To help you get to know the people behind our Staff Picks collection, we asked each team member a little about themselves, how they got interested in their favorite community, and what else they’re doing these days. Read the Q&A, check out their picks, and use the comment section to ask questions or just say hello.
Meet Danny, who’s all about the Ultralight Community.
Q: What do you do at Massdrop?A: My main focus is developing partnerships with outdoor brands to create our own Massdrop version of the best products in our community. I read every single discussion post, analyze the sales and voting data, and scour the forums here and elsewhere. I use that to envision a new product variation, and then work with the partner company to actually create prototypes. These are tested, refined, and tested again until we are all happy with our new creation. I guide that process from the very beginning until the product is successfully in the hands of our members. I also help convince new brands to work with us on the daily drops.
Q: What do you like most about working at Massdrop?A: I love that we work with many of the "cottage" companies - small, family owned companies based in the US and most of them produce everything here. These have all been started by someone who wanted better gear or clothing so they designed and sewed their own. Then their friends wanted one, and then members on the forums wanted some, and suddenly they had a small company.
Q: How did you get into ultralight backpacking?A: I started backpacking in 2002 when I was finishing college and going up to to the Sierras every other weekend. The idea of going light was just starting to take off, and it seemed like the obvious way to camp. Why would you want to carry more than you had to? My first gear purchases were luckily great, which made it easy to go light and be comfortable. I never had a chance to learn the heavy habits of conventional backpacking. I only became a part of the community years later when I stared writing for BPL, as that's when I really got to know other ULers.
Q: What are some of your favorite products in that community?A: I love the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants - they are lightweight enough to wear hiking even on hot days, have great stretch, and are comfortable enough to wear for my bike commute and day at the office. I love the Rab Merino+ layers, and wear them all the time. These have the best blend of merino wool with synthetic for faster drying and great durability. For backpacking, I use a Borah Gear Down Jacket and Black Rock Gear Down hat with my Enlightened Equipment quilt, Klymit pad and TarpTent Double Rainbow. Partnering with TarpTent is one of my highest priorities these days.
Q: What are some of your other hobbies/interests?A: I bike commute. I used to run a decent amount, but not don't have as much time. I am getting into gardening and am currently nurturing 10 fruits trees and several giant raised garden beds. It's a fun family activity that provides fresh veggies, herbs and fruit.
Check out Danny’s picks:
▶ Goosefeet Gear Down Pantshttps://www.massdrop.com/buy/goosefeet-gear-down-pants
▶ SOTO Amicus Stovehttps://www.massdrop.com/buy/soto-amicus-stove
▶ Keith Titanium Ti6300 Multifunctional Cookerhttps://www.massdrop.com/buy/keith-ti6300-titanium-multifunctional-cooker
▶ Zpacks Nero Backpackhttps://www.massdrop.com/buy/zpacks-nero-backpack
Follow Danny to see what he's up to:
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