Homegrown: 30 Best American Made Brands

The stereotypes of American consumerism aside, we’re known for crafting some of the most high-quality gear and apparel in the market. It’s partially what this country was founded upon in the first place, local artisans, blacksmiths, cobblers, and distillers working with what they had to build regionally-specific goods as a means to accomplish their version of the American dream. The longevity of these brands also testifies to the notion that, for the most part, quality goods built in the USA will always have a place in the homes of those who live both here and abroad.

The diversity of brands that fit this description is as vast and unique as the American population itself. From boardshorts built for surfers of all styles to work boots; outdoor gear to pocket knives; even sunglasses or odes to America’s pastime, these are the brands that speak to us as Americans. For these reasons, we felt it pertinent to feature some of the American-made brands that stand out in our minds – highlighting them in the process. And while we’ll admit this list of Best American-Made Brands doesn’t boast them all, we trust you’ll find a qualified variety of goods that will fit just about any need.

Birdwell Beach Britches

Birdwell Beach Britches

Back in 1961, Carrie Birdwell Mann decided to take a leap of faith and transform her home into a sewing room in Southern California – effectively launching Birdwell Beach Britches. Interestingly enough, Birdwell became one of the first businesses specializing in surfwear and her living room one of the first surf shops. Today, they continue on in this regard offering everything from boardshorts to jackets to towels and hats – all under the Birdwell name and all surf centric.

Est: 1961
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Known For: Surf apparel

Visit: Birdwell

Taylor Stitch

Taylor Stitch

Originally established as a brand that was looking to set themselves apart from the fray of typical menswear, Taylor Stitch began building a brand based on humility and quality. No unaffordable high-fashion shops. Just quality-fitting clothing for a fair price. At heart, they’re a men’s apparel brand – offering everything from t-shirts to jeans to outerwear complete with a style and look only they could master.

Est: 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
Known For: Men’s Apparel

Visit: Taylor Stitch

Iron & Resin

Iron & Resin

As the brainchild of a handful of California surfers and motorcycle enthusiasts, Iron & Resin pride themselves as a product of a “one-off” culture – building apparel and gear outfitted specifically for petrol heads and surfers alike. From vintage-inspired riding jackets and gloves to stylish t-shirts with a relaxed fit, Iron & Resin is all about quality, not quantity – where gear should be tried and true while lasting for years to come.

Est: 2012
Location: Ventura, CA
Known For: Motorcycle and Surf Apparel

Visit: Iron & Resin

Buck Mason

Buck Mason

What started as a small collaboration in Venice Beach back in 2013 has since turned into one of the more respectable men’s apparel brands out there – known mostly for their high-quality basic menswear. As a brand, Buck Mason owns up to the multi-season ethos, in which each piece of clothing is outfitted to work well with any season and last for years to come. These days, you can find a myriad of offerings from the CA brand, even some accessories as well.

Est: 2013
Location: Venice Beach, CA
Known For: Basic Men’s Apparel

Visit: Buck Mason

Ebbets Field Flannels

Ebbets Field Flannels

As fans of America’s pastime, the never-ending search for an original wool baseball uniform led founder Jerry Cohen to discover a warehouse full of authentic baseball flannels dating from the 40’s. The rest, well, is history. Today Ebbets Field – named for the Brooklyn Dodgers stadium that once stood in Flatbush – continues to bring quality baseball flannels to the contemporary public. From hats to jackets to knitwear and sweatshirts it’s all here for diehard fans.

Est: 1988
Location: Seattle, WA
Known For: Authentic Baseball Flannels

Visit: Ebbets Field Flannels

American Giant

American Giant

Looking to build exceptional clothing for both men and women that’s built right here in the US, American Giant covers just about all the bases with their stylish collection of clothing. During the inception of the company, they were inspired by fellow innovators and shakers in the space while working to make their own mark. Needless to say, they succeeded in this regard.

Est: 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Known For: Men’s Apparel

Visit: American Giant

Filson

Filson

Interestingly enough, C.C. Filson opened up shop back in 1897 and took advantage to the early 20th century gold rush to stake his claim as the maker of rugged and durable outdoor gear for miners, prospectors, and lumbermen. These days, the philosophy hasn’t changed and Filson’s gear remains one of the most revered and respected in the business.

Est: 1897
Location: Seattle, WA
Known for: Outdoor Gear and Apparel

Visit: Filson

Topo Designs

Topo Designs

Every fan of the outdoors needs a hiking pack for those extended backcountry excursions. And for those looking to pick up a pack that visually stands out from the rest while exceeding performance expectations in the process can look to Topo Designs. What originally started as backpacks and mountain bags has now grown into other offerings as well – including apparel and accessories.

Est: 2008
Location: Denver, CO
Known For: Outdoor Gear

Visit: Topo Designs

Go Ruck

Go Ruck

Started by a former Special Forces soldier, GoRuck founder Jason McCarthy wanted to build a bag that thrived in both Iraq and New York City. From here, and without a business plan or launch strategy, he took a risk. Years later, it’s clear that his idea of what a durable pack should be is shared by thousands of fellow Americans. In addition to their rucksacks, GoRuck now also offers apparel and gear for tough individuals looking for tougher products.

Est: 2008
Location: Jacksonville Beach, FL
Known For: Rucksacks

Visit: Go Ruck

Redwing Shoes

Red wing Shoes

Over a century ago, Red Wing began building multipurpose footwear for the industrial workers of the time. From here, founder Charles Beckman grew the Red Wing, Minnesota factory into something that’s become synonymous with Americana. To this day, these work boots are provided to workers in more than 100 countries – made with leather from their very own S.B. Foot Tannery.

Est: 1905
Location: Red Wing, MN
Known For: Work Boots

Visit: Redwing Shoes

Freenote Cloth

Freenote Cloth

Based out of San Juan Capistrano in Southern California, Freenote Cloth believes in the importance of two things: the hardware used to manufacture quality goods and the fabric itself. It’s why since the very beginning Freenote founders and brothers Matt and Andrew Brodrick worked to keep their production stateside. From denim to jackets to woven and knits, they’re your one-stop-shop for refined and unassuming casual clothing.

Est: 2013
Location: San Juan Capistrano, CA
Know For: Causal Menswear

Visit: Freenote Cloth

Smartwool

Smartwool

Hiking socks. Too often it’s not until you’re out on the trail that you realize how crucial these articles of clothing can be to ensuring your extended comfort. That’s the ethos Smartwool was founded upon, and what they continue to pride themselves on after all these years. Smartwool now also offers apparel for running and hiking as well in addition to their prized hiking socks.

Est: 1994
Location: Steamboat Springs, CO
Known For: Hiking and Running Gear

Visit: Smartwool

Mystery Ranch

Mystery Ranch

As a respected maker of gear for the military, hunting, and mountaineering, Mystery Ranch has focused on specific designs and high-end hand-built quality since day one. And if you’re familiar with Kletterworks, then you’d be pleased to know that the founders of those trusted packs are in-fact the same individuals that launched this sister company back in 2000.

Est: 2000
Location: Bozeman, MT
Known For: Packs

Visit: Mystery Ranch

Bedrock Sandals

Bedrock Sandals

Inspired by Northern California outdoor field work, Bedrock Sandals was founded as a means to produce a premium quality sandal that could handle the day-to-day wear and tear of heavy outdoor abuse. Now, thanks to a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, they’re continuing to grow – building sandals for van dwellers, hikers, minimalist outdoor enthusiasts.

Est: 2011
Location: Richmond, CA
Known For: Sandals

Visit: Bedrock Sandals

Buck Knives

Buck Knives

As a legacy American brand, it’s hard to discuss knife making without including Buck Knives in the conversation. They’re rooted in outdoor tradition – where their products remain to this day – and made for people who are serious about owning a no-nonsense blade that won’t let them down no matter the circumstances.

Est: 1902
Location: Post Falls, Idaho
Known For: Knives

Visit: Buck Knives

Tanner Goods

Tanner Goods

Respecting the past while maintaining a contemporary style and ethos, Tanner Goods is one of those brands that could be easily mistaken for a century-old tannery. It’s all thanks to their never-ending attention to detail and product longevity that makes them such a desirable and diverse maker of American goods. From wallets to bags to various lifestyle accessories, it’s all here.

Est: 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Know For: Leather Goods

Visit: Tanner Goods

Randolph Engineering

Randolph Engineering

Founded by a former navigator in the Royal Air Force back in 1972 Jan Waszkiewicz and Stanley Zaleski set out to build a better pair of sunglasses – a pair that would stand up to military standards. That dream, in fact, came to fruition in 1982 when they won a contract to produce the standard, uniform-issue military-spec aviator sunglasses for the U.S. Air Force. Yeah, these guys are the real deal.

Est: 1972
Location: Randolph, MA
Known For: Sunglasses

Visit: Randolph Engineering

Benchmade

Benchmade

As one of the most well-respected knife makers in the industry, Benchmade first set out to make the best knives in the industry back in 1988. It all started when founder Les de Asis wanted to build an Bali-Song knife that would replace the cheap offerings of the time. And after an initial success, the newly incorporated Benchmade grew quickly and efficiently into the dependable brand they are today.

Est: 1988
Location: Oregon City, OR
Known For: Knives

Visit: Benchmade

Shinola

Shinola

What initially began as a watch company in Detroit has since exploded into a shining example of an American-built company. And it makes sense seeing how this region of the U.S. is known for manufacturing. Today, Shinola makes everything from watches to bicycles to leather goods. A master of all trades if you will.

