VSSL First Aid In Outside Mag!
Owning a gear company, I can think of no better feeling than the validation that comes from getting picked up by a mainstream publication. The pinnacle in the outdoor world is Outside Magazine. They are the definitive source for outdoor gear. So, for VSSL, that's the one I've always hoped we'd be featured in.
And by "hoped,” I really mean one of those pie-in-the-sky type things you roll around in your head, but don't tell anyone because they'll think you're crazy.
In 2015, they picked up VSSL Camp Supplies and I was blown away. But I know they needed to keep an eye on new and unique things, and we were getting a lot of press at the time because we were still pretty new. So, I was pumped, but I also felt like this was our first date—probably one and done afterward.
When we partnered with Suunto to make the compasses for our Mini Camp Supplies, they also featured that (best light). As I saw it, though, that was because of Suunto and not because of us. Regardless, I was super stoked and incredibly appreciative that they'd even mention us at all.
Then, out of the blue, they interviewed me at our biggest trade show for a feature that wasn't product-focused. Soon after, VSSL showed up as one of their Top 5 startups! It started to feel like a real relationship!
I believe that recognition should come from sustained excellence in our products, NOT from being a one-trick pony. I had this in mind when we launched our VSSL First Aid this year. We submitted the First Aid for review in Outside’s biggest annual issue, the coveted Summer Buyer's Guide.
Now, I know it might be tough to get excited about a first aid kit. After we submitted it, I wasn't holding my breath. We aspired to make a practical, easy-to-use kit that achieves VSSL's design principle regarding portable functionality. When we design our products, one of the questions we always ask is, "Does it perform its intended function in this minimal form?” I know our First Aid kit does. We've worked with medical experts who helped us ensure that our kit contains ONLY the most essential, highest-quality components. We didn't want to manufacture another bandage storage device. Above all, we really hoped that the slick form factor would make people love having this kit. We're all about making sure people are prepared, but we also realize that function doesn’t have to be bulky or awkward to carry. VSSL’s function is encapsulated in a handsome, rugged kit that you will be proud to own. We wanted to make the decision to include VSSL as part of your gear a no-brainer.
Thus, to my huge (but incredibly thankful) surprise, we recently found out that Outside Magazine is including VSSL First Aid in their Buyer's Guide this summer! It turns out they also want people to be properly prepared for their outdoor journeys. It also turns out that our relationship with Outside Magazine might be more of a long-term thing. We couldn’t be more thrilled.
We love you guys :).