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Our History

Montbell Co. Ltd. was established in Osaka, Japan, on August 1,1975. Our goal has been to produce high quality outdoor equipment.

2015

  • The second store to open in Switzerland, Montbell Zermatt is right in front of Zermatt station and situated next to the station for the Gornergrat Railway. Carrying a wide selection of items, from clothing and gear for trekking and hiking to travel goods, Montbell welcomes the residents of Zermatt and all visiting travelers.
  • Frost Line Parka received the BACKPACKER Magazine's "2015 Editors' Choice Snow Award".
  • Montbell 40th Anniversary

2014

  • DOWN HUGGER 900 #2, sleeping bag with 900 fill power goose down, received the BACKPACKER Magazine's "2014 Editors' Choice Award".

2013

  • Opened a new store in Portland, OR.
  • Introduced Plasma 1000 Down Jacket, using 1,000 fill power quality goose down.
  • Plasma 1000 Down Jacket won the OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD 2013.
  • Crushable Lantern Shade won the OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD 2013.

2012

  • Introduced "Versalite Jacket & Pants", the world's lightest complete waterproof hardshell at the time.
  • Tachyon Jacket won the OutDoor INDUSTRY GOLD AWARD 2012.

2011

  • Introduced the extremely lightweight and compact Torrent Flier jacket and pants using GORE-TEX PACLITE fabrics.
  • Introduced a newly designed life jacket "U-cushion". It can be used as both a cushion and a life jacket to have with the Emergency Kit.
  • "U.L.Super Spiral Down Hugger EXP" was awarded the "Alpinist Mountain Standards" by the climbing magazine "Alpinist".
  • Acquired the Japanese brand "Kajitax" that makes climbing gears such as eizen, eispickel and eisbeil. It is now branded as "Montbell Kajitax".
  • "Alpine Light Down Parka" was awarded the Backpacker Magazine's "Editors' Choice".
  • In March, relief supplies donated by individuals from all over Japan for the earthquake stricken areas, were distributed by Outdoor GIENTAI. GIENTAI also volunteered to participate in restoration activities in Higashi Matsushima-shi.
  • In May, Montbell became fully involved in supporting the "Teno hira ni Taiyo" project in the disaster stricken area (Tome-shi of Miyagi prefecture) led by NGO "Japan Forest Biomass Network".
  • SEA TO SUMMIT was held in Kaike, Totori prefecture.
  • In June, SEA TO SUMMIT 2011 was held in Asahidake, Hokkaido.
  • In September, SEA TO SUMMIT 2011 was held in Chokaizan, Yamagata prefecture and Takatsugawa, Shimane prefecture.
  • In October, Montbell digital catalog for tablet PC and smartphone was released.
  • 6 new Montbell Club stores opened across Japan and 1 store reopened.

2010

  • Announced "U.L. Super Spiral Down Hugger#1" sleeping bag, which incorporates Montbell's Super Spiral Stretch System. Won Outside's 2010 Gear of the Year Award.
  • Announced "X-TREK Mighty Dome." which is a world class extremely light weight single walled tent.
  • Introduced the "Dyna Action Parka", an extraordinarily light alpine parka (420g).
  • Released "Outdry Alpine glove series" with the latest waterproof function.
  • Japanese Astronaut, Naoko Yamazaki wore Montbell clothing in the Space Shuttle.
  • The eighth consecutive "Try & Carry" canoe and kayak event in Hakui, in May.
  • Started distributing "Life-Link", a back country ski brand to the Japanese market, in September.
  • SEA TO SUMMIT 2010 in Kaike Daisen Tottori and Takatsugawa Shimane.
  • High Function T-shirts were provided to disaster victims in Chile's mining accident in October.
  • Adventure Entomologist, Kenji Nishida was awarded the fifth annual "Mont-bell Challenge Award" in December.
  • Montbell Club Friend Fair was held 5 times across Japan in 2010.
  • 5 new Montbell stores, 1 renovated Montbell store and 4 Factory Outlet stores opened across Japan in 2010.

