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Press Releases

2014 American Made Outdoor Gear Awards Open for Entry on Day 1 of Outdoor Retail Summer Market

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ARCATA, CALIFORNIA, (July 23, 2013) – Kokatat, the paddlesports apparel and gear company known for its longstanding commitment to American manufacturing will begin accepting entries for the 2014 American Made Outdoor Gear Awards on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, the opening day of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City, UT.

Targeted to the outdoor industry, the second annual American Made Outdoor Gear Awards is open to all companies with a solid commitment to American manufacturing and sourcing and have a compelling story to tell.

“Last year more than 50 of the most innovative domestic manufacturers in the outdoor market shared their stories with us,” said Jeff Turner, Kokatat sales and design manager. “This year we hope that many more will join them as we honor their stories and salute the leaders in American made quality, craftsmanship and creativity in the outdoor world.”

The company with the best “made in America” story receives one-year ownership of the ‘Sassy’ travelling trophy — a hand carved, 3-foot-tall, redwood Sasquatch from Humboldt County, CA. Runners up receive miniature versions of the award and all entrants will receive a certificate of participation.

“The Sasquatch may be a thing of legend, but we hope by sharing these companies’ stories we can keep American manufacturing from becoming a myth,” added Turner.

This year Kokatat recognized overall winner Liberty Bottleworks ( of Yakima, WA, and four category winners during an awards presentation at the 2013 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. Category winners included; Cilo Gear ( of Portland, OR for companies with less than 10 employees; Branches LLC ( of Osceola, WI for companies with 10 to 50 employees; Stormy Kromer ( of Ironwood, MI for companies with 50-100 employees; and Jackson Kayak ( of Sparta, TN for companies with 100+ employees.

In 1971 Kokatat began making paddlesports gear in Arcata, CA. Its founder and president, Steve O’Meara, recognized from the start that keeping production local was necessary in order to control quality and continually develop the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world.

Applications for the Sassy award may be completed online or downloaded at To receive applications by mail send a request to Kokatat Inc. attn: 2014 Sassy, Kokatat Inc., 5350 Ericson Way, Arcata, CA 95521. Applications must be received by November 8, 2013.

Winners will be announced on Friday, November 29, 2013, and an official “Sassy” presentation will be made at the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, UT.

For additional information on the American Made Outdoor Gear Awards visit

About Kokatat Inc.:
Kokatat has been manufacturing paddling gear in Arcata, California for more than 40 years. At a time when many technical apparel brands were moving manufacturing offshore, Kokatat continued to invest in infrastructure in the United States. Kokatat founder Steve O’Meara was committed to the development of the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world and recognized the need to control and continually evolve the development of our dry wear. In the early days, Kokatat worked closely with W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of GORE-TEX®, to refine the sewing and sealing techniques required for full immersion suits and tops. Today, our hands-on approach to manufacturing continues to set the standard in paddling apparel. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit and follow Kokatat on Facebook and Twitter “@kokatat”.