Outdoor Gear Profile: Sea-to-Summit

Sea-to-Summit Website ImageIt would be difficult not to acknowledge the contribution Sea-to-Summit has made to the Outdoor Industry, particularly in Australia.  Based in Perth, Sea-to-Summit manufactures an extensive range of lightweight, innovative outdoor gear, from Tents and Sleeping Bags to Dry Sacks and Camp Kitchen equipment, available globally.  Additionally, Sea-to-Summit is the Distributor of choice in Australia for a long list of high-end outdoor brands, including Vasque, Powertraveller, Jetboil, Camelbak and many more.

Tim Macartney-SnapeSea-to-Summit was founded by famed mountaineer, Tim Macartney-Snape, and fellow climber and gear designer, Roland Tyson, shortly after Macartney-Snape’s successful 1990 Mt. Everest expedition, the first to climb the entire distance from sea (Bay of Bengal) to summit, thus the name.  Tyson had been designing and sewing liners, stuff sacks and other gear throughout the 1980s.  He made much of the lightweight, innovative gear Macartney-Snape needed for such an adventure, given it took a 1200 km trek just to gain the first 500 metres in elevation. Something of a pioneer, Macartney-Snape, along with Greg Mortimer, had already been to the summit of Mt. Everest in 1984, the first Australians to do so.

I met Tim Macartney-Snape at a SnowSports Trade Show a few months ago.  While Sea-to-Summit’s product lines are better known in the Outdoor market, the company does manufacture gear for winter adventures, as well as representing brands such as Smartwool and Black Diamond across Australia. McCartney-Snape, himself, is an exceptionally accomplished skier, having skied a number of high-altitude mountains in the Himalayas during his expeditions.  It was refreshing to come across someone of his stature who seemed humble and uninterested in self-promotion, preferring to let the gear do the talking.

During our discussion, I asked Macartney-Snape what his favourite piece of Sea-to-Summit gear would be.  He answered that the best gear is sometimes the simplest, and went on to give a couple examples of products essential to an expedition that aren’t given enough credit.  In many ways, this is what Sea-to-Summit does best, create quality, innovative gear you simply need while trekking, hiking or camping.  Pack covers, dry sacks, liners, folding buckets, pocket showers, gaiters, booties, trowels, travel gear, accessories and so on.  Most are lightweight and made to exacting standards.

Sea-to-Summit ProductsOver time, we’ll be doing more reviews of Sea-to-Summit gear at Southern Ascent.  For previous reviews (written originally for our affiliate website in North America, The GearCaster), just click on the links below.

Tents: Specialist Solo/DuoSleeping Bags;  Dry SacksInsect Shield Repellent

Don Jurries

Featured Photos: Sea-to-Summit and Cordura Media Images

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