Rating: 5 / 5
In addition to creating many classic backcountry products and continuing to think outside the box, OR offers something else which sets it apart from the other mass producers. For Seattle area residents, and perhaps others, you can have your gear customized by a senior seamstress named Puerla for modest fee. Turn-around is a day or two. I'm not sure if OR wants this to be nation-wide knowledge, as they're not set up to do this on a large scale. But I've had several standard OR products rebuilt to my long frame or 'hardened,' right in the downtown headquarters where production still takes place. (I get the impression that OR was one of the later big companies to offshore production; I understand that what is made in Seattle today is largely for the booming military/special ops market.) I have been very satisfied with the results, at least when I've been able to talk to Puerla directly about what I'm looking for. When my instructions were filtered through the young people in the company store (who are always very enthusiastic), I haven't gotten exactly what I wanted. Nonetheless, having this option makes the already durable and functional OR gear that much more attractive to me.
Over the years I have purchased OR heavy gaiters, many gloves and hats, tights and jackets, and stuff sacks. All solid, practical gear with few bells & whistles. My most recent OR purchase is the Nighthaven single-walled, semi-floored tent which promises above-treeline light mountaineering durability and complete bug resistance for two long people for 2 lbs. I'll write a review after I spend some mountain time with it.