approach to green practices and sustainability, which is refreshing! The brand’s efforts are underpinned by science-based emission reduction targets, and a big part of reducing their products’ emissions comes from choosing lower-impact materials.

MEC genuinely cares about the planet — one of several core values that contribute to the company’s rich heritage.

MEC Makes High-Value Outdoor Gear

Since the beginning, MEC has been all about creating high-quality, durable gear. As the brand says, its gear is meant to last for hundreds of adventures! MEC achieves this by combining burly materials with incredibly thoughtful designs.

MEC Zephyr 65L backpack

A legacy of high-value outdoor products.

A good example of MEC’s dedication to quality is their balance of useful features and material selection for the Zephyr backpack. The pack is constructed from lightweight 210-denier recycled nylon, but high-impact areas are constructed with a more robust 420-denier ripstop nylon. It’s a trampoline-style backpack where suspension is concerned and has built-in compression straps, attachment loops, and shock cord loops. And that’s only the beginning.

The build of MEC gear speaks volumes about their heritage of human-powered outdoor pursuits. The founders of the business were rock climbers who loved getting outside, and over the decades, quality has been a non-negotiable value. First and foremost, MEC is putting out dependable gear you can rely on.

Keeping Outdoor Gear More Affordable

On top of quality, MEC has always prioritized affordability. By designing, testing, and selling in-house, MEC can keep costs down for customers. This greatly benefits folks looking to get into a new outdoor activity. It’s also a benefit to anyone looking to save money on gear without sacrificing quality — which we’re all trying to do these days!

From the supply chain to a retail space, MEC continues to consider how it can save the consumer money. MEC believes that the outdoors is for everyone.

Leap into value with MEC

MEC enables you to explore more.

Outdoor Products for Human-Powered Adventures

As MEC has grown over the decades, its gear lines have expanded into trail running, cycling, and travel — all the while growing their roots in the hiking, backpacking, and camping categories. And its heritage has left its mark on its modern product designs.

MEC’s rich heritage has inspired its modern design.

Among the most loved MEC products are its backpacks — from the do-it-all Zephyr to the ultralight SERRATUS™ and the practical Vista to the climber’s choice Cragalot. These highly technical, exceptionally durable packs are made for modern backcountry users at an awesome price for the quality. The heritage of MEC is on full display in its backpacks — the company has ushered in a new era of high-value backpacks.

MEC has backpacks and adventure gear for all sorts of active outdoor pursuits.

Materials and design have evolved over the many years MEC has been in business, yet the company has continued to innovate thoughtful solutions to the problems modern adventurers face.

Learn more about Mountain Equipment Company.


This article is sponsored by MEC.

Backpackers.com Affiliate Policy: This article may contain affiliate links, which help fund our website. When you click on the links to purchase the gear we get a commission, and this goes a long way to creating guides, gear reviews, and other excellent content.

Deirdre Denali Rosenberg

Deirdre Denali Rosenberg is a conservation-focused nature photographer and writer based between Tucson and the San Juan Mountains. She is a big fan of type II fun and loves gear! To check out some of Deirdre's work, check out her IG! Instagram.

One response to “MEC: A Heritage of Awesome Gear

  1. MEC has an interesting history you won’t find on their site. It used to be Mountain Equipment Co-op, an iconic Canadian non-profit outdoor equipment seller, with more than 5 million co-op members. But with board changes, expansion, and other factors, it found itself in trouble and losing money. Then one morning in October 2020, the 5 million members woke up to the shocking news the company had secretly declared bankruptcy, sold all of its assets to a California-based private equity firm, and changed the “Co-op” name to “Company”. While a lot of members tried to prevent this, they ultimately failed and the deal went through.

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