Can you still buy New Zealand made hiking (oops, tramping) gear? Off the back of the popularity of our article, Australian Made Hiking Gear: 20+ Local Hiking Brands That Still Manufacture in Australia, we set out to answer the question. And, the answer is a positive one. We found almost a dozen businesses and brands that manufacture tramping gear in New Zealand.
So, whether you’re a Kiwi that wants to support local, or an Aussie that wants to support our closest neighbours, check the list out.
Back Country Cuisine
When you think lightweight freeze-dry food chances are Back Country Cuisine is the first brand to come to mind. And it’s any wonder as they’ve been around for over 20 years and there are 50 odd flavours available. Made right at the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand in Invercargill.
Another New Zealand tramping gear manufacturer that’s been doing their thing for yonks, Cactus Outdoor have their fingers in all the outdoors pies. They make clothing, packs and bags, and a range of bike accessories. Cactus are a popular
Earth Sea Sky
Earth Sea Sky manufacture a wide range of jackets, tops, and other clothing items aimed at serious trampers, in their factory in Christchurch on the South Island. One of the most popular New Zealand outdoor clothing brands, Earth Sea Sky has strong sustainability credentials too.
Positioned more as a hunting clothing brand, Swazi make hard-wearing clothing that’s perfectly up to the task of the keen tramper too. Especially if you like to blend into the environment. Note: Swazi’s windstopper and wet weather gear is made in NZ; other products are made elsewhere.
Vegans and vegetarians deserve to eat well too when in the backcountry. That’s what Frankie and Emily set out to do when they started making vegan dehydrated tramping meals in Lake Hawea a few years back.
“Amazing freeze dried meals for the trails.” That’s what Karl had to say about them in a review on their Facebook. Made in Nelson, Absolute Wilderness makes a large range of both sweet and savoury dishes. Really keen to try ‘em out here in Australia.
As you can imagine for a NZ brand, you won’t find Wilkins Canvas talking up their canvas gaiters as great for snake protection (no snakes in NZ, folks) but they look like they’d be the goods for everything else. And snakes, if you’re wearing them in Australia.
I love a brand that offers repair services (One Planet in Australia is big on it) and these guys don’t only repair just their own stuff, but they’ll repair any brand or product. Twin Needle make gaiters, chaps, belts, packs and pouches also do a heap of tactical style stuff. Another NZ company based in beautiful Christchurch.
K2 Antarctic Products
Pretty serious sounding name, hey? Well, their backpacks look pretty serious too. Made in a little place called Tapawera (near my beloved Nelson Lakes National Park) they do a range of canvas products, packs, and custom products too.
With their super high-tech looking packaging and commitment to performance, Radix occupy a different bit of the NZ freeze dry food market. They’re really big on the nutritional side of things. You can even tour their Horotiu factory.
I’ve actually given a few of the Radix meals a go and rate them. Really love their Apple and Cinnamon breakfast!
About as far from hunting clothing you can get, Zeenya specialise in colourful leggings and activewear that are ideal for the hiking that likes to express their vibrant personality in the backcountry.
Wear on Earth (WOE)
Punny name, right? Wear on Earth. I could extend the pun by saying down New Zealand way. As down, is what they specialise in. They make some nice looking down jackets and vests in their factory in Ferrymead, Christchurch. Designed for those chilly South Island conditions, no doubt.
These guys specialise in ultra lightweight packs, pouches, and bags. Made in Te Arau, simplicity seems to be at the centre of what Empty Packs do.