2009

  • Introduced "U.L. Spiral Down Hugger" sleeping bag, which incorporates Montbell's Spiral Stretch System. Won BACKPACKER's 2009 Editor's Choice Award.
  • Introduced world's lightest free-standing shelter "U.L. Dome Shelter."
  • The high quality 900Fill Power "EX Light Down Series" introduces a vest type to the line-up.
  • Unify canoe and kayak brands to Confluence Water sports. Begin distributing "Wilderness Systems", "Wave Sports", "AT paddle (Adventure Technology)" to the Japanese market.
  • The seventh consecutive "Try & Carry" canoe and kayak event in Hakui, Japan in May.
  • The polar explorer, Yamasaki Tetsuhi was awarded the fourth annual "Mont-bell Challenge Award" in June.
  • "SEA TO SUMMIT", Japan's first eco and outdoor event was held in Kaike Daisen (Tottori prefecture, Japan) in September, connecting sea to the summit of Mount Daisen by kayaking, biking, and walking.
  • Montbell Store Kathmandu in Nepal was opened in October.
  • Montbell Club Friend Fair was held 4 times across Japan in 2009.
  • 1 new Montbel store and 2 new Factory Outlet stores opened across Japan in 2009.

2008

  • Introduced the revolutionary "Torrent Flier Jacket & Pants" equipped with ultimate level of technology and lightness.
  • Creation of the world's lightest down jacket, the EX Light Down Jacket utilizing the highest quality 900 fill power down.
  • Introduced the breathable "O.D. Samue" series, merging the traditional Japanese function wear "Samue" with Montbell's light and fast technology.
  • "Mariposa" series shoes are introduced, incorporating the Reel Adjust System, which tightens by turning the reel.
  • Hinoemata village (Fukushima pref.), Fujimi town (Nagano pref.), and Daisen to Nakaumi's Sann-in region joins Montbell's Friends town in April.
  • The sixth consecutive "Try & Carry" canoe and Kayak event was held in Hakui.
  • Established the "Emiko Seal" fundraising project to support the adventure cyclist Mrs. Emiko Seal fight against cancer in July.
  • Doctor Tetsu Nakamura, the reprisentative of "Peshawar-kai," was awarded the third annual "Mont-bell Challenge Award".
  • Montbell Club Friend Fair was held 6 times across Japan in 2008.
  • 10 new Montbell Club stores opened across Japan and 1store reopened in 2008.

2007

  • Remodeled the "All weather clothing" series. Incorporating the latest style, technology and materials.
  • Opened the first Montbell store integrated hostel "Montbell Club Gojyo store & Youth Hostel"in March.
  • Redesigned the official montbell.com website in April.
  • The fifth consecutive "Try & Carry" canoe and kayak event was held in Hakui.
  • The first "Friend Festival" was held for Montbell Club Members
  • The "Emergency Set" series introduced to help people be more properly equiped in time of disasters.
  • Produced a huge bed net for the stage set of "Kaya-no-naka" for the professional story teller(Kodanshi), Mr. Sanyo Kanda's national performance tour.

2006

  • The fourth consecutive "Try & Carry" canoe and Kayak event was held in Hakui.
  • Introduced the world's lightest sleeping pad, the "U.L. Comfort System Pad".
  • High quality 800 fill power down utilized in down clothing series.
  • "Alpine Therma Shell" series performance jackets utilize new elastic fabric, increasing dynamic motion and comfort.
  • Mrs. Emiko Seal became the first woman to receive the "Montbell Challenge Award".

2005

  • Received "Design Excellent Company Prize" in March.
  • "Try & Carry 2005," an event on canoeing and kayaking, was held in May in Hakui (Ishikawa pref.), for the third time.
  • Established Montbell Suisse SA as an overseas (Suisse) company of the Montbell group in November.
  • Opened second overseas store in Grindelwald, Switzerland, on December 9, 2005.
  • Mr. Seiko Nakajima bacame the first person to receive the annnual Montbell Challenge Award.

2004

  • Montbell.com announces online shopping for North America, on March 15th, 2004.
  • "Try & Carry," an event on canoeing and kayaking, was held in May in Hakui (Ishikawa pref.), for its second time following the former year.
  • Produced all new Ultra-Light Alpine Down Hugger sleeping bags. Made with new calendared 15Denier Ballistic Airlight nylon, 725 FP down, patented Gathered Quilt™ technology, and new vertical box baffle construction.
  • Introduced new Torrent Flier series, the first garments to combine 15Denier Ballistic Airlight nylon, Gore-Tex® XCR, and a 15Denier Tricot lining.

