Lifestyle

Meet Madden Equipment: Old Gear Reborn

After a decade-long hiatus, Boulder-based Madden Equipment is back in action making awesome outdoor stuff that stays true to its Rocky Mountain heritage. Like Topo Designs, Madden's gear has plenty of technical features, but doesn't feel out of place on the street thanks to its classic styling. Hovering between lifestyle brand and outdoor supply company isn't always as easy as The North Face makes it look, but Madden has the credibility and the designs to plant a solid foot in both worlds. Here's a taste of their catalog.

Daylite - $230
Madden calls this their classic "day-and-a-half" pack, a fair description for this heritage bag that's based on their 1987 version. With 30 liters of storage, ice axe loops, a hydration compartment, and fully padded hip wings, this pack is perfect for short overnights outside. But you can swap out your hydration bladder for a 15-inch laptop if you're more into the urban thing.

Daytripper - $60
Built for the trail, slopes, or saddle, the Daytripper waist-pack lets you keep all your small stuff safe without weighting down your pockets — if you even have them. 

Corduroy Baseball Cap - $30
Madden brings back a classic taste of ski culture with their corduroy baseball cap, reminiscent of the hats ski resorts used to sell. Protip: this is best worn with Vuarnets and a pair of tele skis.

Penguin - $260
The big fella of the Madden lineup, the Penguin is a top-loading pack designed for climbing and hiking. With 32 liters of space in its main compartment and smaller zip pockets, this pack has a slew of technical features to carry crampons, ice axes, or rope.

Dan's Pack - $90
Named after Madden's founder, this new offering was actually modeled after his personal pack that was never in production. Similar to a classic book bag, this can be used as a daypack for hiking or an everyday hauler.

Getaway - $200
One of the original convertible packs, this revived 1981 pack also works a double-shift as a briefcase when you feel like giving your back a rest, or as a messenger bag if you choose to toss a shoulder strap on the nickel-plated d-rings.

Patrol - $130
Madden's take on a classic ski patrol pack, this lets you keep your essentials handy without doing the full backpack thing.

Knapsack - $90
Madden has hardly tweaked the Knapsack since it debuted 40 years ago. Simple and light, this 18 liter top-loading pack is fully lined and features a quick-access zip front pocket for your small stuff.


Ethan Wolff-Mann is the Gear editor of Supercompressor. He usually carries things in backpacks. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann.