THE THRU HIKE
- ULA founder Brian Frankle thru hikes the Pacific Crest Trail. Caught between traditional backpacking and the intrigue of Ray Jardine’s ultralight techniques, he begins the trail with a 25 lb base weight and arrives in Canada with a 12 lb base weight.
- Brian Frankle founds ULA in Logan, Utah. One man with a sewing machine, who is determined to design gear that is ultralight yet comfortable, functional, and durable.
- Sally contacts a retailer to buy her husband, Chris McMaster, a ULA Catalyst for Christmas. Brian is off hiking, and packs are on a long backorder. The retailer mentions Brian is thinking of selling. The seed is planted.
- Chris and Sally McMaster purchase ULA, moving it out of Brian’s garage and into an actual shop. They hire a team and work full-time to reduce backorders and wait times.
- Rodney Tripp, Chris & Sally’s first hire, proves to be more knowledgeable about sewing operations than maybe anyone on the planet. He became a partner in 2010 single-handedly raising quality and production to the highest level.
- Committed to keeping 100% of the manufacturing in the USA, ULA outgrows its first shop and moves into a 5,500 sq ft facility. In addition to online sales, packs are now being sold by retailers throughout America, Europe, and Asia.
THE PCT GEAR SURVEY
- Every year since 2017, when Halfway Anywhere began including gear in the Annual PCT & CDT Thru-hiker Survey, the ULA Circuit and ULA Catalyst have made an appearance on the “Most Popular Gear List.”
- In 2019 we began creating packs from waterproof X-pac fabric, and adding travel and everyday packs to our line. Always listening to the input and feedback of our customers and the outdoor community, we are constantly innovating to bring you the highest quality outdoor gear.
THE NEW GUY
- In the winter of 2020, Chris McMaster retires, selling his share of the company to Peter Longobardi (who had been begging Chris to sell him the company since his own 2009 AT thru hike.)
- Ever determined to keep 100% of the manufacturing in the USA, ULA secures the 3,500 square feet next door to the current shop in Logan, UT, bringing the total manufacturing space to 9,000 square feet.
- Peter & Rodney remain 100% committed to the core values of ULA by offering excellent customer service, passionately designed products, and focusing on a “Made in the USA” business model.