2003

  • Outdoor event "Try & Carry" which dealt with the canoe in Hakui-shi, Ishikawa was held in April.
  • Established U.S. distribution & service center in Boulder, Colorado, on September 2nd, 2003.
  • Developed new softshell Roche jacket using windproof ClimaBlock nylon and Polkatex DWR treatment.
  • Produced new Jupiter Dome tent series. Completely new Ultra-light Alpine climbing tents designed for extreme winter conditions.
  • The Mountain Trainer series which used the schoeller® dryskin, excellent in elasticity and durability, is announced.

2002

  • Developed a new waterproof, breathable fabric called Dry Light Tec™. Adopted this compact fabric for the Versalite and Rain Trekker series.
  • Established Montbell America, Inc., as an overseas (American) company of the Montbell group.
  • Opened first U.S. store in Boulder, Colorado, on November 1, 2002.

2001

  • Launched Montbell's official web site, www.montbell.com.
  • Produced extremely lightweight and compact rainwear - the Torrent Flier series - using Gore-Tex® PacLite fabric.
  • Produced advanced alpine clothing - the Dyna Action series - featuring stretch Gore-Tex fabric and Aquatect™ zippers.
  • Announced a business partnership with REI and acquired REI's flagship store in Tokyo.
  • Introduced a point system for Montbell Club members.
  • Introduced new Ultra-light Down inner series, using 15Denier Ballistic Airlight nylon, and 725 FP down.

2000

  • Produced two new sleeping bag series, the Super Stretch Burrow Bag and the Super Stretch Down Hugger, using the Super Stretch System.
  • Added short-length sizes to our Super Wishbone Packs.
  • Mr. Tomosuke Noda and Mr. Hiroshi Fujikado used the ARFEQ kayak to paddle rivers in 12 countries.
  • Introduced the Montbell motorcycling category.
  • Celebrated 25 years of producing excellent outdoor gear.

1999

  • Designed a folding kayak and started the Montbell offshoot, ARFEQ™ Kayaks.
  • Created a revolutionary "wishbone-like" internal frame structure for large volume packs, giving name to the Super Wishbone Pack Series.
  • Developed an ultra-light, double-wall tent design, named the Stellaridge Tent Series.
  • Developed trekking poles.
  • Mr. Yoshimaru Sekino used the Super Burrow Bag in his 53,000-km/32,000-mile Great Journey from Patagonia to Africa.

1998

  • Engineered an original last and used it for Gore-Tex® Tuolumne Boots, which feature an inner Gore-Tex® bootie and are suitable for trekking.
  • Produced a fleece-laminated, polyurethane material called Climaprene™ for water sports apparel.
  • Hosted the Montbell Summer Festival at Yoshino in Shikoku.
  • Mr. Hiromichi Konno won the "North American World Cup" dog sled race in Alaska wearing the Fall Line Zip Out Jacket and Pants.
  • Mr. Kuriaki wore the Tempest One-Piece Suit, the Alpine Down Jacket, and other Montbell products during his solo winter ascent of Mt. McKinley (6,194 m/20,321 ft).

1997

  • Developed Hydro Breeze™, a polyurethane coating used on outerwear to provide exceptional waterproofness and breathability.
  • Produced Polkatex™, an all-purpose durable, water-repellent fabric that's resistant to abrasion and corrosion caused by body oils.
  • Introduced the Montbell Climaplus™ Fleece product line.
  • Members of the Sensyu Alpine Club used the Droites Parka, Dryloft Down Jacket, and L.W. Expedition Pack 80 to climb Cho Oyu (8,201 m/26,906 ft).
  • Mr. Yoshiharu Sekino used the Dryloft Down Hugger, Super Burrow Bag, and Gore Side-Zip Sleeping Bag Cover in his 53,000-km/32,000-mile Great Journey from Patagonia to Africa.

