“We just want to encourage people to be outside,” designer Paige Russell of Alite Designs explains. “If that means you’re simply walking your dog or you’re car camping—sweet!”
Founded by Tae Kim, former design director of North Face, Alite Designs caters to entry level campers and people looking to experience the outdoors. Their products are just as technically advanced as the more extreme equipment, but items are more user friendly and approachable.
From the backpacks to the tents, everything at Alite is simple, colorful and fun. They’re best known for their Monarch chairs—weighing less than a pound, one can be easily carried on a day hike then set up on any surface. The two-legged chairs allow you to sit back and extend your own legs for balance (we discovered the four-legged options are a bit better for the clumsier of us).
For people new to the camping world, or those simply looking to trade in their old gear, Alite offers a lending library that they refer to as the “Ranger Station.” You can reserve a complimentary camping kit to borrow everything you need for a quick getaway—chairs, a backpack, tent, cookware and utensils and a camera tripod to catch it all in action.
We’re looking to follow the Alite team’s lead and get outdoors while in Northern California, so we asked Paige and Tae for a few of their favorite places to visit!
Steep Ravine in Marin County: “It’s an awesome hike with little cabins along the ocean—a really magical place!”
German Tourist Club: “Visit for an easy one mile walk through the Muir Woods. It ends at a chalet with beer, board games and pretzels.”
Marin County: “If you cross the Golden Gate, you can hike at Kirby Cove right under the bridge.”
San Francisco Campsites: “There are spots to camp in the Presidio and Nob Hill. We have the only campsite within a major city with a view overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.”
Photos by Collin Hughes