The First Lite-Stormy Kromer Collaboration: Heritage Meets Performance

First Lite is a company born out of problem solving. We got started when our founders Scott Robinson and Kenton Carruth figured out how to print merino wool with camouflage for high country elk hunting here in Idaho. We’ve carried this spirit to each new challenge, whether that was designing efficient apparel for the needs of the treestand whitetail hunter or engineering storm-proof outerwear for waterfowlers.

Built for You

Our brand is for hunters. That means everything from creating the best hunting gear on the market to the conservation and continued access of wild places. Staying true to our guiding principles means an empty office the day elk season opens, ruthless shit-talking at the company fishing tournament, and most of all, volunteering at and leading local conservation projects that protect imperiled sage grouse or restore a big game winter range. 

The ideas for new products come from the needs of our employees and customers. We ask ourselves how we can solve problems for hunters in innovative ways. These ideas largely come from our product managers and passionate hunters who coordinate the process. They draw inspiration from their own time in the field, their knowledge of existing gaps in the market, and innovation in parallel industries such as skiing, trail running, and mountaineering.

The Process

Our process begins at least three years in advance of launch. After conceptualization, products go through many rounds of prototyping to get the function, fit, and feel in line before it even sees the field. 

Perhaps the most important step in the development is what we refer to as “The Gauntlet,” in which pro team members and staff test the gear in the field during hunting season in varying environments across the country. You simply cannot imagine every element of field use on the drawing table–Issues and dynamics that we didn’t consider during the conceptualization phase always rear their head when we actually get the gear out chasing critters. 


Where Tradition and Technicality Meet

Our approach to a product is generally very technical. Tradition is not something we typically prioritize, however, working with Stormy Kromer has been a great reminder that heritage is still valued by outdoorsmen. As a long-time admirer of the Stormy Kromer brand, the most exciting part of this collaboration that I’ll always remember is when I was initially told about the partnership. I was delighted to hear we’d be working with such a renowned and classic product. 

Stormy Kromer is a classic brand that is a go-to for many of our own customers. This collaboration capitalizes the natural overlap between our consumers. Stormy shares our commitment to making durable, long-lasting gear. Their hats nearly make the grade of family heirlooms, perfectly suited for a variety of outdoor work and activities. Similarly, First Lite strives to make durable gear that solves multiple problems for the hunter. These principles of longevity and versatility unite our brands together. 

The First Lite-Stormy Kromer partnership includes hats with interiors printed in First Lite’s most popular camo patterns. Our camouflage patterns may be the most recognizable element of the First Lite brand, perfectly demonstrating the connection between the two companies. 

This collaboration is meant for folks who appreciate heritage products they can pass down through generations. The most basic approach to sustainability is creating products that last. A cap that will serve the wearer for a lifetime is an embodiment of Stormy Kromer and First Lite’s commitment to environmental responsibility and our customers.

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