1996

  • Introduced a single wall tent, called the Gore Alpine Dome, using first generation Gore-Tex® fabric.
  • Developed a Dryloft Expedition Down Jacket using the new wind-resistant, highly breathable Dryloft fabric engineered by Gore.
  • The Nepal Himalayas Expedition party from Shinshu University reached the summit of Ratna Churi (7,035 m/23,080 ft). They used the Down Hugger, ZeoLine Underwear, WB Pack, and more.
  • The Mt. Pumori Mountaineering party of Okayama Gakuyu-kai did a successful winter ascent of Mt. Pumori in Nepal. Used the Droite Parka and Bib, Alpine Tent, and other equipment.
  • Launched OUTWARD, an information magazine for Montbell club members.

1995

  • Improved Wickron® to include different vertical sections, which greatly enhanced its wicking performance.
  • A party from Rissho University wore Montbell clothing to canoe rivers in Tajikistan.
  • Held 20 Year Anniversary Price Revolution, where all prices were reconsidered.

1994

  • Innovated an adventure cycling bag system for extended bicycle trips.
  • Mr. Shimizu and Mr. Kibino crossed Australia on solar-powered mini cycles and used the Stainless Mesh Cap, Gloves, and Cycling Clothing.
  • The Asia University Antarctic Expedition party climbed Mt. Vinson Massif (4,897 m/16,066 ft), the highest peak in Antarctica. Used the Expedition One-Piece Suit and the Droites Parka.
  • Nissan Private Japon finished the Paris-Dakar Rally using Montbell fleece and Chameece products, the Down Hugger, and WB Pack.

1993

  • The Fuji Climbing Club used Montbell's ZeoLine Underwear and WB Expedition Pack to successfully climb the South Wall Cassin Ridge route of Mt. Denali (6,194 m/20,321 ft).
  • All members of Japan's Gasherbrum 2 & 4 Mountaineering party reached the summit of Gasherbrum (8,035 m/26,362 ft). Used ZeoLine Underwear, Action One-Piece, and WB Alpine Pack.
  • Introduced the advanced Down Hugger sleeping bag series.
  • In cooperation with Kyo-Cera, the energy company, developed a clean power Solar Charger. This product was used by the JAC Tokai Crown Expedition party, Gunma Everest South-East Wall Expedition party, Yamanashi Alpine Federation Mountaineering party, and Hokkaido Karaboshi Mountaineering party.

1992

  • The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) from Wyoming, USA, used the Wishbone Pack, Freney Parka, and other equipment when mountaineering on Gasherbrum.
  • Antarctic Walk and Antarctic Expeditionary party used the Expedition Tough Bag in Greenland and at the South Pole.
  • Equipped with the L.W. Sit Harness, U.L. Zelt Tent, Storm Cruiser, and more, the Japan & India Women's Mountaineering party made the first ascent of Saraswati in Northern Garwhar.

1991

  • Led by Ms. Junko Tabei, Team Tabei climbed Mt. Vinson Massif (4,897 m/16,066 ft), the highest peak in Antarctica. Used Super Expedition One-Piece Suit.
  • The Broad Peak Mountaineering Party from the Tokyo University of Agriculture used the Moon Light Tent at the base camp and proved its long-term durability.
  • The International Straits Club kayaked from Taiwan to Kagoshima (Kyu-syu) and used the Moon Light Tent.
  • Mr. Kazuo Ikehara successfully motorcycled from China to Mongolia (5,400 km/3,355 miles). Used a Montbell Rain Suit.

1990

  • Mr. Richard Fox, world cup winner in K-1 slalom, and Ms. Myriam Jerusalmi joined as Montbell advisers.
  • A team used camels to cross the Taklamakan Desert (750 km/466 miles) in China, equipped with Montbell's Super Tough Bag and clothing.
  • A Russian adventurer, Mr. Fyodor, reached the North Pole using the Super Expedition One-Piece Suit, Expedition Tough Bag, and more.
  • Established Montbell Europe in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Mr. Noriyasu Kumori used the Mountain Shirt, Therma-wrap, Denali Jacket and Bib to climb Mt. McKinley (6,194 m/20,321 ft).
  • Opened a Montbell design office in California, USA.

