About Exo Mtn Gear
Our mission is to build the best backcountry hunting pack systems available, provide the best service possible, and do it all right here in the USA.
ORIGINS — Unrelenting Focus Since 2014
Exo Mtn Gear was founded by a couple of hunting buddies, Steve Speck and Lenny Nelson, to solve a very specific problem that we, as hunters, struggled with. For years, we used internal-frame backpacking packs that were light and comfortable while hunting, but were not durable enough to withstand the backcountry or strong enough to support meat-hauling. We had also used external frame packs for load-hauling, but those frames were too heavy, bulky, and noisy to hunt with.
As frustrated hunters that knew what we wanted, we created Exo Mtn Gear to develop a pack system that took the best attributes of internal frame backpacking packs and the strengths of external frame load-haulers, and combined them into one ultralight, ultratough package.
After countless hours of sewing, prototyping, testing, and hiking, we launched the first-generation Exo Mtn Gear pack in 2014. Now, years later, we remain strictly and stubbornly focused on building the best pack systems for backcountry hunting through continuous improvement.
METHOD — From Our Home to Yours
Our packs are designed in, built in, and shipped from our hometown of Boise, Idaho. Because we build our packs in the USA, and not in some overseas factory, we have a hands-on approach to every aspect of product design, development, testing, manufacturing, quality control, and shipping.
Our direct-to-consumer sales model eliminates any “middle man” mark-up. This model allows us to build an extremely high-quality pack, using the absolute best materials, and to make it in the USA, while at the same time keeping the costs well below what it would otherwise be if we sold through normal retail channels.
Our direct-to-consumer model also allows us to provide the best support possible — both before and after a sale. If you have questions about a product, you don't deal with a dealer or a salesperson, you speak directly with us — the people making and using the product.
PHILOSOPHY — What You Need and Nothing More
We believe that the perfect pack system is comfortable, durable, versatile, and simple. Those attributes influence every decision we make when designing our products.
We constantly seek to enhance versatility and eliminate complexity through smarter design. Our goal is for our pack systems to be efficient and intuitive — allowing you to spend less time messing with your gear and spend more time focusing on your hunt.
Each of our bag models is designed to be as streamlined as possible, while still offering essential organization, secure storage, and efficient access for your gear.
Every stitch and square inch of our K4 Frame has been carefully designed in such a way that allows you to hunt light, then haul heavy. The complete frame weighs less than 3lbs, yet is capable of carrying 150lbs or more with the integrated load shelf.
Because we all come in different shapes and sizes, we have designed our frame system to offer unparalleled levels of adjustability, offering you a truly personalized fit and exceptional comfort.
ETHOS — By Hunters, For Hunters
We want to provide you with the gear, service, and knowledge you need to make your adventurous goals a reality. In addition to our products, we invest a lot of time in developing and sharing free resources that can help you in your pursuits. These resources include our podcast, articles, gear lists, training plans, and nutrition guide.
When it comes to our products, we are committed to offering the best service possible — both before and after a sale. If you ever have any questions, give us a call directly and you will speak with us directly. Everyone on our small team that answers the phones is someone that uses our packs in the field year-round for their hunts and adventures.
We know that a guarantee doesn’t help you on the mountain, so we do everything we can to build our products so that our guarantee isn’t something you should expect to use. That said, we stand behind our product and offer a lifetime guarantee.
At the end of the day, we are just hunters trying to help our fellow hunters.
We are extremely proud to be a small, family-like team of seven full-time employees. It is our goal to remain small and never lose that customer service and attention to detail we have become known for. We simply do not care about trying to grow into the largest pack company. Rather, we remain stubbornly focused on producing the highest-quality, best-performing packs possible, and offering the best personal service for all of our customers and friends.
Steve is the co-founder and owner of Exo Mtn Gear. Besides running the operations of the company he remains extremely passionate about product development and spends as much time as possible imagining new concepts, creating new designs, and thoroughly testing both new ideas and old assumptions — all to make any and every improvement possible to Exo Mtn Gear products. (In the photo above, Steve is testing a one-off prototype, which he does on nearly every outing.)
Mark met Steve through the hunting industry over 10 years ago. In the early days of Exo, Steve reached out to Mark for help with the technical aspects of getting the online portion of the business up and running. Over the years, Mark became involved with more areas of the business and eventually left his tech job to fully invest his time and energy into Exo. These days, Mark manages marketing, the podcast, partnerships, and pretty much anything else you see online that comes from Exo.
When he was just 17-years-old and still in high school, Jake started helping out around Exo HQ as a summer job. With an unending positive attitude and rare-for-his-age work ethic, we decided to keep him around as much as we could. As the years went on, Jake took on more and more responsibilities at Exo, while working part-time as he finished school. Jake is now full-time with Exo, managing customer service, social media, overseeing warranties/returns and serving as the “little brother” that we all love...and love to harass.
Patrick and his wife sold nearly everything they owned in 2018, put the small amount that remained in their SUV, then left their home in New England to adventure on the road. They knew they wanted to live somewhere in the West, and they spent several months checking out different areas before settling in Boise, Idaho. As an owner of a first-generation Exo pack, Patrick was aware of the company and decided to see if Exo was hiring. A part-time gig building packs turned into a full-time career, as Patrick now manages purchasing and production for Exo. Patrick is also the staff whiskey expert and primary pit boss for our Friday staff lunches.
Jack is the oil of the operations in our warehouse. He’s truly a “jack” of all trades. Jack performs the final assembly of every pack that goes out the door and also manages our physical inventory of finished goods, raw goods, and components in the warehouse. His work behind the scenes is what keeps us operating smoothly and efficiently. And as the captain of our softball team, Jack keeps us competitive even after the workday is done.
Omar has been an integral part of the team since 2018. As our primary pack builder, Omar takes great pride in his work and he has an unbelievable eye for detail and quality control. He often plays games with other staff members, handing them a pack component and asking them to find what’s wrong with it. Omar often catches slight variations that no one else would ever see. Omar’s eye for detail, commitment to quality, and positive attitude is a huge asset to our team, and honestly, to our customers.