We often say that when Gilad Nachmani started this company back in 2016, the very first product offered was trekking poles. But the poles we made back then are far from the poles we make now. Our poles were made overseas and every design update that came with being a new company making a new product was painfully slow. Eventually, Minimal Gear decided the best way to make the poles we wanted to make was to make them ourselves - with US sourced parts wherever possible to help us achieve our sustainability and transparent manufacturing goals. But the harsh reality is that manufacturing things in the US can be expensive and logistically difficult - we knew it would be a challenge, but one we felt was worth it.
We had the same learning curve when we brought the pole manufacturing in house, but making them ourselves meant we could make changes as soon we saw a need appear. The poles continued to grow and evolve as we could apply what we learned with each batch quickly and efficiently. The result was trekking poles we were incredibly proud of, made with materials created by other manufacturers we were proud to work with.
Making our manufacturing process as transparent as possible is an incredibly important value to Diorite Gear. With that in mind, we wanted to break down each component that goes into a Diorite Gear trekking pole and exactly where it’s sourced from.
Shaft material: Our trekking pole shafts are made of 100% carbon fiber sourced from Goodwinds Composites. They are up the road from us in Mt Vernon, WA. They supply all our carbon fiber, including carbon fiber used in our UL Staffs, tent poles, and tent stakes. NASA sources from them as well!
Grip materials: Our trekking poles come in two grip materials: cork and EVA foam. Both are made in China by a Taiwanese company with cork from Portugal. These materials are incredibly hard to source within the US. One of our aspirations for Diorite Gear is to bring our grip manufacturing in house. Like the trekking poles themselves, it will likely be a long and challenging process, as it involves onshoring an industry that doesn’t - currently! - exist here.
Straps: Our straps are made of polyester and microfiber and are made in China. Our logos are stitched onto our straps in Portland.
Locking system: Our locking system is our own design: the Friction Quick Lock, which uses an internal TPE grip to create a secure and easy to use lock. They are made in Corvallis, OR by Plastech. The pin, bolt and nut for the FQL comes from China.
Tip: Like the FQL’s, our Easy Tips are also our own design and allow you to replace a worn carbide tip and housing anywhere, at any point, without tools. An easy screw tip allows for any standard tip to be attached to the Diorite Poles. The Easy Tip are made in China by a US company (TFG USA). The carbide tip in plastic housing along with the mud baskets, snow baskets and rubber tips are made in China.
The packaging that holds our poles and provide you with the needed information is made here, in Portland (well, Tigard, actually) by a local printer.
Got a question about our manufacturing process or materials? We want to answer it! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with anything you want to know!