1989

  • "The Osaka City" entered the 11th running of the Paris-Dakar Rally and won the title in their class. Used the Moon Light Tent, Tough Bag and more.
  • Ms. Masako Izumi reached the North Pole. Among other Montbell equipment, she used Pile Knit Underwear, Pile Sweatshirts, and the Special Jacket and Pants.
  • The International Ice Walk student party, working for environmental conservation, used the Tough Bag.
  • Mr. Haruyuki and Ms. Yuka Endo from the Altitude Laboratory Mountaineering party reached the summit of Gasherbrum 1 (8,068 m/26,470 ft). They used the Expedition One-Piece Suit, the L.W. Sit Harness, and the Expedition Pack.

1988

  • Engineered the Super Tough Bag Series, an evolution from the original Tough Bag Series.
  • Began retailing a selection of items for bicycling.
  • Applied an exceptionally waterproof, super-wicking coating to the Rain Trekker products.
  • Team El Coyote (Mr. Doi and other members) successfully crossed the lengths of the North and South American continents by motorcycle as a special program for the thirty-fifth anniversary of Nippon-TV (titled "Cross of the earth: 30,000 km"). Used the Moon Light Tent and U.L. Zelt Tent.
  • "Sand Walkers" joined the South America Trans Amazon Rally, and used the Moon Light Tent, Tough Bag, and more.
  • The Andes Cycling Expedition from the Cyuo University Cycling Club used Montbell's Stream Jacket and Pants, Roche Sweat Shirt, and Chlorofiber Underwear.
  • Baltoro Climbing Team Trango Tower Mountaineering party used the Expedition Pack, Alpine Pack, and Super Expedition One-Piece Suit.
  • The Himalaya Doujin party reached the summit of Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586 m/28,169 ft) using the Super Expedition One-Piece Suit, Action One-Piece Suit, Wind Block Tent, Tough Bag, and Thermawrap Jacket.

1987

  • Began retailing the Aquatic Series featuring waterproof zippers.
  • Developed quick-drying Wickron® material for summer wear.
  • Mr. Shinji Kazama used the Tough Bag and Special Sleeping Bag for an expedition to the North Pole by motorcycle.

1986

  • Started using Ballistic 30-denier fabric to produce the lightest, most compact Gore-Tex® rain wear—for example, our Storm Cruiser Jacket and Pants.
  • Established the Montbell Club, an extension of Montbell retail.
  • Created WINDS, a new travel-focused category.
  • Team ACP joined the 8th Paris-Dakar Rally, using the Moon Light Tent and the Tough Bag 2.
  • The English Party used the Expedition Pack to climb Salcantay (6,271 m/20,574 ft) in the Andes.
  • The Rakuno University Mountaineering Party used the Wind Block Tent and the Expedition One-Piece Suit in their expedition to Chamlang (7,319 m/24,012 ft) in the Himalayas.
  • The Canadian Rocky JECC Mountaineering party used the Vertical Bag and Stream Jacket.

1985

  • Published Clo value ratings from sleeping bag thermal experiments. Used temperature ratings for the Tough Bag sleeping bags.
  • Ms. Masako Izumi used the Tough Bag, Chlorofiber underwear, and the Expedition One-Piece Suit on her expedition to the North Pole.
  • Mr. Tadao Tanaka used the Moon Light Tent to tour from Australia to New Zealand by motorcycle.
  • Had Yosemite tour as the 10th anniversary event.
  • Hosted a slide show by Mr. Hidetaka Suzuki in major cities all over Japan.
  • Developed the Expedition Pack and Wind Block III Tent, using a Telegonomix system.
  • Mr. Yuichiro Miura successfully skied down the highest peaks on seven continents. Among other equipment, he used the Wind Block Tent, Expedition Pack, Moon Light Tent, and Montbell clothing.
  • Sangakudoushikai used the Expedition One-Piece Suit in his attempt to climb the south wall of Aconcagua (6,959 m/22,831 ft) in the winter.

1984

  • Created clothing using a newly developed woven version of Orlon.
  • Produced gear for motorcycling.
  • Developed Seal Coat (an extraordinary waterproofing material) and began exporting it to Patagonia, USA.
  • Participated in the world's largest sports fair, ISPO '84, in Munich, Germany.
  • Began exporting Montbell goods to the USA, Germany, and England.
  • Cooperated with Clog Co., Ltd. to produce the Expedition One-Piece Suit and a lightweight alpine pack.
  • Contracted with Ron Fawcett, world renowned climber, to be a product research and design development adviser. Ron Fawcett visited Japan with his wife and enjoyed rock climbing at Ogawayama.
  • The Fukuoka Mountaineering party used Chlorofiber underwear on their expedition to Cho Oyu (8,201 m/26,908 ft).

