When the World Ends, This Is What You’ll Be Wearing

KUIU makes outdoor gear perfect for extreme adventures

By Kirk Miller

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05 December 2016

When the inevitable apocalypse hits in 2017 (we’re thinking some sort of “Franken-bear” scenario; zombies were so 2016), you need to be seriously prepared.

And KUIU is in the business of serious preparedness.

KUIU (“koo-you”) makes outdoor gear that’s modular, extremely lightweight (in a patented, no-one-else-does-this kind of way) and allows you to survive for days in any extreme scenario.

The company was started by former pro football player Jason Hairston. “I grew up with a dad who was a hunter,” says Hairston, who began his post-NFL career with a technical apparel company called Sitka, which he later sold to Gore-Tex. “But I realized when I went out on my own I was buying everything from REI or sporting goods stores that didn’t necessarily have what I needed.”

So KUIU, his newer venture, was “designed for big, remote expeditions to places like the Yukon … where, if your gear fails, it’ll cost you your life.”

Hairston makes his high-tech gear durable, breathable, water-resistant and, most importantly, light. Think a three-pound modular pack system that can comfortably help you carry 150 pounds.

All while not being crazy expensive.

Overall, it’s helped KUIU earn quite a reputation, from Bloomberg calling them "Lululemon for hunters" and Navy SEALs requesting a custom line.

We got to look over KUIU’s stuff during a series of visits from Hairston. A few new items we dug:

TAKU: An extremely lightweight carrier for your heavy-duty gear. Water-resistant, TPU-coated gear bags with removable shoulder straps and handles on all sides, so carry it how you want. And strong: nothing’s gonna puncture these. Comes in 2,000-, 3,000- and 9,000-cubic-inch configurations.

Super Down Jacket: Just 9 oz., this nano-teched Polish Goose down is water repellent, breathable and easily bundles up into your pack. We dig the “Verde Camo” version, which feels like camo meets Minecraft.

Ultra 6000: The largest in a series of modular packs. Pair it with a KUIU’s patented molded carbon-fiber frame that “weighs less than a soda can” (11 oz.)  and you can last 10 days in the wild ... and comfortably carry over 100 lbs.

Plus, a line of quick-drying merino half-zips and crews for layering, some toasty Super Down sleeping bags and a pack load hauler, “designed to carry animal quarters, boned-out meat and gear.”

The apocalypse can get messy.

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