We have recently stocked up on some dead good outdoor jackets from Holubar – you can have a gander at and purchase over here. Anyway, for those that need a back-story in order to get their hands in their pockets, or for anyone who loves a stereotypical American dream-type story, read on.
The brand came to fruition in 1946, down in the basement of keen climbers Alice and LeRoy Holubar’s home, in Boulder, Colorado. With loads of old army surplus gear at the ready, the couple turned their passion into a business by producing high-quality down-filled sleeping bags for their companions in the local climbing community. They purchased a business licence soon after in 1947 and Holubar was officially born.
Post-WWII America had a booming interest in outdoor sports and activities such as mountaineering and backpacking.
The market was ripe for new innovative mountaineering equipment, and the Holubar’s began designing and selling high-quality goods. At first, they started as a mail-order business with a bi-annual catalogue published in 12 states across America. They gained a cult following and top-tier reputation for their innovative down-jackets, sleeping bags, backpacks, and even tents.
So much so that The Alpine Rescue and Colorado Search & Rescue teams both appointed them as official suppliers of all their technical gear. At one point, they even became the US distributors for Vibram soles – highlighting their knack for spotting quality.
Nylon is everywhere now, but not when Alice Holubar began using it in the ‘50s. She was highly respected for innovating and pioneering the use of ripstop nylon with sleeping bags, at the time a revolutionary material for its lightweight ruggedness. She utilised the use of nylon/cotton blends such as 50/50 then later 60/40 proportions creating a water-resistant shell fabric – and eventually, the four-season Mountain Parka was born.
It was the ultimate outdoor jacket due to its versatility in all-weather conditions and for its all-year usability. The oscar-winning Robert De Niro wore one of the Holubar mountain parkas (you know, that amazing orange one) in the 1978 epic war film ‘The Deer Hunter’, which the jacket become synonymous with. The jacket world would never be the same, and outdoor-clothing fanatics would lose their minds trying to figure out how to get hold of one of these cult classics.
Roll on a few years and the brand struggled as people opted for cheaper manufacturing designs, and after its acquisition by a much bigger company, it was put on the back burner for a few decades. Thankfully, a group of jacket enthusiasts from Italy resurrected the brand.
Focusing on the ethos and innovations that the original founders strived for, Holubar is back to making iconic jackets with that distinct old school, USA mountaineering vibe. Now constructed in Europe with Italian fabrics such as the industry-leading Limonta – Holubar is perhaps better than ever.