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Rab parent brand acquires Integral Designs

Equip Outdoor Technologies Ltd., the parent company of Rab USA, has acquired Integral Designs, the 24-year-old Canada-based brand known for high-end tents, bivys, apparel and other outdoor equipment for self-propelled adventurers.

Integral Designs SilDome tarp shelter

Equip Outdoor said the move creates synergy with the Rab brand in North America through its complementary product line of technical outdoor apparel and sleeping bags. It also provides an opportunity for Integral Designs niche outdoor products to become more widely available through Equip's worldwide distribution network, said Matt Gowar, the CEO of Equip, and Evan Jones, President of Integral Designs. As well, the brands will realize efficiencies employing Rab's customer service and distribution center in Louisville, Colorado.

"Equip and Rab are deeply committed to the North American market, and we believe this move underscores our intentions to build a strong foundation and continue to evolve and grow in the North American marketplace," Gowar said. "We believe Integral Designs complements the Equip brand portfolio nicely, and it meshes perfectly with our goal of realizing longer-term growth while keeping our brands focused on their core constituencies."

Integral Designs remains an independent brand under Equip ownership.

"This is an exciting deal because it's a strategic alliance that links the solid reputation that Integral Designs has built over the decades with Equip and Rab's ability to communicate and sell products on a larger scale," Jones said.

Sales support, warehousing, marketing direction and other administrative functions relating to Integral Designs will be transferred to Louisville, Colo., over coming weeks, while the Calgary-based plant will continue to manufacture Integral Designs products until mid-2011. Product deliveries to dealers will continue as scheduled.

Jones and the current team of Integral Designs employees will continue to own and operate the Calgary-based manufacturing center where they will continue to manufacture specialized non-consumer products for government and institutional accounts under the Integral Tactical brand.


This is a really interesting development! A number of Trailspace members, along with me, have had ID gear for a number of years and find it of top quality. I have had some familiarity with Rab for a while (my son has a pair of their bibs, and I have been considering getting a pair to replace an old wornout thoroughly thrashed Marmot Alpinist pair of bibs - the original Alpinist bibs, not the later Alpinist 3, which I also have).

The big question is how will the move of some of the functions to Colorado play into the product line. And will we still be able to get the ID tents, SilTarps, bivies, Primaloft and down sleeping bags and jackets (my Dolomiti jacket won't last forever!)?

So many questions to ask Evan at next summer's OR Show!

I love ID, especial the event jackets! Good luck~

Interesting indeed. The crucial line in the article seems to be, "the Calgary-based plant will continue to manufacture Integral Designs products until mid-2011".

Call me a cynic, but I read this as, "Buy any ID gear that you want ASAP, and in any case prior to mid-2011, after which the present level of quality may be maintained, but also may not."

cynic? or realist? Lots of history in the outdoor gear world to support the skeptical viewpoint.

As a Canadian, should I be thrilled by this or dismayed? Time will tell....

As a Canadian as well, I hate too see any good company move south. Especially one with such great gear.

The RAB gear I have seen seems to be very well made. However, these sorts of buy out things rarely go well for the firm being acquired, just the way it is.

I heard some time ago that Evan wanted to sell and can only say I understand "why" in Canada's business-unfriendly political climate....unless you are among the "in" group outfits, like MEC, Chapters and so forth.

I am saddened to see this, will try to find the funds to buy a Renaissance bag and a few other goodies before the production shifts south or off-shore and more Canadian jobs are lost. There are very few Canadian gear makers, odd, given this is where the wilderness is and it makes it difficult to find gear of the quality I demand.

I hope it goes well for Evan, personally, but, it is a sad day for me.

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