The Original Mountain Parka. Who can lay claim to creating the original?
The timeline can get a little hazy, but outdoor writer and gear expert Bruce Johnson claims that Alice Holubar’s, “Stand out innovation was the firsttrueMountain Parka, her legitimately cult-status NP-22 shell garment pre-dated Sierra Design’s famous 60/40 parka by at least ten years.”
Founded in 1946 by Alice and Roy Holubar, the brand is credited with a number of early breakthrough developments in tents and sleeping bags designed for mountaineering. Originally based in Boulder, Colorado, Holubar manufactured a lot of their own gear for retail sale but they also introduced ‘sew it yourself’ kits, where the customer could buy a kit directly from Holubar to sew their very own Mountain Parka. Although a fairly short lived novelty, it was a striking new model of direct to consumer retail at the time.
But the brand’s real claim to fame would come later, when they supplied the orange Mountain Parka to be worn by Robert De Niro in the iconic 1978 film The Deer Hunter. Catapulting the brand (and garment) into the limelight, it was this moment that solidified the Mountain Parka’s reputation as a cult classic piece of outerwear.
Sierra Designs however, are also credited with bringing the Mountain Parka to the masses during the late 60s and early 70s. Founded in 1965 by Bob Swanson and George Marks on the principle that all people deserve to have good gear for exploring the outdoors, Sierra Designs went on to create a number of outdoor innovations that are still in use today.
After meeting in Berkley in 1963, Swanson and Marks pooled their years of experience in the outdoors and put it straight into the gear they were producing. The 60/40 Mountain Parka is without a doubt the brand’s most iconic product and vintage examples are still in high demand today.