flying in to arctic camp with warmlite tents

About Warmlite

Our Story

Warmlite® has been in business since 1957 providing high quality, lightweight camping, backpacking, and mountaineering equipment. We have long been an industry leader and innovator.

List of Key Ultralight Innovations Introduced By Warmlite®

Leader In The Use Of Ultralight 800 Fill Power Down

Our Founder, Jack Stephenson, worked hard on perfecting Down sleeping bags between 1955-1957, after a miserable trip to Rocky Mountain National Park with his new wife in 1955. They were saved by a visit to Alice and Roy Holubar to purchase one of Holubar’s Down bags. After a few years of development, Stephenson’s fluffy wonder bags covered with ultra-light nylon were introduced to the public in 1958, chiefly in Dick Kelty’s store in Glendale, California.

Warmlite® Was A Real Leader In Use Of Ultralight Nylon Materials

Ultralight nylon materials were derived from the sailing industry to replace heavy cotton and polyester cotton materials then in use in tents, packs, and clothing. Since 1956, we have used 1.1 oz. rip-stop nylon for our bags and clothing, eschewing the heavier 1.9 oz. that became standard when Eddie Bauer began using nylon during this same time period.

Leader In The Use Of A Variety Of Exotic Aerospace-Derived Materials

We use these materials to create super-light, super-strong packs, sleeping bags, and tents— products that rival the lightest and most modern ultralight gear.

Leader In The Use And Modern Application Of Vapor Barriers In Outdoor Clothing And Sleeping Bags

We experimented with various vapor barrier materials, finally perfecting a “warm fuzzy” material that makes the vapor barrier more comfortable for the wearer.

Creator Of A New Tent Design

The Warmlite® design, the Elliptical Arc, threw out the heavy A-frame tent design used during the first half of the Twenty-First Century, replacing it with an extremely strong, lightweight, 4-season, hoop design constructed with high-tech materials and requiring only 3-4 tent stakes, even in severe weather. After 40 years, Warmlite® tents are still lighter and stronger than nearly anything else available!

Creator Of The D.A.M.

We created the Down-filled Air-Mattress (DAM) filled with ultra high quality down, held in place by baffled channels. Our 20 oz. creation is inflated with a large pump-sack/carry-sack or a microburst, which keeps damaging moisture from the DAM’s interior. We experimented with prototypes as early as 1958, but it was not officially added to the Warmlite® product line until 1973-74. In recent years, the new ultralight backpacking movement has encouraged a new interest in this product.

*Adapted with permission from Bruce Johnson’s The History of Gear Project. The History of Gear Project has been detailing the histories of great, classic gear companies like Warmlite® since 1996.

Get The Full History Of Warmlite Gear (PDF): Warmlite’s History

Now available to purchase in PDF! The History of Gear: Stephenson’s Warmlite: Still Controversial After All These Years by Bruce B Johnson, M.A.

arctic camp with warmlite gear


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