Meriwether Field Gear pt. 1
Posted on July 23, 2013
A writeup on The American Classic about Meriwether Field Gear has been a long time coming. Danny reached out to me in April of this year to review some of his products. We’ve never reviewed home goods for the site before and though we have an immense appreciation for well crafted things, this was a new challenge to approach with a different mindset from looking at mens clothing. There’s a lot of great design happening right now, particularly in this sector, and getting a fresh look at this made me reexamine my own home and for that I am very thankful. Meriwether sent us their coat rack/personal organizer, classic six-pack carrier, cedar tree swing, and magnetic key ring holder and shelf. They sent us so much amazing stuff that we have to divide it into two segments in order to give it the attention it deserves. I sent half of the goods to Philly for Steve to try out, most notably that tree swing because if I so much as laid a hand on a tree here in California someone would murder me. In this review, we’ll be talking about the six pack carrier and coat rack. Click here to read the entire post.
First and foremost, a little background on Meriwether. They’re based in Whitefish, Montana and are the sister company of Whiskeyjack Paddles which has been around making beautifully carved paddles for the past decade. Danny Brown runs the company and lives an admirably outdoorsy lifestyle with his family. Here’s a few words from him:
Meriwether of Montana came into existence two years ago as an off-shoot of our first business Whiskeyjack Paddles. My wife and I are both avid backcountry wilderness paddlers and we have run Whiskeyjack for ten years. During that time I always made time to design new products either for personal use or as gifts for friend and famil. Mostly just out of our scrap wood from making paddles. Axe handles, landing nets, sling shots, etc. Occasionally, I would post a new design to our blog or Facebook (really just to brag…) and there were always lots of positive comments and inquiries -so I realized I had another potnetial business from what I was designing. So that’s the genesis of Meriwether (name is inpsired from Meriwether Lewis…).We live high up in the Rocky Mountains in a small ski resort town called Whitefish, Montana. Our shop is 15 miles as the crow flies to Glacier National Park and just four miles from the chairlift on Whitefish Mountain Resort (Ranked No. 12 in Ski Magazine’s top 50 ski resorts…). I’ve got a tricked out wood shop with all of the toys and 4 great craftsmen who work for me. All of our lives pretty much revolve around hunting, fishing and skiing -depending on the time of year. Today I spent the afternoon skiing with two of my guys while the other two are down in Idaho right now chasing the steelhead run on the Clearwater River. We also own a boutique retail store in downtown Whitefish where we sell the goods that we make as well as my wife’s artwork. She is wood cut block print artist.
In other words, Meriwether Field Gear‘s got it pretty good way out yonder where the rest of us can only dream about starting a kick ass wood shop and living in a small town while doing all kinds of rad outdoorsy stuff. I’m a sucker for wood things; I don’t own a single piece of furniture that isn’t wood (couch and bed exempt) and though most of it’s darker, this stuff fits in great with my existing setup. You may have noticed that both of these items made it into our summer preview video a few weeks ago and have very much fit into everyday life around these parts.
The coatrack was something we were hunting for to begin with and every one we had found up until this point was disappointing or severely overkill (nine coat racks, an electric mitten warmer, ego-massagers, etc.). The simplicity of the Meriwether coatrack is beautiful; three hooks for garments, three hooks for keys, one shelf for wallets and other goods. The way I like to look at an organizer like this is if you misplace your keys in your own house after installing this thing, it’s your own damn fault. This helps keep our other furniture that collects random shit (the runner behind our couch, the kitchen counter, the kitchen table, etc.) from collecting daily-use items. Life’s sort of about sifting through the bullshit to find the best things. This helps you identify the important stuff that needs to be within reach on your way out the door in the morning so you don’t forget it. Aside from how useful this thing is, my favorite detail is the lighter wood trim. The two stripes at the top and bottom and on the edge of the shelf are fantastic details that really make this thing pop while looking extremely polished on your wall. I’ll level with you: I don’t know a damn thing about woodworking. But I know what I like and I know good craft when I see it and I really like the thoughtfulness that went into these pieces. The woodgrain alone is enough to make me want to throw my wallet at it (in the proverbial sense seeing that I actually do keep my wallet on this thing).
The six pack carrier is another great addition to our house, especially in the summer months. Granted, we live in Los Angeles and summer is forever but this thing would be perfect for taking to the beach, backyard BBQs, etc. This carrier and Fourth of July should go hand-in-hand. We took it to the beach when we were shooting our summer promo (in fact both of these items made an appearance) and it performed admirably while sitting on a rock, crackin’ brews. It’s heavy so you wouldn’t want to one-hand this and ride your bike (unless there’s zero traffic, speed bumps, and a wide road) but definitely comes in handy for a variety of other occasions. The wood on this one is gorgeous; the different grain pattern on each little piece adds a ton of character and makes this a great piece to show off even in your house.
In closing, I’m a really big fan of Meriwether Field Gear. I like their story, I like their wares, and just about anyone can afford the stuff they’ve got. There’s plenty of hipper, more prevalent shops throughout the country making stuff turned on lathes which is beautiful and I’m not knocking it. There’s just something to be said about honestly crafted, honestly priced goods from a company that makes you feel damn good about buying from them. Part 2 will feature the magnetic shelf and the cedar tree swing. Stay tuned.