Banana Equipment, Estes Park, Colorado, a Pioneer in the use of Goretex

"Banana," begun in January 1975 according to Nancy Grimes, co-founder, was another of the pioneering companies started on a tiny budget by a man and a woman working hard to make a dream come true. Moonstone Mountaineering was another company started by a couple, as was Holubar.

Nancy Grimes writes, "When we sold the company in 1980, we had just completed a year of $1.2 million in sales. We had about 50 employees, mostly sewers, in our 12,000 sz. ft. Longmont, Colorado factory. We did no work overseas or with any contractors. We still used a team of independent sales reps who also sold other brands, like Wilderness Experience."

A signature of Banana products was their fanciful use of yellow and green fabrics in many of their products. The company's Goretex mountain pants take an award in the history of gear as probably the first full-featured, commericially available Goretex mountains pants. My wife and I owned a set-- hers yellow and mine bright green. We were two peak-bagging bananas! In the picture below, we see her Banana pants atop the summit of 14,162 ft. Mt. Shasta in California. I title the picture "The Joy of Climbing," in wry remembrance of the brutal cold, the thin air, the evil wind, and the lack of any summit view! (by the way, the greenish mountain parka with the orange accents in both pictures is a Synergy parka, as is the black parka in the picture with the dogs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Banana images:

Above: in the picture of Jim Heiden sewing, Nancy Grimes pointed out, "Look at the time!" It is past 2 a.m. and there's Jim still working! Next is a Banana ad from Backpacker Magazine in 1977. And final image is of a Banana metal snap following the company's fun-filled tagline: "Products with Appeal" -- it's a banana half-peeled!

 

Please Note: All Material on this page, and in all my "History of Gear" webpages, is copyrighted, and no usage of my material is permitted unless explicit permission is granted by me, Bruce B. Johnson, owner of OregonPhotos.com. The images of the founders were provided by Nancy Grimes in 2018.

 

Current Status of Banana Equipment:

According to Nancy Grimes, the original Banana Equipment was founded January 1975 and sold in 1980 then became "Chinook Sports," which went out of business around 1984.


Please Note: All Material on this page, and in all my "History of Gear" webpages, is copyrighted, and no usage of my material is permitted unless explicit permission is granted by me, Bruce B. Johnson, owner of OregonPhotos.com. Contact is oldgear@Oregonphotos.com


Some Other gear pioneers of the 1970s included:

Rivendell Mountain Works

JanSport

Feathered Friends

Crescent Down Works and Early Winters

 

Main Page: Essays and pictures about the Pioneers of the Outdoor Gear Revolution, 1935-The Present, 45+ pages, six history of gear books published, and still every-growing!



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Page last revised 04/16/2019