1983

  • The Women's Climbers Club visited Bhutan using our U.L. Zelt tent, Fleece Jacket, and other products.
  • Crafted the Tough Bag sleeping bag series and clothing using DuPont's Quallofil material.
  • Used high-strength Ballistic® nylon in luggage.
  • Introduced a new line of climbing shoes and climbing accessories.
  • Began retailing the Stream Jacket and Pants.
  • In July, the Soviet (SSSR) Pamir International party used the Action One-Piece Suit to climb Mt. Lenin (7,134 m/23,405 ft).

1982

  • In February, Mr. Wada and Mr. Kodama (members of Sangakudoushi-kai) used the Dru Parka during their successful winter ascent of the north wall (the claw side) of Grandes Jorasses in the European Alps.
  • In June, Mr. Tsuneo Tsugita, a professional guide, used the Guide Jacket and successfully skied down Huascaran (6,768 m/22,204 ft) in South America.
  • On August 14, Mr. Yoshino and Mr. Yanagisawa wore the Dru Parka and Pants and successfully climbed the north edge of K2 (8,611 m/28,251 ft) with no oxygen.
  • A Hokkaido University team completed the second winter ascent of Dhaulagiri using many Orlon products, such as the Orlon Fleece Jacket.
  • Kozureokami-tai, who joined the Paris-Dakar Rally, used the Moon Light Tent and Dacron Sleeping Bag.
  • In April, to recognize Montbell's climbing spirit, introduced the Zero Point line.
  • In September, developed Harness and Alpine Packs using high-strength Ballistic® nylon.
  • Developed Chlorofiber Underwear.

1981

  • Imported Cordura® nylon, a new fabric developed by DuPont, for packs.
  • Established the Montbell Tokyo office.

1980

  • Produced highly functional Thinsulate® clothing.
  • Introduced Entrant and Gore-Tex® fabrics for selected items. Combined with Montbell's unique designs, these proved more breathable and more waterproof than other products on the market.
  • Began exporting sleeping bags and outerwear to Vaude in Germany.
  • Mr. Ide successfully crossed North America on bicycle. He used Montbell products (including a sleeping bag and rainwear) for one and a half years, proving their durability.

1979

  • Developed three revolutionary tent styles, giving birth to the first Moon Light Tent designs.
  • Produced an extremely lightweight emergency shelter.
  • Experimented with Thinsulate® thermal insulation, developed by 3M.
  • The Kyoto Karakorum Club proved the durability of Moon Light Tents and Dacron products.

1978

  • Produced Orlon fleece items that were 50% lighter than wool sweaters and with better durability and warmth.
  • Began retailing climbing pants made using core-spun cloth.
  • Group YETI used our Dacron jackets on the south pillar of Dhaulagiri (8,167 m/26,810 ft). They also used our Sleeping Bag SP at the final camp.

1977

  • As a replacement to wool in knitted clothing, began using Orlon, a faster-drying acrylic fiber developed by DuPont—a first in Japan.
  • Produced clothing using Dacron Hollofil for its proven performance.
  • Used core-spun fabric in clothing—lighter and stronger than 10 oz. cotton.
  • Using Kevlar®, another material developed by DuPont, produced the world's very first lightweight helmet.
  • Produced Nomex® gloves.
  • Began exporting Montbell items to the largest sporting goods shop in Europe.
  • The Katsuyama alpine club proved the performance of our Dacron Sleeping Bag ST at 6,000 m/19,685 ft on Mt. McKinley.

1976

  • Developed a sleeping bag using DuPont's Hollofil® insulation.
  • Pioneered quality rainwear using Hypalon.
  • Developed quality helmets and durable, heat-retardant gloves for climbing.

1975

  • Established Montbell Co. Ltd. in Osaka, Japan, on August 1. Our goal was to produce quality outdoor equipment.
  • Began making rain gear and sleeping bags suitable for the rainy climate of Japan.