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george lamb

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If you were involved in the outdoor industry in the 1960’s and 70’s, you knew the name of or the person George Lamb.

George was introduced to the outdoor industry when he started working for Gerry Cunningham who owned Gerry Outdoor Products. In my opinion Gerry was the father of the outdoor industry and George was his son to the industry.

George left Gerry to pursue his own outdoor manufacturing business and he named it Alp Sports where he made backpacks, tents and sleeping bags. He then opened Alpine Designs to make skiwear.

I believe he was the most creative designer in the industry.

I was supplying him with fiberfill insulation for his synthetic parkas, he also made down parkas first. Synthetic fiberfill was new so these parkas were new for him. Most of the up and coming skiwear manufacturers copied his designs. One of his designs was so popular all of them copied it and for years it was copied. It was a western style jacket that he couldn’t keep in stock.

When I started Wiggy’s I purchased two of his styles and the Antarctic parka is his design. I made another parka for a number of years I called the Mountain parka.

One year he called me when I was still selling insulation to him and asked for a thin insulation, we sold him for side zip warm up pants and he wanted it laminated to a brushed nylon tricot for a lining. I had no idea what type of garment he was going to make from this material. When I visited him [I worked out of NYC and his companies were in Boulder, CO.] I finally saw the garment; it was a ski jean. When I say ski jean, I mean he copied Levi’s made with nylon fabric and lined them with the laminated material I sold him. They were the first laminated insulated product on the market, the year was 1968 I believe. This was long before I started making laminated garments. They were the best ski pant I ever used and they were good looking because they looked like Levi’s. considering the amount of material, he purchased from me he was selling them like crazy.

When he made them, he wanted to trade name them “hot pants” but the powers to be in Colorado government thought the name was too suggestive. So, ski jeans was it. Thinking back, I believe calling them ski jeans was best.

When you wore the ski jeans and his western style ski parka you were a standout on the mountain. If I were to go into the skiwear business, I would resurrect these two garments.

When it came to sleeping bags, he would cut the mesh material he used for baffles, he cut it on a curve. That way the bag would have a curve above you. also, the material was the strongest of material one could use for baffling. As I learned about the construction of down bags all the other companies used a nylon tricot that did not have even remotely the strength of his material. The cost of his material was about 5 times more expensive.

My mummy sleeping bag design is his pattern so I never had to design a mummy sleeping bag because I had the best design from George.

George was the most talent designer the industry ever saw.

George passed away on December 23, 2022; he was 88 years old.

He may be gone but some of his designs continue at Wiggy’s.

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