Completely unrelated to my thread about packs - this is just a random thought. While I was in school I worked at a regional outdoor gear store in my area - Hudson Trail Outfitters. They picked up a label called Ground Wear for a season and we all had to go to a clinic where a vendor sold us on the products (same type of thing companies like TNF and Patagonia do).
So some products were given away that day that were pretty awesome (actually everyone got DriClime shirts that day from the Marmot guy!!). The Ground rep gave everyone a down hoody, and a few of us that answered questions got a choice of a top of the line down coat or shell. At the time I needed good raingear, so I chose their eVent jacket. I remember specifically that the vendor didn't come to the store often, and it took me months to get the jacket that he promised - I had to keep asking everytime he came around and I thought at the time that he was probably hoping I'd forget.
Anyway, I've never seen another soul wearing this stuff. I'm pretty sure the company went under, or into hibernation. Their website is unchanged from Feb. 09 (when I got the jacket). It's nothing spectacular, and I'm sure other companies make better shells, but it's served me well and um...it was a free eVent shell. I've taken it all over and used it for backpacking, skiing and things in between. For skiing out west I built a system with this jacket, an Underarmour coldgear baselayer and a Patagonia R2 jacket that worked wonderfully.
So anyone ever heard of this company? Anyone have a piece of their gear? I checked recently and HTO doesn't carry them anymore.
Ground's website: http://www.groundwear.com/index.php
Essence Shell: http://www.groundwear.com/showprod.php?idnum=11016511965