“Myself, and the guides and outfitters who help develop our gear, are the experts in the field,” Burns says. “We build it because we need it.”
The brainchild of Jason Hairston—a former NFL linebacker—KUIU entered the market in 2011 as the first hunting brand to work directly with consumers, selling products solely from its website rather than in retail stores. Dodging the hefty tax of brick-and-mortar markups, Hairston channeled KUIU’s savings into superior materials and a lower cost to the consumer. This advantage positions KUIU in a league of its own among hunting brands, and challenges the quality of technical apparel in any outdoor discipline.
Empowered by a connection to its customers, KUIU operates with total transparency. KUIU lets the product and community speak for itself, instead of relying on kitschy marketing campaigns.
“Because the quality is better, we’re able to pull back the curtain and show people exactly what we’re making,” Burns says. “It’s a model that works well, but only if you make the best stuff.”
Celebrities and premium guides like Jay Scott—an original user of KUIU who often speaks about its quality on his podcast—sing KUIU’s praises. Scott’s been an outfitter for 25 years for coues deer, elk, bighorn sheep, and Gould’s turkey. Spending all his time in the field, he’s developed a deep knowledge of gear that works day in and day out.
“I’ve been using KUIU gear since they first started making Ultralight Hunting Gear, because I wanted the best,” Scott says. “I spend 150 days a year in the harshest elements from extreme cold to burning heat while guiding hunters. Nothing outperforms KUIU gear.”
Innovative engineering with intent
“Take the Pro Bino, for instance,” Burns says. “We invented it to be the first full-containment optics system on the market. It’s made for anyone who needs to carry binoculars comfortably and have quick access to them, not just hunters. One hundred years ago, the mountaineer, the explorer, and the hunter were all the same person. KUIU’s goal is to make the best technical products available for anybody who likes to push themselves in the mountains—period.”