Est: 2012
Location: Detroit, MI
Known For: Watches

Visit: Shinola

Zippo

Zippo

The inception of Zippo began back in the 1930s when George G. Blaisdell set out to reconstruct the Austrian lighter. In doing so, he built out a rectangular case and decided to attach a lid with a hinge while preserving the chimney design to protect the flame. The result became known as an icon throughout the industry and today Zippo manufacturers a slew of dependable lighters for fans worldwide.

Est: 1932
Location: Bradford, PA
Known For: Lighters

Visit: Zippo

Fisher Space Pen

Fisher Space Pen

Built out as a prototype by founder Paul Fisher in the mid-60’s, the Fisher Space Pen rose to fame after Fisher invented a retractable pressurized pen that world work in zero gravity. In fact, the piece was tested during the first Apollo mission back in 1968 and performed flawlessly. Since then they’ve continued to thrive as a necessary carry item in the EDC space.

Est: 1948
Location: Boulder City, Nevada
Known For: EDC

Visit: Fisher Space Pen

Weiss

Weiss

Any watch fan knows the U.S. is lacking when it comes to precision watch making. The founders of Weiss Watch Company included themselves in this lot. So, they set out to build handsome timepieces by hand here in the U.S. – effectively making them one of the only American-made watch companies around.

Est: 2013
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Known For: Watches

Visit: Weiss

Imogene & Willie

Imogene & Willie

Little out there is more American in nature than denim, so when Matt & Carrie Eddmenson decided to start a heritage American denim brand back in 2010, it was a leap of faith for both of them. But with a little know-how and southern resilience, they continued to grow into the respected duo of denim they are today – making quality jeans, shirts, and accessories for both men and women.

Est: 2010
Location: Nashville, TN
Known For: Denim Jeans

Visit: Imogene & Willie

Field Notes

Field Notes

These days, the art of putting pen to paper is rapidly loosing touch with the masses. Field Notes decided then to take matters into their own hands and attempt to resurrect this lost art. And guess what, they’ve been highly successful so far, thanks in part to their sleek and minimalist design that caters to outdoor and EDC enthusiasts alike.

Est: 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Know For: Pocket Notebooks

Visit: Field Notes

Baxter of California

Baxter of California

American-made products don’t stop at textiles. Here, we have a grooming company that strictly U.S. in nature – founded on the principles of individualism and working to create products that allow buyers to express themselves through whatever look they choose to create for themselves. From pomade to shampoos and conditioners to even face moisturizer, Baxter of California has been one of the best in the biz since 1965.

Est: 1965
Location: Hollywood, CA
Known For: Grooming Products

Visit: Baxter of California

Danner

Danner

Back in 1932 Charles Danner set out to start a bookmaking business that would specialize in rugged workwear outfitted for the toughest of individuals. Clearly he was onto something since Danner is now highly respected for their work and hiking boots by those across the industry.

Est: 1932
Location: Portland, OR
Known For: Boots

Visit: Danner

Ursa Major

Photo: Scott Dickerson

Ursa Major

It’s surprising how many of us don’t take into account the ingredients in skin products. That, at least, was Ursa Major’s motivation for opening their doors in order to provide healthy and effective skin care products that serve as a natural alternative to their toxin-laden counterparts.

Est: 2010
Location: Waterbury, VT
Known For: Skincare Products

Visit: Ursa Major

Chippewa Boots

Chippewa Boots

Since they first opened shop back in 1901, Chippewa Boots have continued to manufacture quality workwear for rugged outdoor lifestyles. Initially built out for the loggers and engineers of Wisconsin, these boots worked alongside those who built our roads and constructed our cites. And to this day, the brand remains a well-respected manufacturer of dependable work boots for the modern man.

Est: 1901
Location: Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Known For: Work Boots

Visit: Chippewa Boots

BillyKirk

BillyKirk

With an eye for design and an ode to the past, Billykirk began back in 1999 as a direct result of what founders Chris and Kirk Bray believed was a necessary means to counteract the inferior “fast fashion” items that was gaining popularity. Here, they decided – and still do – work with the finest materials to produce some of the most high quality leather goods around. Ranging from bags to belts to valet trays and dopp kits, it’s all here and all premium.

Est: 1999
Location: New York, NY
Known For: Leather Goods

Visit: BillyKirk

Bradley Mountain

Bradley Mountain

Garage-built from the ground up, Bradley Mountain started as a one-man operation building one item at a time. Their owner, Tyler Axtell, was a self taught individual who decided to take matters into his own hands in developing products he wanted for himself but weren’t available on the market. Today, their collection consists of everything from premium bags to totes to dopp kits and various apothecary.

Est: 2012
Location: San Diego, CA
Known For: Packs

Visit: Bradley Mountain

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