Go Nice Places Do Good Things

There was a time when we had a lot more free time, we worked in outdoor shops and got ourselves kitted out. We travelled, did some routes and life was good. Then our gear started falling apart, we were no longer students and we balked at the cost of replacement kit. We realised the passing years had taught us something, we had the skills to create something new.

And therein lays the story of how Alpkit was born. Born out of a passion for the outdoors and not accepting the price of high-performance gear.

Ordinary people trying to make some thing extraordinary.

And why Alpkit? It's just a name... we go to the alps, we climb, we ride, we swim, we run, we board, we visit our in-laws.. we make kit.. we didn't want it to be complicated.

Gear You'll Love For Longer

Alpkit is a premium multi-activity outdoor and bike brand for enthusiasts and adventurers. Agile, vibrant and sustainable. We’re digital-first connecting customers online and in our unique stores. We're the only multi-activity performance outdoor brand like this in the UK. Our supply chain is shorter, our price-tags sharp.

Our aim is simple: use digital technology to redefine the UK outdoor industry and unite the design quality of a performance sports brand with the customer service of a specialist store.

It is our love of the outdoors that makes Alpkit: responsible, expert, enthusiastic, determined and fair.

Sustainability is ingrained throughout everything we do. Since first writing our guidelines in 2004 we are the first UK outdoor brand to publish a clear and comprehensive Sustainability Report and are recognised by our peers in the outdoor industry as an example of best practice in environmental reponsibility and sustainability. We are founder members of The Microfibre Consortium and the outdoor industry Single Use Plastics Project.

Our gear works harder and costs less

Our Design Ethos

It is our belief that the products you love most: the ones you use and abuse year-in and year-out are ultimately the most environmentally friendly. This is we repair any brand and have done since 2004. And when your partnership with it is over then pass it on. Send it back to us with our Continuum Project and, through the support of Alpkit Foundation, we'll donate it to someone who needs it.

Our design philosophy starts with developing products you'll love for longer. We design high performance products, developed with a clear purpose, a technical benefit and with as much cross-over use as possible.

Simplification is a mission for us. Keeping it simple is ingrained in what we do. We'll continue refining a product until there is nothing we want to add to it and nothing we want to take away.

That way you need fewer products in your wardrobe.

Our product range is smaller, our lead times are faster and as we only sell direct, our price-tags are sharper.

Our gear costs less and works harder.

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10 Things You Might Not Know About Alpkit

1. WE’RE PROUDLY INDEPENDENT. A British Brand.

2. WE MAKE. Alpkit has a Factory at AKHQ with 10 makers and seamsters.

3. WE RECYCLE. We gave 1.5 tonnes of outdoor gear a new home though the Continuum Project last year.

4. WE REPAIR. We mended over 1,700 products last year from all brands.

5. WE’RE SUSTAINABLE. We’re the first UK outdoor brand to publish a comprehensive sustainability report.

6. WE’RE INTERNATIONAL. 30% of our web traffic comes from outside the UK.

7. WE’RE AWARD-WINNING. We won the Responsible Finance Micro-Entrepreneur Award in 2018 and we’ve been TGO Magazine Online Retailer of the Year for six out of the last seven years.

8. WE'RE ENTHUSIASTS. We’re with you sharing our love of the outdoors.

9. WE PARTY. Our own Big Shakeout festival, which touches 1000 people, is in its 10th year.

10. WE GIVE BACK. Alpkit Foundation has supported over 600 grassroots projects.

History

We love to be outdoors, talk about being outdoors and hearing about people being outdoors. We love the mountains, we love the lakes, the forested trails. We truly believe getting outdoors is good; I can’t remember when we first coined the phrase Go Nice Places do Good Things but it stuck.

It is a great privilege to have been tasked with writing this page. Col or Nick could equally have made a great job… sorry, if you are new to Alpkit I have got ahead of myself.

Col?, Nick? and who am I? Here is a very brief recap… Alpkit was formed in 2004 by Col, Nick, Jim and Kenny (that’s me). Our early history is out there for you to see, Col did a great review back in 2010. If you have time to spare you can even work back through the Waybackwhen machine.

The why behind Alpkit really started so much earlier. Nope, it didn’t drop out of a spreadsheet, on a set date, with a packet full of funding to propel it into the world. Actually it was launched on a shoestring backed by years of finding adventure in the mountains, and that’s the truth.

I dare say we were also seduced by the innovations that made everything just so damn cool. Mysterious fabrics that could actually breathe, sleeping mats that inflated all by themselves and ripstop nylons which when stretched over bendy poles could provide shelter on top of an inhospitable mountain top.

You can’t get enough of that kind of stuff.

Mix that in with a spoonful of romanticism from earlier times, stories of absolute heroes who made journeys to remote and unexplored lands, committing self-supported, self-suffering adventures, discovering all of the nice places, doing all the great things and publishing awesome coffee table books.

Yes, Alpkit existed way back when, it was just that it took until 2004 before it finally got captured in a squash court sized unit at the foot of Mount Ilkeston.

So where is Alpkit today? The company has grown, it has outgrown the squash court and shards of ice no longer fall on our heads in winter. Our resilience may have surprised some, but hiking up mountains in all weathers teaches you a lot about pig headed perseverance.

I really believe Alpkit has survived these years thanks to the support of our customers and their stories. We simply have the best customers. The relationships forged with our customers has always been direct.

While the fundamental ethics and values of Alpkit today have not changed over time it is now a much greater team effort. The team is many and spread out all over the country.

This is in an industry that genuinely cares about how it behaves and how it operates. I am proud Alpkit is part of this, and proactive in leading change in areas such as single use plastics, phasing out.

Many of you reading this will have accompanied this company on its journey. Some of you are still wearing stuff from the early days and that makes us enormously happy.

So thanks to David for inviting me to write this piece, thank you for visiting, enjoy your stay.

Kenny
#gnpdgt

Award Winning Since 2004

  • 2004 Alpkit Formed by Nick, Col, Kenny and Jim
  • 2005 Best new product: The Alpkit Range | Outdoors Magic
  • 2007 Best new product: Hunka Bivvy Bag | Singletrack
  • 2008 Best online retailer | Outdoors Magic
  • 2008 Best value 3 season sleeping bag SkyeHigh600 | Trail Magazine
  • 2011 Best buy – PipeDream 800 Sleeping Bag | TGO Magazine
  • 2011 Best value and best of test RIG 7 tarp | Trail Magazine
  • 2012 Best Lightweight budget sleeping bag – Pipedream 400 | Trail Magazine
  • 2012 Online retailer of the year | TGO Magazine
  • 2012 5/5 starts Kangri Mountain Tent | Trail Magazine
  • 2012 Best lightweight budget sleeping bag | Trail Magazine
  • 2012 Best value – Gamma Headtorch | Trail Magazine
  • 2013 Best buy – Hunka bivvy bag | Walk Highlands
  • 2013 Best value; 5* overall – Airo | Trail Gear
  • 2014 Online Retailer of The Year | TGO Magazine
  • 2015 Sonder Bikes launch Transmitter, Camino, Broken Road
  • 2015 Online Retailer of The Year | TGO Magazine
  • 2017 Hathersage Store Opens
  • 2017 Ambleside Store Opens
  • 2017 AK Factory moves to new building
  • 2017 Online Retailer of The Year | TGO Magazine
  • 2018 Keswick Store Opens
  • 2018 Alpkit win Responsible Finance Microentrepeneur of the Year
  • 2018 Online Retailer of The Year | TGO Magazine
  • 2019 Metrocentre Store Opens
  • 2019 Online Retailer of The Year | TGO Magazine