Few groups are as hard on their gear as the United States military. The backpacks, clothing, weapons, and essentials they take into battle must withstand the harshest conditions on Earth. Anything that can’t go the distance is quickly weeded out. So, you can feel confident buying from a veteran-owned brand. Here are a handful of the best veteran-owned companies in the U.S.
In a few short years, EDC has devolved into little more than a marketing buzzword. GoRuck, though, has remained a mainstay of the EDC-savvy community for years thanks to its focus on crafting no-nonsense gear that’s streamlined, reliable, and durable. Its top-of-the-line GR1, in particular, was field-tested by Special Forces soldiers in Baghdad to be “bombproof.” The rugged design is rainproof, offers tons of pockets, and opens completely flat. Despite its military roots, it’s still versatile enough for travelers, preppers, and everyday users.
Marine Infantry Sergeant David Wood was deployed four times overseas and is an extreme athlete whose leisurely pursuits include canyoning, mountaineering, and Crossfit. It’s safe to say he knows a few things about extreme activities and the gear they require. His company, Virtus Outdoor Group, is the result of his training, passion, and years of product testing on friends who are active duty, first-responders, professional athletes, and avid outdoorsmen. VOG’s catalog includes a long list of premium apparel and tactical gear that features high-tech fabrics, a unique three-layer jacket system, and a pioneering style of 3D-printed camo.
For military-inspired accessories, ITS Tactical (that would be Imminent Threat Solutions) is a favorite among preppers and survivalists. The company’s extensive line of MOLLE pouches, utility packs, first aid kits, and other essentials is simple and reliable. Beyond its product catalog, however, ITS also offers a wealth of information about survival and preparedness topics. The website features more than 2,000 articles written by a staff that include an ex-Navy SEAL, an Army Military Police Corps member, and other military personnel.
Service members know a thing or two about good, strong coffee. So, when veteran Evan Hafer started Black Rifle Coffee Company, he didn’t need to look far to find the resources for roasting. These days, many products are white-labeled (i.e., one company slaps its name on another company’s products). Black Rifle instead does everything in-house. It imports world-class beans from Brazil and Colombia and roasts them to order in small batches at its facilities in Salt Lake City and Manchester, Tennessee. Plus, the company’s staff consists almost exclusively of former military personnel, and it proudly works with and donates to U.S. military-centric charities and causes.
The founders of Montana’s Red Oxx Manufacturing have decades of U.S. military service under their collective belt. The veteran father and son team started the company in 1986, and have built a hardcore following since. At its core, Red Oxx is a bag maker, including everything from simple backpacks and travel packing cubes to toolbags and railroad-inspired rucksacks.
For a field-worthy skincare regimen, look no further than Bravo Sierra. While the NYC-based company is not veteran-owned, it worked closely with active military personnel to develop a long list of battle-tested products. It also contributes 5% of all sales to Morale, Welfare, and Recreation veterans programs.
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