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March 2018

24 Years (of OnSight) in Canada’s Coastal Range

Superficially, one can learn a lot about a company via the progression of its logo, as the company changes and evolves over time. In the case of OnSight, the evolution of our logo genuinely does tell the tale of how a manufacturer of niche rock climbing equipment has become one of Canada’s leaders in both adventure travel equipment, and sustainable materials.

OnSight Equipment Logo Evolution

The Origin and Evolution of the OnSight Brand...

Our original logo at OnSight, conceived in early 1994, featured the striking peaks of Mt Atwell & Mt Garibaldi, overlooking our hometown of Squamish. In those days, Squamish was a highway town, defined by industry rather than recreation, bookended and overshadowed by the increasingly chic destinations of Vancouver & Whistler.

The climbers, hikers, bikers, skiers and yes, Instagrammers that, (perhaps arguably) define present-day Squamish then consisted of a small, quirky, controversial, and less-than-well-understood regiment within the local community. Within this crew of granite-obsessed vertical adventurers, the “onsight” was perhaps the most coveted style of a climbing ascent - a route climbed cleanly on the first effort, and without any prior research. The inspiration for OnSight’s name came naturally.

Adventure Driven

It’s within this community of adventuresome folks that OnSight grew and flourished, and perhaps most importantly, found inspiration. Climbers & bikers formed critical stitches within the company’s fabric, and in large part these community members became the company’s first staff members. Their work designing, sewing and constructing the climbing gear and expedition-centric equipment they would use themselves - from crampon bags to ice axe leashes, to aid-climbing paraphernalia and ski-touring essentials - truly defined OnSight.

With time, these bohemian adventurers and creators began to work side-by-side with a core of local families, many with strong connections to the traditional forest industry & railyards that were often perceived to be at-odds with the burgeoning recreation industry.

These links with the greater community - in addition to a reputation built upon durability & practicality - began to help OnSight forge into new markets, and product lines. The next evolution of OnSight’s logo began to reflect this expanding mission – building robust gear for travelers and adventurers of all kinds – from groundbreaking expeditions to everyday urban excursions.

The red ‘tick mark’ of the subsequent OnSight logo combined the rock climbers’ habit of ‘ticking off’ a climbing goal in a guidebook, with a company philosophy that increasingly aimed to ‘tick off’ as many boxes as possible – clean design, practicality, durability and sustainability.

[caption id="attachment_1283" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] The OnSight Tarmac Travel Pack[/caption]

In the following decade, with environmental concerns heightening and rising awareness as to the solutions available, a philosophy prioritizing sustainability has become front & centre at OnSight - weaving its way into each and every material, design, and end product. The present-day insignia emblazoned on OnSight products represents this all-encompassing mission. While our contemporary product collections haven’t sacrificed any commitment to durability or functionality, modern-day supply chains have allowed us to source nearly every single one of our materials from plastic waste that has been upcycled into premium quality fabrics

Sustainable Materials - The OnSight Eco Label

Whether it’s our practical travel essentials, our collection of cycling packs and frame bags, or our most complex and featured duffel bags and travel packs, we try to share as much detail as possible on how each product incorporates the most sustainable materials we can get our hands on.

This transition to cutting-edge sustainable materials is an accomplishment many years in the making, and one which we’re proud to hang our hat upon. Doing our part to ensure that the ecosystems and wild environments that inspired our company is a thrill that simply doesn’t seem to age. Giving life to what would otherwise be landfilled, and reducing the demand for virgin materials is perhaps just as satisfying as discovering new favourite trails to hike, run or ride, unknown ski descents, or yes, “onsighting” a completely unknown rock climb.

[caption id="attachment_1285" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Backcountry Riding with more gear - Photo Ben Haggar[/caption]

Of course, an ideal day in the Coast Mountains, is one where we can accomplish a good amount of both missions - they just happen to go hand-in-hand, just as a muddy singletrack trail moulds to a knobby bike tire.

Shop our entire OnSight Equipment Collection